Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Descending into Facebook Hell

Hi. My name’s Eric and I’m addicted to Facebook.

The most popular social network site duped me out of precious hours of my life and turned me into a rabid procrastinator. When future historians reach into their TruthOrbs and lecture to their Holo-Students, they’ll recall how Facebook destroyed marriages, ruined friendships and corrupted 21st Century society.

This is the flash point where everything faltered.


Why has this innocent site caused so much chaos and ill tidings? Don’t I enjoy hearing from the multitudes of “friends” and their everyday happenings, no matter how trivial? Don’t I like seeing the umpteen photos of everything including blurry pictures of their lunch, taken with a cameraphone at Applebee’s? Don’t I laugh at the various memes they post featuring cats or Star Wars references?

Of course I do, and that’s the problem.

I’ve used Facebook since 2008. I visit it every day, multiple times. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I find myself looking at Facebook, as if I’m sleepwalking, mindlessly logging in and browsing through my friend’s activities. Far from heightening my sense of awareness, it lulls me into a dull torpor where no productivity escapes. It’s the black hole of socialization, a meandering idiot-fest where you read about everything your friends are up to and suffer through a constant barrage of pictures. The event horizon of this swirling black hole are the comments your friends leave to you. I have to check out all of their comments to me, about me and in posts I commented in. The entire thing is like some diabolical Chinese puzzlebox but instead of unraveling the mystery and opening the box, your soul ends up inside the box.

Facebook used to be cute. Once you could “poke” your friends, a lighthearted way of saying “Hello. I don’t have a life, either.” Amusing videos of a baby swallowing a crayon. Fun games like Mob Wars or Farmville. Those insidious games are now annoying and anyone who sends me an invite will get a tersely-worded reply and a brick thrown at them.

A virtual brick. I’m no brutish thug.

Though Facebook had linked the world and allowed strangers to share cat photos and urban legends masquerading as fact (HIV-infected needles in gas pump handles? Really?) it is a complete time sink. Prepare to be amused or bored for hours.

In prompting me for my status update, Facebook is now asking me “How do you feel?” When did they replace the cold, logical parser with a New Age counselor? How I feel is pissed off I have to tell Facebook how I feel. Mind your own business, Facebook. And don’t even try to hug me.

In wishing to utilize my time wisely and more efficiently, I’m listing the most cogent replies to my Facebook friends based on an aggregation of their most popular status updates:

·      To the people posting Christian-related messages: Yeah, I get it. You like Jesus. Religion is important to your life. Tell me again how it improved your outlook as a human. Now tell me your thoughts on the homeless, poor people on welfare and single mothers.

·      To the atheists posting how stupid religion is and how science gives you all boners: So you don’t follow a religious creed, and you’re debunking someone else’s faith. That’s great, Poindexter. Religion is stupid. Feel better now? Feel superior? Feel smug? Apparently tolerance isn’t your bailiwick. But the stuff about Neil deGrasse Tyson you keep posting is interesting.

·      To the people posting pro-gay rights messages: Okay, you’d like to see gays and lesbians get married. Fine. But if gays want the same rights as straights, there has to be a trade-off. Gays can get married if straight people can reclaim Broadway show tunes without being sniggered at. If a straight guy wants to belt out the soundtrack to “Les Miz” while riding his tractor mower, he should be allowed.

·      To the people who post photos asking for a million “Likes” to help their kid get a puppy, or support their puppy with ass cancer, or for their glee club to get a class trip to Norway: You’re all attention whores. Stop it. This is a desperate attempt at groveling for approbation. If you’re a husband and your wife won’t let you buy a puppy for junior unless you get a million “Likes”, buy the damn dog anyway! You’re the one with the penis, so act like it.

·      To the Republicans/Democrats who post pro-Republican/pro-Democrat or anti-Republican/anti-Democrat messages, memes or assorted crap: While I am passionate about America, the U.S. Constitution and the future of our society, you’re all a bunch of Stepford douches shambling after your political masters. Until you learn to think for yourselves and break free from political machines and their poisonous ideologies, you’re never going to be fully actualized adults. Reach away from your comfort zones. Dare yourselves to think differently. Don’t give into hatred and ignorance. Or, barring that, try to be a class act in political discourse instead of a name-calling troglodyte.

·      To people posting photos of your kids: Congratulations. You successfully reproduced. You’re no doubt proud of your offspring and posted several photos of them on Facebook, for the whole world to see. Considering how sick and messed up the world is, and any pedophile with an Internet connection can view these photos, you’re not going to win parent of the year, are you?

·      To people complaining about their jobs/places of employment/co-workers: I sympathize with you. I really do. But don’t you think a less public forum would be more appropriate for your rants on how unfair your boss is or how the ladies in accounting treat you like shit? Again, people can see what you post. Grow a pair and stop whining.

·      To the people who deliberately post controversial questions to goad others into arguing with them: Gun control. Abortion. Feline AIDS. You’ve got the issues and you’re itching for a fight. If you feel strongly about the topic, do something constructive and join a group or something. This passive-aggressive attitude of taking it to Facebook is making you look like a douche-nozzle. Here’s a tip: Don’t look like a douche-nozzle.

·      To people posting photos of exotic places they’ve traveled: Wonderful! You’ve been to Aspen!

·      To people posting constant photos of their pets: You have a dog. And a cat. And another cat. And another dog. Look! The dog is licking its balls! The cat is crapping in the litter box! Isn’t technology grand?

·      To people posting jokes/pithy observations: These are allowed. They amuse me. Do carry on…

·      To people posting memes that just aren’t true/urban myths/incredibly frightening scenarios with no plausible logic behind them: Stop it. You’re gullible if you believe everything you read on the Internet. The government doesn’t want to confiscate your guns, Obama is not a socialist Muslim wizard from Kenya, and the ghost will not kill you if you don’t forward the chain letter. I live on planet Earth. Care to visit sometime?

·      To people who post details of recent medical procedures or health updates: I’m concerned with my friend’s well-being, so thanks for keeping me informed.

·      To people who post photos of food/alcohol they are currently consuming: Wow! You’re at Delmonico’s! Lobster Newberg and Pinot Grigio. Enjoy that gastronomic feast!

I realize I’m guilty for about half of these violations. I guess I’m in too deep. I’ve become the very thing I loathe; a mole-like subterranean dweller with pasty skin and bulbous eyes who clatters upon the keyboard while going through my friend’s timeline history.

I am in Facebook Hell. 

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