The Facebook Love/Hate Dilemma
When you surf the Internet, most articles now have a little button with the Facebook logo so you can “Facebook it” by posting it to your Facebook account. When you run into an old friend you haven’t seen in years while you’re at the store, be expecting a friend request within the next 24 hours, also known as friending. Haven’t seen an ex in ten years that used to stalk you? YOU’LL GET A FRIEND REQUEST FROM THEM, TOO. Seriously, Facebook is everywhere.
It’s the new Myspace.
Years ago, when Myspace and Facebook were first plucked from the creative minds of their inventors, Myspace was the way to go. Facebook was boring and so very uncool and no one was on it because its interface wasn’t exactly user friendly. Before Myspace morphed into the Fantasy World of Goth Tweens and Emos. Back in its day, Myspace was the place to be.
But then Facebook started to get cooler. More people joined. And now we have a social networking site that has morphed from nerdery to all-the-cool-kids-have-it, becoming an entity in and of itself. If you’re under 30 and don’t have Facebook, you’re totally not hip.
I halfway expect Facebook to start breathing one day.
Because now, we have an evil empire that stalks its victims from ACROSS THE CYBER ABYSS. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder, thinking Facebook is watching me and is on the verge of updating my status to say something horrifically embarrassing, like “Jen just farted in public” or something else equally mortifying without my consent.
Facebook alerts everyone about everything else I am doing. All photo comments are documented and blasted across the web. So are wall-posts, what groups I join, who I friend, any infinitesimal change in my information… It’s like I’m a celebrity and my life is just so important that every single person on my friend’s list must constantly be up my ass at all times and know every little thing that I’m doing on Facebook.
Facebook is the easy way to stalk someone.
So, tell me, how is this possibly fun? Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t give a crap who just bought a potato in Farmville or who needs a machine gun in Mafia Wars. I don’t care who friended who, and what friend X said on friend Y’s wall. And seriously, Facebook, why did you pop my husband’s picture onto my sidebar, urging me to “reconnect” with him? Or why I should write on someone’s wall that I haven’t talked to since high school? Or why, as it says in fine print, my photos are actually the property of Facebook and can be used in targeted advertising on my friends’ pages? Unless you figured out how to dig around in the account settings to turn this “feature” off, which many people don’t know to do.
And what’s up with the faux private profile and private picture albums? Because apparently, just because you have your profile on private does not mean that you are preventing access to your profile from people you don’t know. If one of your friends comments on a picture, for instance, it is documented on their wall and on the sidebar of all their friends’ home pages. Those other people can then click on the photo that was commented on and can then scroll around ALL your photos in that album. Even if you made sure to check the little box that specifically states everything is viewable by your friends only, not friends of friends.
Am I the only one who’s not ok with Facebook getting so personal? Does it mean that I am uncool because I find it a little disconcerting that everyone is kept informed of every single breath I take? That a private profile and private pictures are still accessible to friends of friends, regardless of the privacy settings you chose?
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love that I stay connected with friends- I hate the privacy that I have to relinquish in order to do that.