Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More Things I Wish Would Disappear From Facebook

Waaaay back in January of this year, I wrote a post about things that I wished would disappear from facebook.  In an example of the social network being put to good use, some of my friends shared the post, and it became mildly popular!  Friends supporting friends on facebook: so easy to do, yet so often not done.  (Thank you to all who shared any of my previous posts!)

While I doubt my blog, which I would consider to still be in its infantile stage, holds much sway over the goings-on we see every day in our feeds, I haven't seen as much of any of the three things I griped about last time.  So, I'm going to go ahead and take credit for that anyway.  You're welcome, facebook users.

Realistically, I'd say I've seen less of the grumpy cat meme (it's still there though) and even less of the "click 'like' if you love your mom" bullshit because they were fads that people got sick of sharing.  And since there haven't been any newsworthy mass shootings or embarrassing scandals for people to use as 'proof' that their political beliefs are solid facts that only idiots would disagree with, I've seen less of that too.  Mostly it's been stuff about meteorites hitting Russia and people who love/hate Valentine's Day expressing how much they love/hate Valentine's Day.

Maybe when super-powered Soviets start happening as a result of the space rock smack-down, that will become the new big thing to overtake my feed, but since that hasn't happened yet (that we know of), today I'll focus on some facebook behavior that has puzzled and bothered me pretty much since I signed up.

1. Pictures of Food

I get it.  We're a culture that loves food almost as much as we love sex and roughly equivalent to the amount we love sports matches.  We all love going out to eat, and we all love home-cooked meals (if they're of higher quality than my mom's infamous lump of meat in flavorless water that she insisted was 'pot roast').  And some of us, as we've gotten older, have realized that the reason it's hard to walk up the steps now is because we've survived mostly on frozen pizza since we moved out of our parents' houses.  Some of us have taken the wonderful initiative to avoid health problems and overly-crowded freezers that require the ice cube trays to be inserted at strange angles by cooking our own meals out of real ingredients.  I approve of this bold life choice, and I encourage anyone who thinks they can't cook to buy a crock pot and learn some simple recipes.

I can understand why people would proudly post pictures of their culinary creations on facebook, especially if they're just starting to explore the world of flavorful meals that don't cause you to poop way too much.  But that doesn't mean I want to see every plateful of every dinner you prepare.  Basically my stance is: if you're not inviting me to eat some of it or bringing some of it to me, I don't give a damn what you're putting in your mouth.

There's a funny thing about food.  Usually it doesn't look as good as it tastes, especially when it's photographed.  That's why there's a whole industry that specializes in airbrushing food or creating fake food to use in advertisements that appear in print and on television.  Perhaps you're snapping pics of your organic eggplant and goat cheese souffle to show off how great it is, but to me it just looks like a plate of different colored mush.  I don't need to see that!

I do, however, find some rare exceptions.  If the food really does look awesome, such as a cake decorated to look like a badass haunted house, then I might click 'like'.  Yesterday a friend posted a picture of a taco dip with peppers arranged on top to look like an 8-bit Super Mario.  Taco dip is awesome.  Super Mario is awesome (even though I'd rather work for his nemesis).  Put those two things together and you deserve the warm feeling you get when people 'like' your posts.  But for the most part, just put the food in your mouth and shut up about it.  I don't need to see it or read about it.

2. Correcting Comments with More Comments

One of my favorite occurrences on facebook is when one of my own or one of my friends' posts leads to a whole slew of funny comments.  These types of threads often make my day, and thankfully they happen quite often since a lot of my close friends are comedians.  Just as often, my friends that have no comedic training throw in their own bits of humor, too, and the original post becomes some kind of comedy patchwork quilt (which sounded way less corny in my head before I typed it.)  Sometimes I regret not saving such threads, but saving even funny conversations might qualify as somewhat creepy.  I'll think about it some more when I'm sitting in my van across the street from your house later.

When people are furiously pounding the keyboard to join in on a funny thread or to express their outrage at a bogus rumor that hasn't been fact-checked, they're bound to make typos from time to time.  Mistakes happen.  We're all human (except the small percentage of friends that I suspect are cyborgs).

What makes no sense to me is that many people choose to correct their mistakes with another comment.  Suppose a person types "LOL! That made me shit my paints with laughter!!!" beneath a picture of a cat making a grumpy face.  This person realizes his/her mistake just a fraction of a second too late, and the typo is now on display on the information superhighway.  Often times the person will correct themselves with a second comment that says "*pants", just in case anybody gets confused and thinks that cans of paint were crapped in as a result of a hilarious cat pic.  This would be a perfectly acceptable solution if facebook didn't have a feature that allows you to edit or delete your own posts.

Yep, that's on there.  And if you didn't know it was on there, here's how to use it:  Hover your mouse anywhere over your comment that you want to edit.  A tiny picture of a pencil (or maybe it's a lipstick?) pops up in the upper right-hand corner of your post.  You can choose to either edit or delete your comment, thus avoid looking silly by having to post a correction comment, or being horrifyingly embarrassed when you make a second error in your correction comment.

I don't use a mobile facebook app on my phone when I'm out of the house, because if I'm out of the house either I have shit to do or I'm with friends that I'd like to engage in human interaction with, so I don't know how the edit/delete function works on your iPhones and Androids.  But if you're bored enough wherever you are that you're scrolling through your facebook feed, see #3...

3. Status Updates Proclaiming That You're Bored

My thoughts on boredom, and people who often claim that they're bored, is best summed up in a quote by Louis C.K.:

"'I'm bored' is a useless thing to say.  I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you've seen none percent of.  Even the inside of your mind is endless.  It goes on forever, inwardly.  Do you understand?  The fact that you're alive is amazing, so you don't get to say 'I'm bored.'"

One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite comedians expresses my thoughts on boredom in a way that I wouldn't have ever thought to word it.  And this sort of reasoning is why I'll never understand why somebody would be sitting in front of a piece of technology that gives them access to unlimited sources of fascinating information, not to mention millions of sources of entertainment, and choose to spend their time with this technology by telling the world that they're bored.

To that I say, "Horsefeathers!"

If you're bored, read an article on Cracked.com or your favorite blog.  Download some new music (legally, so the artist gets his .00000004 cent royalty payment).  Watch a video for cryin' out loud!  If you're on facebook, you have internet access.  If you have internet access, you shouldn't be bored.  There will never come a day when you've seen everything that's on the internet.  Just the amount of porn alone would probably fill hundreds of lifetimes.  Sexy, sexy lifetimes.

Not only that, but there's tons of stuff to do that doesn't involve being hunched over in front of a computer.  You could read a book.  Watch a movie.  Go outside and breathe the relatively fresh air while we still have that.  And if you don't look like Daniel Craig, then you should be exercising.  (Did I just imply that even women should look like Daniel Craig?  Maybe I did, internet, maybe I did.)

In summary: nobody cares about what you're having for brunch, it's unnecessary to correct comments with more comments, and there's no excuse for announcing that you're bored.  These are three facebook behaviors that can and should go away.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to check out the new images on ChicksWhoLookLikeDanielCraig.com.

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