You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Reasons to hate Facebook’ tag.
A little while back at Text Patterns, Alan Jacobs responded to the claim that opting out of technology like Facebook is no longer possible. His reply was very commonsensical:
“I love this almost-always-on connected life, Lord knows I do, but of course opting out is an option even for those who want to be “informed,” at least for now. I could subscribe to and read only print magazines — even just monthly and quarterly magazines — and be fully informed about everything I need to be informed about.
We tell ourselves, by way of self-justification, that we need Twitter, need our RSS feeds, need Facebook. But no, we don’t. We just like them very much. And as far as I’m concerned that’s good enough. It’s just necessary always to remember that we’re making choices and could, if we wished, make different ones about how we’re informed and what we’re informed about.”
And, here is an older quote from James Bowman that I just stumbled upon. Honor is a topic dear to Mr. Bowman’s heart, but this is the first time I noticed him relating social networking to it:
“That may be one reason why so many young people are eager to escape that world for the different sort of friendship offered by Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. Those friends don’t have their eyes on you all the time, and their access to you may be controlled. Also…they make only trivial and mostly painless demands upon you. Friendship, in being extended so widely is cheapened, and its hold upon us — which is the power of honor and shame — is accordingly loosened. Like those comforting abstract concepts of our ethical world, mankind, humanity, or Planet Earth, our virtual friendships eventually reach a point where they are too large in number and too remote to care very much what any individual does.”
This is from a The Weekly Standard article from last year, written by a certain Matt Labash. I had never heard of the man before this, but the following excerpts contain some of the most exhilarating words I have heard in a while. Good AFLI members, read and rejoice!
“I’m not inflexible. But there is one promise I’ve made to myself. And that is that no matter how long I live, no matter how much pressure is exerted, no matter how socially isolated I become, I will never, ever join Facebook, the omnipresent online social-networking site that like so many things that have menaced our country… came to us from Harvard but has now worked its insidious hooks into every crevice of society.For the five or six Amish shut-ins who may not yet have heard of this scourge (your tenacious ignorance is to be admired, and I’d immediately friend you if I was into Facebook and you had electricity), Facebook is an online community where colleagues, friends, long-lost acquaintances, friends of friends or long-lost acquaintances, and perfect strangers find and “friend” each other based on their real or perceived affinity. They then have access to each other’s web pages, and consequently to each other’s lives, quirks, photos, jottings, oversharings, and mental disorders, as well as to those of the ever-expanding universe of their friends’ circles, thus increasing the likelihood that you will either embarrass yourself or be embarrassed by someone whose life would never otherwise intersect with yours.”
Mr. Labash continues:
“I hate Facebook and everyone on it, including my friends, who I like. My wife just joined it, and I dearly love her. But scratch that. I hate her too. After all, right is right. Sometimes, we courageous few must make a stand.”
On one of his friends joining the Facebook community:
“I told him he was a very sad man, that collecting Facebook friends is the equivalent of being a catlady, collecting numerous Himalayans, which you have neither the time nor the inclination to feed. “You have obviously never been on Facebook,” he said. “It’s so much worse than collecting cats.”
On his wife getting Facebook:
“Normally a crisp woman who tackles tasks with speed and aplomb, she had a new slackness to her. All the things she usually takes care of without me even being much aware (paying bills, making dinner, etc.) would slide, as she was now filling out the endless Facebook busy-work questionnaires people constantly send to each other like dippy substitute teachers who don’t know what assignment to give. As she filled out the now ubiquitous “25 Random Things About Me” list shooting around Facebook circles, near perfect strangers could come to know things it took me years to find out (“I hate when people talk without clearing their throats. . . . I tend to like those with an easy smile”) and things I hadn’t even yet discovered (“I wish I had more opportunities to shoot a gun”).
I’d earned this knowledge by taking the time to get to know her.”
“No, the reason to hate Facebook is because of the stultifying mind-numbing inanity of it all, the sheer boredom… [Facebookers] have a reality-show star’s unquenchable thirst for broadcasting all the details of their lives, no matter how unexceptional those details are. They do so in the steady, Chinese-water-torture drip of status updates. The very fact that they are on the air (or rather, on Facebook) has convinced them that every facet of their life must be inherently interesting enough to alert everyone to its importance.”
Vehement words that are much-needed, Mr. Labash! The AFLI appreciates your sentiments!