Guest post by Brian Guthmann
I’m writing this diatribe on the merits of Facebook rather hastily not because I’m busy, but more along the lines of limited interest. Admittedly, that’s a poor way to start an article, as the reader/writer relationship is already delicate.
Is that a better beginning? As my firefighting, Ottawa Valley Twang-speaking apartment-mate would say, a little hyperbole never hurt anyone. Well, he actually said, “ain’t too shabby to give’r too hard,” but I figured a preemptive translation was necessary (note: keep this in mind during the last couple paragraphs, and by “this”, I mean the hyperbole line, not the Ottawa thing).
You know that feeling of isolation derived from fifty nine fellow classmates staring (in a state of confusion, condescension, and fear) directly at you simply because the professor just called you out for being the one kid in class lacking a Facebook account. You don’t. You have a Facebook account.
That moment, and the ensuing months of notoriety akin to the Elephant Man’s, resulted in the motivation for the words you are currently reading. Being that I’ve already “wasted” 150 or so of the 400 words that you, the precious reader, has in your scientifically-studied, ADHD-fueled brain, I figure I should probably get on with it. To make the last sentence more clear: because of your inability to read an entire page of carefully-composed journalism, I have to compromise any remaining creative output in order to satisfy some editor attempting to satisfy you. Fuck it.
Facebook. Let’s go.
1. Zuckerberg is using you to gather information and then whore it out to advertisers. But everybody already knows this, and if you don’t…so be it.
2. I don’t want all the dumb shit I’ve said/done to be archived for eternity. But you’ve probably already considered this as well…so I’ll just kill the list and move on to the only point that actually affected my decision to resist Facebook: the value of relationships.
3. By participating in social networking, we sacrifice the core of our existence: social interaction, relationships, community love, friends, family, and conversation; all of which have been jeopardized in an unfortunately successful attempt to supplement these components of our livelihood with what we see on a computer screen. Many Gen-Y couples find themselves spending more time together online than in person, and many parents have entered the Facebook arena, “catching up” with past lovers, but these are not the central focuses of what I’m trying to get across. Personal, real-life interactions can never be replicated, no matter how advanced the technology. The voyeurism and vanity of profile pages undermines the complexity of relationship development: familiarity precedes conversation.
As a current university student, the original separation from everything I had come to know presented itself as a frightening phase in my life. But rather than fill the void created by geographic distance with the internet, I elected to withhold from social networking and patiently wait for my return home. Why? Because when I came home, every interaction I had—be it with my family, my friends, or even acquaintances—became heightened. Just spending time with people, catching up, and connecting on a deeper level rather than “liking” one of their statuses, was enough to keep me entertained.
You know that feeling when you see someone for the first time in months, say, “It’s been so long!” and then realize you have nothing to talk about because you Facebook chatted the night before? I don’t because I’m not on Facebook.
Cassie says: looking to expand your social horizons or connect with people you barely know or knew 10 years ago? Want to creep on your ex’s new thang? Stop wasting your time and get your free Facebook account today!