Hmmm, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted something here. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to bitch about, Jeebus knows that’s a rare thing! To be honest I’ve been using Facebook more and more these past few months, and there’s a lot to like. For example, it’s great being able to post a photo with a comment without having to host the photo somewhere else and then link to it (like I do here). It’s just as easy to share videos from YouTube or whatever and include comments on those. The most fun so far has been uploading photos from high school and then tagging the people in them, which in turn notifies them that they’ve been tagged so they can come take a look. Then people start commenting on the photos and some real funny shit starts to come out.
So Facebook does make for an interesting social “thing”, but it’s not as personal as having your own space in which to write whatever you want. And, naturally, there are some aspects of it that are starting to get on my nerves. Here are some examples!
Bite-sized posts. Facebook doesn’t allow you to say too much at a time, so whatever you’re trying to say has to be distilled down into a very short paragraph. You’re forced to get down to the point, which can be a good thing. However, it’s not always enough room to say all you want. Sure, you could post your full-length writing elsewhere and then link to it, but that’s sorta missing the point of Facebook I suppose.
Everybody wants to send me a cutesy plant/animal/hug/martini/game/whatever. These Facebook apps are getting out of hand, and you can’t block them all — you have to wait until someone sends you one, then you can block that particular app. Currently I’m blocking 17 apps and counting. No offense to those who send these things…I just don’t care for them because they clutter up my profile.
People take a lot of fuckin’ quizzes. Goddamn, I’ve never seen so much quiz activity in my life! The downside is that I have to see the results of all these quizzes in my News Feed. There are only so many “Which _____ are you?” and “What are your Top 5 ______?” results I can take before I have to click off.
Most people have nothing interesting to say. The downside of the bite-size post is that it leads to a lot of empty, meaningless posts by people who don’t really have anything to say but feel the need to post something anyway. Here are some recurring examples of actual posts that I’m really getting tired of seeing. (Note: this is based on my own Friends list so it’s not necessarily true for all of Facebook, though sometimes I wonder if most people aren’t this banal.)
“At work trying to get moving on a Monday.”
“…is standing in line at Costco.”
“It’s Friday, yay! Looking forward to relaxing this weekend!”
“Happy this last weekend is over but looking forward to the next one!”
“…needs to do laundry.”
“…is watching a show on NBC.”
I realize that the Status Update is meant for this sort of drive-by posting, and I don’t expect EVERY post to be chock-full of scintillating insight, but why can’t more people post something interesting now and then? I see this kind of twaddle EVERY SINGLE DAY from a lot of people, over and over and over…they never have anything else to say. I do have a few friends who post things that are bitchy and/or amusing, which shows their personalities a little more…and sometimes I learn something new about them other than what mindless activity they’re doing right this second. But most of the time it’s just b-o-r-i-n-g.
Another thing I’ve noticed that many of these one-line posts are relentlessly bubbly and cheerful. There are a lot of posts like “I can’t wait to fix dinner!” and “Well, I’m off to the gym!!” which are usually followed by responses like “That’s great!!!!” and “Wow, so awesome!!!!!” Bleh. Nobody’s that consistently happy. Now get off my lawn!
People from your distant past suddenly want to reconnect. This can be good or bad, depending on who it is. On the good side, I’ve had a lot of fun catching up with old high school friends and seeing what their lives are like now. I’ve even caught up with a couple of people I haven’t seen since before high school, back in those weird teenage days when I hadn’t figured much out about myself yet. On the downside, I’ve also had some Friend requests from people I really have no interest in keeping up with, such as spouses of rarely-seen non-immediate family members (the wife of a cousin I haven’t seen for five years), people from high school I didn’t really know but who were friends of my friends, etc. What the hell are we supposed to chat about?? I don’t know them and I really don’t care to, honestly — and I’m not about to add them just to make small talk about nothing. One guy keeps trying to Friend me even though we’ve never met a single time…he was in my brother’s class in high school. What the fuck is that? I keep hitting Ignore and he keeps on trying. Geez. Get a life, dipshit.
I’m finding myself (gasp) watching my language more than usual. There’s something about Facebook that makes me feel like I can’t rant the way I like. Maybe it’s the nonstop happy-wappy things everyone else is posting, in which case I end up look like a curmudgeonly asshole (something I should be used to). Maybe it’s the fact that it’s not really “my” space, but borrowed space populated by people who probably don’t want to read ranty things. Hard to tell. Would I feel comfortable using the term “cock-eating shitbag” on Facebook? Honestly, I wouldn’t…unlike on my own blog, where anything goes. I post things poking fun at religion and other stuff, but they’re very toned-down from what goes on here. Maybe this is a hangup I need to get over.
Facebook will buy and sell your information in every way possible unless you very specifically tell them not to in very specific ways. You have to click through a series of tabs and uncheck a bunch of boxes so that Facebook doesn’t sell your information to some scumbag marketing company. Why isn’t all this shit opt-out by default? They even have an option to make personal items about you show up in ads to your friends! Jeezus.
People LOVE to blather on and on and on about their kids. “Little Britney just told me she wuvs me… Sooooo cute!!!!!” is a typical example. “Hey girl, your little boy is soooo adorable!!!!” is another. These people typically don’t have a picture of themselves for their profile — they have a picture of one or all of their spawn. (If they happen to be Mormons, they’re all dressed alike. Creeeepy.) They’re also posting pictures of their kids EVERY SINGLE DAY, along with all the meaningless details of their kids’ lives. Because, you know, now that they’ve reproduced, EVERYthing is about the kids. This is really irritating in person, and it’s just as irritating online.
Some “friends” are using their Facebook network to promote their scammy, crappy products. This is Christing unbelievable. So far I know of three buddies from high school who are now replying to my posts with links to their pyramid-scheme miracle product websites. I’ve heard that this is happening more and more to other people, too. Are people really this desperate to make a quick buck? Piss off, shill… I’m a friend, not a marketing opportunity. I’ll bet your herbal tonic tastes like ass and does absolutely nothing.
Maybe I’ll come up with a few more at some point. In the meantime, I need to start posting on my own goddamn blog again! Maybe I can try dual-posting between this and Facebook. Hmmm….