I’ve been Facebook-less for about 3 weeks and my life is exponentially better. Because so many fucking people are confused about how it is I can live without Facebook and WHY I WOULD WANT TO, I’m going to detail my reasons right here, right now.
You can get a beer, if you want.
First, we’re going to go back. Way back to the fucking beginning of social networking on grand scales. Social networking: I hate it. I have NEVER wanted a social networking profile, in my life. Ever. What I have wanted and have had are blogs, though. I had a LiveJournal (still do) which was my breeding ground for a lot of decent short stories and seething poetry and shit-it was my LiveJournal that I would refer people to when they would ask about my MySpace, because in my mind, if you want to get to know someone who writes, you should read their shit. Pretty cut and dry. So I would refer them to my LJ, which is a place I used strictly for writing-no socializing whatsoever. I never ‘chatted’ with anyone, I never went on the endless threads LiveJournal is famous for-none of that. Writing. That was it.
One fine day, my retarded friend decides to open a MySpace “on my behalf”. Oh, failure. Completely. Once the notion entered my mind that there was a profile with my previous name and picture on it, I succumbed to the pressure and “took the reins” of my own internet likeness, and promptly decided it was the bee’s knees. OMG look I can like, color the background WHATEVER I WANT!!! Grey and mint green! This is SO ME! I can add profile music so people can see how fucking avant garde and trendsetting I am! I can add millions of pictures of myself posing like an asshole so people can think I’m pretty! Yes! My dreams are coming true!
I had a MySpace blog, too. And that was what really reeled me in, because my blog was fucking popular. Not “15 views in one day” popular, but thousands. I only had maybe 300 MySpace friends, but the views on my blog were insane. It made me write more (albeit not better) and also convinced me all of the work I did on “representing myself” via my profile was worth it.
I had a Facebook early on, but never used it. Back in “those days”, it was still for it’s intended demographic, which was mostly college kids. But slowly and surely, MySpace sold itself to the dogs, and people started thinking of Facebook differently. We all know the story. Most of us switched from MySpace to Facebook…and are still there.
Facebook is definitely a different animal than MySpace. Less ads, no self-produced “webisodes”, and one massive difference: Facebook is about your friends. It gives you a homepage where you can interact at multiple levels with your associates. Your “profile” is more about your activity history with your friends than anything else. MySpace had similar applications, but at the end of the day, MySpace was about YOU. Facebook is about the global community.
And THIS is why I hate it.
Facebook tells me too much shit. It shows me too many things I don’t want to or need to see. Sure, you can block people or look at Facebook in different browsers to see different shit, but at the end of the day, I don’t want to. I don’t want to see my friend leaving a comment on her friend’s picture…because I don’t know her friend, and I don’t fucking care. I don’t want to see some bitch I know silently stalking all of my friends to annoy me (you win-I’m fucking annoyed). I don’t want to get messages from said friends asking me why that retard is so up on their nuts-because Facebook also tells me they’re still interacting with that person, and I then am forced to realize how sad and pathetic most of humanity is because they love saying one thing and doing another. I don’t want someone I just “friended” friending all my other fucking friends because they’re desperate assholes. I don’t need ALL my friends knowing ALL my other friends. DID WE MEET ONCE? WE ARE TOTALLY FUCKING FRIENDS! OMG! Except no, you’re not. Are there great things about Facebook? Of course. I love status messages. I love group threads. I love the ability to tag photos of dogs wearing birthday hats as my friends so we can LOL. But the things I dislike so numerously and strongly outweigh the things I do like, it is catastrophic.
When I had a Facebook, something would annoy me EVERY TIME I LOGGED ON. And one annoyance was the minimum, there were usually more. People making grandiose claims; promoters promoting; dudes hitting on me; whatever. Without Facebook, I am calmer, because I’m being annoyed at least 5 times less every day. I’m seeing hundreds of less ads, hundreds of less people, hundreds of less lies, stupid people doing stupid things, hundreds of less conversations that have NOTHING to do with me, hundreds of less everything. Facebook REALLY doesn’t help you connect with people. It really doesn’t. Everyone I need to talk to I talk to. We do it ON THE PHONE or IN REAL LIFE or IN EMAIL. Yes, Facebook is great for threads and pictures. But so are other things which do not carry the annoyance.
The amount of people who have looked at me like I am nuts for living without an internet profile explaining “who I am” and “what I’m all about” are in deep, yessir. They have lost the ability to understand that while it IS incredibly useful to be able to look someone up and see what they’re into and what they look like at multiple angles, that doesn’t mean you ‘know someone’. And besides, that shit is the kind of shit real conversations are made of. That is what we used to do, remember? Talk to each other and ask questions, with our voices. In real life. You didn’t use to be able to Google someone’s dumb ass to see whether they’ve read Camus and listen to Belle and Sebastian. You had to ask. And asking is a lot more valid than simply reading what someone says they’re into. Believe me. Most people’s profiles don’t hold up to any questioning deeper than “so you like that, right? Cool.”
I think Facebook is kind of sad. The average person now uses it like a news source AND a social playground. This is how guys hit on chicks now. This is how brands advertise themselves. “Like” me, they implore. “Like” me.
Having a fanpage doesn’t make you a celebrity anymore than hitting a “like” button means I actually like you. There is a page for every brand and every product out there…Tide detergent, anyone? Like us on Facebook! At what point are we going to start wanting blogs again? Individual webpages? Something more indicitive of personality than a series of things we’ve pushed a button to indicate approval of? Is it ever going to happen?
Until then, you can take your Facebook and fuck yourself with it.