"I HATE FACEBOOK" it was easier the 2nd time of saying.
Many of my 'friends' already know this as its something I do not keep quiet about for long, when asked "can I find you on Facebook - maybe we can 'connect'?" they usually leave with a flea in their ear and a bloody nose. Its not that Facebook is bad, or that the people on it are all bad, in fact I think as a device for sharing photos, memories, thoughts and news its quite good - a bit like email, er without the privacy or personalisation, which is why I HATE FACEBOOK.
You see the application itself is fine, the concept is fine (and much copied) the majority of people who use it are fine, as with everything its the few (in this case millions) who take the concept of 'sharing' a little too far. For example these are a few actual posts that litter my wifes Facebook account (not posted by her I have to say, as she is more of a Facebook voyeur than a practitioner).
Example Number 1
"Happy Birthday/Anniversary (delete as appropriate) to my darling husband/wife/child (delete as appropriate)"
What's wrong with this post? Well consider this - THE PERSON YOU ARE ADRESSING IS SITTING NEXT TO YOU!!! Why would anyone want to wish the most important person in their life a happy whatever over a public broadcast system rather than talking to them? Or if they have already wished them a happy whatever - WHY ARE YOU REPEATING IT ON FACEBOOK? Is it to remind all of your 'friends' that it is their birthday / your anniversary? Surely if they loved you enough they would already know and would have sent well wishes, phoned, visited, sent a carrier pigeon? and if they didn't - perhaps they didn't care in the first place, and being reminded on Facebook isn't going to change that! Do you really want friends that only remember your birthday/anniversary when you broadcast it to the world? and do you really care that they didnt remember.
Example Number 2
"Where are you?", "Upstairs, where are you?", "Downstairs, what you doing?", "Nothing, bored", "Yeah, me too".
I don't think I really need to explain why this is just wrong on so many levels - if I do need to explain to you, please send me an email and I will enlighten you to a world beyond the rooms in your house and Facebook!
Example Number 3
"Just been to a party with x,y and z", "had a great dinner with a and b"
Who cares? Tell the people you went with how much you enjoyed it, not the people you didn't. Its like saying to your 'friends' "I have a great life, and yours is shit", "I am the centre of the world and your a troll", "I am so popular, and your NOT!'.
Example Number 4
This is not so much as a post, more of a plague - Facebook games, or more specifically the invitation to "eat in an online restaurant", "feed an animal on an online Farm", or "become a neighbour in a virtual town"
Surely not, surely you want to keep the fact that you spend your life playing an online game in a virtual world a secret from the rest of society? Do you really want all of your friends to know that you were up at 3 in the morning because the virtual bread your were baking, in the virtual oven, in a virtual kitchen, in a virtual cafe has just become ready to feed the virtual patrons in your virtual world? Read that sentence again - 5 years ago people were put into mental institutions for the same behaviour.
Of course all of these examples are based on my own opinion, and I am sure that most people would disagree with my observations/comments. But lets look at the evidence gathered against Facebook by independent organisations.
Facebook is now the single largest reason for divorce in America - FACT, well sort of, of course you cant blame Facebook for screwing your wifes friends brother, whilst you were knocking off your aunts gardeners cat. But it can be cited as the reason you got caught!
Affairs have always gone on, mostly they occurred in a real world, or in peoples heads. (I always remember a college lecturer telling me that 90% of sex is 'Safe' as it occurs in the mind) but more recently they tend to occur in the virtual world, started by innocuous friends of friends introductions, or people searching for long 'lost' school chums that meant so much to them, that they lost contact with them 4 seconds after the final bell went 10 years ago, just to tell them how good your life is and how theirs sucks. All of this opportunity for opposite sexes to interrelate and communicate was going to lead to trouble. It used to be that men were the ones not to be trusted, think about it - even when behind bars with 2000 other men they find ways to be unfaithful, this hasn't changed but I think women are catching up fast and the opportunities Facebook opens up for people to 'play with fire' are vast, and unfortunately the old saying "where theres smoke theres fire" creates a generation of people using their partners activity on Facebook to believe that they must be arsonists.
You may have also read that this week that a Women has been sent to prison for 8 months for chatting to a defendant on Facebook about the court case she had been a juror in, again Facebook as a porthole should not be blamed directly. If someone who had been warned several times that she was under oath not to divulge any of the confidential discussions in the Jury room, was not only too stupid to ignore the warnings, but also to post the conversations on a public internet service, then perhaps prison is the safest place for her - before she eats her own head. Of course this could have happened without the use of Facebook, but as this blog is about how much I HATE FACEBOOK, it gets the blame for allowing someone so dumb, the facility to track down the defendants and converse with them all with only an IQ of 4 (of course you have to ask how this women ever got selected as a Juror in a £6million court case in the first place).
Any Google search on the matter reveals millions of incidents of people being harassed, conned, plagiarised, bullied, intimidated, exposed, alienated, duped and basically being naughty on Facebook. As a medium it has become more popular than the newspapers and broadcast news, the world has changed because of Facebook and apart from the ability to boast to long lost acquaintances, flirt with your grandmothers, uncles tennis coach's hamster and spend money buying nothing, from shops that don't exist to put in a home that doesn't exist either - I don't think its changed for the better. As a device for people separated by distance to share holiday and birthday snaps, along with some general updates and maybe a quick chat it works brilliantly. Posting the fact that you've "just put the kettle on", "Ordered a Big Mac", or the "dogs has flees" to the person sitting next to you or in the house around the corner its not. If you want to do this, try sending an sms, tweeting, perhaps talking to the person, or maybe even keeping it to yourself?
I guess as with everything that becomes so popular, so quickly there will always be those that knock it, don't understand it or simply just 'don't get it'. But according to recent news Facebook lost 6 million users during May in the USA alone, and another 100,000 in the UK. Is it losing its appeal? I doubt it, when you have 700million accounts I guess fluctuations of a few million up or down is just the 'natural variation' of such a large number, and I am sure it will continue to grow and grow up until the point it becomes unfashionable and the next big thing takes over - either way i will always HATE FACEBOOK.
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