Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What I Hate About Facebook

Before Facebook, I had an idea about my generation (X, that is). Publically, I abhorred the idea that we were being "labeled." But in my heart I kind of dug the label. Because what is X if not something unquantifiable? It's pretty cool.

But then I joined Facebook and hooked up with a bunch of ghosts from the past, namely Friendwhores who happened to go to my high school. I'm an old softy from way back and I found I couldn't resist someone who wanted to be my friend, even someone who for all intents and purposes was a complete stranger to me.

Well, today, I unfriended someone for the first time. This asshat, let me call him "Brent," would fall into the "complete stranger" category. And his status updates would alternate between the very banal to Howard Stern-lite type remarks. For example, one day he would say, "I have to stop treating my body like an amusement park." Then next day: "Happiness is mostly a byproduct of doing what makes us feel fulfilled."

In fact that last remark is what finally gave me the courage to jettison him from my Friends list. If I wanted to hear that kind of bullshit pablum, I'd go hang out at the flea market and read the appliqued sweatshirts or country-style wooden signs. Also, the amusement park remark was not even clever enough to be entertaining. it was too obvious.

These type of status updates beg the questions: Where is the profundity? Where is the irony? On Blogger, that's where.

I guess I blame blogging for having my expectations set too high. Bloggers of a certain age are so much more like what I imagine my generation is like. And having run into so many like minded bloggers who started off as strangers for the most part, I was given over to the assumption that most people my age who are online are exactly the type of people I'd point to and say: there's a fellow Gen-X-er! Sadly, many of the people who find themselves in my graduating class are cheesy and outwardly wholesome-sounding and don't represent themselves well as cynical, frustrated, unmotivated slackers I expected them to be.



  1. I agree with you. My favourite fb status update "I'm making chicken pot pie with peas & carrots. Hope my hubby likes it." She puts up stuff like that regularly. I haven't unfriended her yet becasue sort of like a car crash I just can't keep myself from looking to see what further banality she will post.

    Bloggers, at least the ones I have encountered, are thoughtful, sarcastic and hilarious whether they are discussing toilet training or politics.

  2. Agreed.

    Then again, my status update yesterday was about how much I wanted pancakes, so maybe I shouldn't say anything.

  3. I can handle weird/poor status updates, but when I get the 14th request to help find somebody's cow, well, sometimes you just have to block a friend.

  4. My best friend once bought the best country style wooden sign I've ever seen: "Unattended children will be given espresso and a free puppy."

  5. Hi. Total stranger here, came over from Monkey's because of your post title - I'm sorta kinda half-assedly collecting fb v blogger v twitter posts and wanted to read your take.

    I've had the same sort of experience with some of the high school bunch. It can be disheartening.

    But I am also on of those who looks for cows, so...

    Agreed Blogger raises the bar - but how much profundity, irony, etc. can one cram into a status update?

  6. Cid: Bloggers definately give you more bang for your buck, but oversharers can be great too.

    BeckEye: But your banal is not still bring it to Facebook, yo!

    SD: Egad! I hope that's not a warning.

    Red: That's great! I've seen that sign at Trader Joes as an actual sign (not for sale).

    Megan: Thanks for stopping! You might also want to check out one post down about how Blogging may be going the way of the 78 record. Regarding you last point...I was hoping for just a little irony in status updates...

  7. Never unfriended anyone (yet), but I did find that handy "hide" feature so I don't have to see certain people's updates.

    Haven't been around the blogosphere in a while. Hope you, Doc, & all are doing well. :-)

  8. Facebook is a place for people to vent brain farts, and I'm guilty of such on occasion.

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