Facebook: The Truth


A rollicking, roaring look at the madness of Facebook.


I used to consider myself a tolerant man, but after thinking about it for a few seconds, I realise I cannot be. Almost everything about everything makes no sense, and I must refuse to tolerate it.

Small and irrelevant things leave me incensed beyond reason. Blustery days, people who overuse condiments (Specifically Peri-Peri) and pale brown shoes with no laces.

So it seems consistent that the tone of this post is grim, and I am really trying to be jolly. My lip is falling off, and this tiny malfunction of my epidermis has galled me enough to leave me raging all day, and today Facebook will feel the sting of my steel toe capped boot of logic/justice.

I’m committing the entirety of this frivolous day to Facebook, simultaneously bemoaning myself for wasting the time, and laughing at the other losers who aren’t out doing somethingmore productive.

I cycle through endless reams of pictures of people I knew, know, or have never known, judging and sneering. Almost endlessly sneering.

The lunacy of it all when I find myself  staring endlessly through the infinite, talentless fashion show that are people’s profile pictures, analysing, critiquing, absorbing. Maybe I actually enjoy it? Twisted and morbid, like kicking a roadkill badger. (“It’s dead! It’s dead!”)

Logging out feels like being disconnected from the Matrix, and I’m unable to conceive any thoughts or feelings of my own for a good few minutes. It’s like endless white noise until the walls come back into focus.

I’m living a cyber-enhanced existence online, where my being is defined by the witty status updates or amusing sex scandal videos.

Damning myself for this laziness, I arise and dress properly, but decide not to leave, as me stepping into the nightmare outside is like a quivering baby deer, desperately trying to find my foothold on this insane, and real, more importantly, new world. It was foolish to try.

I occasionally see people that I ‘know’ on the Internet in real life, but I realise that far from networking me socially, Facebook has left me fearful of other humans, and so we ignore each other, both terrified.

Behind the safety of the screen, we’re all heroes, willing to give running commentary on people’s various miserable and soul destroying personal situations, offering commiserations we don’t mean, for reasons unknown. It makes celebrities out of the unintelligent and the tragically uninteresting.

It’s a world of boneheads and ball ticklers, masturbating the egos of the other Facebookers for mutual gratification and social progression.

The Cyber-urban jungle is a ruthless place, and one comment out of placed can unleash a torrent of hate so vengeful, you’ll beg for death before the end. (Exaggeration, mein freunds)

But you can and will be removed from groups and conversation streams. If things were that easy in real life, what would become of us? If uninteresting or conflicting people could simple be ‘removed’ from the conversation. Sweet, ruthless tyranny.

Something of the stalker always existed in this kind of website, and while many use it for innocent, old fashioned entertainment, (Jetman apparently) there are surely those who abuse it’s systems. Whether you’re leering perversely at the harlot next doors latest upskirt, or just sending harmless hate mail to your ex girlfriends new beaux, there is a sinister undercurrent to the whole thing.

Not unlike a launderette, fronting a black market financial operation. Wholesome at first, but don’t ask friendly Wang to lend you a fiver, you never know what kind of seedy world you might be stepping into.

It’s a deeply intrusive and emotionally wounding monster. Pleasant and humble people, at first, jack up for a fix of friend whoring and social networking, and soon end up voiding their emotional bowels for the world to sift through and criticise.

Publishing this news of one’s latest heartache is not too dissimilar to a child proudly pointing to his first turd when its parents are taking tea with the vicar.

Congratulations junior, seven new notifications, but couldn’t you have washed your hands before you fingered my quiche?

But, like good, harmless drones, we like and we comment, and approve of these quizzes and statistics, never truly believing them to have any actual significance in the modern world.

Twilight or True Blood? I don’t care.

GoT or LoTR? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Which member of The Saturdays would go on a date with you? Get out of my house and stay away from my family.

These questions aren’t interesting in real life so why do they become interesting on a computer?

I’ll tell you why, because like the mindless, foolish monkeys we are, bright lights, food pellets and a promise of delicious reward that will never come is utterly irresistible. Trying to resist our urge to do a quiz is like fighting gravity. Or bears. No, just bears.

So aside from finding out which movie character you are most like, or how many phantom crops you’ve cultivated on your pretend farm, the great social network also gives us the opportunity to see and speak to all of our distant relations and old friends again, as if that was ever the intention when they were brushed off so many years ago.

To salt the wound, it actively tells us when they were born so there’s no excuse for not sending them a gift, or at least recognising the event in some way.

And now everyone from your five year old niece, to you one hundred and five year old Grandmother is stalking the hallways of the internet, so there’s no escape from their wrath. They literally know whether or not you are ignoring their calls, broken up with your wife, eaten some good linguine, been hit by a passing bus, sodomised or all or none or some of the above.

So if you think your sloppy minded approach to Nana Jean’s birthday will go unnoticed, you’re sorely mistaken. Expect some pretty threatening wall posts, or worse still, a group message.

I even feel ridiculous talking about it. Herd me into an outhouse, and blow my vegetated brains out. I feel it’s the only way I’ll escape the beast.

Needless to say, it’s not somewhere to find any sort of peace, and can leave you feeling mentally and physically drained, raped of your own free will and vegetable-ised on the sofa. The sunshine is now an evil lamp, the winsome song of the birds is like a grievous knife wound to the ear.

But don’t fear, you’re still online, never speaking, the soft clacking of the keyboard the only friend you need.

I have found myself unable to speak following a good online fix, and have sat, comatose for hours thinking about other people’s profiles and whether their awful child ate mince, or how their shift went knuckling chickens, or their uninteresting opinions on The Only Way Is Essex.

But, despite all this idiocy, I’m still online, unable to tear myself away from the mindless relaxation of my electrical heroin.

Sweet inanity, I’m home!

Far from networking me socially, it has transformed me into what is practically, a friendless, snide, sardonic Internet user, bemoaning reality and excitedly awaiting my next hard tag.


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