A couple months ago I was talking to this 16 year old kid. He was kind of a shy kid who you could tell spent a lot of time playing video games and surfing around the internet. (read:virgin) He was kind of awkward and you could tell he wasn't really good at socializing with people. Being the amazing person that I am I decided to engage him and try to get him to come out of his shell. We talked for a few minutes and when he said that he spent a lot of his time on the internet I asked him what his favorite website was. His answer? Facebook.
Really? I mean, really? How could facebook possibly be someone's favorite website? Facebook is without a doubt the most annoying website on the entire internet. It is a website that you spend the most time on (mostly looking for pictures of girls you like in bathing suits), but that you get the least amount of value you from. Facebook isn't a fun website to visit, but it has somehow become a part of our daily routine and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. (And don't say "I don't go on facebook anymore." You sound like one of those guys that proudly announce they "don't own a TV." You're basically announcing to the world that you think you are better than them and need them to know about it. Good for you. You'll never know how freaking awesome Parks & Rec is or how absolutely lame your friends are. I hope you choke on your Kashi cereal.)
Here is the thing though: facebook is not the problem. Yes, it's a flawed website and they are always adding dumb stuff that people don't really want, but it's still the absolute best at what it does. Twitter is great, but I can't go on twitter and stalk my ex-girlfriend and make myself feel better because I think her new boyfriend is less attractive than me. I can't make fun of my friend who lives in Canada for his bachelor party pictures if he doesn't post them one by one (which would take forever and people would find annoying because you are "flooding their timeline." btw, bite me twitter police.) Don't even get me started on Google Plus which could have stolen everybody if they just did "facebook how it used to be," but instead decided on this weird circle things where you can't easily share things on someone else's wall. (WHAT!?) Like it or not facebook is the only game in town.
I remember when I first got myspace and it was so much fun. I had music playing when you went to my page. (In retrospect this is super lolz.) I think it was "Can I Get Get Get" by Junior Senior or maybe that "Way I Are" song. (Shut up. Chicks digged it.) We would post pics from nights out and then comment all the funny stuff we did on the pics. I could have long, drawn out conversations with my friends in the email while they were at work where we talked about super important things. My son's mother could print out things I wrote on there in an attempt to use them against me in court. Oh, wait that last one kind of sucked. Forget I said that. The point is that it was fun for a minute and then we all went to facebook and it was better and ever cooler for a minute too. We posted our pics, we wrote funny statuses, we became friends on there with new people that we were friends with and it was fun. As someone who always thinks people are out there having fun without me it was perfect. This was like hanging out with the people I like all the time. It's what social media was invented for and why social media is not going away. We all want to hang out all the time.
But then it all went wrong. How did it all go wrong? Well, in my opinion there are two things that went wrong and they are:
- Everyone in the world got facebook which caused everyone else's butthole to clench up.
- Pretty much everyone is dumb.
We'll cover the second one first because I like to do things backwards.
In the "glory days" of facebook you would have EVERYONE updating their statuses on a near daily basis. Some people were dumb. Chill bros like Tyler and I would post funny stuff. I remember one time I did a status/ten comment thing where I re-wrote the chorus to "I Gotta Feeling" that I thought was absolutely hilarious.
In the comments one person did not get the joke. The other thought it was funny. Zero likes. Re-reading it now it's not as funny as I remember (although I do love the "I don't want hot dogs, not again" line and the next verse about making out with a guy is awesome), but my heart was in the right (hilarious) place. People should have enjoyed it more.
So here I am trying to entertain my friends by writing funny things on my wall while you have these dummies on there posting "LIKE THIS IF YOU THINK CHILD MOLESTATION IS BAD" and getting like 500 likes and 200 comments. Yeah dude screw child molestation! It gets old fast. You start to slip away and wonder what the point of posting funny stuff is if nobody gets it. I still do it, but jut not as much as I used to. The dumb people are taking over and it scares away the smart people. Shouldn't that really be the other way around?
The biggest knock against facebook is probably that it should really be called "Babies & Marriage-book" or as I like to call it "Babies, Marriage & I just ran a marathon let me tell you about it-book" There are so many people that I didn't even realize I was still friends with that use facebook just to announce that their boyfriend proposed to them. Then they get the two thousand comments that all say the same "so happy for you girl" crap. I mean, yeah, good for you and all that. Does he still wear your shoes to bed? Because that was kinda weird, but still good for you. Worse is when you don't see them on the website again until they actually do get married and then they post pictures and videos everyday for the next three years until the inevitable baby and then post pics of that kid every day until the end of time. Wheee.
Honestly, I can't knock these people too much because that's who they become. They used to be these young fun people, but then they get married and have married friends and those friends have kids so they have kids too and that's all their lives revolve around. Now all the sudden they are old and lame and you are left wondering what happened. It's not their fault that there isn't a setting on facebook for "I used to be cool, but I'm not anymore so please unfriend." Life would normally take care of that for us, but with facebook we're stuck with them unless we take the time to click a few buttons and that takes way too long so they can just annoy us forever.
The random users are annoying too. The idea of "I haven't posted on this site in months, but I have to now because I'm engaged/I'm on vacation and need to check in to let you know/I'm in or out of a relationship/I ran a marathon and need validation" are frustrating, but not the worst. That's because the worst are the over updaters. You know the ones. The people who use facebook too much or worse use it too much because facebook is actually their personal therapist. You read the status "SO UPSET RIGHT NOW" and then fourteen people come in and comment asking them "what's wrong?" which plays perfectly to the poster's narcissism. These people are the same ones who update their relationship after every big fight, let you know when they are sick or hungover, post inspirational quotes because they really need to hear it today, react to every tragedy like their opinion matters, delete stuff that gets them a negative reaction, ask you to click like because a like will somehow stop kids from being murdered of AIDs and everything else that annoys the crap out of me. Seriously, nobody gives a shit if you are having lunch at Subway. People eat lunch at Subway everyday. It's not news. I don't care that you had a Veggie Delight. It would delight me more if you shut the hell up about it.
The only way we're ever going to take our social media back and have it be fun is to unfollow these people, but that unfortunately is harder than it would seem. Why? Because these annoying people are our family members, our bosses and our friend or relative's boyfriends and girlfriends. They are annoying because we are stuck with them. Which brings us back to the first problem: nobody wants to use facebook anymore because it is impossible to say anything cool without fear of being prosecuted by our families or our bosses.
Let me tell you a story. A couple weeks ago we had this thing called the Pants Party. It was awesome. Of course afterwards there were quite a few pictures of me posted on facebook and none of them were very flattering. Which is completely fine with me because I don't like having a filter. Much like Popeye I am who I am. Anyways, let's say that this is one of the photos that was posted on the site:
To me that's a funny pic and a good representation of what you missed if you weren't there. If I saw that pic of one of my friends and knew that this was a party I could have been at I would be pissed, but maybe that's just me. Anyways when I got home the next day my mom asked me if I had my facebook profile public to which I told her no. Her reply? "Oh good. I saw those pictures from your party. Maybe we shouldn't be facebook friends."
I had other friends who saw the same pic and the next time I saw them in person they made fun of me for it. Why did they have to wait? Couldn't they have just done it in the comments? Isn't that the point of the comments? Not anymore. Not when your boss not only sees your wall, but what you comment on. Not when your girlfriend doesn't want her mom to think less of you. This is life now and this is the problem with facebook. This is why it will never really be good again.
Everyone is afraid of someone seeing what they do. Which is to say that everyone is afraid of being themselves for fear of someone judging them for it. I don't care that my mom saw that, but I am not like a lot of people. My parents read this blog they know how dumb I am.
If the point of social media is to hang out with your friends when you are not hanging out with your friends than this point has been completely ruined by facebook and being forced to be friends with your co-workers you don't like, bosses who suck, idiots you knew ten years ago and family members who don't understand you. It's sad because everyone should have videos like this one out there on their facebook wall for all their friends to see. What's the point of doing something like this if you can't share it with the people you like?
This weird video of me dancing at Wrestlemania is what it should be all about. Doing fun things, sharing them with your friends who aren't there and having a good time with it. Instead it's just this dumping ground for pictures of your kids and where you're eating right now. It's kind of sad really.
People ruin everything.