Facebook or die? - Page 3

After I quit the social networking site, I woke up with a pep in my step, as if I'd just retired after 70 years of service at a meat-packing plant, with a huge marijuana, cat, and vibrator pension in the Bahamas

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So like the stately albatross who knows in an instant she must fly east, or the lone soldier instinctively shifting course, I knew deep in my body the time to go was now (or maybe after posting two weeks of heartbreaking farewells).

Of course, the unexpected threat of dismemberment also helped speed my departure.

Alleged friend Louise Haghole showed up at my house last Friday night, unwittingly interrupting a super-juicy, hot-button Facebook gangbang that had placed me against 20 or so misinformed assholes, one of whom called me "stupid." Stupid! Well, I never! Haghole sat at the kitchen table drinking wine and listening to me as I plotted the harshest kick to the balls.

"Oh, maybe I should wait until the morning to bring up misogyny — after they've slept on all my points. That way they'll never know what hit 'em. Or — "

"Sit down, Roberta!" shouted Haghole. "You touch that computer and I'll hack your arms off. It is the only way to keep you away."

"Well, hmph!" was the best I could manage because, goddammit, Haghole was right: Nothing would stop me from battling for the last word — over and over again — except the complete removal of my arms. And that just seemed kind of sad.

And I thought, "Who the fuck are these people, anyway?" Whoever they were, they bore no significance whatsoever to my everyday life, and yet, here I was having a full-blown panic attack. I was mortified.

The eve I revealed plans for immediate departure, I received a litany of pathetic pleadings and hysterical OMG/WTFs. They all cried, "Don't do it, Roberta!" "That's too drastic," and "How could you leave?" — as if this was a real place.

And I thought, "Really, guys? I mean, it's just Facebook. We haven't maxed out on human invention yet, have we?"

Later that evening, after one last romp across the clean blue-and-white screen, I permanently deleted my account. To be specific, I started the deletion process — there's a 14-day grace period, during which you can always change your mind, baby.

I woke up the next morning with a pep in my step, as if I'd just retired after 70 years of service at a meat-packing plant, with a huge marijuana, cat, and vibrator pension in the Bahamas. The very real stress of constant communication evaporated overnight, and suddenly I could fully relax. From now on, I could spend every online moment reading about LiLo on Dlisted.

But after a few days of silence — aside from a haphazard speakerphone conversation with Haghole, who wondered if I'd moved out of town — I realized that I'd completely fallen off the face of the earth. Clean disappeared. I didn't know shit about anything — like who was DJing at the Nordstrom Rack happy hour, who hated Tuesdays in addition to Mondays, and who was still verklempt about that nasty oil-spill fish massacre. And no one bothered to call, e-mail or text — none of them. I had returned to the pre-Facebook level of socializing — which meant only hearing from the same crusty old scabs you can't ever get rid of. Come to think of it, those people were eerily absent, too.

I began to notice that, although life still had some meaning, it lacked all poignancy. For what good is seeing a hummingbird fluttering in the bright yellow sun if you can't instantly manhandle the moment into a corny update? And who cares if you're depressed, lost, or oversexed if you can't insinuate it on Facebook and then reap the empty reward of "Oh, I feel you" feedback from 500 million strangers?

Comments

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2010 @ 9:15 am

I love this article, brilliant, insightful. But if I tell you so in a brief comment instead of getting on with my work, I am participating in the same condemned activity! Therefore, I must stop now and start working on my Mona Lisa.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

You should have been more selective about who you "friended" on facebook. If you were involved in "motionally ruinous fights about burritos'" you allowed the petty types into your circle. Even if your fb friends were real life friends, to fight over such minor things in life like deviled eggs, clearly you must take some of the blame.

A fight is like a tango, it takes two. If you don't want to fight, don't. If you are insulted by someone's comment or wall post, delete it and forget it. Remember it is cyberspace where communication is done with a handicap.

When you are face to face you can read a person's body language, hear inflection in their voice, and interpret their tone. New media, email, text messaging, facebook, use strictly words to communicate.

Let's face it, most of the world has no writing skills. Most people can't spell or can't use spell check, you can't expect them make comments about your status so you know they are kidding around. LOL works sometimes, but not always. Most times you get in a fight with someone it's because you or they misunderstood the message. They failed to read between the lines.

As the more savvy one, you must keep your head, never forget that you are better than that. Rise above it. Take a breath and let it go. If you're offended by their bad spelling, correct them.

I always give the correct spelling in a comment to them. Most times I am thanked and they always spell that word the right way from then on. Why leave them ignorant? Show them the light.

If someone wants to fight, send them a private message. Doing it in public for all to see is bad form. YOU look bad. Like an accident on the freeway, everyone slows down to look. That's good if you are a drama queen. It simply looks ugly to the rest of us.

If you must tussle, take it outside, do it in private. That way no one knows about it. You resolve the issue. You remain friends and you both keep face. The rest of us can enjoy facebook without be subjected to silly arguments over nothing, like burritos and deviled eggs.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

Yes, yes yes!!! Now off to post this article on facebook, to the 93 people I actually know, in person. Tiresome in my practicality, yes, but there is only so much time in one day.

One word of advice on how to manage social networks, so they don't consume you.

Ignore!

"Remove" is a good one too.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 27, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

Roberta we miss you!!! Come back!!!
Why don't you just use a pseudonym or something?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2010 @ 7:09 pm

There's a life after Facebook. Don't go back

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

All those vicious jibes weren't exactly time wasted if it's got you back to writing your column again...do not miss you on Facecrack a bit...when's the book coming then ?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2010 @ 3:58 am

oh Seawhore u old sea dog. we will always have "the flotilla". its not exactly Paris but............ cant believe u went back to old media, i read about it online. probably wont see u in the real world because u wont get the FB invite. LK

Posted by Guest on Dec. 02, 2010 @ 9:34 am

I'd friend her if she was still on FB

Posted by Guest on Jan. 28, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

Dearest Many, Many Millions of Fans:

The pressure has been too great. And weakness is my thing -- unless I'm playing gin rummy. I cannot lie -- I have rejoined Facebook, but only for the humble purpose of communicating with my dear ailing aunt, who lives in a tiny village in a remote RV park in Croatia and needs me to keep her abreast of everything important, like the camel toe I got today while trying on pants and the rate of canned beets at Best Buy.

Don't hate me. Just love me. Like Jesus, I am occasionally weak. (Wait -- he DID fuck that whore, right?) Uhm.

Roberta

PS -- I also quit smoking pot and drinking. Everything is now a lie.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 09, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

It's true, social networking websites have become an integral part of many people's lives...
Very ironic and funny article, you did a good job!

Posted by Freeware PDF Editor on Oct. 13, 2011 @ 6:29 am

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