So I recently heard about Nov 5th this year as Anonymous’ possible attack on Facebook, their eventual goal to shut down the site for sharing our private information with corporations and the government. Initially, I was appalled about the attack.. and then I started to think about whether or not Facebook really did all that much for me. What was I so sad about losing?
Here is a list of the things I actually do on Facebook… and how I maybe could be doing them.
1) Chat with friends that are far away about irrelevant stuff we never discussed when we were in the same room together.
You ever notice that? How when you’re on Facebook it’s all “What’s new with you?” but in the real world you’d chat about zany stuff like ice cream flavors, or philosophy, or music, but only spend like 10 seconds on a life update.
2) Status Updates: Telling people who don’t care about the mainly irrelevant stuff I do on a kinda regular basis.
No, I don’t message my breakfast every morning, or what I did EVERY DAY… but I’m pretty sure my friends don’t actually care much about whether I made cupcakes, or if I’m angry at my boyfriend. They might be interested enough to post one sentence… but in their world my life is just a blip of mild amusement (at best) on the endlessly entertaining and distracting World Wide Web.
3) Friend people I don’t really know, or don’t talk to any more.
Admittedly, I have tried to limit this, but it’s such a fine line. Do you friend someone if you just met them? If not immediately, when do you know they’ll be someone you’ll be friends with? At what point, after not talking to someone for a while, do you say “We’re not friends any more” and delete your friendship? You have to keep them on, reminding you of the people you used to know, or met once, or once hung out with. Despite this, no matter how many times I see a status update from them, I don’t care enough to ask how they’re doing. Why should I? Facebook lets me know without even needing to let them know. Which brings me to….
4) Anonymous observation of cute guys, friends and relatives… also known as STALKING.
Does it bother you a bit that you have no idea if the creepy guy at school has your Facebook as his home page, or if your mom is checking up on you every hour, you have not a clue? I mean, I enjoy the perks, like checking out the interests and relationship statuses of cute boys I just met. However, all that means that is instead of saying hello, or resorting to any contact, I can safely (creepily?) observe their daily behavior under a shroud of anonymity. I don’t even need to visit their page to get a news feed status update on the activities of my friends. So even if I’m interested in what they’re doing, chances are I won’t even comment, and if I do it will be a snappy one liner designed to amuse and attract attention more than to connect.
5) Post perfect pictures of myself, and get tagged in pictures where I look ugly.
In today’s day and age, with modern technology, I can take any pox ridden, obese, cross-eyed goof and make them look like Brad Pitt. This is software that I regularly take advantage of by taking hundreds of web cam pictures and selecting one to be processed into a presentable image to put on Facebook. Everyone does it. So it’s no surprise that in just karmic retribution, every friend posts the pictures they have of me, which just happen to be ones where my eyes are half shut, or I’ve got two chins, or I’m looking the wrong direction. Yes, I can un-tag myself from some, but I can’t stop the influx of pictures, except by avoiding cameras… which I now do. Hopefully no one notices the paradox between the me I present, and the me the rest of the world presents.
6) Have unnecessary drama over whether or not I’m in a Facebook “relationship or not.
Maybe for you it’s different, but isn’t it odd that in order for most people to feel secure in a relationship, you have to declare the thing on Facebook? Maybe I do want to date a guy, but I probably don’t want to tell everyone about it right away. I’m not really the post my personal business and gross pictures of us making out kinda girl. And so what if it’s complicated? It’s ALWAYS complicated. There’s no such thing as a normal relationship. I don’t want to stress about whether I should change my status from Single to something else. No one wants to be first. I just don’t think that a social site should get to dictate whether or not I can just be happy being undefined for a while.
7) Post links to things I really don’t care much about.
Pretty much just that.
So, yes, my life might be changed if Facebook ceased to exist. I’d have to resort to e-mail, or AIM again (oooh retro!). I might even have to initiate contact with people that I actually remember, and forget about the friends I haven’t seen in years, and get out and talk in person (maybe), and stalk from bushes again. Just kidding, I don’t stalk… or do I?
So here’s the question guys: Do you think Facebook actually improves your life? And will you be sad if Anonymous destroys it?