Daily (or When the Mood Takes Me) Gripe: We Adore Thee O Facebook, and We Bless Thee

Fucking not! Okay, okay….I admit it! I’m a recovering 24/7 Facebook addict! It’s the pretty colours, the hilarious memes (dubious description at best), the neverending Huffington Post posts from all the realms on earth (covering everything big and small, visible and invisible!, real and fantastic, truth and exaggeration!), my friends jaunty Status Updates – well, most of the time – and photos of their dogs or the occasional video of their dogs, or posts of cute puppies…ah, the puppies! Well, that was the start of it, in my innocent, virginal early days which seems decades ago now, but in reality is about 4 years, when the most inflammatory thing I would post was photos of the spring flowers blooming around the area I lived in. Oh how my innocence flew out the window, my virginity pierced and stolen by a lust for Facebook recognition.

Through Facebook I discovered friends that had disappeared out of my life 20 years ago – actually one of Facebooks endearing qualities – mainly upon joining the Lost Gay Sydney group. Friends I had partied with, danced with in Darlinghurst’s more salubrious establishments; people who had worked for me at the notorious “Numbers” Bookstore…or been customers to our…rear ‘club’…or both; by posting on Lost Gay Melbourne I reconnected with an ex-staff member from my Pellegrini days; two ex-partners (now three); a couple of friends of friends, who I share a sick sense of humour with; a total of – and this includes the ex-partners – six people I’ve slept with; and the most recent addition an old friend from Sydney who I encountered on a sex site – take a bow now, mate. Okay, the ladies are few and far between, and need to be very broad minded, but there are a few, definitely gay-friendly and a dark sense of the ridiculous in our lives. This leads us to…

The “Like” button, which became the most important thing in my life. A cute puppy “Like”; a weird story on HP “Like”; A normal story on HP “Like”; a Status Update “Like”; a funny meme “Like”; a corny meme “Like”; a stupid meme “Like”; someones death “Like”; a friend feeling depressed “Like”; someone going into hospital for open-heart surgery “Like”; anything to do with puppies “Like”; a broken romance “Like”; Lindsay Lohan going into rehab…again “Like”; sure you get the story now, as you have been there yourself. Didn’t matter whether the post was serious, frivolous, cute, funny, life-threatening, dumb,plain stupid, happy or sad…it got a “Like”. Took me quite a while to seize upon the fact that some things just weren’t “Like”, and though the finger hovered over it, common sense thumped in and said “no, that is not a “Like” moment….which leads us to…

Ah, “Comments”. The most staggeringly frustrating part of posts, be they your own, or someone elses. Typo’s aside – and someone should write a book on some of the ones I’ve done (the most notorious, and which put a girlfriend of mine into conniptions for weeks after was “Actions speak louder than wombats” thanks to auto correct) and speaking of auto-correct…why does it try to replace FUCK with FUNK (He’s a funkwit is just plain stupid, as is funknuckle) and ARSE with ASS (which, when I was at school, was a donkey) – the “Comments” column is a vipers nest writhing with poisonous fangs. I hate it when I do a great post, and nobody comments on it. What happens then, seeing as it may have been a late night post, thus lost amongst the jungle of overnight posts, is that I “Like” it again, then “Comment” on it so that it goes back to the top of the Newsfeed. Now, I’m quite the controversial guy, and enjoy knowing that certain posts will make hackles rise or blood boil. I know now what will just get “Likes” and what will get “Likes” and “Comments”. Cute puppies usually just get likes, but post a photo or video of MY dogs and there are heaps of “Likes” and “Comments” from others who also own and post about their dogs. Hunky guys get “Likes” and “Woofs” – not to be mistaken with posts about dogs, just to confuse the issue. They also get obscene comments, much to my delight! Political rants – of which I do hundreds every week, always get “Comments” because…well…we fucking hate our government. Many think it is futile, but I don’t. It is cathartic, and releases a lot if built up steam. Items also get “Shared” by ithers, so there is, in effect, a pyramid process going on, and who knows where that may end. There are occasional arguments, but I have a hard and fast rule – if I am not totally knowledgeable about the subject, or not totally up-to-date on it, let the argument go, and don’t make an arse (ass, for any American readers) of yourself. It helps keep friendships. Which brings us to…

The “Unfriend” button. Wow, that’s a heavy dude. I have, to date, only used it once. I get light-hearted posts from a page called BareBackers. In the gay scene, barebackers are guys who have condomless sex (I am NOT going to call it unsafe when we are talking about consenting adults, and that will probably start an argument now). Anyway, I reposted a rather funny meme from them, and a friend took offense that it was from a page titled BareBackers, and despite my telling him that the page wasn’t about pornography, and that FB didn’t give two hoots about how people practiced sex, they went and reported it to FB Admin, to no avail. At first I let it go, then about an hour later, after stewing about it for that long, I took action. In the “Comments”, under his gloating ones about reporting the page, I let fly about him telling me how to run my life (mind you, he wasn’t exactly backward at being forward himself to the point of rudeness, often offensively) and how he set himself up as judge and jury about things he knew nothing about. Then I “Unfriended” him! I felt bloody good after that, I can tell you. Now this brings us to the tumultuous world of…

“Friends Requests”. Don’t you just love the obscure ones “I love you long time” and you go to their profile and they have no other friends – not even family, no photos, and no posts. You think to yourself “How the fuck did they find me!” And shrug your shoulders, for after all…this is Facebook, with all its mysteries. And the ones where you scratch your head and try to figure out where they know you from – friend or foe! The ones from obscure people in equally obscure countries who don’t even speak English. Then the ones you do befriend, who then never interact with you. Weird! I always read about friends doing culls on their “Friends” lists, but it is never my problem as I have about 90 friends, and I know why they are all there. I have to confess I don’t get the Facebookers who “collect” friends, to the extent of hundreds or even thousands. My Newsfeed often goes largely unviewed, as the number of posts I get is so full-on that I just don’t have the time. Imagine adding feeds from hundreds of “Friends” on .top of that…no thanks. No wonder one never hears anything from these “Friends”…they are just overwhelmed by posts. Which brings us to…

Pokes! Has anyone ever managed to work out just what the fuck “Pokes” are all about! I know friends who have competitions with them, seeing how many people they can “Poke” in one sitting, or how many “Pokes” exchanges they can have in one day. Fuck! I return them when I get around to it, which isn’t very often. This now leads us to…

The dreaded “Newsfeed”…the one, singularly most frustrating parts of Facebook. Has anyone actually worked out a successful way to negotiate the “Newsfeed” yet! I bloody doubt it! Posts are all over the place. There is no way to search for something you want to review, no way to group posts from one person or organisation, page or group. Comments sometimes just disappear, or are delayed. I HATE that if you are calmly and methodically working your way through the “Newsfeed” and inadvertently touch the screen…and suddenly find yourself back at the fucking top of the page. Shits me big time! Then you have to scroll back down to find where you were. This, naturally, leads us to everyone’s favourite love-to-hate-you

Facebook Admins. What fucking morons these people are! Sitting up there in some cyberspace viewing platform, picking us off like sitting pigeons for the most menial infractions of their childish thou-shalt-and-thou-shalt not rules and regulations. Kicking people off, or penalising them for being adults. Sorry FB, no one on my “Friends” list has kids that can be corrupted by any of my posts, no matter how obscene! This is how fascist they are – I posted a video of my two dogs playing with a neighbours dog a couple of weeks ago, and tagged a “Friend” in it. The next thing I knew…the video had gone, to be replaced by a message that I may not have had the copyright owners permission to post the video…my video…of my dogs! I then had to fill out a form to say the video was mine to get it reinstated. Unbelievable! Seems you can run scams, piggyback profiles, hijack profiles, rip people off left right and centre…but don’t post the wrong thing! Which finally leads us to…

Just enjoying Facebook for what it is. Don’t try to analyse it. Don’t take it too seriously. Yes, there are a lot more important things in life, but we all need a break and a bit of fun in our day.

So, how did I cure my addiction? I didn’t! The novelty ran out eventually, which cut it back substantially. I enjoy it over breakfast, or a cup of coffee. And that is just as it should be…maybe. And don’t forget…

The Facebook Mental Asylum is only a post away.



Tim Alderman
Copyright May 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s