Tuesday, 24 April 2007

The Problem With Facebook

I'm such a convert to the whole myspace / facebook thing. A couple of years ago I was of the opinion that it was strictly geeks and emo, self obsessed 'look at me' types who were on those kind of sites. I hated the way everyone had these mega posey pictures of themselves (usually black and white, it's more flattering), where they are inadvertently pouting (flaunt those cheek bones, hide dodgy teeth) and taken from a random angle (above = hiding a big nose)...etc etc. And to a point, I still do cringe at that side of it. But things like myspace and facebook have completely lifted the burden of leaving school, college, uni or a workplace, where the pressure was on to keep in contact with people for the first couple of months, then slowly you all drift off into obscurity.

No more! Join facebook and everyone, even the people you hated at school, the quiet sadistic looking girl in your uni seminar group in first year, the person you met really pissed one night at a party, will add you as 'a friend'. According to facebook, I now have 163 of the little bastards sitting there in a list and informing me of their every move. Boris has updated his profile, he now likes Greenday, not the Chilli Peppers. Rosey is planting a flower. Jim is breathing today.

Don't get me wrong, there are huge plus sides. I've got in contact with old school friends I haven't spoken to since I was 11, even met up with a couple of them. It means my whole social group at uni and home can keep in touch about nights out, events and parties saving a fortune on mobile bills and the faff of sending out actual invitations. Forgetting to take a camera out doesn't really matter either if one of your friends has one, and the idea of asking someone to 'make a copy of those pictures for me!' is no longer a redundant request. They just stick them up on facebook and share them. Done.

So I come to the problem with facebook. My main gripe is that it gives the name 'friend' to people who quite frankly aren't one, and sometimes it gives you more information than you need to know. Take for instance the (PMT induced) rage I flew into on discovering that my boyfriend had added his ex as a 'friend' on facebook. But why? I wanted to know. Why a friend? Why give her one more way to get in touch? It drove me mad. Now she'll always be just one click away. I got over it, realised that her messages went unanswered and that it was my overactive imagination causing the hassle in the end, not her. The point is, endless possibilities for being nosey arise and only those with Samson-like strength could ignore the magnetic pull towards a quick check of a profile...and pictures...and comments... of someone you probably shouldn't. And trust me, the webpage is one worth adding to your block list. Facebook will make you a profile and message voyeur.

I currently have one wall post unanswered from a good friend who had been silent on my phone and 'friend' list for ages, and me, having made the effort in the past had decided to wait for her to say Hi first. She did, finally writing a 'hey, how are you? when are you back? we must catch up!!!!' type message. I was about to make a reply when her face-space informed me she'd sent exactly the same message to about 5 other people, some of whom I knew as being not her particularly great mates. Now, that made me consider how bothered she really was about getting in touch. Had it been a text message, I would of been blissfully unaware of her multiple texting. Now I felt like one of many.

See how far you can read into stuff? It's mad. Not that any of it is bad enough for me to resign my account altogether. Anyway, I leave you with a warning:

Use it. Abuse it. Create groups that mock your friends weight, dancing or hair and promote your love of walruses, penguins, plural nouns, jagermeister and fat people. But when the voyeuristic temptations arise, or your mind starts looking too far into whats written on the screen, get parental controls on the case because these visits to certain face-spaces are as dangerous as a paedo in a teen chat room. In the words of The Prodigy: 'That's-no-good-for-me'. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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abc said...

found your post through google. well said!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Thanks abc. Even now my opinion hath not changed on the matter!

that girl in pink said...

ooh! i so agree with you that i even blogged about exactly the same thing. :)

Anonymous said...

i say you hit the nail on the head, way to be

Anonymous said...



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