Columns

2017.06.28 How I hate thee, Facebook

By DAVID GREEN

I got the best notification ever from Facebook two or three weeks ago. It was so good that it made me like Facebook for an hour or so.

“David Green: You last updated your profile 172 weeks ago.”

I love it. Three and a third years of ignoring Facebook. A proud and enduring record.

What is my profile anyway? I don’t see anything called profile. Perhaps it’s the About section where I said that I am a “former writer and janitor at the Disturber.”

I’m not sure why I said former although it seems somewhat true. In my mind I’m not doing much writing anymore. Sure, I fill pages one and three with news, but after that it’s often just a lot of photos. Good photos, but still, I used to write a lot of feature stories.

And janitor? It’s always been a weakness of mine and my colleague Kym has been embarrassing me by taking on some of those duties.

I listed my birthdate in my About section so people can make sure they have the correct DG. You can’t tell from my profile photo because that’s still an unfortunate tomato hornworm covered with parasites. That’s how life seems on occasion, doesn’t it?

My Political Views are listed as Clownface. Don’t ask, I don’t know. I never indicated whether I’m interested in men or in women, although I did list my marriage to Colleen Leddy. There are so many Friend Requests that I have rudely ignored, but why follow a silent fellow?

I don’t ignore Facebook completely. I get messages from people now and then related to Observer business and I use the messaging feature myself to contact people who no longer own a landline telephone.

I admit, Facebook has been very valuable in Observer work to contact people, for people to contact me, for tracking down the spelling of names, double checking the relationship between kids and parents so we don’t embarrass ourselves in articles. I’ve written entire stories through Facebook Messenger interviews.

And when I see a notification to check on, I often scroll down the page first to read a few posts and that’s when I start to hate Facebook again. I don’t want to go on other people’s vacations. I hate the headings that end with “and see what happened next….” I don’t like the fast-action craft and cooking projects. I’m not so interested in what kids and their pets do. I don’t want to “Type Yes if you agree.” Wow! What an anti-social curmudgeon.

Actually, I can handle all of that stuff pretty easily—I just don’t look at it. It’s something else that really makes me hate Facebook: It gives people such an easy avenue to be stupid. People write such crude and hateful words in Facebook comments. It doesn’t just mirror society; it helps it get stupider.

I do find it amusing to check out the Disturber’s Facebook Likes from people living near Kashmir or Jalandhar in India. It’s started up again. Wani Zubair Nadwi and Bilaldar Bilal Dar are recent fans. One of them says that he studied at Lovely Professional University near Phagwara. I like that.

 Sometimes I send a message to these guys—“Why are you a fan of a small newspaper in Michigan?”—but I have yet to receive an answer.

I SCROLLED through Facebook to try to find my last post from however many years ago. Yipes, all those birthday wishes that I still haven’t read, year after year. What a rude man.

I gave up the search, but it doesn’t really matter because I accidentally posted a fireworks photo on my dead personal page when I thought it was going to the Disturber’s Facebook page.

I have to admit, this incident made me realize what I do like about Facebook. I posted the festival photo with the caption, “I got lucky last night.” Judy Oxenger Johnston responded: “And you got a nice picture, too.”

I like the humor that comes through now and then. I laughed out loud when my wife showed me the video of the kid getting dizzy and trying to walk.

But overall, Facebook, I hate you. I wish you didn’t exist. Now leave me alone and I will gladly return to ignoring you for a few more years.