Archive for July, 2010

42. Facebook

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy, but not too busy to write. It seems I’ve been preoccupied: I bit the bullet and joined Facebook. I know, I know. I’ve long been an outspoken Facebook detractor and have gone as far as calling it gay, self-indulgent (see 4. Nobody Gives a S#%&) and downright unnecessary. Which it is.

Ashamed, I even tried sneaking a Facebook reference into my previous post (see Par. 2), meekly justifying it as a means of staying informed and feeding my journalistic appetite.

There were reasons for feeling defeated:

  • I worried that joining Facebook and shooting my creative load through daily status updates and random witticisms would be detrimental to my blog productivity, and I was right.
  • Facebook is for people who love the sound of their own voice. I knew it would consume me.
  • On the flip side, Facebook is terribly invasive. If curiosity killed the cat, then Facebook is the Cat Auschwitz of the Internet. Again, I knew it would consume me.
  • For the longest time, I argued: “Facebook opened an ethical can of worms, which allows people you intentionally didn’t keep in touch with to get in touch with you. And you can’t ignore their friend request because next time they see you in public, they will know you intentionally didn’t keep in touch with them, for a second time. That’s insulting and before Facebook, it didn’t have to be.” I am weak and I accept everybody now.
  • There are obvious benefits to be being on Facebook, but I’m not going to get into them because this blog is all about tearing shit down. Facebook is successful because of these benefits. Let’s leave it at that.

So, the following are things that truly annoy me, a late adopter, about Facebook:

  • Rampant beenouing.
  • Bad spelling. Examples: “To funny. Its awesome. Definately! Your so right.”
  • People trying to be photographers (see 7. “Into Photography”).
  • People trying to be models. The faux photographers are 50 percent to blame for the emergence of 50 percent of faux models. “Come, let me shoot you and we’ll add the shots to both of our portfolios.”
  • Girls taking photos of themselves blowing kisses. And especially taking such photos in front of the bathroom mirror after finishing their hair and makeup before going out.
  • Commenting on something just to be nice and being subsequently notified about everybody else’s lame comments. I was trying to be nice, but I don’t give two shits about what some stranger has to say about your new haircut.

How is any of this relevant on a blog about backpacking? Because all anybody does on hostel computers or in foreign Internet cafes now, is go on Facebook. Facebook is the world. They’re making a movie about Mark Zuckerberg, for chrissakes. My ninth post has quickly become obsolete.

While on the road last month, I realized that I wasn’t asking anybody for their e-mail address anymore. I was asking new acquaintances what their last names were. Kinda creepy. But not as creepy as I thought it would be. Most people readily told me their last names; some even spelled them out for me, with the knowledge that I was gonna add them on Facebook. There’s an unspoken understanding now, when you ask somebody what their last name is.

The sun is setting on the day when two travelers meet, have a good time and exchange e-mail addresses. Or maybe I just got here in time to catch the last few flickers of light before it disappears behind the horizon.

Either way, I hate it.

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