What? Jackie. You’re sick of Facebook? You get paid to like Facebook! How can you hate it?
Yes friends, I’m totally, completely, 100% over Facebook. I guess I have been for a long time, but I’ve finally hit my breaking point. To me, Facebook will now serve as the reason why I don’t need someone to “wait, can you take a picture with my camera too?” in group photos and a push of all my athletic-triumphs because according to my recent stats, a few of you still care how fast I run. Oh, and I’ll have my blog posts out there, because my mom likes to read them, or at least I assume she does.
At work, I’m online all day, and there are always at least three tabs open to Facebook. It’s a consequence in working in Digital Marketing that I’ve learned to deal with. Somehow, someway, those tabs all turn out to be my newsfeed at the same time. Usually they’re specific profile pages, the GCC page, or other GCC-related pages, but everyday, without fail, I make it back to the homepage.
Why? Why do I continue to head back to my newsfeed when all it’s filled with is things that I genuinely do not care about? I just opened my newsfeed, and here is the general gist of my first 20 posts:
- XXX liked Breaking Bad: here’s a video of Breaking Bad
- XXX liked a random shopping boutique, here’s their advertisement, SHOP NOW!
- An update from a page I have liked
- XXX shared a video about how to tie scarves
- XXX changed her profile picture
- XXX commented on a page that you do not like (which happens to be the same Breaking Bad video that was featured in the first post)
- Person #2 liked something that her friend (who is not your friend) shared. It’s a video of a bag that you can fill up with liquid and tuck into your pants so you can effectively sneak liquor into places. This bag sits over your crotch. Because everyone loves warm liquor served from your crotch.
- XXX commented on her post to her friend’s wall that said “Happy Birthday”
- Person #5 was tagged in a photo
- XXX added two new photos that look pretty much exactly the same
- XXX posted a photo collage to Instagram
- XXX shared a tickld.com list: 25 Harry Potter Quotes..blahblahblah
- XXX shared a video of a dog doing yoga
- XXX’s status update
- XXX shared a CNN article
- XXX added a new photo: a graphic of a lion with text that reads “Lions never lose sleep over the opinions of sheep”
- An update from a page I’ve liked
- XXX liked a post from a page you don’t like
- A suggessted post from Answers.com: 13 things only the oldest sibling understands (featuring photo of DJ Tanner)
- XXX and XXX commented on a post in a group you are in.
Did you skim that list because it’s too long and uninteresting? Point proven, friends. Point proven.
I sit on Facebook all day and for whatever reason continue to scroll through countless posts that I genuinely don’t care about. (According to this sample, I’ve actually only ASKED Facebook to show me 13/20 posts, but I really only CARE about 3 of them) Usually, I’ll end up clicking one of those “Top 30” type lists, and halfway through I’ll realize exactly what I just did. No, Answers.com, I don’t care about the 13 things older siblings understand, but I click you anyway. Hint: I’m the oldest sibling.
I actually was disappointed to see that none of these 20 posts featured what sparked me to write this post in the first place; the hottest (coldest?) topic of conversation…the ALS ice bucket water challenge. This was the final straw for me. After dealing with the “beautiful” challenge (post 5 pictures of when you felt the most beautiful), “CHUG A BEER AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND VIDEOTAPE IT” challenge, the fire challenge (stand in a small puddle of water, douse yourself in a flammable liquid, and light yourself on fire. oh, don’t forget to videotape it and do it near a lot of people who will stand and laugh at you instead of force you to stop, drop, and roll), #100happydays (isn’t my life so great? here’s a picture of another sunrise. #nofilter #justkidding), and the cinnamon challenge (eat a spoonful of cinnamon and videotape your friends lauging at you as you choke), I questioned humanity more and more.
This ALS challenge thing did exactly what it was supposed to do, for me at least. I had no idea what ALS was. A quick Google search made me say oh, duh. I know Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I had no idea it was ALS. So, successful campaign. As any ice-bucket-challenger will tell you, they did such an “insane” thing to raise awareness of ALS. I am now aware.
But, the challenge frustrated me for a few reasons. Mainly, I am so absolutely sick of watching videos of people dumping buckets of ice on themselves. And, now Facebook is so thoughtful and just starts up videos without your consent. Stop scrolling for too long and those videos will start playing. Please, please stop Facebook. I need my sanity back.
This is also the part where I would get frustrated about the challenge itself. I would make bold, intelligent comments about how sad it is that so many people would “rather” dump ice water on themselves than donate to an organization, about how donating money is now seen as the greater evil.Why don’t these people donate money AND dump buckets of ice on themselves? A friend actually responded to a video that she was challenged in and said “I’m breaking the rules and not dumping water on myself, and donating $100.” Breaking the rules? Didn’t you just win the game? Didn’t you pick the right door? Congratulations! You are aware of ALS, and you monetarily supported the cause, which is all they really wanted.
I could continue that rant for many, many more paragraphs, but I’m not going to. If your newsfeed is anything like my newsfeed, it is probably infested with people going on the same rant – citing articles, pointing people to wikipedia, or just getting frustrated about the challenge on the whole. I’ve seen the same articles, read the same posts about how donations to many ALS organizations have increased, and continued to watch people dump ice water on themselves, which leads me back to what I was originally talking about.
I’m done with sucking up my time on Facebook. The permanence of my Facebook tab will be replaced with Twitter, or probably the New York Times. If I’m going to procrastinate on the internet, I need to do it with something worthwhile. There’s a whole world out there, and it’s more than dumping ice on your head.
Why not just disable your Facebook then, Jackie? Good point, reader. I can’t. Facebook has become such a central part of our society that I literally can not leave it – at least, disable my profile. First (and most importantly) I have a job that requires me to have a profile. I can’t manage multiple Facebook pages without one. More un-importantly, I have family who use it as a way to continue to be proud of me (hi, Mom!), friends all over the country (and the world) who are much easier to communicate with (for free, yay) on Facebook, and am a member of groups (namely, the best kickball team in the Rochester area, and professional networks) who exclusively use Facebook as an important communication tool.
How sad is that. Facebook has effectively dug its nails so deep into me that I’ve become brainwashed into thinking that it’s actually important to my wellbeing.
So, here is my challenge to you, Facebook friends: you have 24 hours to do something meaningful. Read a book, write a poem, call a friend, sing a song, make up a dance. Do something, but don’t put it on Facebook. See if you still feel satisfied.