My Love-Hate Relationship with Facebook
Posted by Mandy Cochrane
I love Facebook. Guess I’m just nosy. I dip into it at least a dozen times a day to keep up with what’s going on. And I’m as guilty as the next person of occassionally posting random comments that must be boring to anyone but the most devoted fan of useless minutiae (did you really want to know that I’m ironing in my kitchen? Didn’t think so).
And as a substitute for making those excruciating duty phone calls to tenuous friends and less tenuous but far-flung relatives, you just can’t beat it. Upload a few family snaps twice a year, a few updates on your lives for all to see, and everyone’s happy.
Facebook does irritate me sometimes. And here’s why:
People that brag non-stop about their kids’ latest achievements. It gets boring, to be absolutely honest. In a roundabout way they’re really bragging about their own parenting skills, don’t you think? I don’t need it rubbed in my face that I’m the only mum in town not prepared to drive their kids a fifty-mile round trip twice a week for tap classes.
Pokes. I just don’t get being “poked”. If you want my attention, just say “Hi”.
I don’t want to play games. So stop sending me invitations to play Farmville, Angry Birds and Bejeweled Blitz. I have no intention of helping you build a barn.
People who use photos of their children as their own profile photo. Not only did I not join Facebook to become friends with your children, it’s kinda unsettling to be faced with a cherubic six-year-old’s face when I’m about to hit the “send” button on a dirty joke.
Posts of the following nature:
Mums are forever. No matter how old you get, no matter how far from home you travel, your mum is always there. Your mum doesn’t judge you, your mum doesn’t critise you, she loves you unconditionally. Kind words, a warm smile, a mother’s touch…if you love your mum as much as I do, post this as your status.
Now, not only does this kind of sentimental clap-trap not move me to go give my mother a huge tearful hug and a bunch of flowers, it makes me feel guilty. Because I’m sorry to say, I don’t have that kind of relationship with my mother. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just not that way with us. And now I feel abnormal.
But if I did have that kind of relationship with my mother, I hope I wouldn’t feel the need to prove it by copying someone else’s emotional outpouring of lurve.
Adding your location to every post. Do I really need to know that you’re in your local Tescos or in your back garden? So you’ve got a smartphone with an app. Who hasn’t?
People that want me to post a charitable message as my status.
“I know 99% of you won’t post this, and I think I know the 1% that will.”
I suspect the smug gits that post this type of thing are really just on an ego trip. Let’s face it, we all like to see our posts being shared, liked or re-posted. So should I be guilt-tripped into following the herd? Am I a total, uncaring shit if I don’t re-post?
People who “Like” their husband’s/wife’s rubbish posts. Here’s the scenario: husband and wife sat next to each other on the sofa, laptops burning their thighs and the TV on in the background. Wife posts to Facebook: “TV’s crap tonight”. Husband “Likes” her post. Not only does liking such a banal status update seem rather sycophantic by the husband, it does beg the question why he can’t just tell her he agrees with her.
People who whine and moan constantly. A little while ago I guiltily “un-friended” an acquaintance whose every status update was self-pitying, whining or ranting against someone who had apparently slighted them. I stress we were acquaintances rather than actual friends, so on a scale of one-to-ten the guilt-trip only hit about a three, but I imagine even her bosom buddies must have been depressed by such constant moaning. Bring a little light to people’s worlds, yeah?
I know I’m a grumpy, intolerant, boring git myself sometimes. Goodness knows what my Facebook friends think of me! But I’m addicted, for better or worse.
What do you love or hate about Facebook?