Monday, December 19, 2011

Why Facebook Sucks (But Not as Badly as Twitter)

EDITOR'S NOTE. This is part 2 of the ongoing KAR series, "Social Media and You: How to Alienate Everybody in Your Online Social Networks."  Part 1, Twitter, is here.

Yeah, yeah, privacy issues, never-ending Farmville requests and the never-popular Weekly User Interface Tweak That's Always Worse Than the Last One. Yawn. Those are annoying to be sure, but just like Twitter, Facebook's most annoying features come not from the platform itself, but from the people who use it.  Let's begin.

THE VAGUE PITY WHORE

Susan Flugelhorn I really wish that things would go my way once in a while.

And, of course, a caring friend will come along and ask what's wrong; to which there are inevitably one of two replies.  Either:

Susan Flugelhorn I'll private message you.

Or:

Susan Flugelhorn Oh never mind.

Well, thanks for wasting everybody's time because you haven't received your attention quota today.


PEOPLE WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION OF POLITICS THAN YOUR OWN

There's an old bit of wisdom that Noted Marquette Alumnus Denbo passed on to me once: Never talk religion or politics with family or certain friends; especially in public.  That makes sense considering those two topics can evoke the most emotion and could possibly lead to an ugly situation.

Now, Facebook is the place to go to communicate with friends and family and maybe reconnect old, long-forgotten acquaintances (THEY WILL FIND YOU).  So pictures of the kids, pithy bon mots, personal news and maybe the occasional brag about the latest accomplishment or vacation are certainly not out of line.  After all, that's pretty much the point of Facebook.

But, oh yeah - the family politics thing.  When I see something like this:


 it makes me want to choke the shit out of you.  But you're family / close friend, and therefore I'm required to love you, and I sure as hell shouldn't have to be forced to consider unfriending you.  Take that crap to Twitter where you can write it under an assumed name so I won't know that it's you.


OUTRAGEOUS SELF-AFFIRMERS WHO OBVIOUSLY HAVE SERIOUS PATHALOGICAL SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES

The following status update once graced my timeline (extensively paraphrased, because this person has since unfriended me due to a wisecrack I made about this very same status; trust me, if anything, I am not doing the original justice):

I WILL SHARE WHAT I WANT WHEN I WANT! (Yes, the entire thing was in caps -ed.).  THIS IS MY FACEBOOK NOT YOURS, SO DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO POST!
I AM STRONG! 
I AM OPINIONATED!
I AM CONFIDENT!
I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK! I WILL SHARE WHAT I WANT TO SHARE!
IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T READ IT! I DON'T NEED YOUR APPROVAL! I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN AND I CAN MAKE MY OWN JUDGEMENTS ON WHAT I DO AND DO NOT POST ON MY WALL!

From what I could tell at the time, this was a completely spontaneous explosion of self-righteous outrage, unprovoked by anyone ever complaining about what this person posted on her wall.  In a comment to this post, underneath 7 or 8 "YOU GO GIRL"'s, I wrote:

Personally, I'd prefer it if you just shared your booze.

...which led to this strong, opinionated, confident, independent woman who doesn't care what anyone thinks to unfriend me.

Oh darn.


POST THIS AS YOUR STATUS IF YOU REALLY HATE FACEBOOK MEMES

Yeah, you know this one:

Post this as your status if you know someone who has survived cancer, or has died from cancer, or is afraid of getting cancer.  Let's see if we can have everybody have this status for one hour so that people who have / have died from / are afraid of cancer know that we support them! I know that 7% of my friends won't post this, so let's hear it for the AWESOME 93% that will!

I do know someone who has survived cancer.  She doesn't give a shit that you posted this as your status. Stop it.


STUPID IMAGE MACROS WITH INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO BARF, WHICH COULD HAVE JUST AS EASILY BEEN WRITTEN AS A STATUS UPDATE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO BARF

This is a relatively new Facebook thing that seriously has me considering changing careers to the professional homicidal misanthrope field:

Yes, this actually exists.
What a great quote! If only there were some way of making these words on Facebook with a keyboard!

Fine, you saw a hackneyed quote.  Why not just copy it as a status?  Is there something about making it an image with or without a schmaltzy picture that somehow makes it more impactful or less nausea-inducing?  Every time I see them, I think this:




I don't know why, but the more I see these things the more I want to punch a kitten. But since that would probably send me down an unveering path toward homicidal misanthropy (and ultimately prison), I just decided to make my own:



Click to embiggenate.

Post as your status if you agree!

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