Facebook, Shmacebook, I Hate Facebook!

There, I said it. And it feels darn good. I know it won’t make me popular and I’ll probably be cyberflogged over it, but oh well.

Today there seems to be two different realities. The real world and the virtual one. What is it about virtual reality? Is it a phase? Will we one day look back and say, “Oh that was so 2008”!

In the mean time, we’re in the middle of 2009 and people continue to sign up for these social networking sites. First we have MySpace, which seems to be for those in high school and college. Next we have Facebook. I recently heard on the news that 2/3 of those on Facebook are out of college. 2/3!!!!

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The target market for Facebook was for those ages 15 to 24, but now it’s filled with people that are way too frickin’ old to be on Facebook. Parents and grandparents are hopping on Facebook! They try to become friends with their young adult children and grandchildren and end up being denied. That’s pretty funny. And then there’s Twitter. Every celebrities answer to false reports from paparazzi.

Some of my friends and family ask me often, “Are you on Facebook?”, “You HAVE to get on Facebook!” I don’t need your update that you have to go to the bathroom and I don’t need to know how it went when you’re through. Should we feel obligated to remind you to wash your hands or something? Honestly, do you need to tell everyone that you had pizza for dinner? That your wife is cooking chocolate chip cookies and it smells oh so good? Bob just had the best steak ever. Annie is having brussel sprouts for dinner. Louie is sitting in a boring meeting, pondering the meaning of life. Joe is bored at church. Debbie is tired and going to take a nap. Maggie is done with her shower. Archie’s butt hurts from yoga. Ellen is boarding a flight home to LA. Phil is ready for bed. Oh…my…gosh!!!! Somebody please, please get me an ice-pick to jab into my skull! If your life is an open book on Facebook, please close it!
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Here is something I found here which sums up how I feel:

While some of these virtual worlds are a great way to keep in touch with old friends, statistics still show that a huge percentage of people opening accounts on Facebook go inactive after 30 days. Honestly, after you found that old grade school friend, how much are you really “talking” to them? You do your initial catch up and then it’s “so glad to hear from you”. How many meaningful conversations have you had after that? And how is it that your “friends” with the Dalai Lama and 700 other people anyway?! Friends that constantly send you virtual drinks and green chiles and ask you to join their mob. Your what?! If you really wanted to find these old friends, I ask you, wouldn’t you have found them by now? How meaningful is it to tell these people that you’re on hold with the help desk and share a couple pictures of the kids at the county fair? How much have you really caught up with them?

eye-chart{Eye chart for the texting generation.}

Now that the world of spelling and grammar has gone out the window, will the meaning of true friendship too?

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You remember, the true friends that you’ve known for a zillion years, the ones you see all the time, the ones who you actually hang out with outside of cyberspace and have real live actual relationships with, the ones who’ll come over at 2am at the drop of a hat if you need help. Will the younger generation redefine true friendship?

On one site you can even have your very own farm with fruit trees and animals and vegetables. Hmmmm…how ’bout this, get up off your fat butt and grow some real food! Now that’s an idea! You can even play with and take your virtual pet for a walk. Meanwhile, your real dog sits bored on the floor next to you gazing at his toys and leash that haven’t been touched by you since you discovered this new virtual reality.

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Someone I know willingly agreed to play the game, “What Swear Word Are You?” on one of these sites. What? As if it’s some sort of Cosmo magazine poll! Knowing the answer would post on her page and knowing her two kids know how to read and often read over her shoulder, she played anyway. So what swear word was she? I’ll give you one guess and one clue, it begins with the letter ‘F’. So now it’s on her page in HUGE font in bright red letters and she “hopes her young kids don’t see it”. Very intelligent, don’t you think?

Although it might be hard to believe based on my above rant, but it has intrigued me a little. I’d love to find some old university friends, but then you also end up finding 3/4 of your 5th grade class! Next thing you know a 5th grade reunion has been planned that you’re all excited about. What’s your reason for going? You wanna reconnect with your first girlfriend, Jennifer Hills? She had the first Atari and an above ground pool. But then, at the reunion you find out your whole life has been a lie. You find out Chris Smith was really the king of recess, Andrew Miller was really the smartest one of the class and everyone thought their first girlfriend was Jennifer Hills.

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Some people use such avenues to meet romantic interests. Okay, now that’s lazy. Before you even meet this person that you’re interested in you already know 25 random things about them, their favorite color and the name of their first pet goldfish, but you don’t even know their last name yet?! That’s a bit backwards.

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Off the top of my head I can think of  four benefits of these networking sites, maybe there’s more, but these are the four I can think of right now. First, they really can be a great way of advertising and marketing to drum up business for yourself. Any form of free advertising for a small business owner is fine by me. Second, if you’re planning a family reunion, this would be great to find all the family and have one location to share details for the upcoming event. Third, young people are now using social networking sites so much that they no longer have time to look at adult sites. Seriously!! I heard a study was done saying that surfing for adult sites has dropped 10% in the last year. And finally, we’ve all heard about the recent news regarding the election in Iran and the resulting riots. One way people in Iran could get news and photos out of the country was through Facebook and a little from Twitter too. Bravo to that!

All things, whether good or bad, do come to an end sooner or later. If they don’t evolve into something better they end and fizzle out. All this is just a phase, people.

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Man always wins in the end. History proves it. Look at The Terminator, Battle Star Galactica, Terminator 2, The Matrix, and the most recent Terminator Salvation. Well, the only history that matters, that is. 🙂

LWA-hometopperNo seriously, even the ancient art of letter writing is making a come back. I’m a member of the LWA and check out here too if interested.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m not sure making the world a smaller place is such a good thing. Those addicted to their social networking sites can stick with their virtual friends and I’ll stick with my real ones. For them, they can easily break it off with their virtual friends…but your real friends, you’re stuck with ’em. And that’s the way I like it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Facebook, Shmacebook, I Hate Facebook!

  1. Shelly

    I was leery of joining Facebook, but have since found it okay once I realized how I can remove the stupid games/quizzes/etc from sight.

    I have to say that LiveJournal, another social networking site, has saved many of my real-world friendships that would have been lost once I became a mom and stopped being able to show up in real life. It has enabled me to further understand those who would barely count as acquaitances in real life, but who thanks to LJ have really become friends when I meet up with them.

    While there are people I only know online, I’ve kept this group to those with common interests and friends, so I feel like I at least am informed of things of interest by them, much like news feeds. Plus, several of them I feel like I know, especially those who have come into my sphere as part of Wolf’s D&D work.

    So, even though I don’t know everyone in real life, I don’t discount the virtual friend/ acquaintance ships that I’ve acquired through an online community. I’ve chosen to only go by my married name, so that eliminates getting poked by people who have been out of my life for too long.

    While I prefer LJ over Facebook (couldn’t stand the MySpace inteface) due to people writing about deeper matters, I felt like I needed to add Facebook, because people have both been migrating away from LJ and new people are on it who aren’t anywhere else.

    I find both site WAY better than my blogger account, which really only seems good for commerce. Very, very few people comment there, so there isn’t a feeling of conversation. More like I’m throwing things into the void and advertising myself.

    Email is very limiting compared to these sites too; there is no way people would email about things they post. Certainly there are some frivolous posts, but I find that I just eliminate those who only can comment on their sandwiches or take quizzes. (You can do this either by completely defriending or just hiding them from your comment section, which is what I usually do.)

    So, while I do agree with some of your criticisms, I think you’re being overly harsh on what they can do to bring people together into a large community.

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