Monday, September 26, 2011

FACEBOOK: Is it worth it and when do you draw the line?

If you are reading this, chances are you currently have a Facebook account. Perhaps you have it open right now, tabbed on another page. Many of you probably came here directly from your Facebook. Most of you have spent at least two hours on Facebook today.

My intent of this post is to weigh the pros and cons of Facebook and maybe ultimately answer the questions in the title. Memoirs of the Attention Deficit already stole my thunder in regards to this issue. She recently put up an excellent post on quitting Facebook which is wildly entertaining and juicy.

This blog will be in informal rant form, so here we go.

To put it mildly, I am sick of it. I am sick of the statuses. Sick of the apps. Sick of the chain posts that tell me if I do not repost some little girl with cancer will die in 7 days. Sick of the creeping. Sick of the stalking. Sick of the incessant profanity. Sick of the hideous pictures people post of themselves, and more than anything else, sick of the whining, complaining, and attention begging from its users.

I have been a Facebook user since late 2007. Back then, it was a pretty decent tool for college age friends to keep in touch, with a simple layout, messaging system, and limited advertisements cluttering the page. Now, it is an online portal into a virtual world where some spend more time than reality. Facebook has transcended mere social networking into an avenue for total control. Look at any given company and their advertisements. "Like us on Facebook" they say. Or sports teams. "Join our Facebook group". Even politicians take advantage of the goldmine of potential in Facebook. Barack Obama harnessed the gullible Facebook youth with remarkable results. We all know how that turned out. The fact of the matter is Facebook is becoming too big, and too controlling.

People spend hours upon hours of wasted time in cyber limbo land, strolling around the streets of the fictional town Facebook with a cigarette in their ear kicking a can with their hands in their pockets. "Liking" statuses. "Liking" products, in effect making yourself totally free advertising for that company. "Liking" causes but not ever actually doing anything about it. "Well I 'liked' it on Facebook, that should be good enough." Don't make me vomit any further. "Adding" "friends" who you don't know or know nothing about. Posting pictures of yourself drunk and passed out, peeing on a building, or posing in front of a bathroom mirror with no shirt on and a pair of cheap sunglasses while flashing a made up gang symbol. Talk about cool! I know people who post literally 15+ statuses a day. They sit around on Facebook all day long doing absolutely nothing but posting pointless information they think people want to see.

In essence, Facebook has brought out the inner whore in a whole lot of people, and it is too easy to go along with it. People post anything and everything about themselves. Nowadays, popularity is measured by how many Facebook friends you have and how many "likes" you get on your statuses. And speaking of statuses, let's just talk about that for one second shall we. If I could delete my entire newsfeed I would. Some people post some of the most idiotic, pointless, mindnumbing, teeth clenching, vomit inducing, blood pressure raising, completely asinine crap I have ever seen. Some examples of Facebook statuses I have read in the past.


"FML. I can't take it anymore."

"drunkkr then sh-------t..."

"waht the f--k is wrng wit dat moterf--king nigga.."


"I seriously can't take it anymore."

"OMG Justin Bieber is like, the most amazng singer evah!!!!"

Oh and my personal favorite:


I have since deleted over half of my friends list, and blocked the rest from my newsfeed. Call this blog post you are reading now a culmination of my Facebook frustration, brought about primarily by the last straw, Facebook's latest revamp a few days ago that lets you see an all new real time Twitter like feed showing EVERY single like, comment, status, and any other post every single "friend" is doing as soon as it happens.

Newsflash: I didn't sign up for Facebook so I could know EVERY single detail about EVERY person! And vice versa. Facebook needs to realize this, but Facebook addict users need to realize it more. They are the ones perpetuating this madness. Get something through your are not meant to be an open book. To these people, you are only friends if friends on Facebook. Likewise, you are only dating if it is "Facebook Official". God help us.

Facebook is like alcohol. It is alright in moderate doses. Some people get drunk and hungover on Facebook daily.

I have temporarily quelled the waves and limited the crap by making the changes I did and slashing/blocking people as well as barely logging on entirely, but I have a feeling it won't last long. Recently Facebook has announced plans to usher in a new chapter in the history of social networking by doing away with the classic 'Profile' altogether and replacing it with a 'Timeline'. A timeline, in effect, documents your entire life in the cyber world for all to see. Thanks but no thanks. The Facebook addicts will be thrilled and go a'whoring some more times ten.

Constantly weighing the pros and cons of Facebook? You aren't alone. As much as I hate Facebook, it does have many things to offer, just enough to keep me sticking around. Being deployed, it is an excellent tool for staying in touch with family and friends back home, as well as sharing pictures from the Middle East with them. Facebook has allowed me to stay in touch with some long lost friends I never see anymore, mostly old Army buddies. In many cases, Facebook has actually enabled me to grow in friendship with many of my good friends, some of whom were only acquaintances before. Families can share family photos on Facebook with relative ease. Facebook is a free tool for communication with anyone, and I don't view that as a bad thing at all. But like I said, it must be consumed in moderation.

And so, I go back to my original two questions.

Is Facebook worth it and where do you draw the line? In order to answer those questions you need to answer a few others first. Do I spend more than four hours a day on Facebook? If you answer yes, then it is not worth it. Do I find myself posting statuses just for attention? If yes, not worth it. Do I post racy pictures of myself just to attract the opposite sex? Do I play Farmville at work? Do I offer myself as free advertising to companies by "liking" hundreds of products for no apparent reason other than to inform your "friends" you like it? Do I constantly have the daily urge to post a Facebook status about my day to day experiences? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Facebook is not worth it and that is where you draw the line.

Good luck and happy Facebooking. LOL


Unknown said...

I feel the same "snore factor" about Facebook. I see my kids and grandkids there so I keep a line open for them. I will be reposting your exellent piece on my page and retweeting it too...LOL.

Dean L said...

Okay now post that in a tweet.

Kincsem said...

Thank you Hack, but I did not steal any thunder..there was PLENTY left there! ha! Great post.. I am SO glad I deactivated mine. I don't miss it at all. In fact, I had to reactivate it for a short time because I had to retrieve something off of my profile. When I got back on I got this sick, disgusted feeling when I saw the newsfeed again. The only way I can think to describe it is like I had to revisit the hellish prison cell I had just been freed from after 10 years. It is absolute AMAZING the things I have noticed in just a couple days without Facebook. Society is in big trouble here. One guy said it isn't Facebook addiction, its Facebook DEPENDENCY. And he's completely correct. In your case, I absolutely feel like there is good reason to keep it being so far away from home. It is a wonderful tool for that! But once you get back home, I highly recommend deactivating. It really is an eye-opening experience.

Gorges Smythe said...

I dropped it once, and I'm sick of it again, but there are a couple folks I'd probably lose touch with without it, so for now, I'll stay on a bit longer.

christian soldier said...

BTW- found you via the KID-

Fredd said...

Had Facebook for several years. Had several peripheral "friends" write on my wall.

Gave me the creeps.