I love Facebook. I'm not ashamed to say it. For example, I also love CJ Cregg, Jason Derulo, The Notebook and other lame things that you can't really tell people about. That's just me, I have no shame. I love that I get to read vacuous comments, group-joining, drunken declarations, pointless, almost-immediately outdated popculture references from piles of people who I hardly ever get to see or speak to, and that I like these very people all the more because they evidently have a deeper, more whimsical sense of humour than I ever thought they possessed.
Is this sounding very misanthropic of me? It's not, it's the opposite. I ADORE people; people, with all their mistakes and flaws and jokes and loves and hates. Facebook, I think, celebrates that. At least my Facebook does. I use Facebook and Twitter accounts for work and lord, the self-importance of the people who use these platforms for work, for networking. I mean, ugh. Talk about making a fun thing dull. It's like when Shane Hegarty starts talking about features of "modern culture" in his typical po-faced way and you just go 'Aw, crap, I know you're going to turn me off something".*
Facebook is fabulous and obviously you're going to sigh when I say this but I can't imagine my life without it. If someone does something funny I want to screech about it; if we're at a party and someone takes a picture of me I'm all up in the camera-owner's grill: "Can you tag me in that?". I have, literally, no problem with meeting a friend I haven't seen for a while and saying "I hear you're engaged/working someplace new/a fan of the Golden Girls! When I say 'hear it' I mean I saw it on Facebook." If I say anything amusing, anything at all, I'm glancing around the room, waiting for a thumbs-up: "I LIKE THIS". This is a bad place to be in, obviously, and we'll talk about how much of a knob I am at a later date (I'm sure), but right now I wanna talk about the other side: the Facebook deniers.
There are people in the world, hell, in my life, who don't accept that Facebook as their lord and master. These people, some of them sane and apparently perfectly functioning adults, only check in on their Facebook accounts once a month or even less (shiver). When I say "hells yeah, I heard about that billions of years ago, it was on Facebook" they will wave a hand dismissively and say "oh, well, I never look at that thing" and gently move the conversation away as if I have made a terrible faux pas bringing such a thing into conversation. Even more unsightly, there are people that simply do not have a Facebook account.
Who are these people, you say? Do others exist who are not visible on the web? I know, it's shocking that we live in such a world, but live in it we do. I had the joy/misfortune of travelling to Clonakilty last weekend for Dee's lovely Hen Party** with two and a half of these diaphanous craters, and semi-naturally, as many of my conversations tend to do, our chat drifted round to Facebook, it's evils and sins. Facebook is evil and insidious, did you know that? Of those present, Gráinne and Donna have deleted their accounts, set up in the early haze of Facebook's zeitgeist, due on Gra's part to pure laziness and extreme distaste for anything involving the Internet and because Donna thinks it is stupid and dumb.
Standing currently as a half measure on the Facebook user scale, Aoife remains a part of the Facebook family but she is trying to break her connections with it: "Dude, you can totally do it, there is life beyond Facebook, you should totally do it. I did it, you can too" said Donna from the front seat, blissfully straight-faced. I was driving and all but I found it ridiculously hard not to drive into a ditch, what with all the internal laughing I was doing at these three people's hatred of my favourite plaything. I mean, if you hate Facebook and you think it's stupid and dumb, that's great because essentially it is those things, but honestly, so much stuff is. Most of the things I like are constantly derided by almost everyone I know as am I for enjoying them, but I get by. You can too! You can enjoy stupid and dumb things and stand up in the street and not get hated on for it. YES. YOU. CAN.
*Yeah, I know he's Arts Editor now. I'm playing with fire, okay?
** OMG, so, so amazingly fun and lovely. For more see Facebook. Yow!