After some extensive deliberation, namely due to my fear of being lambasted as a total hypocrite, I finally decided to publish this blog post about Facebook, and my opinion that, in general, social networking sites really fucking suck.
I have a Twitter account, a Myspace and a Facebook page. And I have no idea why.
The first two, I barely use; I can’t even remember the log in details for Myspace; my profile page just sits there, ‘virtually’ collecting dust, cast aside like a box of unwanted memories. I sporadically use Twitter; mostly to cyber-stalk my favourite bands and bloggers, but I rarely tweet anything, mainly due to the fact that I find it impossible to communicate anything of any value in 140 characters. I last tweeted 103 days ago, when I thoughtfully contacted Sofia Vergara, out of the goodness of my heart, to inform her that my blog was inadvertently attracting people searching for naked photos of her. She didn’t respond, because she is cruel and ungrateful. Facebook on the other hand, is somewhat of a compulsion for me; it prods, jostles and lures me in; I just cannot help but skim through the news feed to inquisitively peruse the goings-on of my 189 Facebook friends. The status update, a sugar-laden box of intrusive goodness, acts as an enthusiastic accomplice, graciously bestowing the golden opportunity to snoop and peer into the real-time window of people’s lives, through their response to the question, ‘what’s on your mind?’.
And this is where the problem starts, people.
Because status updates, more often than not, are fucking insipid and lame.
I do not need to know what you had for breakfast this morning, or that you are on your way home from work, nor do I need to be informed that you ‘h8 ur job’ or your grandma, or that you’re really pissed off with a ‘certain someone’ right now (but you’re too passive-aggressive to tell them to their face). And don’t get me started on the victim/attention whores; I really cannot offer any help or reassuring words when you write ‘I cannot stop crying today’ or even worse, you post sad quotes like ‘you bleed to know you’re alive’. Instead of attempting to garner sympathy from your 456 Facebook friends; (an assortment of people who you worked with for 3 weeks, 5 years ago, on a gap year selling coconuts in Borneo, or haven’t seen you since you were 3 and shared a packet of space raiders at nursery), why not email your best friend or Skype your Mum? They’re the most suitable people to shoulder your tears. And what’s with the people who ‘like’ these statuses? Instead of sitting there, like some jumped up keyboard therapist, furnishing support at the push of a button, why don’t you actually be a friend and give this person a call? Oh yeah, that’s because you don’t actually know them – you met them at a party 3 months ago where you added them as a friend through a drunken haze of high-fiving each other because you figured that you both like cricket and drinking Jägermeister. Yeah, you and 50,000 other people, prick.
Then there’s the bragger, the-my-life-is-so-much-better-than-yours, the peacock of Facebook who figuratively swaggers all over the news feed, littering it with an iridescent plumage of ‘I just got a pay rise :-)’, ‘sitting by the pool, drinking a cocktail in 45 degree heat’ or ‘has the best boyfriend EVER!’ Yeah, yeah, not only do we already feel disenchanted about our meagre and apathetic little lives, we now have your gloating to contend with which really nails the coffin lid shut. Each time I read one of these tediously showboating updates, I have to forcibly stop myself from simultaneously stabbing myself in the face and writing a comment response along the lines of ‘I THINK YOU’RE A GODDMAMN ASSHOLE’.
What’s the deal with all the Facebook groups? A collection, in the millions, of generally pointless conglomerates that profile ‘important’ causes such as ‘if this group reaches 1 million, I will run around the centre of Bradford stark bollock whilst eating a sandwich’ (no you won’t), ‘I’ve always pronounced duct tape as duck tape’ (I really don’t care) or ‘why do hygiene products kill 99.9% of bacteria? I want the 0.1% killed as well’! (I seriously worry about people like you). Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that some Facebook groups are a great idea; they allow people to engage in an open forum with others who share the same interests, and can be used as a channel to educate and encourage, but seriously, I do not believe for one minute that changing my profile photo to a picture of a cartoon character will, in any way, help to eliminate child abuse. But do you know what does? Donating. And you can do that here.
The new ‘people you may know’ Facebook tool, is well, a tool. I do not need to be alerted, daily, to people I have absolutely no interest in. Just because I am friends with someone does not mean I subsequently want to be friends with their Dad and/or neighbour-from-7-doors-down. ‘People you may know’ is similar to standing at a party, drink in hand, edging towards the door to make a dastardly escape, only to be introduced by the party host to ‘Daniel, who works in electronics and likes fishing’. It’s awkward, people. I also do not want to have anything to do with the girl who bullied me at primary school – I purposely didn’t add her as a Facebook friend when she personally requested my hand in Facebook friendship 2 years ago, I don’t need to be reminded of her each time I login, thankyouverymuch.
As for the Facebook games, such as Farmville and Mafia Wars, if you feel the need to dwindle away valuable time fake-milking a cow, or pretending to be a gangster (even though you’re 47, have 3 children and drive a Volvo), fine by me, but STOP INVITING ME. I have better things to do, such as planting tomatoes for real, or writing a blog that does nothing to appease my earlier fears that I am a complete hypocrite (of vast proportions). In mere minutes, I will take to Facebook, wielding the link to this very blog, and I will paste it into my status update, subsequently cluttering the news feed of my 189 Facebook friends. Later tonight, I will go for a 10 kilometre run. My Runkeeper software will alert you to this, as it does every time I run, and you will have to forcibly stop yourself from simultaneously stabbing yourself in the face and writing a comment response along the lines of ‘I THINK YOU’RE A GODDAMN ASSHOLE’.
If you’re one of them, and you’re reading this, I apologise. Please don’t delete me. I need you.