(First of all, you probably think I am writing this to complain about Timeline. No, I’m not complaining about Timeline! Timeline-haters gonna hate.)
I love Facebook, but I’ll admit, it has its flaws.
- You’re connected with everyone you know. How could this be a bad thing? Imagine you’re talking to your friends. Now imagine that your mom heard everything you said. And your grandma. And your high school biology teacher. And your former boss. And that guy down the street that added you that you’ve never actually said hi to. This is the nature of Facebook. When you post something on someone’s wall, everyone can see it. Sure, there are various privacy settings you can adjust, but ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially to adjust them every time you post something.
- Because of #1, Facebook requires constant image management. If you post a status and you don’t use privacy settings (ain’t nobody got time!) then you have to constantly consider what might be offensive/not funny to each of your 600 friends. This isn’t real life, it’s worse. It makes you be family-you, church-you, friends-you all at once. Unless you choose just to not care what anyone thinks.
- Relationships on Facebook are weird. It’s hard to gauge how much “Facebook PDA” you can show (in the form of wall posts, statuses, etc.) before people start to hate you. And I think it’s a pretty fine line. And what do you do about the family? How do you know when it’s serious enough to add his/her mom as a friend? His siblings? His uncle? His cousins twice-removed? Or should you at all? It’s quite confusing. And when, sadly, it all ends, Facebook is right there waiting to make things even worse. First, you have to change your relationship status to “single” and deal with the barrage of people you hardly know asking awkwardly personal questions such as “what exactly happened? detailssssssss!!!!!” and “was it because he was cheating on you? I knew he would.” Then, there’s the issue of having to decide whether or not to delete all your photos together, un-add his family…it’s just messy, and the last thing you want to deal with when going through a break-up.
- That awkward moment when you meet someone for the first time face-to-face, and you’re like, “I don’t think we’ve met,” and the other person says, “We’re Facebook friends!” It’s just painful.
- People often don’t have the same idea as you about what’s Facebook appropriate. So, a joke that you think is funny to refer to in private…is the same joke your friend decides to post as his status. And tag you in it. So the whole world can see that you are probably a racist. Oops. By the time you beg the friend to take down the drunken picture/inappropriate joke/offensive thing, it’s too late. Half the Facebook world has already seen it.
- Having to sift through piles of pointless information to find out what your friends are actually doing. I like to keep up with my friends and family. I like to see where they’re going and what they’ve been up to. I do NOT care to see fifty million pictures that say “Like for one respect” (whatever that means) or see Facebook’s new “sponsored posts” or wade through five million statuses that say “Like this and I’ll give you my first memory of you/impression of you/what I think is in your closet/what shampoo I think you use”. Just….no. Again, Facebook has filters, and sure, fault me if you want for not using them. But how long would it take me to filter out all of the nonsense? Longer than it takes to scroll past it.
- Facebook Messenger now tells people when you’ve read their messages. How am I supposed to effectively ignore awkward Facebook messages? I’m not, that’s how, not without looking like a terrible person.
- It’s harder to lie to people. Back in the good ol’ pre-Facebook days, when someone invited you to a party, and you didn’t want to go because you were doing something more fun, you could just make up some lame excuse like “my mom wants me to stay home and spend time with my cat.” Now, you run the risk that someone “checks in” with you, tags you in a photo, or mentions your fun night out in a status. A status that the person you ditched can see. Darn.
Now go forth and get a Twitter.