Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sometimes, I Just Need A Facebook-less Day. Or five.

Sometimes, I just need a day or two away from Facebook because I get sick of the same shit over and over. Bacon recipes, food pictures, babies with puppies videos, people asking for prayers, promotional flyers for events I'll never go to, those endless "postcards" with the "That is SO me" snarky sayings, the "Post This If You Love Your Mom"-signs, the auto-Horoscopes, Fortune Cookies, the daily Buzzfeed Quiz Results (guilty but reigned it in quickly), the "inspirational" Maya Angelou quotes and the unfathomable amount of game requests that will slowly eat away at any respect I once had for people I thought more of. Seriously, Jewel Pirates and Bubble Pops? Why are you even okay with people SEEING that, let alone asking them to play?!

*Deep breath*

I have no one to blame but myself. Early on, I kept accepting Friend Requests from people I barely knew. Or people I thought would be a blast to catch up with. Or friends of a friend. Or because I thought I knew them...once…a long time ago. Over time, I ended up with 1300 friends. Oh, sure, I could to go through my list and whack down that number in one fell swoop doing a "super clean-up". Of course, I'd have to announce that I'm going to do so and wish all my friends good luck in making the cut- another Facebook thing I see on a regular basis from people, the imminent threat of someone doing a mass unfriend'ing. Do I have to? Yes. Eventually. I know the time is coming. For now, I am slowly training myself to click  the "UnFollow" button the minute I see something that makes me scrunch up my nose and go, "Oh, Jesus. Really?"- because normally, I would say that to myself and move on, without doing anything, and over time I'd realise it's the same person that's always posting nose scrunching stuff and I can do something about it. If it's really bad, and really regular-I will admit, I do the dreaded "Unfriend" --and with less and less remorse than I used to. That's a good sign.

It's been 6 years since I first started dating Facebook, and the relationship has become stale, boring, uneventful, tedious and sometimes (as I've just recently figured out) it can throw a wrench in an otherwise pleasant day. I tried to associate it with PMS, to alleviate the blame, but no- I can honestly say that even on the most Non-PMS day, a simple post can really shit up my day. An abused animal picture from an over the top animal lover, a chicken slaughterhouse photo from a vegetarian zealot, a middle east rape story from a women's rights activist, a political article about what an idiot President Obama is because he's not a Republican, a religious nut's post of article about the Catholic church's wrong doings, or even that friend who lays dormant all week but like a volcano erupts all weekend long with link after link after stupid, fucking link just dripping down your newsfeed like molten, smouldering lava. And worse- all stuff I've seen during the week because I've looked at Facebook before Saturday.

Don't even get me started on the ridiculous advertisements that pop up for no good reason about plastic surgery, bladder control, weight loss, Spanx, dress sales, Graze boxes and knock off Louboutins (as if…).

I do sometimes wish I could just be like Beatrice in the E-surance commercial, wave my hand at someone and simply say "I unfriend you" but, like the ad points out, "That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works…"

                                                 I UNFRIEND YOU (click to play)

The truth is, it does become an addiction of sorts and I've yet to figure why since it aggravates me so much it's almost painful. It's like, "Hi, my name is Denise and I'm addicted to sticking needles in my eyes," ya know? So, I don't get it.

Oh, shut up. I know I can mold and shape my Facebook relationship into something better, I can make it so that I'm only seeing my witty, funny, thought-provoking, relevant, considerate A-List friends & families' posts and that would ensure for more laughs, pleasant days and less bitching but it feels like a task of that sized undertaking could take FOREVER!  So much thought would have to go into it. And, Jeez- what do I do with the friend's who fit the A-List criteria 70% of the time, but always manage to squeak in some thing nose-scrunchingly stupid? I mean, how often do I have to forgive them before it's really hit a nerve and I wipe them off for good? See? I hate to toss them to the curb for a pang or two every once in a while. So, there lies my dilemma. That's about 1000 of my friends that I just described.

I wish Facebook would have three newsfeeds: one for the A-List'ers -that you see regularly and enjoy, one for the B List'ers that you only look at Mondays (since Mondays suck anyway), and one for JUST the pages or groups you belong to but YOU can decide if you want to look at  it & see what's going on outside of your own little friend's world. The A-List would always show and you could choose your B & C lists by clicking when you wanted to see them. Oh, man. I don't have the answers. But, I am getting to the point where I'm needing Facebook-less Days more often. I'm noodgey and unhappy with it.

Also, this "Like" thing is out of control. I use the "Like" button for too many things: "Yes, I like that", but also, I use it to acknowledge that I saw something and don't have anything to say, or I use it as a "End" button, when a thread of comments gets too long and too stupid to continue- a "Like" kind of signals, "Okay, I'm out."

Watching the hashtag epidemic spill over from Twitter to Facebook has been #surreal, to say the least. Just be honest, you don't know how to use the hashtag properly, and it's really just a Twitter thing. Stop embarrassing yourselves. And while we're on the subject, quit linking your Facebook and Twitter  accounts, Dumbass, because quite frankly, I usually don't want to see your posts once, let alone twice.
Is #anything #more #infuriating #than #someone #so #desperate #to #cover #all #their #bases?

Sometimes, I'm blown away by how many "Likes" one thing will get and how few something else gets. Take for instance, my wedding picture..it got about 60 likes. Recently, I posted a picture of a fox taking a shit in my backyard, and that got 75 likes. Odd.

Oh, and the "Keep Calm" thing? OKAY- we've hit our quota. Let's be done with it now.

Side Note: Self-publishing authors, you've made me wonder, with all the posting, spamming, sharing and re-posting, when on earth do have time to write?! Hire a PR person, or get a publisher because simply put: YOU FRIGGIN' EXHAUST ME.  Same goes for you, people who come up BuzzFeed articles like, "21 Creepy Things You Never Noticed About John Stamos' Hair".

Man, I don't know. I feel like I'm so far gone, it would take forever to get this relationship back on track. It's not you. It's me. Really.

So, I guess I should admit that I've spending a LOT of time on Twitter. It's NOT cheating.  We aren't exclusive, Facebook. And lately, I'm having way more fun with Twitter. No, not because it's newer because…really, it's borderline old news for all the under 28's. True story. It's not Instagram young & cool or Tumblr hipster & cool. It's not flash-in-pan, here & gone like Vine. It's like the Hank Moody of social apps. It's here, it's casual. Your bad choices are your own, and you can Unfollow and Follow whoever at will. No one cares one way or the other. I probably unfollow & follow Miley Cyrus 10 times a week. I unfollow Neil Patrick Harris until it's closer to the Tony Awards and then I follow him again.  If someone annoys me, I instantly unfollow, and then if I miss their shit-wit tweets, I follow again until they annoy me again. This is the freedom and openness I crave in a social app. Twitter has it. You don't, Facebook. What I'm trying to say is…

Your rules are outdated and antiquated, Facebook. You've taken control of everything. Pages I don't like are showing up all the time. You suggest the most ridiculous people for me to be friends with. I feel like I've done all the compromising in our relationship. I'm the one that keeps my own promoting (my show, my friend's shows, events, fundraisers, causes, etc..)  to a minimum on my personal page and separate it into my show's "group" page so I'm not inundating people who are a part of both. I have never posted a request for prayers, a political jab, a religious post, or any animal abuse pictures even though I love animals, even though I care about politics, even though I believe in a higher power, and I have a business to push- because I do consider a LOT of my current 1,200 friends (See? Like I said- slowly unfriending & unfollowing…) actual friends and I don't like to offend, shock, or push my choices or beliefs down their throats, even though I have every right to because…freedom of speech & expression and all that bullshit. I'm also very certain that I've lost friends along the way because I've posted some lesbian & gay rights stuff but I think I've got a decent balance, I'm not posting stuff every day about it. I've probably lost people who got sick of seeing my newest cat's pictures, but it's a risk I took because I was under his cuteness spell for a while, so sue me. I'm just saying that I shoot for clever most of the time. If I miss once in a while, I'm still not shoving something unpleasant down my friend's throats, asking them for something, or willingly annoying them with unpopular subjects & topics that I wouldn't even engage in at house party. I just want to laugh, and be entertained, so maybe I'm in it for the wrong reasons because I don't really want to be "evoked" or "led" or "inspired" or provoked into a debate on a social media app. I'm not here for that kind of stimulation. I just want a giggle & a good time. I love seeing pictures of relatives, their kids, their homes, etc., of course! In a way, that part is a blessing.

People are becoming serial "Like"'ers, too, which is fine, I guess.  But, serial commenters sometimes cause me to roll my eyes so far back, my contact gets stuck. It's like an impulse disorder, they just HAVE to say something about EVERYTHING. And for god sakes, stop with the poking. For the time it takes to find the "Poke" button, find my name and click, you could send a three word message "Thinking of you".

Facebook, you've become about extremes. Viral videos, new articles, headlines, trends, and lest we forget about the god forsaken Bitstrip phase. Just like Death By Chocolate cake- it's good- but eat enough of it and you want to vomit. There's a delicate balance to all the political satire, the "You Can Do It" pics, the Inspiration of The Day quotes, the phases and soon or later if you're not careful, you BECOME the chocolate cake.

Part of this need for a Facebook break, I think, is because I used to like people, in general. I used to have these cool memories from high school, or from work people, or just acquaintances along the way in life- but Facebook has now allowed me to see them on a more personal level and my opinions have changed, my memories don't feel as great, and I'm concerned that they don't realise that some of the insanely personal stuff they post should be kept in diary or journal so the whole world doesn't know they have the mentality of a 10th grader. Same goes to you, Sub Context Vague Attention-Seeking Facebook'er. Oh, see?  I got bitter there. This is what happens. This is why these Facebook-less days are now so necessary. I find myself looking, reading and instantly thinking "Why would you think anyone cares that you had blueberry pancakes this morning?! There isn't even a punchline to this!"

I don't know the reasons why people feel this chronic need to post the most absolute mundane details of their regular ol' day, work schedule, or that they had to change their tire, got new shoes, or that they are off to lunch…. and I'm over it. Like tapas…I'm just totally over it. In fact, I'm so over it, that I'm starting to think those people who don't ever post anything are the real winners here. They just have an account to look at everyone's else life and feel better about theirs. Again, I don't know the reasons behind anything, why people do what they do..it's probably just as simple as "…because they can."

I'm just spouting off to feel better about feeling guilty about spouting off. FB, see what you've done to me? We so need a break.

Listen, don't be sad. I see sort of a big, swirling Gary Marshall directed rom-com ending…eventually.

CUT TO MONTAGE: (Cue Music: "In Your Eyes"- Peter Gabriel)
Weeks, months pass without me giving a shit about you, in slow motion clips that show me taking care of myself, going out with REAL LIFE PEOPLE, reading with a glass of wine, watching TV without an iPad in my lap….and then, one day, we'll bump into each other in line at the cell phone store and you'll say, "Did you hear I've had an upgrade? I have 3 Newsfeeds now," and I'll act cool & aloof, brushing you off. But you don't let up. You stand on my lawn with a Beats Pill speaker, playing our song and I'll run outside and install you so hard, vowing "I'll ONLY post witty, funny or clever status updates, and I'll always manage my friends list more carefully!" And we'll totally get back together.

So….Maybe  ...maybe we could be the Penny & Leonard or the Ross & Rachael of the Social App & 40-something Woman super couples down the road.


But for now…..we need to start seeing other people.