And that makes me mad. I've had Facebook since back when it was still called THE Facebook ... since you needed a university email address ... since there were only a handful of universities that even had it available to them at all. I've had Facebook since before you could add pictures, before you could share links, before you could even type a status longer than 140 characters. And Facebook used to be the f***ing shit.
Now it's just a big flaming maelstrom of poo.
So I decided to start unfollowing people. Lots and lots of people. Maybe if I could clear all the poo-flingers out of my news feed, my Facebook experience would improve! It might even slowly find its way back towards how great it used to be! Anything is possible.
With that goal in mind, here's the kind of shit that I started aggressively unfollowing people for posting:
Shit that is patently false
Look, you have a right to believe whatever you want. But if you genuinely believe that vaccines cause autism, or that Bush orchestrated 9/11, or that Obama is personally responsible for everything bad that happens in the world -- and you believe these things enough to post "supporting arguments" (those are super sarcastic air quotes) on your Facebook feed -- your brain does not work properly and there is nothing I can do to fix that. As a result, I have no interest in hearing anything else that you have to say, on any subject. You could have the cutest kids on the planet and a cat who can ride a bike, but I'm still going to hide you from my feed. Because I'd rather miss out on ten videos of a cat riding a bike than find myself getting angry at ONE idiotic shitpost.
The fact that I'm missing this is a f***ing tragedy.
Arguing with people on social media is never a good idea. So if someone regularly posts things that are so stupid and wrong you feel morally compelled to correct them, it's best to just remove them from your news feed. Your life will be better.
Pretty sure you didn't see that on the news.
Shit with absolutely ridiculous sources
If there's one thing I picked up in high school, it was this mantra: CHECK. YOUR. SOURCES.
There really aren't that many rules on what you can and can't say on the Internet. Even libel laws are pretty hard to run afoul of. So basically, unless you REALLY piss off the wrong person, you can pretty much say whatever you want at all times. Even if it's not true.
I am available for interviews about the experience.
And yet, many, many, many people seem not to grasp this. They think that just because it found its way onto the web, it therefore must be true.
... even when it comes from sources like superultrarightwingnutters.net or democracysucks.org or conservativesliterallywantyoutodie.edu.
Can't believe nobody has claimed this URL yet. I know where I'm starting my conspiracy blog!!
Dude ... you guys ... when you share an 'article' that you found on a site called "Right Wingers for Truth About Obama Being a Goat From Outer Space", you are making yourself look like an absolute twat. Every time a moron reads PROPAGANDA, believes it wholeheartedly, and then attempts to brainwash their Facebook friends with this propaganda, Stalin smiles in his grave.
STALIN LOVE PROPAGANDA
STALIN LOVE SOVIET CHILD
SOVIET CHILD LOVE STALIN
ALL IS GOOD
Before you click "share", look at the f***ing source, okay? Is it a legitimate news agency? No, not Daily Kos or Bill O'f***ing Reilly -- I mean a LEGITIMATE source. Not some blatantly biased shill for one side or the other. If not, don't post that shit. Nobody goes onto Facebook hoping to have their brain smashed with a big f***ing hammer. They go on there hoping to see a funny update about the crazy lady in line in front of you at the grocery store.
This is the #1 way to get your ass deleted. You bloody no-good propagandist. You worthless Joseph Goebbels wannabe. You make everyone around you dumber. That's so rude.
Let's all cool down with this picture of a kitten.
Also, I'm interested in learning more about the Right Wingers for Truth About Obama Being a Goat From Outer Space movement. I'm not saying I'm 100% on board, but let's just say I've always had my doubts about him.
OMG how did none of us notice?
The same damn shit over and over again
Everyone has that one friend: they get pregnant, and for the next nine months it's "10 Things You Shouldn't Say to a Pregnant Woman", "5 Things You Shouldn't Do to a Pregnant Woman," "8 Things You Shouldn't Ask a Pregnant Woman," every week and sometimes extra on the weekends. And then the kid is born, and it's "____ Things Nobody Tells You About Being a New Parent" every Tuesday for the next fifty years.
And then there's that friend that just took a personality quiz, and now you're getting weekly lessons on "How To Handle An Extrovert When You're An Introvert."
Oh God. Please stop.
If you're newly pregnant and you're excited about it, and you find a very funny list of things you shouldn't say or do to a pregnant woman, by all means, share it! Hell, when I was first pregnant with Audrey, I put together my own tired old list of rules. But for the love of god, get some new material eventually. I don't need weekly reminders that you're super into breastfeeding ("Oh good, ANOTHER article about the benefits of breast milk! The first twenty only had me 80% convinced so hopefully this one does the trick!") and four article shares a week reminding me that you are WAY WAY WAY AGAINST gun ownership ("Wow, another gun accident happened somewhere in the world? Well this one has just pushed me over the edge and now I also support a total gun ban!").
It doesn't work that way. Repeatedly bombarding people with the same message in slightly different form isn't going to make them agree with you. It's just going to make them sick of hearing your damned message.
And then everyone unfollows you and you're shouting into an empty chamber. And that's sad.
Plus, nobody gets to see those videos of your cat riding a bike :-(
Overtly racist shit
The world has really changed over the past few decades. And one of the biggest, most awesome changes has been that it is no longer considered okay to be openly, virulently racist. Even if on the inside you are the most bigoted piece of shit on the planet, most people generally understand that they need to at least pretend not to have those views when interacting with people in a public setting.
So when someone is so incredibly racist that they don't even feel the need to pretend not to be racist ... wow. That is some racism right there. (and of course, this also goes for blatant, over-the-top homophobia or sexism or whatever other issues and -isms you've got going on)
When you post openly racist stuff, you put your Facebook friends in an awkward position, as you've now pretty much obligated them to dismiss you as a piece of shit. They have no choice but to dislike you, no matter how cool and funny you may have seemed up to that point. You can't just casually brush off someone's grinding hatred of another group of people. It kind of has to be addressed, especially when it's shoved in your face in an arena as public as their Facebook feed.
I address it by going "ugh, gross" and deleting that person.
Shut the f*** up.
Shit that wastes everybody's goddamned time
So, my Facebook feed is full of a lot of things that are not interesting to me. Links to quizzes to determine how much of a pervert you are. Links to 20 page slide shows of dogs and cats that are friends. Links to slide shows of celebrities who DEFINITELY HAD PLASTIC SURGERYYYYYY.
I'm not gonna tell you to stop posting this stuff, because even if it's not interesting to me, it's probably interesting to someone. I mean, it was clearly interesting to you or you wouldn't have posted it!
No, what I'm talking about is something far more sinister: the Facebook post that lures me in with the promise of interesting original content ... only to turn into a "Post this if you love your sister too!" or "Share this status if you also hate cancer!"
You tricked me into reading that garbage. You big jerk. For a minute, I really, truly believed that you had actually written something yourself -- something that I might enjoy; something that might tell me more about you as a person. I saw a post that wasn't an article share or a video somebody else made, but just a plain ol' handwritten text status, and I got excited.
And then you gave me the ol' bait-and-switch and now I'm realizing I just spent all that time reading a stupid repost.
At first, I was like "wow, what a nice thing to say to all your Facebook friends!"
And then I was like "I am going to stab you with an eagle's talon."
Oftentimes, I even have to hit the "Read more" link to extend your stupid trash status out to read the whole thing. I don't even know I've been duped until I've clicked the link and it's too late.
You did this to me. You monster.
So, in conclusion, stop being a dumbass and everyone's Facebook experiences will improve. Post things that are interesting, cute, funny, or that will make me feel more connected to you. Post pictures of your kids, and share recipes you tried, and link to slide shows of people falling off things. Post about how your final exams went, and about your brother being in the hospital, and how excited you are for your trip to Spain. Share a BBC article about the most recent major world event, in case I haven't heard about it yet.
But don't post f***ing Facebook game updates.
Here's another kitten:
Now we're all feeling fine.