It has been on my mind for a while to do a blog about Facebook. I attempted to deactivate my account recently due to…well, I don’t know what really. I guess I just got sick of it. A lot of my problems lately have seemed to somehow stem from something Facebook related, so I was ready to be done with the whole thing. But my attempt was short-lived. I came crawling back. Like we all do. Don’t lie, you know you’ve done it too. This whole process got me thinking that I should blog about Facebook. You know – the good, the bad, the ugly, the whole nine yards.
Now, let me explain how this whole “blog” process works for me. First: something happens in my life, or I see something significant that strikes a chord, or an interesting thought pops into my mind…whatever the case may be…and I decide that I’m going to write a blog about it. Once the decision is made, the next step is to look for quotes. If you’re a regular reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are very few (if any?) of my blogs that don’t end with a quote. Some also start with one, and most have them interspersed throughout the blog as well. I absolutely adore quotes. I am a lover of conversation and, to me, quotes are just noteworthy snippets of conversation between other humans who were going through something similar to what I was going through. Quotes make us feel connected to each other.
And I think that’s pretty cool.
So, back to Facebook. Once I decided to do a blog about this topic, I went about my usual method. I started searching for quotes. And here is what I’ve decided. Rather than droning on and on about the pros and cons of Facebook, like I had originally intended to do, I’m just going to let the quotes speak for themselves. People have already said it better than I have, so I’ll let them do the talking this time. Ready?
Here we go.
First, one that I think pretty much sums up the whole topic in a nutshell:
“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”
– Betty White
Right on, little Betty.
Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s throw in another cute one from Betty just for our comedic pleasure:
“People have told me ‘Betty, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with old friends…’ At my age, if I wanted to keep in touch with old friends, I’d need a Ouija board.”
– Betty White
Hehe. Oh, Betty, girl you cray cray.
Ok, moving along.
On a more somber note, here’s a notable one that really struck a chord with me:
“I feel like I’m part of a generation of people who are stuck in the past and are really self-absorbed. I mean, we’re actually taking pictures of ourselves and posting them on Facebook, and keeping in touch with people that should have been out of our lives 15 years ago.”
– Diablo Cody
That one touched right on the whole reason I wanted to write this blog in the first place. My recent disdain with Facebook began when I started having troubles with someone from my past giving me a hard time on Facebook. It took me much too long to realize that just because someone was a part of your past, that was no reason to carry them into your future solely due to their presence on some silly social network. *BLOCK*
Ok, I promised I wouldn’t talk much in this blog, so back to the quotes.
While we’re on the topic of not letting go of the past, here’s an interesting one:
“America’s Facebook generation shows a submission to standardization that I haven’t seen before. The American adventure has always been about people forgetting their former selves – Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac went on the road. If they had a Facebook page, they wouldn’t have been able to forget their former selves.”
– Jaron Lanier
Wow. Again, I’ll try not to comment. Just let that sink in for a minute.
(And if you had to look up Jack Kerouac, don’t feel bad. I did too. Unless I’m the only one who didn’t know who that was. And if that’s the case, then I’m just kidding.)
What do you think about this one?
“I would argue heavily that the time that has been allocated to social networking used to come from television, and people are benefitting from it. People who are saying, ‘Aw, you’re spending all your time on Facebook…,’ well, I’d like to understand what that person used to do with that time.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk
I think this Gary dude might be on to something. I know I rarely watch TV anymore. Good thing? Bad thing? Eh, who knows. It’s not my turn to talk anyway, so I won’t hypothesize. I promised to shut up.
Ahhh, here we go:
I couldn’t find an actual person to attribute this quote to (and I HATE that), but it was too good not to post. Made me giggle. (Because, hey – I’m the QUEEN of posting pics on Facebook. Just ask some of my haters, they’ll tell you.)
Now, how about this one for you voyeurs out there (you know who you are):
“I am a Facebook voyeur. I feel bad about it because I never put anything on there, but I find it fun to sit there and watch peoples’ lives go by. Or whatever lives they’re presenting.”
– Eddie Kaye Thomas
Hmmm. That last part is a zinger, wouldn’t you say?
On that same note:
“There is something decidedly faux about the camaraderie of Facebook.”
– Bill Keller
Hmmmm. Would you agree?
Let’s dig a little deeper. This one combines Facebook with one of my passions…acting:
“When playing a role, I would feel more comfortable, as you’re given a prescribed way of behaving. So, both Facebook and theatre provide contrived settings that provide the illusion of social interaction.”
– Jesse Eisenberg
Ouch. Ok, anyone else feel their toes being stepped on, or is that just me?
Yes. Here’s to hoping for that.
Or, how about this one in the “food for thought” category:
“With Facebook, you’re not really allowed to be unhappy. Think about it: There’s only a ‘like’ button. Yes, you can be angry, but it’s only lighthearted rage. On Reddit, perhaps because you can be anonymous, people are willing to be openly sad or angry. They are more honest.”
– Yishan Wong
(Let me break my “I promise I’ll shut up” rule here for a second with a loud, “DING DING DING.” Ok, I’m quiet again…)
Now, let’s explore the word “friend” on Facebook, shall we?
“I don’t need to go onto Facebook and pretend to have friends I’ve never even met. To my mind, that kind of destroys the meaning of the word ‘friend.’ I take exception to that. Because I value and respect friendship.”
– Stefanie Powers
Hmmm. What do you say to that? Do you consider all of your Facebook friends as “real” friends? Interesting. But I’m shutting up, remember?
[Wait, one more thing before I shut up. I think it’s interesting that there is a “close friends” list option. I think this should be renamed “people that are actually important in your everyday life.” At least that’s what mine should be named. How about yours?]
Ok, I am fully aware that these quotes and tidbits are all teetering on the ‘negative’ side. I’ll throw a few positive ones in for good measure, don’t worry.
But not yet.
Hehe. Ok, sorry.
Ok, positive. Positive. Hmmmm. Let’s see. Oh, ok, let’s see what Mr. Zuckerberg himself has to say about it:
” The thing that we are trying to do at Facebook is just help people connect and communicate more efficiently.”
– Mark Zuckerberg
Ok, Mark. I hear ya. Hey, Facebook is what gets my blog out there, right? I think you may be right. Or how about this one:
“No one has done a study on this, as far as I can tell, but I think Facebook might be the first place where a large number of people have come out. We didn’t create that – society was generally ready for that. I think this is just part of the general trend that we talked about, about society being more open. And I think that’s good.”
– Mark Zuckerberg
What do you think? Ok, I know I promised to shut up, but one quick thing here. You may not agree with me on the gay rights issue, and hey – that’s your conscience you have to live with, my friend – but I can tell you that more than one of my homosexual friends over the years has contacted me privately and thanked me for loving them and publicly supporting them with my Facebook posts and for not treating them like they were any different than I am. Think what you want about that, but as far as I’m concerned – if I’ve made even one person feel less alone with a Facebook post, then it’s all been worth it. I’m proud of that.
Ok, I don’t know where else I can go with this blog after that. Yes, I tried to “run away” for a few days, but I came back. I guess it was a little something like this:
I don’t know that I was exactly ‘looking for attention’ (honestly, I was trying to hide from it), but I do get the ‘running away from home’ reference. Do I consider Facebook to be “home?” Well, I hope not. Not to that extent anyway. But you know what I do consider it?
Facebook is life. It’s a mixture of things that make you smile, make you sad, make you laugh, make you cry, and sometimes things that make you so angry that you try to run away for a while. But that’s just it. You can’t escape life. You can try not to look at it for a while, you can even try to pretend it’s not there and it’s not still going on if you’re not around to see it, but you know what? It is. Like Dolly Parton says,
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with a little rain.”
You gotta take the bad with the good, people. It’s all there for the taking. And whether you jump in there and show off, or whether you choose to just sit back and watch – either way, it’s life. It’s there and it’s not going anywhere.
And you’re a part of it.
Kinda cool in a way. Don’t you think?
Thanks for reading. I know I didn’t say much in this one – just sat here quiet as a little churchmouse (*giggle*), but I appreciate you coming along for the ride anyway.
(And hey – I’m willing to bet you clicked on a link on Facebook to get here, didn’t you?)
“If you don’t take the chance to live life, what can you say at the end of it?”
– Naveen Andrews
[Footnote: Before I close out, I wanted to mention something I thought was interesting about this blog. I went back to edit before posting, as I always do, and I noticed that I alternated between capitalizing “Facebook” and not capitalizing “facebook.” I’m still not sure what the “correct” thing is to do, but I thought it was a little poetic that I didn’t know whether to attribute the importance of a capital letter to the name. Kinda what this whole blog is about, wouldn’t you say? Interestingly enough, I chose to capitalize. Deduce what you will….]