I am one of the few, the proud – The Facebook haters. I tried to ignore it for so long, but I have finally given in and now have a Facebook page. I do it only to get people to read my website blog, but I hate, hate, hate it. I definitely have the face for radio so I do not need any prospective clients to see me online because If they see this face – they’ll never book!
I think that at the heart of it, I just don’t get Facebook. I’m a mid-thirties guy that feels like I’m up on what’s current – but I just can’t see the point. It’s supposed to be “The Great Connector” bringing everyone together, but how?
We see the value of face-to-face meetings over anything else every day, but with Facebook you’ll never actually have to be face-to-face with anyone again. You can put up a picture, write on their wall, poke a friend – whatever the hell that means or is good for, but that’s the extent of your relationship. You will never call them again or have to ask about anyone’s family because you can see their pictures and read all about their vacations on their wall. It virtually eliminates the need for telephone calls, letters, or (God Forbid) in-person visits. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think that stinks. For my birthday, I want the people that care about me to actually remember the date on their own, put a little thought into it, and then pick out and send me an actual greeting card for my birthday. And send it In the Real Mail!
We have turned into a sad ADD, quick-post society and forgot about the basics. We fall into these 140 character short message people that cannot process a simple conversation. Blackberries and IPhones (The new dirty mistress of many corporate professionals) are a separate story entirely. We are held hostage and feel like we need to post our every mood and move or check our wall and hear about the newest Facebook apps. If you’re not a manic Facebook Frequent poster, than you definitely know someone that is.
Also, what’s with the incomplete, cryptic messages like “cannot believe it?” What can’t you believe? I have no idea what half the people I’m friends with are talking about and I cannot be the only one. Did you ever hear the old expression don’t bury the lead? Let someone know what the heck you’re talking about.
That’s not to say there aren’t any positive things about Facebook. People learn practical and valuable skills every day. I am actually so proud that my sister (who couldn’t be trusted to watch my guinea pig Liz for one weekend without killing it) is now a proficient agriculturist with thriving herds and crops in her pasture and that my father is exploring his Italian heritage with Mafia Wars. What’s with the Ancestry requests? I need to click so you realize that I’m your son and we’re related? Marlene tells me all the time how she has no time to get anything done around the house; of course she doesn’t – she spends her whole day tending to the crops and feeding the animals. She is a housewife, but how can her husband expect her to cook dinner or do the laundry after working the fields all day?
Also, I can now “friend request” back and forth with the people in High School and College that knew me when I had a mustache and mullet that I thought made me look cool like Tom Selleck in Magnum PI, but actually looked more like Dennis Spade in Joe Dirt. These are people that I made fun of, got beat up by, dated and then hated, and generally don’t keep in touch with. If we were that close we would have kept in touch. Now I have to feel guilty if I don’t let them be my friend. I’m Catholic, we’re bred to feel guilty – it’s been ingrained in me for the past thirty years. If anyone sends me a friend request, I feel bad to say no or decline them and I let them be my friend because no one likes rejection. Even with people I don’t like, I let them in. I’m a sucker. I have work people that are looking to be friends and I just cannot say no. Keep in mind that these are people that I can’t stand and don’t want to eat lunch with, nonetheless hear about their summer in The Outer Banks or see their cat cleaning himself while perched atop their living room curtains.
Everyone puts every picture they have ever taken up there for the world to see and sometimes the people in the photos don’t even know it. The last thing I need is for a prospective client to see me fist pumping with Snooki last weekend in Hackensack or doing keg-stands in my underwear back in college. People pop up in other albums and they have no control over them. My friend Mary has group pictures in her album, and our other friend Susan looks like she’s in the middle of an epileptic fit in one photo. Unflattering photos are funny to see, but the person looking foolish should be the one to decide who gets to see it.
I know that there are privacy settings and you can limit who sees or reads what, but I still don’t agree with it or trust it. I don’t want people I don’t know to see pictures of my son and hear all about his personal details. I feel like it makes it less personal and takes something away from it. Also, and let’s be honest and loud and clear here; not every baby is cute. This is extremely difficult because I’m the parent of a really really cute kid but I have friends that aren’t and that is a very hard lesson for them to learn. Especially when people see my cute baby in his Gap Jeans and Kenneth Cole hoodie and then they go and put up a picture of their little troll with the misshapen head and lazy eye. You know what an ugly baby in really cute clothes is? A Wannabe!
While we’re at it, Caroline – I don’t care which Glligan’s Island character you are, stop sending me that nonsense and get back to work! Paul, if you send me one more “what NFL player are you? I’m going to come to your house and feed your cat chili and then lock it in your bedroom. Randi, let me just say that if you have a top-ten stalkers list – that means something is really wrong with you! And Missy, I’m never going to build a civilization and attack my friend’s empire, so please stop asking.
In the whole Social media vein, I hate Facebook, but I will not even discuss Twitter. I’m not David Koresh looking for my own Branch Davidians, so anything advocating me having “followers” goes against my long held, anti-Cult stance. I’m not George Clooney or Brad Pitt doing anything of any importance so who really cares if I go to the library or to the movies? Why do I need followers? Who should we be followers of – Kanye West? He’s a musical genius, but what in the world could he be spouting that is of any consequence to me? What about the lessons we teach kids about never being a follower? Throw them right out the window with the art of sending a hand-written thank you card.
In all seriousness, I can see that there are positive things to be gained by using Facebook but for business, I just don’t see it for me. I don’t think our clients should (or even want to) know that much about our personal lives. It’s inappropriate and if you turn them down, you’re rejecting them. We work so hard to maintain our reputation and control the light our clients see us in and Facebook can darken that in an instant. Now that I’m off my tangent – let me go and pretend that I’m not annoyed that my friends have checked their fortunes with Madame Sonia and felt the need to share it with me.