My mother taught me to use the word “hate” as little as possible. Being young, I didn’t understand why, and so in typical childish rebellion I “hated” everything. I hated green food, I hated my fourth grade teacher and I hated the way I was told to not hate things. Eventually, I grew up,
and I stopped saying I hated everything.
Then I signed onto Facebook, and with the naivety of a 4-year-old, I mindlessly checked a little box that signed me up as a commodity. I willingly agreed to commercialize my friendships, and I did it with a smile on my face. One year later I can only smile at how stupid I was, and say it once, twice, three times, a sucker: “I hate Facebook, I hate Facebook….and I hate Facebook”. Indeed, I say it freely and meaningfully, “I hate Facebook”, and so should you. Here’s why:
1-Reason I Hate Facebook: Because it’s a Virtual Tabloid
For any of you that have had to make a public break-up on Facebook, I’m sure you’ understand why I hate Facebook. Apparently, when you no longer want to be “in a relationship”, everybody, and I mean everybody- the boy you knew in kindergarten, your grandmother, your yoga teacher- gets to find out about it on the mini-feed!
The mini-feed is basically the common denominator of most trashy tabloids, it’s full of scandal, drunken pictures from last night’s party, and banal information (status updates, relationship changes) about people you barley know. It’s so ridiculously trivial that you may as well go read the National Enquirer with your grandmother. And if you value your privacy AT ALL, this is the number one reason to hate Facebook: because your entire life is documented for the entirety of your 300 “friends” to know.
2-Reason I Hate Facebook: Demand Generation Marketing Schemes
Personally, this tops the list for why I hate Facebook. As you may know, companies like Google work to help consumers get the products they are purposefully looking for, which is called “demand fulfillment”. Facebook, however, is in the market to get people
to buy products they aren’t really looking for. And they are mighty sneaky about it. Making profits from our need to be “individuals”, they take the information you fill out in your profile (things like your interests, political and religious beliefs, favorite books, movies, bands, and TV shows) and sell it to companies that then send you advertisements tailored to your demographic.
Another reason I hate Facebook’s marketing is because of it’s partnerships with major online retailers. Every time you buy a widget on a partner’s site, all of your Facebook friends find out. This is tantamount to McDonald’s notifying every person you know every time you buy a burger. Not cool.
3-Reason I Hate Facebook: Narcissism, or “Individuality”
I’ll admit, I’ve spent many a wasted hours meticulously filling out random profiles in such a way as to reflect my “individuality”. You know what I’m talking about. I see it all the time- elaborate, finely detailed descriptions of oneself that are cute/funny/interesting yet oozing with the sort of contrived crap you’d find in the “Personals” section of a newspaper. It’s ridiculous. I mean, do you really know anyone who introduces themselves with ” Hi, I a lost wanderer of this universe who is interested in the abstraction of beauty and words, loves the sound of rain and spends full days contemplating the ubiquity of nature and man”? Come on.
With the advent of Photoshop and other “image enhancing” software, not only do we pre-formulate who we are, we pre-formulate what we look like. It’s no wonder the Internet, and places like Facebook, are a virtual breeding ground for narcissism cleverly disguised in a cloud of “Individuality”. What’s worse, we do it all to one-up people we barley know, let alone those we actually care about. Facebook, it seems, is a sepia-toned high school reunion masquerading around as a place to “re-connect” in a “real” way. Thanks, but I’ll take the real thing over the pix-elated version any day.
4-Reason I Hate Facebook: Real Human Interaction VS. Digitalized Relationships
On an emotional level, this is probably why I hate Facebook. I am an 80’s kid, so I know both sides of the whole pre/post 1998 versions of human interaction. I remember a time when walking over to a friends house and asking them to come out was an acceptable way to iniate human
interaction, but I also actively participate in the now more “normal, convenient, and efficient” way of doing it. That is, via text, fax, email, msn, or social websites such as Facebook. However, at some point I realized that this life is short, it’s sweet, and it’s worth me making the effort to call up my best friend. It’s also worth spending the time to go outdoors, hang out with family, and work on constructive passions and goals rather than constantly updating my status on Facebook.
It sounds extreme, but a recent poll conducted by Harvard found that most university students will have spent over 4 weeks of their life over the course of a four-years. Another study by FaberNovel Consulting estimated that most members of Facebook spend 20 minutes a day on Facebook- which works out to roughly three days a year, and two weeks every five years. Yet another study, this time by Australian Law Firm Deacons, showed that half of 700 people polled would refuse a job if Facebook was unavailable to them.
These are just a few of the myriad of reasons I decided to eliminated Facebook from my life. I still use MySpace, and I still use the computer, but I’ve found that since cutting out Facebook, I’ve had much more time to spend on the things I love. So I’ll say it again: I hate Facebook, I hate Facebook, I hate Facebook. And although my mother always told me that hate begets hate, I think in this case she’d be proud.