Defending (and Defriending) Facebook

If there’s one thing that Facebook users like to do, it is complain about Facebook.

“It’s too big, they’re like the WalMart of the internet!” some people say.  Others complain that they don’t like Facebook’s privacy settings or the advertisements.  Keep in mind, these are complaints about a site that is completely free to use.  If you don’t like Facebook’s policies, you’re always free to leave.

Of course, these complaints are minor compared to the hatred that emerges when Facebook changes its design.  Don’t believe me?  Wait until the next time Facebook alters their layout.  The way people will react, you’d think Facebook had changed their background to a wallpaper of racial and ethnic slurs.

Typical status updates the day after a layout change: “I hate the new Facebook design!”  “Go back to the old format!”  “I can’t find anything anymore!”  You’ll also be sure to see a few “Make Facebook revert to their old layout” groups form. 

Really people, get over it.  Maybe the menus and buttons are in a different location, but you’ll get used to it.  You always do, and soon, it will be comfortable and familiar.  And shortly after you get comfortable with it, they’ll change the layout again, and you’ll be up in arms wanting them to return to this layout.

But that’s just the problem people have with Facebook itself.  Most people seem to have issue with content posted by their “friends.” 

“I’m tired of reading about updates to Susie’s farm!”  You do realize that you can hide peoples’ updates, right?  If you’re tired of reading about how someone’s farm is doing, then hide the updates from that application. 

“I get invited to too many events!”  Really, so now getting invited to things is bad?  I always thought it was good to have social options.  And is it really that difficult just to RSVP as a No?  From my experience, the process takes about five seconds.

“Johnny updates his status too much!”   If that person’s status updates bother you, just hide all postings from him.  Or maybe you should remove that person as a friend altogether.

I’m sure I’m not alone in that I’ve seen a status update from a Facebook friend and wondered “Who the hell is this person?”  It’s usually someone you met at a party or some other event and talked to for a few minutes.  Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time to become their friend on Facebook, but now, the relationship just feels weird.  A general rule of thumb is: Would you feel comfortable commenting on this person’s status, or would you feel a little strange if they commented on yours?  If not, then they probably shouldn’t be your Facebook friend anymore.

Of course, that leads to the awkwardness of removing someone as a friend.  No matter how casual or nonexistant your relationship with that person is, you’ll probably still feel a twinge of guilt when you remove them.  I mean, if it was the other way around, wouldn’t you feel a bit insulted?

While fortunately, Facebook doesn’t alert us to the fact that someone has removed us as a friend, eventually we’ll probably discover the removal.  And when it happens, it’s only human nature to feel hurt.  “Well no, I don’t actually talk to them.  And had I thought about it, I probably would have removed him as a friend myself.  But still!”

Assuming you don’t go ahead and remove all of your friends, then you’re still going to be left with a sizeable amount of postings.  And that is a good thing.  It almost seems that people have forgotten what the point of Facebook is.  It’s a social networking site completely fueled by user contributions.  If nobody posts anything, then there’s nothing to the site.  And don’t we all get frustrated when we check our Facebook page in hopes that someone has posted something interesting that may kill the time, only to discover that there’s nothing there?   I feel that overcontribution is better than undercontribution.

And if you really want a social networking site that doesn’t have a lot of content that might annoy you, you could always go check out MySpace or Friendster.


About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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3 Responses to Defending (and Defriending) Facebook

  1. Always free to leave? LMAO – sure. You can click the delete account button, and it *appears* to delete the info, but if you log back in 3 months later, the account is *still there.* So I’m not quite sure exactly what your definition, or for that matter, Facebook’s def is of deletion, but in the traditional dictionary defined definition, there is no account deletion at FB. All your info belong to Zuckerfucker. Period. That’s right there in the ever changing TOS & the ever joke inducing privacy policy.

  2. L says:

    What’s the line-you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave. Once you are on facebook, there’s no going back. The only way to remove your post/links/info is to go through and delete in manually, and even then your name/email/info still remain up.

    And honestly, I don’t give a crap about being able to see other people’s posts about farmville or status updates. I just block the heck out of that nonesense. I don’t care if my friends see it. I DO however, care that Facebook is controlling the content of other websites I visit or my friends visit What the heck was wrong with the privacy policy circa 2009?

    Now I’m just going to go back to the hotel facebook, and talk about camping. 😀

  3. dillon says:

    You can always delete if you dont like it with a couple of clicks its gone….

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