Enlightened on Sugar Mountain, at last: Facebook makes me hate my own blood
Today I blocked a family member on Facebook and don’t know how to feel about it. On one hand, unsurprisingly, I sound like a complete dickhead here because they are family and it is expected from anyone to tolerate their nuances and give them a big fat digital smile, regardless of the degree of offence you experience. On the other hand, I don’t feel any regret or dissonance about it, as the person hails from the hinterlands and Facebook was likely the most revolutionary thing to happen to him/her in terms of personal cultural progress. I also highly disagree with giving them a free pass and believe that, despite all familial niceties, the internet today is the last place (if it can be called something tangible) where you can act solely according to your beliefs and feel goddamn good about it. I always have the option to ignore posts people post, but to be grossly banal, in the age of readily available, globally sourceable information, there is no excuse to end up what my ethnic community would call a villager; especially, if you live in a highly developed country. Nor should you be surprised if I passive-aggressively judge you then. People sometimes just don’t know any better. The person, to be fair, is some years younger than me and that may be why I am not generally interested in or enthralled with their every move in life, however remarkable the most minute changes in life may seem to him/her. Though, in deliberately cutting out this person out of my socially mediated life, I have learned something very valuable about Facebook, specifically: Facebook is a death trap for social relations.
Facebook makes me hate most of the people I now have on it. Truth be told, I really do not care about most of “my friends’” lives and what amazing things I clearly do not see them accomplish. The ones who are accomplishing things are barely visible on there, meaning that I, too, should probably analyze how concentrated my time allocation is for it. Looking at my daily newsfeed, I rarely see something of substance happening to people. They are the same mundane things that would happen to me on a Tuesday, say, at a haircut appointment. Haircuts are not in any way, ever noteworthy, but people have this implacable desire to share useless information like that. In order for this social media thing to even make sense, I have to allow your updates into my feed and tolerate non-information about how your workout was today, or how excited you are about Spring, or how cute you think your best friend’s baby is, all accompanied with pictures I don’t look at, nor care to register. I am not sure how, when or why it happened, but the potential for a new generation of cultural cohesion was squandered away on trivial things; on badly informed gentry that inaccurately attributes Google widget quotes to thinkers of yesteryear who would scoff at that same laughable depiction of intellect people try to portray. Just because you quote Gandhi, it doesn’t mean you are a good person or know what the fuck you are talking about. Roughly -2% (that is a negative value) would even manage to live a life like Gandhi; losing a smartphone is tantamount to sudden infant death syndrome. My only wish for folks on social media – and roughly 1 billion Facebook users – is to realize how unimportant most of their posts are and that we clearly, just like with Myspace, have fucked it up once again. I won’t even mention the egregious torrent of sponsored advertisement that, if Facebook did its homework, should never appear in my feed. I do not need to connect with Russian singles online and most certainly would rather bleach the blue out of my eyes than purchase tickets for Pitbull in Miami.
Basically I have become disillusioned with Facebook and no longer see a sense in keeping a profile for reasons that could very well be for personal internet security and privacy reasons, but since that is a train long departed and I still am on Twitter being monitored just the same, I really just want to start missing people again. You have to ask yourself: When was the last time you really cared about how a FB contact is doing in his/her life? When was the last time you caught up and had a good talk over pints of whiskey? So this is what I am doing with this post: I am announcing a permanent Facebook boycott because Zuckerberg and his minions in Palo Alto have taken the fun out of friendships. I know too much about the people I am not in regular contact with and therefore do not see a reason in contacting them. That is bad. That is not how humanity ought to function, and I, for one, am taking a stand against it by cutting the main vein of communication I had with a great amount of friends and friend-like associates; makes sense, right? Probably not, but what gives? For those who genuinely give a shit, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and for those who don’t, the sentiment is likewise, so be happy you and I were simply weeded out like this. No hard feelings.