In my last entry I alluded to the fact that I have a serious dislike for Facebook. A disdain even. Almost a hate. There are many reasons for my dislike of Facebook. Ranging from minor issues like the fact that it is a waste of time, to major issues like it can do serious damage to familial relations. And many, many things in between.
I registered on Facebook at the request of my wife, as well as a few other family members. It started out innocuous enough. I soon was linked to family members both immediate and distant. Not to mention friends both current and former. And then before I knew it I was linked to friends of family and family of friends. I think at one point I was linked to the friends of family of friends of family. Confusing? YES!
Then came the many and varied applications and games. This was the first sign of a problem. These applications and games were like digital crack. Once you started on them you'd go through physical withdrawals to break the habit. One game consisted of letters falling in circles in a grid, and you'd have to find words in the random letters for points. I can think of one night in particular playing this on my laptop for about 5 hours. YIKES!
I also found myself logging in almost immediately after arriving home from work. Fortunately it was blocked at work otherwise I could be typing this to you from the unemployment line. What really told me I was wasting too much time on Facebook was when I started to communicate with my wife through Facebook, even though she was 20 feet away in the other room! DOUBLE YIKES!
But the letter-word game also marked the first sign of trouble with family on Facebook. Apparently, the scores are shared with people you are linked to that also have that particular game installed on Facebook. Suddenly I felt as if people in my friends list were competing with me. I half expected them to send me private messages rubbing in the fact that they had beaten my score. Or worse, putting it in their status for all of their friends, and most of mine, to see! TRIPLE YIKES!
And that brings us to the subject of statuses. From the total innane (Susie is clipping her toenails) to the blatantly braggadocio (Billie Jean is so proud that Johnny got an A on his spelling test!), statuses are the epitome of Facebook's evilness. It is through statuses I witnessed countless passive-aggressive conflicts between various members of my family, some of which I managed to get drawn into. I found that I could be as vicious in my passive-aggresiveness as the next person. QUADRUPLE YIKES!
For instance, as someone that greatly dislikes the Red Wings, I one day made my status "Steven is hoping the Red Wings lose in the playoffs." No biggie right? I logged in later that night to various statuses from "friends" and "family" like "Regina thinks people that dislike the Red Wings are buttheads!" and "Connie hopes the Wings win to shut-up certain people!" Of course, not being one to sit by and be attacked in not so subtle passive-aggressive ways, I responded with "Steven thinks Red Wing fans are ninnies!" As you can guess, the escalation ensued from there until threats of nuclear annihilation were on the horizon. QUINTUPLE YIKES!
One thing that Facebook made me realize is this: Not really knowing your extended family makes you able to stomach them long enough to attend family weddings and funerals with them. However, Facebook erases the "not really knowing them" aspect and ruins your ability to stomach extended family in real life for more than 5 seconds. We just aren't meant to know that much about them. Further, what do you talk about with people you don't really like, and that you already know everything about? Facebook makes it so you know almost every innane detail of their lives, so what do you have left to talk about in person? And, unfortunately, that doesn't go for just extended family. Due to an immediate family member's behavior on Facebook I am not real anxious to spend time around said immediate family member either. SEXTUPLE YIKES!
Another problem I noticed. Most of my family professes to be Christians. But I didn't see that their spiritual lives were too important to them based on their behavior on Facebook. I once heard that what we talk about most is most important to us. So while I saw a lot of statuses saying things like "Rudolf says 'GO RED WINGS!'", or "Sally really wants Barack Obama to win the election!", I never saw statuses like "Freida is studying her Bible School lesson", or "Gene is reading the book of Acts." It just didn't happen that way. So what I took away from Facebook is that even for my family members that claim to be Christians, politics and sports and bragging on their children are more important to them than their Lord. INFINITE YIKES!
The Red Wing incident was enough for me. I realized that nothing good could ever come from Facebook. All it would do is drive a wedge between me and family, as well as make enemies of people I had considered friends. I cancelled my account and haven't looked back. Except that my wife remained on Facebook and continues to tell me about some of the zany, ridiculous, and completely ludicrous stuff that people pull on Facebook. On the bright side, I won't have to attend as many weddings and funerals in the future!