A friend of mine on Facebook (an actual friend not just a Facebook friend- I know this because we WhatsApp too) messaged me the other day and asked me why I hadn’t ‘liked’ or commented or shown some sort of emoji to a memory of a photo of us that she had shared and tagged me in. I couldn’t believe how needy she was being. Then I remembered it’s 2017, social media likes and shares and comments and followers is how we seek validation. John Lennon said, ‘All we need is Love’. No John, we don’t need Love, all we need is Likes. On Facebook.
She seemed genuinely upset. She said everyone else had commented but I hadn’t. I sighed. If you tell me to do something I’m even less likely to do it. Does she not know me at all? To get me to do anything you have to make me think I’m doing it of my own freewill. For example, if you tell me not to drink too much wine, ‘I will be like fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.’ What you should say is, ‘Hey, Zahra did you know that a glass of wine has the same amount of calories as three crispy creams.’ Bingo. Suddenly, I’m sipping the San Pellegrino like its water.
“It is water.”
“Oh yeah. Well, it’s been through a soda stream.”
“But it’s still water.”
“No, its not still water, its sparkling.”
“Mate, we’re writing a blog here. This isn’t a space for the two voices in your head to have a conversation.”
“Oh yeah, sorry.”
So, my friend was upset about me not publicly displaying my affection for our friendship via the medium of Facebook.
‘I love that photo!’ I replied. ‘Well show it publicly.’ she quipped back. I begrudgingly did as I was told but also told her that the reason I hadn’t was because I am in the process of dramatically reducing my Facebook intake. I’m trying to not be so much of a user. I’m essentially on Facebook methadone right now. I’m getting the same high as the real stuff but it’s regulated and I have to go to my GP every day at 9am to get my Fix. It’s the only place I can get reception.
I hate Facebook so much. It really is a crock load of shit. I properly hate it. It’s the metamorphosis of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’, except it’s even worse because today we are supposed to be ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ which is even harder. The other day I watched an episode which was so dire I ended up punching myself repeatedly in the face. This actually worked out quite well because my lips swelled up so much I looked like Kylie Jenner.
Facebook is cock swinging, it’s A Thatcherite Ideology – it’s not society, it’s the individual. It gives ordinary people a voice. It makes normal people feel like they are valid and valued. How can that be a good thing? Being on Facebook is like living like Jim Carey from The Truman Show. It gives people too much attention, it gives them a soapbox. It makes people think they’re special. We are not special. No one is. Well apart from Meghan Markle. She’s so special a Prince wants to marry her! An actual Prince! She’s landed on her feet. It must be hard for Prince Harry to know whether she is genuinely with him because she loves him or she’s just got with him to get a Visa. I mean she’s American, she obviously wants to get away from Trump, I don’t blame her. Talking of women marrying men for a Visa it’s important not to brand all women with that brush, not all women do that, my Mum married my Dad, not for a Visa, for his MasterCard.
But my point is no one is special. Not really. But Facebook makes people think they are. Even if you’re Jesus, who a lot of people think of as special, but even Jesus wouldn’t warrant a Facebook page. If Jesus had a Facebook it would be just as shit as everyone else’s. I imagine he’d be a Jeremy Corbyn loving, Trump hating, Anti Brexit Liberal Feminist and he’d share articles from Huffington post about Malala and global warming. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I’m a Jeremy Corbyn, Trump hating, Anti Brexit Liberal Feminist myself. But even I’m bored of people using Facebook to share their political agendas and opinions. I long for the days when people used to share what they were having for dinner. Those were the good old days. Now it’s just people you love arguing. It takes me back to my childhood. Going on Facebook and seeing friends bickering about Brexit or tantrumming about Trump or getting in a flap with people about the results of Great British Bake Off. Watching Facebook friends argue is like sitting on top of the stairs, past your bedtime listening in on your parents fighting, getting scared and sad but also finding out way too much information about them. I’ll never unlearn the fact that my Mum and Dad tried to have a band aid baby in 1992. Gross.
Fun Fact: 1992 was the highest recorded year of divorces to date. Andrew and Fergie, Diana and Charles and my Mum and Dad! The only time my parents have ever been trendy.
So that was a good thing about their separation that and when they were at their Couples Counselling sessions, my sis and I had the place to ourselves and could go wild* on a school night.
Go wild* = make up dance routines to S Club 7.
Back to Facebook. I was really into it at first. I joined in 2007. I was at University. Back in the day where it was quite an underground thing to do.
Now it’s the opposite of Underground. Its, so, so, Overground. Yeah, and not even the cool part of the Overground from Shoreditch to Dalston, it’s the Overground Gunnersbury to Acton Central via Richmond. I started to lose interest in about 2009 when my Mum joined. Anything that mums are into is ruined and officially not cool. Like the boyfriend I had in Sixth Form. As soon as she started to like him I knew it was over.
So, I gave up Facebook. Well, I didn’t quit cold turkey. I tried though. One night I attempted to end it all, I tried to delete my whole profile. It was a failed attempt. Looking back, I can see it was a cry for help, because I got really drunk and just logged on and tried to kill my…. Profile. Facebook regulations meant it was impossible to properly delete though. You can only disable it. Essentially putting yourself in a coma. You can wake up at any time. Zuckerberg makes it impossible to properly erase your page. What a Knob. What do I have to do, go to Switzerland to end things properly?
So, after my failed attempt I started to think maybe I can have Facebook in my life and still be happy.
I noted the good qualities of Facebook: never needing anyone’s number, finding out about gigs in different groups, finding out what comics are smashing what gigs, knowing when people’s birthdays are, asking girls ‘are you ok Hun?’, having top level bantz in a group message, overly using the thumbs up emoji and my all-time favourite: watching people have public breakdowns. But Facebook to me has become a bit like watching Hollyoaks, well actually my friends aren’t that good looking. Facebook to me is like watching EastEnders.
I gave up watching EastEnders after over 14 years of being utterly hooked, I also quit watching Neighbours and Coronation Street the same year because I guess it’s like quitting alcohol, you can’t just quit the booze, you must quit the drugs and the hookers too. The thing with quitting Eastenders is, I have no idea what everyone in Albert Square is up to but at any time I can walk into a Newsagent and read the front cover of TV Times and be instantly clued up.
That’s kind of what I do with Facebook. I’ve removed the app from my phone.
Yet, every few months a random person from my past will suddenly pop into my head and when I find myself at a PC, just like when I find myself in a newsagent’s reading the soap magazine front covers, I’ll give them a good stalk and it will be like going to a high school reunion in the 90’s. You know absolutely nothing about them and suddenly find out everything and then ultimately, come to the conclusion that they peaked at life when they were in Year 9 and going out with Ross Jones from the Sixth Form.
So yes, I’ve quit/dramatically reduced my Facebook use. Go Me! However, as Russell Brand mentions in his new 2017 hardback ‘Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions’ when you give something up its quite normal to replace it with another addiction. I may have sworn off Facebook and think Zuckerberg is a dick for not allowing Facebook euthanasia, but I’m now on Instagram 24/7. I guess I should just be happy that Instagram has nothing to do with that twerp Zuckerberg or Facebook.
Follow me on Instagram here:
“What? Facebook own Instagram? What?”
“Shhhhh! You’re writing a Blog, stop talking to the voices in your head.”
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