30/05/11
by

Life Without Facebook

It is seldom in this day and age that you meet someone who does not have Facebook. Even old people are into it now.

But here i am, living and breathing on this page. I exist outside the world of the social networking phenomenon. There’s not many of us here. Most would assume it’s a dark place, void of communication and happiness. They would be wrong.

In fact there is a peace here, a stillness that permeates this world where constant, meaningless status updates do not exist. That is a world that thrived not long ago, but it gets smaller and smaller with every day that passes, and one day it will not exist anymore. That will be a mournful day, but just like death, taxes and student debt, it is inevitable.

Facebook has permeated every facet of life. Whether it is sharing photos, inviting people to a party, playing games to avoid work or telling people what you had for lunch, there is no doubt that it has infiltrated our existence to the point where some human beings cannot even function properly without their daily Facebook fix. What a miserable state of affairs things have become. While people picket G8 meetings about world hunger and global warming, I say that we must fix things at home before we can consider these problems.

How can we be worried about these issues while a much more serious one exists just nine feet away on our computer screens?

Life was much better without Facebook, it was a simpler time. For one thing, you did not have to wait in line at the library to print a forty per cent essay while nigh on one hundred per cent of the students on computers check out the latest embarrassing photos of themselves to be posted on someone’s wall. This has to be the most frustrating thing in the history of the universe. It makes you want to put someone’s head through that computer screen, even if that means you wouldn’t be able to print your essay due to there being no more working monitors. It would be worth it. Wouldn’t waiting for a computer be much less stressful without Facebook?

Furthermore I believe that Facebook will mark the end of meaningful relationships. One of the main positive features of the site that is continually pressed upon me is that it allows people to stay in contact with friends and family who may be overseas or hard to keep in touch with otherwise, in an easy and convenient way. To some extent I accept this, but this is a double-edged sword. My retort to this is that it also helps you keep in touch with people you wouldn’t bother with otherwise. I often hear users complain that someone from their high-school that they never bothered to talk to in five years, despite the fact they sat opposite them in Science, has added them on Facebook. However, they often accept this request of ‘friendship’ and now share their banal life with them via online mass communication. Every Facebook ‘friend’ is therefore situated equally within someone’s life even though you could not care less about some of those people. Facebook is in the business of devaluing friendships as every Tom, Dick and Harry from people’s past is part of their online community of ‘friends’. The ease of communication that Facebook provides creates meaningless relationships, which in turn devalues the sanctity of your meaningful friendships which previously held a more appropriate status.

The most important reason that I do not subscribe to Facebook though, is because of the deep disdain I hold within myself for status updates. People use these to tell others how they are feeling, what they are doing, and myriad other insignificant pieces of drivel. Some have told me that they do not read or use status updates and rather use Facebook for photos etc. But to those who do, your arrogance disgusts me. The fact that you think anybody gives a fuck about your boring life is simply mind-blowing. I know you would like to think people care, but they don’t. And if they do, well then they are just as arrogant and brain-dead as you. The world does not care one bit that you are stressed about assignments or about your life as a hipster. So do everyone a favour and keep that mind-numbing bullshit to yourself.

Nobody can tell me that life is better with Facebook. I much prefer a world where computers are available, being someone’s friend actually means something and annoying individual comments can only be dispersed as far as people can yell. I am not under any illusions that Facebook’s popularity will wane, I can only hope that maybe it’s a fad like boy-bands were in the 90s or spandex was in the 80s and one day everyone will realise their stupidity. Just think about all the time you wouldn’t waste cultivating someone’s cyberspace farm and the embarrassment you would save yourself when certain people witness inappropriate photos or comments that you may or ma*y not have posted yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice?

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Comments (12)

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  1. Kate says:

    Here I was sitting in the library reading this article wondering whether I could perhaps know this stoic individual who has managed to evade the peer pressure that is facebook. And what do you know, I finally manage to tear myself away from the entrancing writing and Jono Mcleods name is staring out at me.
    I remember our many conversations about facebook, or in your case the lack there of, and was thinking I would like to congratulate you on and interesting and well-written article. Ironically, I actually logged on to facebook to tell you this (it’s ok I’m on my own laptop not a uni computer) and low and behold you aren’t on facebook.
    So how am I supposed to contact you to congratulate you?
    We are not close enough friends to have each others numbers.
    I used to see you frequently in class but now that is over.
    I don’t really ever see any of your other friends.
    Perhaps it is even time to return to the traditional snail mail – if only I knew your address.

    p.s. Jono – I hope you actually see this. Otherwise it will all be written in vain and then I will have to update my status and let all know of my failed attempts to reach you…

  2. Melissa says:

    It is a shame I am unable to ‘like’ the above comment right now.

  3. BFG says:

    “The fact that you think anybody gives a fuck about your boring life is simply mind-blowing.”

    I know they do because they interact with what I say – they like, comment, argue and discuss. I live in a highly social world and I value being connected with people and having people “give a fuck about” my life.

    Having people “give a fuck” about your life is an essential part of humanity. The beauty of Facebook is that now more people can feel connected and given a fuck about.

  4. Jono says:

    BFG, did you not get enough love as a child?

    Thanks for the comment Kate. Don’t fret, I will not be the reason for a meaningless status update. I do miss the days of Media 310 and I will find some form of communication (other than Facebook) that I can contact you with.

  5. BFG says:

    I got plenty of love as a child. That is why I have no problem coping with the idea that people might want to know about my life.

  6. Gabrielle says:

    BFG, calm your farm. Gosh darn, you’re a sensitive sod.

    Jono, I hate FB too! I lose interest in people and lose all respect for them if they feel the need to broadcast to all of their 485 friends that they’re late for uni or just had an average milkshake. I have found the “hide all posts by …” very useful. Having a FB friend cull is also fun. Hopefully one day I can muster up enough courage to delete my stupid account (although I do keep it to stay in contact with travelling friends overseas).

  7. smackdown says:

    “But to those who do, your arrogance disgusts me”

    why so sad dont be mad facebooks a fad just be glad :-)

    im on facebook friend me friends im smacketh down

  8. Adam says:

    I like how the two Facebook haters have made the most vitriolic posts, engaging in ad hominems and telling those making perfectly valid and non-aggressive comments to “calm their farm”.

    It really says a lot.

    I could write a lot more about the article itself, but I think it’s enough to say that it’s filled with juvenile raging directed at the people who use Facebook rather than Facebook itself – I do not understand, Jono, why it baffles you that there are vacuous people in online social environments when there are vacuous people in offline social environments as well. Furthermore, if you can’t stand said vacuous people, you don’t friend them or you hide them from your news feed. Then you can post links to your wall about larger political issues that have outraged you so that they are immediately available to the friends you want to inform.

  9. Adam says:

    Also, smackdown, love your work. Can I friend you on Facey?

  10. Gabrielle says:

    I take it back. Maybe you should calm your farmville instead. Tis rather apt.

  11. smackdown says:

    tis rather isnt it frank mccourt

  12. Makaila says:

    Back in scohol, I’m doing so much learning.