17 Reasons Facebook is awkward now
I think I hate Facebook. So much so I almost deleted my account last week.
I got as far as setting up a “dummy” account to manage my blog pages from (I have a Facebook page for each of my blogs: they do drive traffic to the sites, so I don’t want to get rid of them, but for some reason Facebook requires you to have a personal account in order to manage a page…), and then I stopped. Somehow I couldn’t quite persuade myself to take the final step and hit that “‘delete’ button. So I stayed – for now. But…
I don’t think I like Facebook any more. Here are just a few of the things that make it awkward…
01. The politics of having to accept friends requests from every single relative, no matter how distant, or start a family feud.
02. When your third-cousin-twice-removed breaks up with her boyfriend of five weeks, but you’ve still got him on your Facebook, because your aunt made you add him. What to do?
03. Drama-seekers who post zero-context statements like “fuming!” just so everyone will rush to ask them what’s wrong.
04. “PM me, hun.”
05. People who ‘check in’ to A&E but give no clue as to why they’re there until they have at least 200 comments, at which point they reveal that they were dropping their nan off for her eye exam, and the main carpark was full.
06. “Every girl whose name is on this list will get engaged this year!”
07. “What colour is your aura?”
08. “Post the name of a fruit to prove you hate cancer almost as much as I hate Facebook!”
09. “Happy heavenly birthday…”
10. People who share posts about dogs who are missing in countries none of their friends actually live in. I mean, if I live in central Scotland, what are the odds of me having spotted that poodle that wandered off in Western Australia?
11. Daily updates on what everyone’s Elf on the Shelf is doing. (I hate Elf on the Shelf almost as much as I hate Facebook, though, so I’m possibly biased on this…)
12. Having to wish a happy birthday to people you haven’t met in two decades, because Facebook told you to, and if you don’t you’ll just feel guilty when they put up the inevitable, “Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes yesterday!” post.
13. Couples who post nauseating anniversary messages to each other rather than just, you know, TELLING the person. Who presumably lives with them, and therefore doesn’t need to log onto Facebook to find out that their partner is wishing them a happy anniversary.
14. “99% of my friends won’t share this post; let’s see who’s REALLY reading…”
15. “Had a Facebook cull yesterday: if you’re reading this, congrats, you made the cut!”
16. When someone tags you in a photo where you basically look like Voldemort.
17. “Inspirational” quotes. This should have been number 1, actually, that’s how much I hate them…
So I hate Facebook, basically. Which is a shame, because it wasn’t always like this…
Facebook actually used to be my favourite of all the social networks. My friends and family are scattered across the country – and, in some cases, the world. Even the ones who live locally are often busy with their own lives so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like to. I liked the fact that Facebook brought us all together again. That I could log in, and have some degree of connection with people who would otherwise be lost to me. I have cousins, for instance, who I hardly ever see, and who, without Facebook, I’d barely even know. I liked the fact that, because of Facebook, I’m still able to have some kind of relationship with them – to know what they’re doing, and how they are. The same goes for all of those friends I never see, and would totally lose touch with if it wasn’t for that little blue page.
I even liked Facebook for the things other people hate it for. All of those old high school friends who randomly send you a friends request, even although they wouldn’t have been seen dead with you when you were actually in high school? I kind of loved seeing what they’re getting up to now. I’ve heard it said that no one ever really understands you like the people who knew you as a child. I think there’s some truth to that, and as I get older, and there are fewer and fewer of those people in my “real” life, I quite like the fact that there are still some of them on Facebook. Hey, remember that time in 2nd year, when…? Who else could you share those memories with? Who else would ever care?
So I liked Facebook, is what I’m saying. I even liked all of that boring, banal stuff that most people complain about: the “what I had for dinner” statuses, the photos of people’s babies, the holiday snaps… Er, OK, maybe not the food stuff, actually. There are few things less interesting to me than a meal someone else ate, seriously. But the thing is, if you’re my friend, I WANT to see photos of your children. I’m interested in your holiday snaps. I like that you can tell me you had a bad day at work, and I REALLY like the photos of your cat. Or your dog. Or whatever small, furry, animal you own.
People don’t post photos, or tell stories, or even let you know what they had for dinner anymore – they just share other people’s content, instead. Clicking the “like” button has become an easy shortcut to self-expression: why bother telling me what YOU think about a particular issue – in your own words – when you can simply share what someone else thinks, instead? I work out who you are, not by the things you say and do, but by the people and pages you associate with, and by the things you share. You don’t express your own point of view – you just share someone else’s, and while there’s always a place for a well-timed quote, there’s something hollow and ultimately disappointing about a personality which is simply cobbled together from other people’s words, images and ideas, which is all I ever seem to see these days.
Er, I don’t suppose this would be a good time to ask you to follow me on Facebook? Nope, didn’t think so…
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