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  • Columns | "A Balloon In Cactus"

    Unfriending FaceBook
    or,
    I Donít Want to Smell like Brad Pitt

    by Maggie Van Ostrand
    Maggie Van Ostrand
    FaceBook isn't Social Media anymore, it's Social Mediocre.

    Weíre supposed to click a "Like" button, even when we've just read that somebody died a horrible death, see a stark and grisly image of torture and destruction or, even worse, a photo of congress. If you do click the "Like" button, FB then tells you not only how many other people liked it, it also tells you that you yourself liked it. Really? I need you to tell me that? Where's Amy Poehler when we need her?

    If you click on "like" anywhere else on the entire internet, from Bayonne to Bangkok, that thing you said you liked slithers onto your own FaceBook page without even asking if you want it there, and suddenly you're advertising it. I don't want to smell like Brad Pitt. He gets paid for saying he likes Chanel No. 5, I don't. Why not just stand in the middle of Times Square and pull a Sally Field: "You Like Me! You like me!"

    Click "Like" if you love your pet? If this isn't blackmail, what is it, hairmail? If you don't click that you love your pet, what then? You have to live with the same amount of guilt as if you killed it? Will you get postings asking why you donít love your pet and calling you a troll? What if your pet is an actual troll?

    FaceBook postings now include daily mottos, animal images, even a photo of a pipe sticking out of a roof in Vatican City, and weíre supposed to "like" them. Sometimes people post the same large image two or three times in a row, like we didn't see it the first time. I'm as sick of all this junk on my FB page as I am of trying to figure out which tiny portion of today's news might be the truth.

    You can't post comments to MSNBC unless you click "like" first. I think you also have to "like" CNN before they'll take your comment, but Iím not sure; I quit watching CNN when I realized Wolf Blitzer was never going to blink again.

    It's easier to have Lindsey Graham come to your house and do the Harlem Shake than it is to get ads off your FB page. And what's up with all these "sponsored" links, ads, and blurbs on FB and Twitter? Get off my page you creeps! I don't know you, I will never use your product or send you a donation, and where the hell is a button to click that will open up a cyber trap door and suck you into the oblivion you oozed out of? Once you're on my page, it's for keeps? How do I unfriend something that was never a friend in the first place? I want a divorce. Or at least a Hate Button.

    True, thereís a little check mark in the upper right of the sponsored ads but if you click to either ďhideĒ that ad or not to repeat ads from that company, FB posts a bold notice that you hid the ad. I feel like a sneaky snitch when they do that. (Only way to clear it is to refresh the page.) They also want you to explain why you donít want the ad. If I donít want to tell, then whatís next, waterboarding?

    Comparing FaceBook a year ago with FaceBook today is like the difference between getting laid and getting laid out.


    © Maggie Van Ostrand,
    March 15, 2013 column
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