Okay, listen. Sometimes I stalk people on Facebook. I’M GUILTY. I ADMIT IT. But on a scale of 1 to psychotic Facebook freak, I’d say I get a fairly low score because my Facebook “investigating” habits these days are pretty minimal. I don’t spend hours poring over the 2,895 pictures that so-and-so is tagged in, I don’t look at photo albums created by people I don’t know just because someone I do know is tagged in them, I don’t obsessively read people’s wall-to-wall conversations, and I don’t have a go-to list of people whose profiles I check regularly. I just don’t care that much. I read my news feed, I look at my notifications, and if I realize that I haven’t heard from a friend in a while, I might go to their profile and check up on the few most recent posts on their wall. Beyond that, I just can’t muster the energy to care.
Facebook is an amazingly useful tool in a lot of ways, but mostly it is an instrument of the devil designed to make me loathe humanity and feel bad about myself. For example, yesterday I was invited to an event called “U G G boots giveaway day.” There are several things that are severely wrong with this occurence. One is that the event did not show who invited me, meaning that I don’t even have a target for the rage that this kind of stupid spam event incites in me. And also, I wouldn’t wear UGG boots if they were free, or even if you fucking paid me to, for that matter, so Facebook, if you could please let me obliterate any hint of this event from my online world, that would be great. Oh, wait. The “Remove from my events” button has disappeared? How convenient. Fuck you, UGG boots, and fuck you, Facebook.
Also, I really don’t get how Facebook goes about choosing which people pop up on my News Feed and which don’t. Like, why do all these people who I went to elementary school with but haven’t talked to in years come up on my News Feed, and yet my best friends whose lives I actually care about never do? I specifically remember designing my News Feed on two separate occasions, too, where I went through and checked all of the people who were newsworthy, and yet they still never seem to come up. I did a little investigating on this because it started to really annoy me, and I found this article that was sort of helpful, but which only confirmed another qualm I have with Facebook, which is that it is just a big stupid popularity contest. Did you know that the more people who “like” and comment on your Facebook actions, the more you will start popping up on other peoples’ news feeds, even if they didn’t click to see your updates in their news feed settings? Bullshit, right? The more popular you are, the more popular you get, and the more I have to see your stupid status updates about how you are at Chipotle, or how you are mad at Lebron for betraying the Cavs, or how you just saw Willow Grace’s new video. I. don’t. care.
And can I just say, what the HELL is up with this Photo Memories box? Have you seen this? I swear that I have literally come this close to hurling my laptop out the window because of this nonsense, because for the past month it has ONLY displayed pictures of my ex boyfriend. When I first noticed this, I got irritated and started to click out of the pictures, because yes, even though I’m sure that Facebook is aware that I may happen to wander over to his profile from time to time, Facebook should also know that we sort of recently ended our formerly Facebook-official relationship, and that therefore I do not care to see pictures of him “tagged over two years ago” where he is canoodling with one of his other ex girlfriends. The fact that I can’t stop going to his profile makes me feel shitty enough as it is, and I don’t need the Photo Memories box constantly urging me to “Reach Out by writing on his wall…” to make matters worse. There have been numerous occasions where I have clicked out of TEN or more pictures of him in a row on that damn box, and they just keep on popping back up. I mean, seriously, what the hell is that?? After a couple weeks of clicking off the photos and after the wanderings to his profile have more or less ceased, Facebook has finally started to tone it down a bit, except that now instead of tagged pictures of him, I get sneak-attack pictures of him, like of his sister “and 1 friend” or of his best friend “and three friends,” and in the end it just makes me want to wring my own neck for friending his sister and his best friends when I should have just kept my motherfucking distance.
The prospect of deleting my Facebook account gets more and more appealing as the madness continues each day, and I had made up my mind last week that I was just going to fucking do it. Well, not delete it, but have someone change the password for me so that I couldn’t access it for a month or so, just to remind myself that even without Facebook, life will still go on. I just really hate the fact that my day to day world becomes so wrapped up in a fucking online social network, and that sometimes I actually get anxious if I go for more than a day without checking it. Granted, I’m grateful for the fact that Facebook lets me stay connected with friends who are far away, but as I said, I think the evil ultimately outweighs the good.
The sad thing, too, is that even though I had myself convinced for a good hour that I was going to give up Facebook for a month, eventually I envisioned what I would do when Gretchen or someone was like “oh, did you see that picture that so-and-so just tagged of you?” or “did you see so-and-so’s status today? it was sooo cool/hilarious/completely lame” and I would have to be like, SHIT, NO, I didn’t see it, because I CAN’T GET ON FACEBOOK. And I imagined myself wailing in front of my computer, spending hours trying to guess what Gretchen might have changed my password to, and I remembered how I almost had a panic attack when I was in Amsterdam and my computer got a virus and I couldn’t get on Facebook for like a week, and I was like, yeah, fuck that, I’m not giving up Facebook.
Maybe at some point I can curb my addiction enough to actually be able to give it up for a month. I think it would be an interesting experiment, because think of all the stuff you could accomplish if you suddenly freed up the time you spend on Facebook every day. It’s something I really want to do, but it’s like when I smoked cigarettes, and even though I kept telling myself that I wanted to quit and that for the most part I didn’t even enjoy it anymore, I just kept on doing it because even though it made me feel like shit, that’s kind of what addictions are about- that unique kind of self-satisfaction that you get from doing something you know is bad for you. It doesn’t really make sense, but it’s just the way it is. Since I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’m a non-smoker, there’s probably a slim to none chance that I’ll actually have the backbone to give up Facebook, too. In the meantime, though, I am going to make a conscious effort to cut back, hopefully channeling any “investigative” energy into looking for and attaining a new job and maybe also finding a miracle cure for whatever lung ailment I have so that I can start smoking again.
And on the subject of how lame Facebook is, you should probably watch this awesome South Park episode called You Have 0 Friends.