I miss my old Facebook life. A life where going around spurting crassness such as ‘Fuck you all, fuck you all with a hammer', brought an abundance of likes and witty comments. Now my old den is merely an electronic inconvenience where I spend time as an occasional voyeur, half heartedly accepting event invites from PR companies in disguise, unsubscribing from updates and leaving groups. Sometimes I’ll look at a friend’s friend’s profile pictures, dozens of photos of someone who I will never meet. For no apparent reason. I hate Facebook.
I hate that my closest friends on there - my best treasured buddies - now live hundreds or thousands of miles away from me, and Facebook is the only reason we haven’t broken touch. It concerns me how complacent I’ve become. I feel I’m up-to-date with their careers, children, relationships and well-being because I’m up-to-date with their Facebook updates. I hate that my most captive audience is distant family, estranged school peers and friends by association who met me once and now comment on every ridiculous or boring update with passive-agressive remarks followed by a lol, an x or a wink emoticon.
We’re all becoming egomaniacs. It used to be just the exhibitionists like me who like writing/acting/posting videos of themselves singing lovesongs about their first dog, but now even the dull are extreme attention seekers - whether it’s their adopted rabbit's broken leg, divorce grievances, running commentary on a hang-over or sporting event, and/or pleas for justgiving donations. Oh, not forgetting the new wave of 'gaga googoo funny little things that happened with their baby that day' mums-net brigade.
I hate that if I argue with my boyfriend I can’t go on Facebook and cathartically post things like ‘DIE, ALL BASTARDS, CUNTS MUST DIE’ to make myself feel better for two seconds before deleting and apologising profusely, because it’s not very adult or considerate, apparently. PS that guy in the glasses is not my boyfriend, he’s just a man on Google who likes to model in his spare time.
I hate the pop-up chats where the ‘hey you’ single white males continue to try and suck anecdotes out of you, ‘hey you, what u up to?’ I’ll tell you what I’m up to… I’m sitting here bored shitless on my laptop looking through wades of updates and photos, wasting my life away, getting depression and now I’m dealing with someone who is still clinging onto the notion that fuckbook can get you laid. I’m 31, I’m too old for this shit. Don’t poke me, I don’t like being touched. I don’t even like your pop-up invading my space. I am planning on how to eradicate you from my life completely, without you noticing that I’ve deleted you.
I hate that I get 10 friend requests a week and yet just one real life person has telephoned me in the last fortnight. It makes me want to write ‘you’re all wankers’, and yet that isn’t an option, because now I have Facebook friends who I may bump into at a family meal or down Tesco. Every entertaining update I now write is simply a reminder that in real life I haven’t spoken to anyone all day. In fact, I don’t even like speaking on the phone anymore and didn’t even answer to the one person who called me. In a word, it’s tragic.
So, to summarise, Facebook makes me feel lonely and pathetic. How I imagine middle aged creeps with fake profiles feel when they realise everybody likes them better as a teenage girl. For every update about how I feel, I feel disgusted with myself for pressing ‘post’.
Mark Zuckerberg is all about Facebook users becoming more and more transparent with the information we share, from products we like to groups we join, friends we make, photos and videos we upload, the thoughts we express… Yes, Mark - we’re all exhibitionists and thanks to you we all have our very own website where we can say what we like and be who we want to be. So how come every time I go to post an update these days I feel overcome with Big Brother syndrome. For the first time in my life I’m starting to become aware of that thing called censorship. Silence is golden.