There are many reasons I consider FaceBook to be rather sinister and annoying. At first, it seemed ok. Some friends told me in 2006 or so to sign up so we could share photos. It was only open to college students at the time, and fairly private-seeming. I only used it to share photos. Later, it was opened to everyone. I didn’t the Social Network movie,but I read something about it saying FB started off as basically being a ratings website, or similar, so people would look at photos of their classmates to determine if they were “hot” or not. You could really say the same about Myspace, too, I suppose. People posting photos of themselves in hopes others will find those photos attractive. Another thing people have said it’s a place where people go to find out who is or not getting laid. Anyway, the site was eventually open to everyone. Even your grandma. Madness ensued. People forgot what the word “friend” meant.
I have this vision of me walking down the street, and people I haven’t talked to or seen in ten years just keep coming out from behind dumpsters with photos of their dogs or their kids or their husbands. They’re shoving them in my face. They’re pulling me into their homes to make me watch boring home movies. They’re shouting song lyrics that mean nothing to anyone but themselves at the top of their lungs. I want to kill them all.
FaceBook encourages people to do things that are really annoying. In the past, it was a rare and unfortunate event when a relative stranger forced you to look at their home movies or photo albums. Now it’s commonplace, even normal.
But more than that, it makes me feel disgust for humanity. More disgust than even I really want to feel. It makes me sad that so many people place so much value on things I find stupid, and that they care so much about the opinions of others. I try not to be elitist, but I get a weird feeling when people seem to place their entire self-worth on either (1) their looks or (2) their family. Nothing against people with a family, but I always think of that line from Trainspotting, something about “spawning bastards to replace yourself.” When all a person does is post photos of their kids doing uninteresting things, I worry whether or not the person’s life is really worth living. I know some people do put their everything into raising kids, but the idea horrifies me on some level. Same with romantic love. People always posting about their SOs, and posting photos of them kissing, which nauseates me. I’ve read that romantic feelings are something that happens when your body dumps chemicals into the bloodstream, making you feel all mushy and attached to someone, but I don’t experience that and I almost feel embarrassed for the people who do, since it so often makes them behave in such silly ways. I also don’t envy all the emotional crap and drama in most people’s lives. And the competitiveness and meanness you often see.
But back to FB: for me, it seems to cheapen communication. No one seems to reply to emails anymore, it’s all meaningless FB messages. I’ve bitched about people switching from letter writing to emails in the past, because I think people thought about what they were saying more if they had to hand write it. The same thing sort of applies. With an email, you at least are focusing on the person you are writing to. With FB, a lot of people are writing messages to ten people at once, one sentence apiece, no thought put into any of it. Nevermind the privacy concerns, but they also scare me.
I also hate that people post all their photos there. Before digital cameras, only a handful of people would see your photos. Most people got double prints, and put them all in a shoebox. Now everyone has a digital camera and takes photos all the time, and doesn’t think twice before posting every photo onto FB. I HATE it when people post photos of me on the internet without asking permission. Even if it’s a totally normal photo, a good photo, it makes me feel extremely violated. I also hate when people try to talk to me in the status or wall comments (I don’t post status updates myself). If you want to have a conversation with me, send me an email or at least a private message. I don’t like having public conversations that anyone on the internet can read. People even post things that relate to things I don’t want to be made public. I’m not even secretive, I don’t have deep dark secrets, but I mean I don’t broadcast things like financial issues or every doctor visit to everyone I know, and I prefer anything like that be in a private conversation. It’s as if privacy is ceasing to exist, as well as respect for privacy. It is really maddening for me. I know I’m neurotic and overreacting to a lot of this, but if it’s stuff about me, I like to think I have a right to overreact.
It’s also shocking in a way, if it reflects how people really are. People value completely different things than I do, apparently.