There’s a beast called Facebook that consumes different parts of different people’s lives. For me, it’s my inbox.
I know I could just turn off email notifications, but apparently I’d rather have 1,400 unread emails than spend two minutes in the Facebook settings. Part of this is because I don’t really use my Facebook. It’s basically a way for me to like things at sporting events for free apparel.
I am willing to accept that I’m in the minority, so let’s look at what the Beast takes from other people.
First, we have privacy.
Take Becky for example. Becky is a nice Christian girl who would never hurt a fly. She volunteers at the homeless shelter on weekends and winces at swear words. Unfortunately for Becky, her friends convinced her to go out tonight. Four shots of vodka in and it’s clear Becky is a lightweight.
She’s already mispronounced “snigger” in a way not all present company appreciated and would go on to puke on the carpet. Becky will try to clean it up, but will only succeed in rubbing it into the carpet and covering it with the nearest blanket.
Becky’s handiwork won’t be found for a full 24 hours, but by that time the damage is done. Now Becky wants nothing more than to forget that night, but Becky stood on a coffee table and sang “to the window, to the walls, ’til the sweat drips off my balls” in an admittedly hilarious fashion while some guy she’s never met took video. That video was passed around Facebook for all of her friends and family to see. The Beast has her now.
The Beast loves time. It dangles thousands of friends in front of you, each with hundreds of pictures of friends and family. Can’t forget to throw in dumb games like Farmville that you can pretend you’re getting friends involved with when really they’re about three invites away from blocking you entirely.
Then there’s all the different groups you can be a part of!
There could be one for your work, one for your school, probably even one for particularly sadistic teachers (you’re lucky you’re too stupid to use technology Ms. Bartle). The Beast invites you in, sits you down, gives you some coco and locks the door.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Gee, Mr. Sexy-Buns, you must really hate Facebook!”
Well, not really. Whatever the Beast is, it’s honest more than anything. You want your life to be public? Things you may want private are going to come out.
You want tons of friends? Well unless you spend time on them they’re just strangers with an odd obsession for your cat. Ya take the good, ya take the bad, put them together and there you have the facts of life. Preferably without a copyright claim.
I don’t use Facebook because frankly, I just don’t care. The Beast is not inherently good or bad. The Beast is just a wild animal, a product of its environment. We don’t just live with it; we make the Beast.