my_lost_mind: (weird)
[personal profile] my_lost_mind
I have a confession to make.  I really don't love Facebook.

While it's done a lot toward reconnecting me with some childhood friends I wouldn't have otherwise been able to reconnect with, it's also been the source of some rather unpleasant experiences.

Ex-Boyfriends 

I seem to collect them like some women collect shoes.  Some of them are guys I dated once or twice, while others I shared a more long-term thing with.  One of them is the very first "boyfriend" I ever had, going back to when I was still a teenager, the first guy to break my heart.

I've had at least 3 of those "Rob Gordon" conversations with some of these exes (see also the movie "High Fidelity", where the character Rob Gordon starts looking up ex-girlfriends while in a semi-breakup from his steady girlfriend).     At least 2 of them have apologized for the shitty way they treated me back in the day.   Some just become Facebook "friends" and the next thing I know I'm treated to photos of them with their wives and/or kids, or daily updates from their everyday lives.

The only time this has ever been a problem is when I'm still "friends" with someone that I had a bad breakup with.  This requires an elaborate filtering setup and in some cases turning off chat, blocking chat, etc.  

Really more trouble than what it's worth.

Friends who post religious crap

I really do have a "live and let live" attitude about religion.  If it makes a person happy and they don't try to convert me, then it's generally no big deal.  The only time this becomes annoying is when they're clogging up my Facebook feed with Jesus memes that border on being political, or are just insane "click like if you want to send a prayer to this kid dying from cancer".   really?  who actually reads this crap?

My usual response to such things (if they get out of hand) is to just hide them from my feed.

Facebook chain letters and pointless marketing ploys for shit I don't want

The chain letters are the worst.  "Click share if you want to tell this sick child that you care".   Really? 

Or the "click like" or else memes... those are also fairly pathetic.

I have a lot of friends who click "like" on some particular product, which then clogs their feed with every single marketing campaign from that company.  Don't we get enough commercials on television and radio (not to mention the ads that FB includes by default?)    Yeah.. no.

Zynga Game Requests

First there was Mafia Wars and Farmville, then several varieties of poker, and a dozen plus variations on the same theme. Not all of them are zynga games, but most game invites are annoying because the game designers are out to make a profit and to do so they have to cull your personal data so they can serve you ads.

No thanks.  I already have enough of a footprint on that site, and don't really need my name and click thru preferences placed into any more marketing demographic buckets.

The games aren't all that great, and they can be a huge time sink.

Empty calories and hollow sentiments

Spending hour after hour tethered to Facebook, clicking "refresh" waiting for someone to post something interesting is often times a futile endeavor.   Unless you have 1000 friends who are always on and always texting you it's typically the same dozen or so folks on your feed posting the meme of the day, photos, music, etc.

While I adore my friends and love to hear about what's really going on in their lives, the limited amount of data that one gets through a Facebook status update just leaves me feeling sorta empty and disconnected.   Nobody picks up the phone anymore and has a conversation.     There was a time when I was connected to the IRC for hours on end, it was like a big partyline.  People engaged in conversation even though the conversation was virtual.

Facebook is more like standing around waiting for someone to throw a paper airplane over a wall at you.  You're never quite sure if there is anyone actually on the other side of the wall, and you never know if anyone is actually going to respond to anything that YOU might post to your status.   It's easy to get caught up in feeling like a social leper if your status updates go unnoticed for days.

This is really why I decided to take a break from the great timesink of the 21st century.  I've been feeling a bit down and out, frustrated, and disconnected from humanity.   Hanging out on Facebook waiting for something to happen, for someone to "notice me" just invokes some bad old feelings that go back 30 years in my life.  

Right now there are better things I can do to occupy my time that don't involve quite so much risk of rejection, like going out and actually interacting with people face to face. 

March 2013

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