When this most social of all the social networks came out and we all piled on the bandwagon, we adored Facebook. 2007-8 were Facebook’s golden years of unbridled and unabashed fanboy love. Here was the thing we’d all not known that we’d been waiting for – the answer to days of boredom and the perfect excuse to put off essays. Long live the internet!
As the years went on, our marriage to Facebook deteriorated and now many of us are barely holding on and keeping up a pretence at affection. We openly cheat on the side with Twitter and Tumblr (they really know know to make us feel good) and spend the rest of our time resenting all the quirky little things that made us fall in love in the first place. Some have even divorced Facebook and gone to live in happier parts of the internet, like BuzzFeed.
I frequently see blog posts (not dissimilar to many of my own I might add) in which the blogger outlines the many ways to be insufferable on Facebook (that article truly is quite insightful) and we’re constantly reminded just how annoying people whose online “friendship” (that word is always in quotes) that we accepted of our own volition can be on this free internet service that we are in no way obliged to continue using. It’s torture, really, it is! It’s getting to the point that if I saw a Facebook status that read “Grrrr! I’m so ANNOYED at cryptic Facebook statuses!” I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell whether or not it was intentionally ironic or if it was an actual thing that somebody wrote in all seriousness.
But let’s just slow this hate-mobile down a tad shall we? Why do we still use Facebook if it’s just so gosh-darn shite? Yes, it’s useful for inviting people to events that they will passive-agressively click “Maybe Attending” to. It’s sometimes fun to revel in just how good your life is compared to that of that person you always despised back in school. And sometimes people post funny things (I mean, where else on the internet can we find such delights…). No, the truth is that we use Facebook because we like it. If you’re on Facebook right now, you actually like it. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be on it or it will have been seven days since your last login (bless them Father, for they have sinned). I do have friends who hate Facebook, and you know how I know they hate Facebook? Because they’re not on it. They’ve bitten the bullet, cut the cord, eaten the cake, and all other manner of bizarre idioms. The rest of us who are still here actually and actively enjoy the experience, it’s just that we’ve been told that we don’t or that we shouldn’t.
The internet has latched onto the small nugget of discontent for Facebook and informed us that Actually, We All Hate Facebook Now And Nobody On There Is Really Your Friend Except Maybe Your Mum (But Even She’s More Interested In Farmville). By blowing the slight grating of certain aspects on the site (and there are many little things that irk us) we are now reliably informed that although we must keep on using it, we have to hate it at the same time. Cyber-Sadomasochism at its finest.
The truth is, I rarely get that annoyed on Facebook. Even when people keep their wedding photos as their profile pictures for over a year, change them and even go back to the photos (we get it, you’re blissfully married, has nothing else developed in your life?) When people post endlessly about sport (Was anybody truly outraged by Gareth Bale’s transfer amount? Literally everybody knew that the day would come where a man would be sold for that much money). On Sundays when people Jesus the place up (seriously, it’s as if you’ve all been given God homework – “Go home and post a random verse of a hymn and you’ll get an extra acre in heaven” or something). Not to mention when people brag endlessly, complain eternally, or just wont stop posting pictures of their fugly kids. Honestly, it’s only moderately annoying. I’m a big boy, I can get over it. In fact, if you ever do something that honestly annoys me, I’ll either tell you, hide you from my newsfeed (who said Facebook updates were useless?) or just unfriend you. It’s pretty simple.
And yes, the people I have on Facebook may not be as engaged with my life as the friends I see on a regular basis but there’s a reason I added them. I to whatever extent am interested in your life and would like to know that you’re not dead yet and are in fact having a nice time. No, I probably will never see you ever again but at least we can enjoy the planet together and bitch about it on this website.