Saturday, October 11, 2014

10 Things I Hate About Facebook

I love Facebook.

I love Facebook so much, that it's my favourite social network tool.

I love Facebook so much, that it's my main platform to share my thoughts with the world at large.

I love Facebook so much, that I have to highlight the things I hate about Facebook - so to make Facebook a better place for you and for me.

You can even like and follow Facebook through its Facebook page on Facebook.

1. Ads

Once upon a time, Facebook was a place filled with people, people and people. And the People of Facebook lived in peace and bliss.

But not anymore. The right column's increasingly eaten away by ad banners. Our newsfeed is bombarded by sponsored posts of famous brands, as well as dubious ones. From airline fares to cheap clothing, from electronic gizmos to sex enhancement drugs, Facebook's turned into a noisy marketplace.

Ads are annoying. Ads drive people away. Bring back the peace and bliss, Mark.

2. Games

Ask users to vote what's the single most annoying Facebook notification to receive, and the winner will definitely go to... GAMES

Get a life, people. Or at the very least, keep your imaginary wars and cities to your computers, consoles and mobile. And what's with the influx of sponsored games with super bad English?

Facebook is where real people talk about real things. Facebook is where adults roam, not where children run, scream and fight imaginary monsters. Only persons aged 13 or above can register on Facebook. Those who play games on Facebook have circumvented this rule, somehow.

161,844 people need to arm themselves to a thing called 'life'

3. Food

There's a reason why Facebook bought Instagram. People didn't flood enough #foodporn in Facebook, that's why. Now they do.

Look, it's fine if you ate something rare and exotic, or if it's a feast for a special occasion like birthdays. But no need to let the world know what you ate for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, supper and all the snacks you had in between. We've all seen latte art before. We've all had our share of sushi and steaks before.

Proud of your cooking? If so, blog about your recipes or join Masterchef or something. What's the point posting pictures of your proud culinary creations on Facebook? None of us can taste it through our digital screens, can we? What do you expect us to say? "Wow, your cooking is very beautiful"?

4. Daily Activity

No one gives a shit what you're doing every freaking second of the day. Not every little thing you do is noteworthy. Eating dinner? Watching a movie? Hitting the gym? No one cares. Barack Obama or Kim Kardashian, you are not.

Facebook's 'Timeline' records all our posts. Just like a diary, only that it's public. Imagine when you're old, and you're reminiscing the good 'ol days....

October 6 at 7.45am: Stuck in traffic jam #fml #mondayblues
October 6 at 8.32am: Eating pancakes at McDonald's #hungry #breakfast #ilovepancakes
October 6 at 8.57am: Back to work at Petronas Twin Towers :(
October 6 at 10.10am: Coffee break at Starbucks!!! Yay!!! :D

That's a sad, sad diary.

5. Memes

Memes are pictorial running gags. When a gag runs for far too long, it stops being funny. "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit," Oscar Wilde once said, "but the highest form of intelligence". Memes are the lowest form of both. 

Just when you thought humans could stoop no lower, one day some smart ass thought it would be funny to upload a meme into the 'Comments' box, instead of typing a textual response like a normal human being. And the trend has caught on ever since. It's as if a part of our brains go: "Screw words and language, let's get back to cave drawings and hieroglyphs! #nowords #picturepaintsathousandwords #stoneagebestage"

There may come a day when Facebook is strewn with only photos and videos, no text. When that day comes, I will be long gone from Facebook, together with the world's remaining homo sapiens.

Good to know I'm keeping Michael Jackson entertained.

6. Rants

So you had a bad day. Someone screwed you up at work, you hit a flat tire and turn up late for a meeting, your crush doesn't know you exist, and so on. It's not good to bottle up your emotions. You have family. You have friends. Borrow their ears. Seek their counsel. Cry as loud as you want. It's okay. Let it all out. 

But not in Facebook, please. To vent in Facebook is like crumpling in a heap of tears in the middle of the mall. Sure, you may attract some sympathetic pats on the back, at first. But keep doing this every other day, and people will dismiss you as a nutjob, block their ears and quietly walk away.

Feeling depressed? Get off Facebook. Watching all the happy posts by your friends travelling around the globe and posing with their loved ones will drive you deeper into depression. Facebook isn't the cure; professional psychological treatment is.

7. Baby Photos

There's a time and place to create a photo album of your oh-so-kewt-and-adwowable babies. But sorry, it's not Facebook. Remember how our cheeks turned into tomatoes when our parents dig out our baby photos to show to our house guests? Now, imagine those photos being on public display on Facebook. Not cool. Spare a thought about your kids' privacy and future.

And let's face it: no one's really interested in your baby's journey to maturity, unless your name is Prince William or Kate Middleton.

8. Personality Test

What city should you live in? What car should you drive? Which Hogwarts house do you belong to? What colour are you? And no, I'm not making the last one up - there's actually such a test circulating on Facebook. Why the hell would anyone want to be a 'colour'? How does a single colour even capture one's entire personality?

Personality tests are for people insecure about their personalities. That's why they feel the need to portray themselves as someone else doing something else at somewhere else. How tragic.

I'm a barnacle, baby! How about you?

9. Propaganda

Don't pretend. Don't act innocent. Many of us are prone to spreading unverified news stories and raising harsh words against a particular organisation, race and country. Freedom of speech is one thing. Stoking hate is another. Propaganda is dangerous. Hate begets hate.

Facebook - and the world - can do without hateful propaganda. Check your facts. Check your emotions. Speak up if you wish, but speak up responsibly.

10. Articles

Every day, a host of articles are shared on Facebook, with titles roughly sounding like:

  • 15 Signs He's Just Not Into You
  • 8 Mistakes People Make On Their First Date
  • 10 Things They Don't Teach You In Business School (And Which They Don't Want You To Know)

Only a few articles are gold. Most are bullshit. You can usually tell by the hosting site - you rarely go wrong with Huffington Post, you're wasting time with Elite Daily. Much of what's written is actually rather self-obvious and nothing novel. Yet, we devour these articles, because we yearn for affirmation. Just like self-motivational books.

But we don't need them. They only serve to heighten our dependency on people telling us what to do and further delay our actions. That's not good. We all know what needs to be done. All we lack is courage. Read less, act more.

Don't Stop The Party

One day, Facebook will be displaced (like Friendster years ago) by a new dynamic social network juggernaut (like Google+ or Yammer). Hopefully, not anytime soon. Despite the layers of chaff and crap, Facebook's still a fun playground to be in. Why replace something when its flaws can yet be fixed?

Facebook's a great party. There's more than enough food and drinks to go around. But we need to enjoy responsibly. Otherwise, someone's bound to throw up in the pool and call the cops, and before you know it, the party's over.

Facebook, we're in love

Photography by Jason Agron Photography

If you truly love Facebook as I do, we should strive to keep it peaceful and blissful. Share ideas and experiences, not spread stupidity and spam.

Save Facebook. Don't let our playground fall into ruin. Don't stop the party just yet.

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