I like Facebook a lot better than MySpace. Facebook lets you connect with your friends and see what they're up to easily, without having to sift through any unrelated garbage, or what I'll call social networking byproduct - the waste that often gets produced when so many people with nothing better to do start finding inane ways to waste their time and the time of everyone their connected to. Bad social sites like MySpace suffer from this since the actual social networking side of their operation is lacking, and as a result this byproduct is produced to fill the void. Since Facebook has social networking down pat, there's very little in the way of a void that needs filling. Yet more and more often on Facebook I'm seeing instances of this waste cropping up in my messages inbox, on my wall and in my news feed.
"Check it out," one of the headlines declares, "Go to my profile and take a look at my new celebrity look-alikes!" Um, no.
"YOU HAVE OFFICIALLY BEEN HIT BY..
...\___ A BOAT_____/
....\_____________/," a popular wall post begins, "which probably makes you pretty angry." Yeah? No kidding. So how about you fuck off throwing bullshit at my wall, dumb-ass?
Let me ask, do you go running up to your friends on the street and cry out, "Hey, I'm hitting you with a boat! Please! Talk to me!?" I doubt it. Or perhaps you approach everyone you know with the latest issue of Celebrity Crap Magazine and start flicking wildly through the pages while declaring proudly the names of all the stars you barely resemble? Probably not.
Such approaches to socializing, be they off-line or on-line, are impersonal. I know its not actually important to you that I specifically see the results of your latest tryst with time wasting, but rather that someone at least does and that they acknowledge it. To achieve this you spam these results out there to everyone you know, and in the process diminish the impact of your own actions, not to mention that of Facebook as a social networking service.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying Facebook should be for serious play only, but there's silly and then there's just inane. What's happening right now on Facebook is quite nearly the MySpace equivalent of the sparkling animated GIF. If we ever get to that point, people, Facebook will be lost. Sparkling animated GIF's are truly the point of no return. They've devoured MySpace, and they'll devour you, too, if you're not careful.
Please, for the love of Facebook, just be careful.