I’m feeling all controversial and feisty today, blame it on the niggly backache I have from sitting slumped at my desk with the most unsupportive chair in the house, either way, I fancy a rant to get things off my chest, and by things I mean Facebook bashing. Is it really that bad?
I put my hands up and admit I’m from a slightly biased position to be writing this, being a social media manager by trade and all that, but I’ve watched story after news story slating the one thing which, in most likeliness, brought you to read this post and it got me thinking, it is all bad. Should I be deleting Facebook?
So what is it that we/the media really hate about the big F? Because I’m struggling to see how the negatives outweigh the positives. Let’s just take a minute here to step out of the ring and look at it from all angles.
So what is Facebook?
In it’s most basic terms it’s a diary of what you’re thinking and what you’ve been doing, it’s also total voyeurism. As well as showcase our most egocentric streak, we can do the most epic research projects on whoever we darn well fancy thanks to this platform. During my dating days, my bestie and I would use Facebook as our first port of call to delve into the deepest, darkest pasts of potential dates. You call it stalking, we called it vetting. And if they don’t have a Facebook account, do they even exist?
girls can’t find a place to eat, but give them Facebook and they can find out the exact height, blood type and family tree of a girl you held hands with when you were 7
(quote coutesy of @TheFemaleThoughts)
Yes, it’s had a slapped wrists on the data protection front lately, I stopped any worry I had over having a Facebook account by reminding myself ‘if you ain’t got nothing to hide why worry?’ And while it’s a little creepy that something which you’ve searched for on Google shows up the next day on a Facebook ad, at least you’re not being bombarded by adverts enticing you to buy something you have no interest or purpose for.
And what about how it connects people, people who you haven’t seen in years, those you’ve lost touch with or friends and family living far away. My personal Facebook account looks somewhat sparse if I’m honest, but there’s a good reason for this. People use it for varying reasons, me personally; I have no need to show the world how popular I am. With age has come an acceptance that not everyone will like you and you can’t change that, what’s important is that the people I like, like me back. I’m pretty nonchalant on the popularity thing and filtered out fake friends years ago, which is where I kinda stand on the adding friends to my account thing. Call it selective processing.
I decided a few years ago that I had no need to connect with people who I barely knew. I removed those who couldn’t raise a simple hello if I saw them in the street – my reasoning; why would I want you to be looking at photos of me and my kids at Christmas & birthdays if you look the other way in real life. My time is precious and I really don’t care where Billy, who I met once when he went out with my mate Gilly 7 years ago, went on holiday (not real names btw.) We have no connection in real life and certainly don’t need to have one in the virtual one. I look at people who have 300+ friends on their accounts and think why? Not oh shit, I’m a loner. Is it really a status symbol of popularity? Anything over 500 must be a full-time job, surely?
Maybe it’s just me who has an exclusive VIP Facebook account? I hope my Facebook friends who are reading this feel privileged, you should be!
Anyway, I’ve digressed, point is, use it wisely and it won’t get you in trouble, waste your time or make you feel inadequate.
I have 2 nieces in their 20’s who I haven’t seen in years, we live many miles apart and yet I still feel I know them as I’ve followed them and watched them grow through Facebook. I’m reminded about funny or amazing things which happened years ago on my Timehop and all those photos I’ve taken on my phone and lost over the years are right there on Facebook at the touch of a button.
My closest friends from school, the ones who I shared many memories with, are on my list. I still like them, I don’t want to lose contact with them and when we do get to meet up, sometimes years apart, it’s because of Facebook. Besides, how am I going to recognise them if I see them in the street? I’m pretty sure none of us look the same as we did back in the day. *Note to self, if I do recognise them and they start walking the other way very quickly, remember to go press delete.
So take Facebook for what it is. A place to keep in touch with the people you want to keep in touch with, a place to share your triumphs, good news and have a little rant when you need to reach out (hint – that’s where only having true Facebook friends helps. Do you really want to be revealing your darkest days to people who barely know you? They won’t be as forgiving as those who know/knew you & will just think you’re a total moaning misery guts ; )
And if you still think it’s a total conspiracy theory, then you can always press delete and waste your toilet breaks over on Instagram.
If you do though, just remember though, there’s nothing a good filter can’t hide.
< rubs hands excitedly at the thought of writing an Instagram bashing post>