I hate facebook. And surprisingly, its privacy settings have little to do with my most recent complaint. I found that the more people I “friend,” the less happy my life is. But I feel this obligation to be on facebook, especially since I’m leaving the country and it’s an easy way to keep in touch with people. I was on for a while and only friends with 9 people that I knew online through a defunct Harry Potter website. But then I had to expand my network and it’s really making me miserable.
So now that I’m friends with 25 people or so, everyday when I log in to see what my Harry Potter friends are up to and to discuss some bit of geekiness, I am treated to things from other people. Yeah, some of it is nice–wedding pictures, pictures of a friend at a holiday party in a hospital who made cookies that look like bloody bandages, tidbits about random silly things my friends have done, or news articles that are interesting to them. But a lot of it I would just rather not see.
This might come as a shock to you, but I’m pretty opinionated. (Ya think? Have you read any other entries here?) I scream and yell about a lot of things. But when I go to a party, I make small talk with people and don’t get into rape culture, reproductive rights, religion, etc. I might with my close friends, even if they disagree with me on some points, but I don’t think it’s appropriate public space behavior. So I save it for my blog or close friend time, or just anyone who wants a debate.
Facebook is public space. It is not your blog. It is not your house. It is a party that we all were invited to. It’s not the place to talk about how when a woman is 10 weeks pregnant, the fetus has finger prints and so that means it’s life. It’s not the place to talk about why everyone you know should experience the kind of love you experience, and by that I mean the love of one particular interpretation of one particular avatar. It’s not the place to pretend you are smart and intellectual by repeating the words of a neo-Nazi and saying they came from a French Enlightenment philosopher. If it were, then would it be appropriate to call someone out on their political bullshit? Or would that be reason to defriend someone? Yes, someone defriended me because I had the gall to actually comment on and question her political bullshit. Because apparently you post things there and expect everyone to nod like a mindless sycophant.
Facebook is rather a space for lolcats, jokes about Benedict Cumberbatch’s name, and Farmville. When I see these people in real life, they don’t spout nonsense. Why would they think I care about it online?
Yes, I can block them. Yes, I have blocked some. But I feel like that defeats the purpose. I friended them because I want to know what’s going in their life, not because I care about their position on abortion or how uninformed they are about the ACA.
Edit: I actually hadn’t blocked anyone. I used that word because I thought that’s what I did. I actually just removed them from my feed. I didn’t realize that there was an additional “block” feature. I left these people are friends, just had facebook not post any of their status updates, etc. in my feed.