Why I Hate Facebook: A Rant

7 Feb

I did this humour writing class last semester, and one of the assignments was to write a full-blown rant about something that really gets you wound up.

Anyway, so hello, my name is Rebecca and I’m a recovering Facebook addict – and since deactivating my Facebook account and liberating myself from this perniciously ubiquitous web monster, I’ve developed a growing loathing for all aspects of the Facebook universe.

So when this rant assignment came up, Facebook was the obvious topic choice.

Given the news that Facebook is set to float on some financial market or other and make absurd sums of money for all involved, I thought it was timely to post this rant up on the blog now (and, as always, would welcome any feedback/comments).

Disclaimer 1: I kind of exaggerated my rage for comedic effect, so please do take my ire with a pinch of salt – remember this was meant to be a “humour piece”.

Disclaimer 2: Don’t take it personally if you are on Facebook – I’m only criticizing as I was so very much entrenched in the world I am now mocking. (you know how you can only make Jewish jokes if you yourself are Jewish? same kind of thing).

Disclaimer 3: Some Americanisms have slipped into the text, partly due to my ingratiating myself to my real New Yorker teacher, and partly due to him giving some revisions of his own.

Disclaimer 4: Due to the nature of this writing assignment, it is longer than a regular blog post, so sit comfortable…

Here we go —

————————–

Rebecca S

Why I hate Facebook

Like you, I was once a hapless, hopeless addict, chained to my computer, bleary-eyed, crazed, drained of all ambition and dreams. But then one day, sick to the bone of ingurgitating yet another inane-pointless-banal-useless-self-aggrandizing-self-obsessed status-update from one of my 849 So-called Friends on Facebook (723 of whom I’d never met), I reached breaking point.

I felt a deep sense of horror with the realisation that I was literally watching my life ticking by, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, while engaging in such drivel. I realised that I had to act to seek out my true self, and fight the wretched social media whore that I had become.

I came to the realization that Mark Zuckerman’s celebrated creation, otherwise known as Facebook, is actually the live, smouldering, insidious, ubiquitous embodiment of evil.

With a quavering hand and a shuddering heart, I sought out the dark underbelly of my Facebook profile:

The Place Where You Go to Deactivate Your Facebook Account.

And then I did it. I did the unthinkable. I deactivated my account.

And I survived!

So here’s why I despise Facebook with such passion, and why, if you wish your life to improve dramatically, you TOO should do the unthinkable:

1) Status updates are poisoning society as we know it

No, I do not care, nor do I want to know, that you:
-just ate an *amazing* burger!
-are feeling tired! /happy!/loved!/exhausted after such a long day in the office!
-are gutted that you have to stay home and do the laundry!
-just saw a terrible movie!
-are on a packed subway train!

Or, in fact, anything else about your banal, miserably mundane day-to-day existence. Keep all the dull, gory details to yourself and to your five or so real friends (remember them?) who may genuinely want to share in the magnificent banality of it all.

Not forgetting those wittily mysterious folk who insist on writing in-jokes or else super elusive status updates that are simply begging for all that miserable individual’s 8,540 “friends” to request that they spill the beans:
“Sue is feeling like she messed up big-time today!”
Or: “Tim is glad that crisis was narrowly averted!”
Or: “Diane has a warm fuzzy feeling!”
Or: “Sarah has got a great secret but she can’t share it!”

Apparently, Facebook is breaking records in its ever-multiplying levels of triviality, but is it simply a mirror for humanity’s ever-more-demoralising levels of inanity? When did we as a society become so banal?

2) Facebook Has Ruined Friendship

“Friends” on Facebook are anyone who you may have crossed paths with ever in life. They do not in any way have to meet what was the traditional criterion for friendship in the blissful pre-Facebook era: That you actually like each other. Or that you even know each other.

And all those self-righteous, morally superior and ever-so-popular people who insist they never send friend requests to half-acquaintances and only accept them from actual friends? Well, they are just as bad as the rotters who collect “friends” just as a status thing.

This is how people talk about their “friends collections”:
– So how many friends have you got, Tom?
– Well (pause for effect), at the last count, I think I was up to around 1,400 (adopting a disingenuously vague tone).

Who are you trying to kid? We know you know exactly how many friends you have, and how you’re trying to beat everyone you know on Facebook with your superior numbers. Don’t even think for a second you are convincing us that you are so oblivious to your supposed popularity.

Since when was friendship about quantity and not quality? Since when did we even care about the insignificant lives of people we were last in contact with 20 years ago before Facebook came along and put us back in contact with each other?

3) Facebook Has Contaminated Marriage and Dating

Loathsome are the couples who coyly banter or flirt with each other on their respective, public Facebook walls, who spend their time “liking” every status update or photo added by their partners or who, worst of all, write pseudo-romantic things to each other for all their friends to see — Case in point: Today is our 2nd anniversary! I thank G-d for my holy hottie soul mate (real status update plucked from a friend’s friend).

Or those married folk who tell each other that dinner is ready on their walls.

Since when did we – the humdrum flotsom and jetsam of humanity destined never to  reach the giddy heights of Brangelinesque celebritydom – feel the need to submit our personal relationships to public scrutiny?

Why do you need your 5,432 Facebook friends to “like” the romantic breakfast that your other half prepared for you? Isn’t romance meant to be a private thing between you and your Significant Other? Since when did we all need approval from all the Insignificant Others in our lives about the way we are conducting our romantic dealings with our partners?

My repugnance for people who post pictures or status updates while they are in the middle of a romantic encounter of course reaches no bounds. In fact, while they’re at it, why not poll their friends mid-date on whether they should see this person again? Why not post pictures of themselves in various stages of friskiness as the date progresses?

These people ought to be sent to a remote desert island (each partner gets their own private island) and left to fester in their offline hell.

4) Facebook has invaded the rest of the Internet

It was bad enough when Facebook’s evil empire was limited to Facebook. Already it was doing heaven knows what unscrupulous machinations with its targeted advertising on its own website. (Indeed, I’m still bearing a specific grudge as to why ads for “How to get a flat stomach’ kept popping up on my Facebook profile.)

But now, the whole World Wide Web is polluted with ‘Facebook Connect’ / ‘Like This’ / ‘Share with your Facebook Friends’ buttons, jingles and widgets that do an all-singing, all-dancing show to compel you to click on them. Even the New York Times and other formerly illustrious news sources are in on the act.

I’ve discovered that Spotify has now apparently sold its soul to the devil too, as every single time I’m trying to listen to music quietly, the damn Facebook demons lurch into my sphere of consciousness field-marshalling me into sharing my playlists with my Facebook friends.

Well, what if I don’t want to? What if I’ve already told you 500 times that I’m perfectly happy keeping my playlists to myself? Can’t they just leave me alone?

And then there’s Hulu, who is now also in on the act, relentlessly insisting every time I watch one of my guilty-pleasure celebrity chef / reality TV programs that it would be so much fun for me to  ‘Share this with my Facebook Friends’. Don’t they understand? I’m ashamed that I love the culinary glitz of Top Chef Masters or Masterchef and the expletive-ridden Chef Ramsay (let’s not even mention my penchant for America’s Next Top Model) so much. I don’t want to share my embarrassing TV programming choices with my 9734 Facebook friends.

It is just so damn infuriating that they simply refuse to get the hint.

Well, I say to you: Get The Hint: I. Don’t. Want. To. Share my music/TV/or Anything with Anyone on Facebook Ever Again.

And now, don’t even get me started on Twitter…

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18 Responses to “Why I Hate Facebook: A Rant”

  1. rebeccainspace February 7, 2012 at 13:22 #

    Just realised what a shameless hypocrite I am – I have a ‘share this’ option set up on this blog, which readers use to forward on posts they like to friends, and Facebook is one of the websites offered for sharing!

    • Anonymous February 7, 2012 at 14:18 #

      ha ha!!!!!!!!!!! but VERY good ranty raaaaaaaaaaaaaaant my dear!!! And HUH to that bloody ad about the flat stomach- i also always see it popping up- who do ‘they’ big brother stinkers think they are suggesting I need to alter my lovely (albeit admittedly quite -at times-plush cushioned tum!!!);p very good very good sis:) xx

      • rebeccainspace February 7, 2012 at 19:54 #

        fanks dear! glad ewe enjoyed that rant – was good to get it off my chest! funny that you also get same type of evil targeted adverts!!! love, me xx

  2. Aliza Hausman February 10, 2012 at 06:35 #

    Applause!

    You know I broke the habit for almost a year when I moved to LA after getting so many ridiculous comments about what people had termed “my road trip,” which was one of the saddest, most excruciating experiences of my life. And then I somehow found myself back on it thinking it would connect me to people in the area. Not so much.

    Recently, I did manage to uncover two half-siblings I’d only met once. But it turns out, they don’t want to Facebook much either. On the plus side, I now get to stay in touch with my lovely extended paternal family in the Dominican Republic! That is honestly my #1 reason for staying on Facebook.

    BUT a lot of the people I REALLY want to stay in touch with don’t use Facebook very often. They, like myself, don’t feel comfortable anymore sharing anything personal because of their jobs. So what’s the point? Here’s an anecdote for you. When my husband got a phone call from an acquaintance about something I’d posted late at night during a sad, homesick moment, that’s when I thought: Hadn’t I had CULLED–what a word?–my “friends” enough so I didn’t have “friends” ‘tattling’ to my husband about what they thought should or shouldn’t be on my Facebook page because of what they felt my comment had or hand’t meant. Yes, I kid you not, someone did that. Am I back in seventh grade?

    When fan pages were created, I thought I’d solved the problem of getting an enormous number of requests from fans of my writing. (Though apparently, it’s like mandatory now for writers who want to sell their books to be on Facebook and Twitter according to publishing agents. The more numbers, the better.) So, I have this fan page for people who love my writing but sometimes I feel like my Facebook profile is really just the same thing for as you noted a collection of people who barely know me and aren’t more than acquaintances.

    I have some really good people that Facebook keeps me in touch with but if my international family weren’t on it, I’d be off it like a bad addiction. I love that my friends pass on articles that I would have otherwise missed and I wish I could use Facebook just for that or just for my real life true blue friends. And I’m pretty sure that’s less than 200 people that don’t gossip behind my back with each other about my posts. So I think that maybe, I will be checking out soon despite my family.

    I now have friends who now have to create multiple profiles for work, for play, for family, for acquaintances. What is the world coming to? As a disabled person, the Internet is a godsend when it comes to staying in touch with the “real” world when you actively can’t participate in it as much as you’d like but I wish there was a better way. Because sometimes, instead of my Facebook profile feeling like I’m surrounded by a bunch of friends who are my fans, I feel like I’m back in middle school surrounded by a bunch of sharks, frenemies and the girls who threw gum in my hair and liked it.

    • rebeccainspace February 11, 2012 at 21:57 #

      Aliza – as usual you are spot on with your observations. The ‘bunch of sharks, frenemies’ thing is a real dark side of Facebook that I didn’t even have time to address in this assignment, but oh so true.
      There is a real competitive – leading to jealousy – oneupmanship side to FB that I didn’t go into.
      Anyway, go for it, check out of FB! I’m sure you can find another way to be easily in contact with your relatives (Skype/email etc).
      However, I must admit, you are right, FB is the easiest way to keep in contact with a bunch of people at the same time…………
      All in all though, even if I miss out on some stuff, my quality of life improved exponentially after checking out for good from FB!

  3. Holly April 10, 2012 at 20:50 #

    Hey you sound like me. I am 19 and left Facebook and life has improved for the better. I also hate the way FB is polluting the internet, everywhere you go a company wants you to “like” their page for a freebie and share with friends, reducing people to a commodity and celebrating rampant consumerism. Awful awful stuff, such a shame that society has become so caught up in this social media spin. I hope that someday people will grow tired of it and leave. Traditional forms of communication are so much more meaningful. If the day ever comes that the world is required to have a FB profile, that is the day I leave this earth. I will not be going back to FB.

    • rebeccainspace April 11, 2012 at 11:39 #

      well done for leaving FB at the tender age of 19! that is a very wise decision that most people your age would not take. awful awful stuff indeed – couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

  4. JH February 23, 2013 at 13:22 #

    I too had gotten sucked into the Facebook phenomenon. It felt somewhat consuming, like a train wreck … didn’t want to look … but couldn’t look away. I was guilty of getting drawn into political rants offering my opinion, sharing (on occasion) whimsical cartoons that I avoided like the plague when they’d get emailed to me. Yeah, even shared family photos from trips, images of kids at sports and anything else I felt my “Friends” had to see. And these so called Friends, many from school, friends of friends, others I barely knew—acquaintances at the very best. Facebook really needs different categories; Friends, Acquaintances, People you “Friend” just because.

    After a while I got tired of reading all the negative posts, especially during the presidential campaign. It offered a really good insight WHO these so called Friends were. Honestly … I didn’t want to know “them as them”. Can you say “TMI”? Some bigots and many hypocrites … who knew? I hadn’t and quite frankly really preferred not knowing.

    Having gotten sucked into rants, satirical retorts and firm opinions of ‘what was what’ my oldest said one day, “Wow dad … you post a lot.” He was right and I knew it. A few days past, I evaluated what “Value Added” Facebook brought to my Life. The answer … not one Freakin’ thing. I began to delete each and every post I ever made. I removed each and every image ever shared. Off with the click of the mouse came my friends. In the end and days later, I was cleansed of Facebook. But oh wait … I hadn’t deleted my account fully.

    Yeah, I had a business presence on Facebook and needed to keep the primary account to keep that business account active. Ok, not a big deal. I set all my settings to receive nothing, see nothing, and hear nothing.

    Gone is a personal Facebook and I love it. HATE Facebook. I 100% agree, it’s unnecessary on a personal basis. We really don’t have friends totaling in the 3 or 4 digits. At best, I have less than 20 “Friends” … and that’s Ok. I don’t want any more.

    Enjoyed your rant – thought I’d share as well.

  5. BettyBB April 6, 2013 at 00:06 #

    I agree with all you said. Facebook was making me depressed, because I realized how little my family and friends truly cared. They also showed a lack of support for some major issues in my life. So I’ve deactivated my account three times in the past year. Each time I’m away from it, I feel much better, but something always makes me return. This time it was a dog breeder. She no longer has a website and the only way that I could contact her about getting a puppy was through FB.This is another example of how FB is affecting the rest of the internet–websites are disappearing.

  6. Kirstie C June 9, 2013 at 20:04 #

    Love the rant and totally agree.

  7. antonie26 March 20, 2014 at 19:24 #

    I deactivated TODAY. Facebook is mental and emotional CHAMETZ! (no longer a member of the middle aged “with-it” women) I’ll have to face life now with “no” friends. Yay!

    • rebeccainspace April 27, 2014 at 14:48 #

      thanks for your comment! well done for ridding yourself of the Facebook scourge! But I have a terrible confession – after about 3 blissful facebk-free years, I moved to Africa and became sooooooo far away from all my friends /family in all the various countries I’ve lived in, that i rejoined Facebook. How can I hold my head up high now, what utter hypocrisy!? My only defence is I deleted THREE HUNDRED “friends” when I rejoined, so I now have nearly only REAL friends/family left as my Facebk contacts….does that make it any better?!

      • milamyk May 24, 2015 at 11:59 #

        Hi Rebecca! That’s what it should be used for! It’s actually very helpful, when you live far away from your friends and family. But other than that, I absolutely agree with everything you wrote in the rant. I also did ‘the unthinkable’ and went to ‘The Place Where You Deactivate Your Facebook Account’. It was the best ‘digital’ decision ever;)

        Hugs,
        Mila
        http://milaslittlethings.com/

      • rebeccainspace February 15, 2016 at 21:31 #

        Ha ha well done on doing the unthinkable Mila!

  8. Molly Garza August 16, 2016 at 14:51 #

    You sound like me. I hate the new ads that Facebook is shoving down our throats. I hate seeing them. So much for my ad blocker

  9. Anonymous May 31, 2017 at 00:31 #

    great article. facebook is ruining the meaning of friendship and consuming everyone’s lives. it’s causing people to become so stupid :(.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Social Media Ranting – Danielle - April 19, 2016

    […] Why I Hate Facebook: A Rant 2012, rebeccainspace. viewed 17 April 2016, <https://rebeccainspace.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/rant-about-facebook/&gt;. […]

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