April 18, 2011

If You're Not On Facebook, It's Time To Get Over Yourself

Oh, yeah, I'm not on Facebook. Like, it's so invasive. If you've said anything like this, I feel bad for you.

Facebook has over half a billion users. Almost everyone I know uses it. I use it. You probably use it. But ubiquity isn't equal to universality. Everyone knows one of those self righteous Facebook abstainers. Social media luddites. Pushing aside modern society in favor of a purer lifestyle, devoid of pokes, tags, and feeds. Defenders of something more natural and independent than Zuckerberg's friendship hive

Except really, these people aren't defending anything except antisocial, extremely annoying behavior. And if you're one of them—you need to stop.

I will grant you this: Facebook, much like Twitter, has a lot that sucks about it. A tremendous amount. You're exposed to inane human behavior on a scope and volume unprecedented in the history of mankind. And yes, there are privacy eyebrow-raises that are warranted—it's a little weird that people I barely know anymore see where I work, where I live, and who I'm talking to. And there's plenty of crap. Pokes from creepy people. Photos of idiots. Moronic comments. Racism. All the worst parts about our species, sandwiched between poorly-targeted banner ads.

And yet, Facebook is a spectacular tool.

Facebook is the most important way we touch our friends online, period. Birthdays, parties, Passover seders, graduations—they're all organized on Facebook. Wedding photos, baby photos, stupid college parties photos you're nostalgic about already—they're all on Facebook. Everyone you might still care about in your life, despite distance, work, stress, money, and time—they're (mostly) all on Facebook. And all there to grasp, with the most minimal of effort. Really. Just click a bunch. If you care about any of these things—socializing, memories, friendships—you should be using Facebook, in spite of all its sour, vexing flaws.
Basically, if you don't like Facebook, it sounds to me like you don't like your friends. And what kind of terrible person doesn't like friends? Even Hitler had friends.

If you don't believe me, believe history. Remember those self righteous morons who took such groundless pride in not having a cell phone? Ten years ago, those people were left behind. Sure, we liked them. But they became annoying to get a hold of, forcing you to go out of your way to be friends with them because they labelled some new technology as beneath them without even taking the time to understand it. They didn't want to learn how modern friendship had evolved. They choose to look at a brand new social tool as a hindrance rather than a convenience. This is all happening again, but with Facebook.

So, don't be that grouch in 2011 who misses out on connecting with the rest of the world because you'd rather sound like a 21st century rebel; some sort of obnoxious pseudo-Thoreau, whose Walden is just an empty computer and a lonely life.

Use Facebook. Even sparingly. And not because Facebook doesn't suck. But because your friends are completely awesome.

Illustration by Gizmodo Illustrator Sam Spratt. Become a fan of his Facebook Artist's Page and follow Sam on Twitter.

20 comments:

  1. I use it sparingly but only because blogging takes up too much time!

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  2. Eh? I use facebook for its convenience. I applaud anyone who doesn't use it. You're being more anti-social by using facebook than if you decided to call them up. I'm not saying that people should abstain from the internnet as a means to keep in touch, but facebook really has a lot worse qualities than good ones, and for the average person, ie. not me, it's really nothing but a downfall. Via facebook one can lose their current or future jobs, one can alienate people through a single slightly misleading post, and become used to "liking" things instead of actually having an opinion.

    Why would you compare it to cellphones? They were an advancement, facebook is just 'another' social medium site, it won't last forever and it hasn't really evolved beyond 'social medium website'.

    I just think this post has some invalid material, I'm not hating. All in all it's fine if you don't publish or delete this comment, it's really forward for the general public. Still though, if you've bothered to read this far, youtube a vid called 'you need to get off facebook'.

    Again, not to offend, I just don't think it's fair to dis the few people who can actually live without it.

    Peace!

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  3. I didn't use FB for a long time, and I hate using it. We used to enjoy our privacy and now it's cool for you to let everyone know everything about you. It's a tool to track you and it sells your information at alarming rates. I only use it as a tool to communicate with family.

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  4. I am not trying to be a rebel, Facebook just isn't for me

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  5. @D4

    I found your post intering in a few points. I myself used to be some kind of anti-facebook until the point I realised I could find out friends I used to hang out with. Whenever I log in, I see many people that seems to be here 24/7 and I don't recall saying this is some kind of social behaviour. A lot of people use it as a tool and it's what it should be.

    As I've seen before, if someone is moronic enough to post something about a great day with his friends when he called sick, he might as well not deserve this job. About the people getting frustrated over a misleading post, this kind of situation happens everyday about everywhere and if you're angry about some guy telling you to fuck off after something you posted.. maybe you shouldn't even have this guy in your friends.

    It's a tool and like every other tools, you've got to use it the right way before using criticism toward it.

    @LifeHacks

    There are a lot of privacy settings on Facebook. If you look it right, people you don't know could only see your profile picture and your name until you accept him as a friend.

    I love to read your comments, keep them comming!

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  6. I think I just got trolled. Kudos. It was when I noticed that one of the tags was 'hipster' and realized what you had posted that I really understood. Good job, man.

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  7. I got a Facebook so I could talk to my bros when we graduated from high school. I don't really post my status a lot, but I keep my chat open.

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  8. Does it annoy you that I don't have a cellphone OR a personal Facebook account? xP

    Mainly cus if I'm awake then I'm online and people know to contact me via IM/email/IRC.

    And I don't really have anybody that I can befriend on Facebook. Would feel a bit silly if my only friends on Facebook were my family lol

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  9. awesome post. I got pushed into facebook kicking and screaming. I was one of the last myspace user hold outs that refused to jump ship to facebook, but alas, everyone else joined and myspace became a barren wasteland.

    as much as I hate social media in general, it does make maintaining communications/friendships a lot easier in these crazy times.

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  10. Yep I use it but sparingly and mostly to piss off family :D

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  11. i agree with Grafted. except that i am trying to be a rebel.

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  12. i only use facebook to keep in touch with family who live abroad

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  13. I first got a facebook when you need to log in with your college email! Now i'm friends with my mom and grandparents... I miss what it used to be.. :(

    You should read Moby the Fishes Blog if you have some free time. I am a very dedicated follower!

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  14. Thank you so much for posting this.

    I can't express how fucking annoyed I am by the people who are staunchly anti-facebook. It's so goddamn annoying. Fucking hipsters

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  15. @D4

    I think he put hipster in the tag because, in my experience at least, 99% of people I know who are anti-facebook are hipsters

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  16. Facebook is also full of antisocial and extremely annoying behavior. It's a lose-lose situation. :P

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  17. TLDR. I don't use facebook. I just don't care, not like I have any friends anyway :D

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