Monday 16 January 2012

Facebook: what would Jesus do?

Today's post has been inspired by THIS post from the weekend by my friend Moll. You should already be reading her blog if you're the sort of intelligent person I like to credit my readers as being. But if you're not, then I will be displeased.

Facebook. I don't know if I like it. I enjoy it when I'm drunk, I suppose, and there is much truth in drunkenness. If everyone was drunk all the time then the world of subtexts and self-delusions would quickly give way to a higher plane of truth and obesity and vomiting. But during moments of clarity, Facebook and my continued involvement with it troubles me. Not a lot. But enough.

For one thing, I distrust anything that it is so difficult to leave. When I sign up to any free account - call me old-fashioned - I sort of assume that deleting that account will simply be a matter of clicking on a button. Facebook is more like a prison. There IS a way to delete your account properly, rather than just "deactivate" it, which I believe I have bookmarked somewhere come the day THAT BASTARD PUSHES ME TOO FAR. But until then, I'm banged up. Doing BIRD. PORRIDGE.

Actually, Facebook is worse than a prison. When you are released from prison, I don't imagine that you are stopped in every doorway by someone saying, "if you leave prison, your cellmates Knuckles, Rimjob, Brutus and Slasher Harris will miss you...". Being guilt-tripped by a website fucking SUCKS.

Another object lesson of Facebook's angsty teenage need to make me feel bad: my friend's twin brother does music. He is very good and everything. He must be, because I LIKE him on Facebook and I am hard to please. But in doing so I become part of a group who are all automatically invited to his gigs, which are mostly in north London, where he lives but I do not.

I am extremely well-brought up so feel it's a little rude to not respond to an invitation, even if it is just to decline it. So I go to do that. A dialogue box poppeth up. "YOU ARE NOT GOING??!? Say why here..." or suchlike. The wording was less hysterical, I was more so. And yes, OK, you can skip doing so. But fucking hell, really? Talk about a needy website. I'm surprised it didn't then automatically email me saying that 'Tom Peacock Contact ISN'T TALKING TO YOU ANY MORE, harrumph'. Up yours, Facebook. Up yours to all hell.

My actual real-life Facebook page with a few subtle redactions

Here's another thing. Being a rather socially awkward person with crushingly low self-esteem, I find it hard to say no. If I say no, people will stop liking me and I will have no friends and die alone in a pool of my own tears and then my mortal remains will be used for medical experiments or very low-grade pies. (Yes, I know that this is patently absurd, but it's what my brain does automatically. Stop judging me. Or continue, just please don't stop liking me!)

Back in the day on the Wide Wide World of Webs, it was all messageboards. People could see what you wrote and you could see what they wrote. Sometimes you didn't WANT to, frankly. Some people are DICKS. Then, saints be praised! Twitter came along. Now you can build your own messageboard, a timeline of things being said by people who you want to hear from and nothing from people who bore you, or have uncomfortably exotic ideas about the Raj. Other people, too, can subscribe to your own ramblings. You don't have to do anything. People interested in your words can come and go as they wish, without your ever needing to know about it if you don't want to. The system works! Apart from obviously when it doesn't and that whale appears.

With Facebook, you get the dreaded thing. Friend request. Lionel Hhoops, the college roommate of the sister of your best friend when you were 7, wants to hear what you have to say. For a well-balanced person, that is easily dealt with. But I'm sat here now thinking, "listen pal, it's a miracle anyone tolerates you as it is, you arsehole... so who are you to reject the Hhoopster? One day it may just be you and Lionel once everyone else realises what a loser you are, up yours".

This is why I kind of hate Facebook but am still on it. Because it's not really Facebook's fault that I'm mental. All I'm saying is, it doesn't necessarily do anything to help me to reduce the amount of mental. Facebook is all right, but it makes me twitch.


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