So Last week I pulled a big lever that deactivated my personal Facebook account. I took the red pill and unplugged myself from the matrix. Sure I'm going to miss staring vacantly at my news feed eight hours a day as amusing pictures of cats and unamusing pictures of peoples babies hone into view. Yeah I'll shed a tear for the pointless status updates warning us about how Facebook was selling our private lives down the river and we need to change this setting, forward this status to ten friends and dance under a full moon dressed as a Hopi Indian. Good bye tagging, poking and perving I'm off to be more imaginative with my procrastination.
I have made no meaningful friendships through Facebook. Since joining in 2008 there have been countless Friday or Saturday nights where I have stayed in due to not having anything to do, this despite having 900+ friends. I haven't got laid through Facebook, despite logging on at two in the morning drunk on several occasions. I've seen plenty of pictures of people having great nights out on Facebook but I haven't had a great night out with Facebook. "Yeah I was at a club on my own and I logged into Facebook on my phone so I was with my 900 Facebook friends. I didn't get a chance to enjoy the night as I was updating my statuses as everyone else was on Facebook not at the club." It's never asked me down the pub. When I split up with my girlfriend all Facebook wanted to do was tag pictures of her having a good time with other guys and show me status updates about how well things were going for her. If anything it took her side.
When your life is going badly (as it often has been in the last four years in my case) the last thing you want to hear is how well everyone else's is going. It's bad enough finding out someone you know has got a promotion or is getting married now you are privy to the joy of some virtual hanger on you've never met in real life too. Where once one could happily sit and imagine how badly everyone else's lives were going now thanks to Facebook nothing is left to the imagination. It is plain to see that everyone is doing better than you. Before we lived lives of quiet desperation now we lead lives of pointless status updates.
And friend is definitely the wrong term for people you know on Facebook. It's more of a friendship simulator, the feeling of friendship as if manufactured in Taiwan or programmed on a spectrum ZX by a serial killer. Great if you don't have any friends in real life, are a travelling door-to-door salesman or a lizard. Also asking someone "Do they want to be your friend" was fine at nursery school, aged thirty two not so much yet on Facebook you get about ten of these requests a week.
Until your laptop can dispense alcohol intravenously, you can stick your penis into a girls profile and Facebook can recreate the atmosphere of a night bus socializing on a computer is never going to come close to the real thing. I'm all for computers helping us with a finite set of arithmetic and logical operations but lets leave socializing on them to World Of War Craft players and blow up doll owners.
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