A Facebook intervention

According to a poll by CNN.com, some 53% of us have a Facebook page. This doesn’t shock me, because anyone who has the time or inclination to go online, read CNN, and respond to an online poll, probably has three or four hours to kill customizing and managing their own Facebook page.

And there’s the rub. Facebook is like a pleasant distraction that soon becomes a relentless addiction for those who, like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, started off as earnest human beings living normal interactive lives with other normal human beings, but ultimately become slave drones in a nether world to an insatiable cannibal of their time, attention, energy and souls.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But if you didn’t have a great time with the cliques, popularity contests, achievement anxieties, competition, appearance comparisons, gossip, embarrassing surprises, and judgmental attitudes of high school, chances are you aren’t going to enjoy those attitudes or occurrences any better in this new, improved online yearbook version of your best or worst year at high school.

And God forbid you have anything less than 50 friends.

Facebook is like some diabolical global online game of Sardines in a Can, where you’re a nobody or an outsider in this universe until someone says ‘Pssst’ and you find where everyone is hiding, and then you are compelled to go and hide in plain sight with them.

And if you choose not to spend your time there, in that place where all these formerly familiar faces are huddling and conspiring, you will be made to feel that slightly uneasy feeling so prevalent and unpleasant back in those same high school years known as … peer pressure.

Worse than that, if you try to ignore it, they’ll ‘chat’ about you anyway through private instant messages filtered with the same degree of cliquish exclusion and airs of superiority.

Of course, if you actually enjoyed high school, this all comes as manna from heaven.

But for the rest of us, and provided as a public service, here are the …

Top Ten Excuses to Not Join Facebook

10. You stopped doing peer pressure in high school.

9. You prefer old or distant friends remember you as you were, not as you are (and vice versa).

8. You are in the witness protection program.

7. You didn’t USE protection many years ago and don’t want to suddenly find out you have a teenager looking you up. Or a biological half-sister from the mother who previously gave you up for adoption.

6. In basketball lingo, ‘Face!’ is an insult challenge meaning, “top this, motherf—–r” (so maybe it IS actually the same thing when you’re keeping score by posting 500 refrigerator photos of your friends, family, kids and grandchildren).

5. You already spend far too much time on a computer at YOUR FULL TIME JOB.

4. Your future career or stature could suffer greatly from the photos of you drunk and half naked in Cabo with a penguin wearing a strap-on tattooed on your ass.

3. The last time you tried to upload an image jpg file, you erased your hard drive instead.

2. You’re too busy creating new memories to cyber scrapbook older ones.

And the number one excuse for not joining Facebook …

1. You own a telephone.


Please post your own excuses or Facebook horror stories if you don’t see them here.

— A. Wayne Carter

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2 Responses to “A Facebook intervention”

  1. Rufor says:

    Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.

  2. newspapersstillmatter says:

    Here’s a good one from a cover story in the Life section of USA Today that basically points out you are being used as an adspace tool to make someone else money. – WC

    “The application (Facebook) is not programmed to bring you a friend. The application is programmed to make money, and they make money by data mining and by selling virtual ads.”
    – Communications professor Michael Bugeja
    Iowa State University

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