?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

Serious Business | Flickr
Bounty Information | Wanted Dead or Alive: Mad Scientess Nanila
Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

Why I Loathe Facebook. [20110407|14:35]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
[Tags|, , ]
[the weather today is |bad]

I have a lot of reasons to loathe Facebook, like its hideous interface and the way it's killed off usage of interactive longer-form blogging sites. But I particularly resent Facebook for showing up my less admirable qualities.

For instance, I used to pride myself on not being a grudge-holder. My anger is a flash in the pan. It flares up, I rage, say terrible things, go away, sulk for ten minutes and then it's over and I can hardly remember why I was upset in the first place. (Other people usually do, unfortunately.) So I believed myself to be fairly free of the kind of rankling resentment that afflicts many others, and I took pride in that.

Then Facebook came along.

At first it was a bit of fun on the side. I'd log on furtively for a couple of minutes a week and delight in discovering long-lost friends and relatives, exchange a few personal catch-up messages and go away feeling pleased, if slightly guilty for being unfaithful to LiveJournal.

Like all bits of fun on the side, it got complicated. People from high school that I didn't remember started sending me friend requests. I hemmed and hawed over these, dithered over pressing "Accept" or "Ignore" and let the requests go stale. Every time I logged in, there they were, staring at me like puppies waiting outside in a rainstorm.

That was bad enough. It showed me to be incapable of taking action on something that might hurt someone's feelings, even though inaction pretty much sent the same message.

The crux came when two people I distinctly remembered sent me friend requests. I learned that I am, indeed, capable of holding a grudge for a very long time. The first person had been after my high school boyfriend before he and I started dating. She was never overtly nasty to me, but you know how you can tell when someone who's being smilingly polite to you is actually imagining your head on a pike? Yeah, it was like that. Why she thought, "I'll add her!", when she saw my name on Facebook I shall never understand. We were scarcely even acquaintances then.

The second person - oh, the second person. When I left high school for university a year early, she made a big song and dance about staying in touch. I wrote her several letters. She sent none. What she did do, however, was show my letters to my erstwhile boyfriend. There was nothing incriminating in them, but they were written in confidence, and to me, that confidence is sacred. I do not read other people's mail, electronic or otherwise, and I treat the contents of letters that are addressed to me alone as exactly that. I was furious when I found out. That alone would have been enough motivation to cut her off for a good long spell (and I would certainly never trust that person beyond acquaintance level again). However, when I returned home for the summer, the person in question declined to speak to me because, "I had turned into a druggie." Leaving aside the laughability of that statement, fifteen years later I still can't tolerate someone who had broken confidence. Did she think that clicking "Add Friend" on Facebook somehow meant, "I'm sorry. Let's forget about past wrongs and start afresh now that we're older"? Because that so didn't work for me.

I had no problem clicking "Ignore" with all the petty, vindictive, grudge-holding spirit I could muster. And that's why I hate Facebook.
linkReply

Comments:
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-07 17:50 (UTC)
Yeah. I hide a few people's status updates. Not because I don't like them, but because I don't really need to hear about their love for Jesus on a daily basis.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dylsexia
2011-04-07 15:32 (UTC)
I don't so much hold grudges. I give people a chance. If they add me to facebook and want to rebuild a real relationship with me. With hanging out, coffee, movies, following me around to my epic list of activities and events that I participate in: that's awesome and I will let bygones be bygones.

However if they add me to facebook and do not send me a single message saying, "Hey! What's new? Wanna hang out some time?" I will reciprocate in kind.

That being said; I don't really care about facebook. It neither irks me, nor do I enjoy it. It is merely another social networking platform that I barely participate in.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-07 17:54 (UTC)
I don't spend all that much time on Facebook, so I don't really despise it as much as this post might seem to indicate. Neither do I think it's all bad, as I would simply deactivate my account if I did. It's been a great way for me to reconnect with some of the extended members of my Filipino family, and that counts for a lot.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-07 17:35 (UTC)
Ahaha. So true. This is why I hold to a "cooling-off period" of at least two years at the end of any romantic relationship.

I'm on Facebook primarily because it lets me stay in touch with my extended Filipino family, who are scattered all over the world and who use it regularly.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: greyface
2011-04-07 16:32 (UTC)
I think the question is not whether or not they're your FRIEND now. So much as, do you have any interest in reading about their facebooky facebookness. And are you comfortable with them reading yours.

I think in both of these cases... the answer is decidedly "no". And I don't think they'll really care a lot that it is. Not long ago, I got a facebook-friend request from somebody I know from a forum-site. After accepting the request, a few days passed, and he facebook messaged me, "BTW, how do I know you?" GAH!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-07 17:36 (UTC)
I can't imagine they cared for longer than a few seconds. I had a FB message like that from someone once. I took him off my friends list shortly thereafter. Why bother?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2011-04-07 16:40 (UTC)
Some people have this weird "gotta catch 'em all" thing about Facebook. I was friend-requested by a girl I knew in high school only because she had sat across from me in freshman geometry. We never spoke outside of that class, which was 15 years ago.

I was also friend-requested by the former manager of my building who, I am pretty sure, stole my security deposit. DENIED. I pretty much just use Facebook to communicate with people from my department, because my department's social life is organized primarily via facebook.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-07 17:37 (UTC)
Interesting! My group doesn't do that. We use our mailing list to organise social events. Old-school, eh?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: anokapolis
2011-04-07 17:47 (UTC)
I feel the same about FB, I deactivated mine, specially while in school and don't really go there even summers. For me, more than those I know, the problem was those i didn't know. Even right now I have over 150 people I don't really know who they are, in fact I have FB friends fom Siberia of all places, 'cause I wasn't really careful when started using it, I just accepted their add. So, instead of just unfriending them, i just left FB.

All my high school friends and those close to me, I see them yearly, so FB no need for it now.

(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-07 17:49 (UTC)
That makes sense. I was pretty open with information at first, but now I've got pretty much everything locked down to friends-only view. There are a few former (and current) work colleagues on there so I have to be careful what I put up!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: anokapolis
2011-04-07 17:56 (UTC)
Yep, you gotta be careful about the information you share with all these people, some of them you rarely have any more contacts, that you want the same high school or meet them in a meeting. For me, I'm more open person, so I rarely rejected anyone, and for a while having over 800 friends was not that a big deal, but after i started college, I was like, I don't need this garbage:) In reality, these 800, I only probably had close contacts may be 200 of them, so this was crazy to keep this.

I think FB has it's place with social media, in a way it allows us to still have contacts with old friends and places one has lived, but you gotta be careful with the information you share them.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2011-04-07 19:43 (UTC)
"if slightly guilty for being unfaithful to LiveJournal"
that's totally me!

I think the other thing that bothers me about FB is that a lot of people are out there to just "collect" friends and add as many as possible, without caring who they are or anything like that. For the most part, all of the ones I have on FB are people who are close to me...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-19 09:53 (UTC)
I don't understand the friend-collection thing. If you don't interact with them, what's the point?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sekl
2011-04-07 23:45 (UTC)
Pokemon did some people no favors. You do not need to catch them all. Certainly not on Facebook.

Although it would be fascinating to state "She died with 566 Facebook friends" in an obit, I haven't seen it happen yet.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-19 09:54 (UTC)
Surely someone will. I can't wait.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: sanat
2011-04-08 05:45 (UTC)
Yeah, the thing Facebook is best for is reconnecting you with those you have history with. Whether it's good or bad history is irrelevant to its structure. I still like it for the most part, though I've had some "dammit, it's THEM!" moments myself.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-19 10:07 (UTC)
I just can't cope with it sometimes. I find it hard to filter the content for the stuff I really want to see, and every time I log in thinking, "I should pare down my friends list," I don't have the energy to follow through.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: t_pot
2011-04-09 03:32 (UTC)
My, what a thrill, briefly returning for some good old LiveJournal Memory Lane, and finding you.

Back to the topic now — I hate Facebook too. On principle. That is why I never opened an account and never will. And every time I read experiences like yours here, I'm reminded that it's one of the best 'online decisions' I've ever made.

Take care, L., and a hug.
Rick
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nationofsheep
2011-04-09 15:51 (UTC)
I love Facebook. I love Livejournal. I don't do any others. I don't equate the one with the other. Facebook is like the family holiday with a bunch of people you don't normally associate with. Every now and then one breaks decorum and is super or subtly offensive. Livejournal is where I post about who I am and if someone is super offensive to me I don't hesitate to take them off. But I haven't added or removed anyone in a long time. I am lurking on both right now. I just don't have much to say. All of my thoughts are way too personal to me right now. I'm not sure why I feel that way.

Of course, one of the reasons I love Facebook so much is that my family gets to stay up to date on pictures of my kids and I get to see theirs. We are 600 miles from them and it's so nice to have a window into their lives. Also, there were some people I grew up with in New Jersey who were like family that I lost contact with. I stayed with them for months and I was with them almost every day. 25 years without a word and I feel like I slid right back into my place with them. 7 boys and a girl.

I'm VERY clear on which friend requests to ignore. But I understand how it sucks for some. I especially feel bad for the generation that is growing up with this social media. It makes it so difficult to just disappear for a while. And I know I needed to disappear for long periods of time.
(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-19 09:54 (UTC)
Ooh, harsh! Luckily my parents are Luddites, so I don't have to worry about this.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)