April 22, 2013

Why Facebook Is The Worst Social Network

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What is the issue?

There’s nothing worse in the digital world than Facebook.

Twitter is the world’s stream of consciousness. Tumblr is a wonderland of gifs, funny pictures, and blogs. Pinterest is an ever-evolving museum of recipes and unique items. Instagram is a digital window into worlds unexplored.

What is Facebook?

Facebook helps people stay in touch with old friends and acquaintances. But what “in touch” means is open to interpretation. That is to say, people don’t really connect on Facebook. The social network isn’t about communication so much as it’s about reading through trite statuses, stalking old (and new) crushes, and suffering through idiotic, overused memes.

On Facebook, people try to topple foreign dictators by sharing a photo or two. People try to save a little girl’s life by liking a status. Corporate brands act in condescending ways, posting gimmicky statuses in order to boost engagement statistics — “Like” and they’ll donate imaginary dollars to charity!

But Facebook is horrible for more than just being a timewaster and a dumping ground for pointless crap. There’s a personal aspect to its vapidity.

Status updates trigger one of three responses: apathy, annoyance, and existential malaise.

“OMG I got SO drunk this weekend but idc cuz YOLO!” Yawn.

“If you outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns!” Get the fuck out.

“Out with the boyfriend and then first day of the great, cool, high-paying job tomorrow!” Your great life made me realize how horrible mine is; I wish I hadn’t been born.

Facebook is a den of cheesy “I’m preggo” announcements, event invites that you have not the slightest intention of responding to, shitty game requests, feigned interest, humblebragging and self-doubt.

It’s a place for people to boast about how amazing they are — about how they have the greatest career, the greatest friends and the greatest family. It’s a place to find out that the bully who used to beat you senseless now makes more money in a year than you will in your lifetime. It’s a place to find out that the girls/boys you liked in high school and college still don’t like you and never will.

Facebook is a mirror except instead of seeing your flesh and bones, you see projections of your own iniquity. You see the failed decisions you made. You see romantic endeavours you should’ve — or wish you could’ve — pursued. You see the paths you should’ve followed. You see the people you wish you had never known, and you see the people you wish you’d have known better.

Fortunately, the next generation will seemingly avoid the ineffaceable horrors of the Facebook monster; they’re bored with the social network and are fleeing from it.

But it’s too late for the Millennials. The damage has already been done to us.

We joined Facebook when we were young and stupid, spellbound by the resplendent royal blue and pearl white insignia, as well as by the promise that Facebook would never go the way of Myspace. It would always be cool, it would always be fun and magnificent.

Facebook hasn’t fallen into ruin like Myspace did, but it has long outlived its prime. It’s not cool anymore — everyone and their mother has one so you can’t even be yourself on it without offending someone — and when life moves on from high school and actions start to really matter, Facebook stops being fun and becomes a monument to your failures and everyone else’s triumphs. TC mark


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