& the secret to surviving facebook

I mentioned before how I gave up my boycott of The Facebook. I started a page for the blog so that I could bring Squatch’s life to the masses. Also to share pictures and junk with people while not having to send a bazillion emails to do it. Then, I reactivated my personal account in order to use the blog’s page on my iPhone*, and I’m already regretting it.

*About two days after I did this, they released a new app that would make it so I didn’t have to. But I’ve reached the point of no return, since I don’t feel like trying to figure out how to get around it. I’ve conceded defeat to Facebook.

But why am I regretting it? Because there are people on Facebook, that’s why. People who think what they have to say is actually important, relevant, clever, or revelatory. That’s not to neglect the people who do manage to be those things, but it’s far, far fewer than the number of people who think they are. They aren’t.

As a term of my reconciliation with Facebook, one of the first things I did upon reactivation was cull my friends list. I was shocked to realize that I had almost 400 “friends” on there. I got rid of people I had a class with once, friends of friends, ex-coworkers I haven’t seen in years, colleagues I never spoke to much to begin with, and everyone else whose name I just didn’t recognize. Then I went through again and found the people I hadn’t even thought of in at least a year. By the time I was done, I had barely more than 100 left.

It still didn’t solve my overall problem. There was still too much crap that I had to deal with anytime I logged on. And the trouble—you’re on Facebook, so you’re familiar with this, I’m sure—is that most of it is people you can’t just unfriend. They’re family. They’re professional contacts you don’t want to insult. They’re people who you like to hang out with but their Facebook wall has you rethinking your friendship.

Every stupid political fight you’ve seen on Facebook. I had too many of these in my friend feed. Thanks, Unsubscribe!

For this, Facebook has installed that super useful “Unsubscribe” feature*. That means you can keep all the crap that just ruins your day off that News Feed** for good.

*This used to be called “Hide,” but Facebook just can’t leave well enough alone and they have to rename every damn thing as soon as you get used to it.
**I hate how Facebook highlights the disintegration of the term “news.” I don’t think I’d classify 97% of the stuff that shows up there as “news.” I blame E! for this.

To save my sanity, I started going on an unsubscribing fee. And damn it feels good.

Incessant updates about how everyone who doesn’t agree with your presidential candidate is for some reason less intelligent or subhuman? Unsubscribe!

Uninformed repostings of bullshit you had emailed to you? Unsubscribe!

Nothing but updates on your farm/city/crack den/high score from some inane Facebook game? Unsubscribe!

Posting politically charged status updates seemingly for the sole purpose of starting a comment fight to see who can be the least informed and most easily duped by cable channel talking heads, causing my heart to weep for the future of the world? Unsubscribe!

Persistently adding photos of Chuck Norris riding an eagle over the Washington monument with a note that I can repost it or risk being labeled as Commie scum? Gleefully unsubscribe!

The “unsubscribe” feature has allowed me the freedom not to wade through other people’s opinions, which in turn would force me to rethink my opinion of them, eventually leading to a solitary hermit’s life. Granted, I probably only have about 38 people who show up on my news feed now, but at least now I won’t die alone and can continue being around people, blissfully ignorant of what actually goes on in their heads.


15 thoughts on “& the secret to surviving facebook

    • That’s also another thing that I do–I keep my blog stuff separate from my personal FB as much as I can. But that’s mostly because it’s my Facebook, and if Squatch wants one, he can get his own.

  1. I had a FB for me here in the BlogWorld, and, I have one for the other me. The two don’t cross nor connect. Mostly, I play games because I’m competitive like that. The BlogWorld me discontinued her FB since there was just Jells and Lily as my friends, and I felt unloved.


    No, really. I discontinued it for other reasons, but, I did only have the two friends. Ah, well.

    • Yeah, I don’t have many either, so we’ll see how long it actually lasts. I’ve only got so much tolerance for Facebook and it wears down quickly.

  2. “Because there are people on Facebook, that’s why. People who think what they have to say is actually important, relevant, clever, or revelatory. That’s not to neglect the people who do manage to be those things, but it’s far, far fewer than the number of people who think they are. They aren’t.”

    Dude. We are bloggers. If you’re the pot, I’m the kettle.


    • True. Good point. People rarely blog because they don’t think they have something interesting to say or at least an interesting way to say it. And many of them fail in that regard (this one included).

      But this also isn’t Facebook. I’m not relying on some kind of outside relationship to get you to come to my blog. Hopefully, you’re here because you actually want to read what I’m saying, as opposed to only being friends with Aunt Irene and suffering through her vaguely racist status updates copied from misinformed chain emails just in order to avoid awkwardness at Thanksgiving when you ask her to pass the mashed potatoes and she spits back, “Why don’t you ask me on Faceb—oh wait, you can’t because you unfriended me.”

      • I won’t argue with you. It’s the relationship that keeps me coming to your blog… and that also keeps me from unfriending a bunch of people who infuriate me. Problem is, they got ON my friend list because they were already friends. 20% “how’s your life doing” usually doesn’t make up for 80% “religious/political blather”.

      • And on a completely different level, I’ve totally given up on the idea that I have anything interesting to say on my blog. Most days I wonder why I even do it at all.

  3. I admit that I have a FB posting problem. I talk myself out of things all the time and still manage to post daily political stories and pictures of my kid – but she does the cutest things! I plan to enter the blogging world at some point, but am just so damn lazy.

    • The difference is that your political posts aren’t intended just to insult people whose beliefs are different than yours. Those are the ones that get hidden.

      And your kid is cute, so no harm no foul.

  4. Pingback: & some resuscitation, with introductions | & squatch makes three

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