About two months ago, I reactivated my Facebook account to create a group for some friends to stay in touch. It had been three years since I used Facebook. It didn’t take long for me to remember everything I hated about it back when I shut it down (I shut mine down once it became more popular for old people than for young people). Yes, I know you’re about to be offended here because you have Facebook and I’m going to piss off just about everyone here, but so what? This is my blog, I have a disclaimer at the top, and I’m allowed to have my opinions.
1. Family feuds
I think Facebook should have a tagline of, “creating drama since 2004.” Seriously – everyone is obligated to be Facebook friends with their relatives, and as a result see all sorts of shit they don’t appreciate. You are mad if I was at the beach instead of at your birthday party, or you assume if I’m in a bitchy mood about something it’s directed at you, or you’re pissed that I posted that I like a band or comedian or TV show you don’t approve of. And you’re pissed, of course, for basically any other innocuous reason. It’s absurd.
2. Maiden names
Facebook is the place where nearly every woman looks like she has a hyphenated last name. All of a sudden, these women who haven’t used their maiden name in twenty years want to have it as a part of their profile name. God forbid I post my name as my actual legal name. No, I need to be sure someone I haven’t talked to in three decades can find me if they choose to look me up. I think if you are friends with someone, they will know you’re married already. If not, you’re not really that good of friends now, are you?
3. Profile pictures
Call me crazy, but I think a profile picture should include the person whose profile it is. That’s the point, isn’t it? So we can see by the picture who you are if the name doesn’t ring a bell? It’s fine to have a picture of you and your spouse/partner/friend/children/family, as long as you are included in it. But what is up with these profile pictures of baby heads? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that four-month old doesn’t swear like a sailor yet. But if it does, OK, I agree it should be allowed its own Facebook page.
4. Religious/political views
Total soapbox here so I’ll keep it short. Nobody was ever converted to your religion or political side because of your Facebook status. We get that you’re a biggot and hate gay people already. We understand that you think everyone should own guns or that you hate Obama or that are anti-birth-control. Whatever your viewpoint, any of us who actually know you already know it and anyone who doesn’t really know you doesn’t want to now because of how overly-vocal you are about it. Your Facebook status will never convert people to your way of thinking, but it can certainly ostracize you from the next party invitation list.
5. Candy crush/Farmville, etc.
I can’t even tell you how many of these requests I have received. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m more of a word game type of person and I loathe these requests. If you have to ask, it’s a “no” (and that goes for other things in life, too – like kissing and sex).
6. The “Like” button”
The last time I had Facebook, the Like button wasn’t so prominent, so I was surprised when I reactivated my account, posted a status or two, and received mostly “likes” in response, rather than good old-fashioned comments. You could post, “I want to die,” and I guarantee you would get “likes.” People like everything, which doesn’t really make sense most of the time. In the last five years, Facebook users have become an army of dumb bobble-head dolls – nothing to say, just nodding along mutely.
7. Obligatory birthday wishes
It never fails – on your birthday, you will get a flood of wall posts, mostly from people who you never talk to, since the people who you actually hang out with will give you a card or tell you in person or at least via text. All the posts will all say, “Happy Birthday!” with the exception of the few personalized ones (“Happy Birthday, your name!”) Then, because your wall never sees this much action, you will feel obliged to respond with a “thank you for the birthday wishes!” If my birthday ever rolls around and I have a Facebook account, I will deactivate it for the week of my birthday to avoid the whole rigamarole.
8. Misinterpreted song lyrics
A common Facebook post for a young or drunk person (or both, in most cases) is the song lyrics that they are currently listening to. There are always older and more sober people who interpret this as your words to express your current situation. So say I was listening to Radiohead and posted,
But I’m a creep,
I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doin’ here?
I don’t belong here
My aunt or my mother or someone else would inevitably write, “You’re so special just as you are and anyone who doesn’t see that isn’t worth your time,” or something equally affirming and cheesy. And if it was my mom, probably a second comment that says, “and don’t say ‘hell.’ It’s a swear word.”
* * *
There are so many other things about Facebook that usually annoy people that didn’t make the list – like constantly “checking in” wherever you’re at to make your stalker’s life easy. Or taking pictures of your food. I was watching a show the other day where a guy took a picture of his food to post on social media and his boss said, “stop sexualizing your food.” It was pretty funny. I don’t mind those things too much. It also doesn’t bother me when people brag about their workouts, Good for them, I think, getting off their phone for an hour to do something productive.
But the fact is, the list of what I dislike about Facebook far outweighs what I like about it. So I shut down my Facebook account. Again. If you want to get in touch with me, comment on my blog or send me an email or text me the new old-fashioned way.