fb sucked away my soul

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Or; Still Waiting on the Revolution

I’m generally an early adopter when it comes to new gadgets and technologies. Unlike a lot of folks my age, I lack the ‘fear’ code that seems to govern the actions of so many of my friends. To me, computers have only ever been like fancy vacuum cleaners–just tools for me to use. My first computer was a laptop that weighed a ton–it was like hauling around a stone slab. I thought it was too cool.

Now, remember, when facebook first appeared, we didn’t talk about ‘social media’–the two words just didn’t fit together. I was beginning to develop and teach online courses at that time, though, and my learning curve was so steep it didn’t seem strange to add one more skill set. Instead, I thought, ‘hey, let me take a look at this; I wonder how I can use it.’


Crow (Photo credit: tsparks)

(Aside on a wild tangent: the animal I most strongly identify with is the crow. Underestimated, ubiquitous, uncanny, and sometimes upsetting [ok, ok; downright pestiferous], crows are curious and cannot resist the newest, shiniest things they encounter. However, during this most recent killing season [when the crows in my neighbourhood terrorize house sparrow nests and kill as many chicks as possible], I’m also reminded that crows should never, ever be discounted or ignored.  Consider yourselves warned.)

To yeltnuh-the-crow, facebook looked amazing. I was already tired of the limitations of email and eager for spaces that weren’t built by and for techies. Nothing wrong with techies, but if you’ve ever hung out on the forums when new things occur, you might share my weariness with the testosterone-infused discussions of how best to accomplish your goals out of the 15 different options.

Facebook seemed a step closer to the user-driven technologies dreamed up by some of my favourite writers. I couldn’t wait to join the stream.

To be honest, it was incredibly boring in the beginning. Hardly anyone I knew was using facebook and many hadn’t heard of it. The potential seemed to be another cyberpunk dream. Sure, I could still see some people using it in innovative ways, but my expectations were far too high–and unfairly so–in the early fb days (before we could just put those two lower-case letters together without explanation).

Tap, tap: that’s the sound of my impatient foot while I awaited others.

And now, dear reader, I must turn these notes to tragic: my dreams for facebook turned into nightmares. All of a sudden, every relative I never knew I had, every playmate from my earliest years, and every trolling pervert found me. I couldn’t keep up with the wallpaper posts, with the ‘gifts’ (huh??), with untagging the photos posted by people who had never considered the word ‘privacy.’ How many Scrabble games can an old girl play? And truly, who CARES if I ‘like’ something? I can be arrogant and self-centred, but really. If anyone does care about what I like, s/he shouldn’t. What the heck do I know?

N 49 Supernova remnant

N 49 Supernova remnant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within a year of the fb explosion, I had a meltdown. Too many people, wanting too much attention. Too many who wanted to be my ‘friend.’ In short, too much trash. Mafia Wars? Farmville? This was not the revolution I had joined.

So, I opted out. A surgical strike. No more friendly fire for this chickie, uh uh. Nope. Not doing it.


19 thoughts on “fb sucked away my soul

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel says:

    I hear you, and I’m getting there.

  2. Perrin says:

    I have never liked Facebook. Quite apart from the most amazing privacy gaffs, it sucks you and your friends in.
    Want to talk to your friends, well, you need a Facebook account. Want an invite to that party? Need a Facebook account. Want to see your friends’ holiday photos… You get the idea.

    Then there is the horrible pooling of your data that they refuse to delete. I’m sure my face is tagged in there system somewhere, because someone uploaded a photo of me, and tagged my face. someone else will have uploaded their address book, so they will have my email and probably my phone number.

    I hate it.

  3. The other day, a girl who I am “friends” with on Facebook posted:
    “I hate people who lie!”
    as her status…
    and she got about 50 ‘likes’ for it.

    I mean, what an obnoxiously insipid thing to post on the internet.
    Of course you hate people who lie. Everybody does!

    I think I have worse feelings towards the 50-or-so people who sat at their computers, nodding righteously as they clicked on the ‘like’ button for it.

    Remember Privacy? Anyone?
    I went off the radar for a week after my recent break-up. I switched off my phone, didn’t log into Facebook and refused to see anyone.
    When I switched my phone back on, I had voicemails from more than one person, part of their reasoning was that I “hadn’t been on Facebook for a while.”
    They thought I was dead.

    I only reactivated my account recently to talk to a fellow blogger on it using the ‘chat’ function – a function I realised that we could have just used good old MSN messenger for.


    TL;DR – Facebook is rubbish.

    What do you think of Twitter?

    • yeltnuh says:

      That always confuses me: do they like the idea or do they like that she says it, haha. Yes, those status updates are a whole blog topic.

  4. mixedbarry says:

    Yeah, I’m with you on this!

  5. SaneSamantha says:

    Pestiferous – I like that 🙂

  6. pendantry says:

    The litany against FB
    I must not FB.
    FB is the mind-killer.
    FB is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my FB.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the FB has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain–
    — ooooo, shiny!

  7. FB is is horrible. It’s like being attacked by piranha. I only go there for essential communications with family – in and out as quickly as possible. Google+, however, is a very civilized place. Can I tempt you over?

  8. pennycoho says:

    Yes at the risk of saying it, I ‘like’ this post, very much. It says all the things I’ve been thinking about re: FB. I also think things like…Huh? You’re kidding, right? Oh my G… and so forth and so on to a point of I’m outta here. I “unfriended” Now that’s an interesting word usage isn’t it? almost everyone and what’s out there now is aimed at helping me enjoy the day with a few (as in small handful) of chosen people who view life as I. Thank you for this excellent Post. I enjoyed your words very much!

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