June 24, 2015

Facebook--The Limp, Smelly, "Special" Puppy that Pees All Over Your Carpet

I'm sure I've bitched about social media before but before I unleashed a status that I'm sure will warrant some unfriending, I thought I'd write something with context.

You know that stereotype of the unfortunate puppy? That puppy at the shelter that is skittish, has an inexplicable water-and-cleaner resistant odor, missing half it's hair, isn't so bright, and is a little jacked in the face that you take home, thinking it will be like a 90s date movie where the girl pulls off her glasses/you give the puppy some TLC makes the girl/puppy happy and attractive but all it does is continually pee and puke all over your carpet, 6 inches away from the tile?

That, to me, is Facebook.

I really want to like Facebook and stick with it but, my.god., I cannot help but feel exhausted and/or frustrated 95% of the time.

Before I continue, I want to clarify that I'm not specifically calling out anyone. It's rare that I follow one person's profile intensely (when I do, it's because they just got married and I want to see ALL the wedding photos--so I creep on you hardcore, just fyi). I mostly scroll the newsfeed and get a composite profile of all my friends.

From this, my friends are highly educated, very angry and active, feminists with the occasional really conservative Christian viewpoint.

Can we have a moment to acknowledge the struggle of ironic posts and titles? Because when you have a blend of social and political standpoints displayed as you're quickly scrolling through "news", I frequently miss that your piece is a satire. I genuinely thought you were a racist/sexist dick.

Before you start mumbling how I could unfriend people, I KNOW. I DON'T WANT TO. I like the posts of two former classmates adventures raising chickens. I'm deeply concerned for a friend I don't see often enough and her struggle with Lymes (it's tick season, people, be careful!). A friend from middle school goes on the wildest trips and I sit here brewing in love and hate/jealousy over the stunning pictures. A friend of my partners has hilarious posts.

I don't want to unfriend people. I don't want to unfollow them. I don't want to miss out on what's going on in their lives--did they get engaged/married (because I'm creeping the SHIT out of those photos)? Did a pet or loved one pass? Are they having a rough time and I need to sincerely make an effort to contact them? Did they move some place cool or start a new job?

This is 85-90% (depends on my mood) of what I want to use Facebook for.

5-10% of the time, I want funny animal videos, awesome graphs on how to make healthy smoothies, and funny statuses on crazy things that happen during your day.

0-5% of the time, I want political, well-written, opinion pieces on what's going on in the world.

And as I am friends with a plethora of wonderful, well-educated people, content percentages are the opposite--85-90% of my feed are opinion pieces, 5-10% are funny things, 0-5% are life changes.

For example, in the last 4 hours people have posted about the following:
-selfie (nothing unique)
-the systematic ignoring of Black issues
-cat photo
-the unfortunate appearance of creationism (at the expense of evolution) in education
-yet another "unbelievable" a cappella cover of "Let It Go"
-yet another "unbelievable" a cappella cover of "Cups"
-yet another "unbelievable" a cappella... I believe it. People can sing better than me. Not like that bar is very high
-public pools urine content (gross)
-cat photo
-comparisons of the Confederate flag to the Nazi flag
-comparisons of the Confederate flag to the Pride flag
-will Jon Snow come back to Game of Thrones (he won't, let it go)?
-condoms that change color in contact with STIs
-the social implications of a condom that changes color in contact with STIs
-selfie (nothing unique)
-what happens when you're drunk
-sex education expansion in certain states
-sex education reduction in certain states
-you "won't believe" how this dog takes care of this cat
-you "won't believe" how this lion remembers its human owner
-you "won't believe"... again, I believe it. Trans-species relationships have been a things since this time called forever
-people for Bernie Sanders
-people for Hilary Clinton
-people against Donald Trump
-cat photo
-people raising awareness for rape culture
-selfie (in a historical location)
-the Charleston shootings
-the racial implications of the Charleston shootings
-superhero corgi cookies
-Philadelphia parking nightmares
-selfie (nothing unique)
-Malcolm X quotes
-Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes
-other random inspirational quotes from famous people of color
-why White people should never post quotes from people of color
-dog photo
-supporting the relentlessly gay fund
-arguing that the relentlessly gay fund was a hoax
-hoaxes inspired by the relentlessly gay fund
-20 child photos
-Caps opener is October 10th at the Devils (boooo Devils!)
-cat photo

By the time I get to the article about how Inside Out is another example of how Pixar encourages children to insult people with intellectual disabilities by having characters call each other "moron", "idiot", "mongo", and the like, I have run out of fucks to give.

Which is a shame, because the article has a valid concern.

And I've seen people post "If you don't give a shit about x, just unfriend me." I do give a shit about x! I want to hear your opinion about it! I want to know about the topics you are passionate about; that's why we're Facebook friends. I really do want your opinion on what is a good piece about a given subject. I just cannot muster the empathy proportionate to my newsfeed. You may only post one or two opinion pieces a day but my composite Facebook friend posts A LOT. CONSTANTLY.

I just really want Facebook to have filters--one of people's "life events", another of "interests and funny things", and a final for "opinions--sometimes, frequently, controversial". When I'm in a good place to hear out your thoughts, I can click on the appropriate filter without becoming numbed and overwhelmed with 60+ people's passions.

I would also like to acknowledge that this post has contributed nothing to people's understanding of what is going on in my life.