After disdaining Facebook from afar ever since my daughters starting obsessing over it 4 years ago, I joined up 3 weeks ago so I could disdain it up close.
I was not disappointed.
After I completed the signup process, the first person suggested to me as a Friend (as opposed to a l/c friend, who is someone you actually know and like and see from time to time) was my 75-year old former boss from the ‘80s, now living la vida loca in Boca. Facebook had clearly jumped the shark long before my sad 57-year old self signed up.
I went to my Homepage?/Room?/Place?/Wall? and gazed in wonderment at the spectacle unfolding before my eyes. I felt guilty and ashamed—but not enough to keep me from scrolling, mesmerized, through the idle thoughts of current employees, bikini photos of ex-employees and the minute-by-minute documentation of all these people’s lives.
It would be easy to think, Jesus, who cares? Except that each dispatch—“Just got back from the dentist.” “Psyched for the weekend!!!” “Having ramen for dinner.”—is greeted with a chorus of thumbs-up validating comments.
I felt like Shelly Duvall’s character in The Shining when she discovers the bat-shit crazy stuff Jack Nicholson’s been writing all this time. The horror!
Three weeks rummaging through this dumpster of compromising pictures, coma-inducing reportage and rampant narcissism lead me to these conclusions:
1. People have way too much time on their hands.
2. Facebook is an irony-free zone. It may be a relatively new medium, but it’s about as edgy and cynical as Lutheran Bible camp.
3. Using a Facebook Wall to talk to someone is like using a Predator Drone to conduct diplomacy.
4. When your client, regardless of category or target demographic, asks you whether they should have a Faebook “presence” (the word itself is a dead giveaway), say No.
Regarding the latter, I used to say No without having ever been on Facebook myself. Now I can say No with much greater confidence. And, because I’d never ask a client to do something I wouldn’t do myself, I’m de-Friending?Listing?Booking? myself today.