Weekends! That’s when you do…. stuff. Y’know, useful stuff, relaxing stuff, social stuff, practical stuff. Just Stuff!
Now this is stuff that should be done during your weekends because time is precious and here you have two whole days to fit it all in. Just two days!
But much of that time can be wasted. Wasted by social media. Particularly Facebook.
I came to realise that I was wasting much of my weekend on Facebook or it’s slightly trendier, younger sibling, Twitter. It would draw me in. I could be waiting for the kettle to boil and I’d just check what’s going on amongst my friends. Before you know it, the kettle had boiled and was now cold again and I had spent two hours looking at shit! I would awaken from the zombie state and realise it was dark and think, ‘How did I get here?’ Then I’d realise that I had wasted precious time and feel like a right idiot. I mean what did I gain from those two hours? Not a cup of tea, that’s for sure!
So for the past couple of months I’ve made a conscious decision to avoid social media altogether from Friday night until Monday morning.
Let me tell you it’s actually quite liberating. Not in a running naked through your local supermarket (avoiding the freezer aisle) kind of way. It’s almost a sense of freedom; of escapism. I mean why waste all that time looking into the world of others when your own world is going on around you, in real time? Live and yet you are missing it, not achieving anything at all, wasting electricity by having to boil a kettle twice, or three times. Rarely four.
But on reflection, Facebook is a fantastic tool for networking, promotion (I promote this blog through it) and for keeping in touch with those who you would otherwise have lost touch with. It’s a way to maintain a different kind of friendship. A friendship that doesn’t have to rely on meeting and spending time together. Perhaps this is because you never really had that kind of relationship in the first place. But it’s a good way to just check in, make sure someone is okay and then perv a little at their holiday photos. I’ve NEVER done that! Honest.
I did however use Facebook to both lure and then woo the beautiful Mrs Grump. So thank you Mark Zucherburg.
Can I just add in there that we had met before the Facebook intervention? I didn’t just go prowling through friends of friends and then find her, think she’ll do, and then send her a gloriously charming and witty message to arouse her interest. Oh no. We met before I did any of that!
But apart from this, there are one or two or three hundred things that do annoy me about Facebook. I shall just mention three of them here for you and see if you feel my pain.
1) Invites to play games.
Candy Crush and a few months a go I think it was a farm based game. NO! I don’t want to play a stupid game that results in my friends being given the equivalent of junk mail. Well done! You scored three billion! I’m sure your parents are shedding tears of joy from the overwhelming pride they must be feeling to know that their child has reached such great heights! I really wish that Facebook had another button. Like, Comment, Share, I Couldn’t Give A Shit!!
2) Those posts that encourage you to “Like” the page.
Now I need to clarify what I mean by this. It is not the post that shows something nice like a young child who has beaten cancer with a sign saying, ‘I just beat cancer.’ Those type of posts are inspiring, sharing something positive and should be celebrated, and to think that child could see that so many hundreds of thousands or even millions have liked their achievement, is a wonderful thing.
But I’m Grumpy Young Bloke; so before I get carried away and all airy-fairy, let’s get back on track.
I’m talking about a picture that might show something like a child crying on a potty with text underneath (sometimes grammatically incorrect) saying something like, “Abusive Potty Training is bad. Will you like this or just ignore if you have no heart and are evil!”
Sure enough there are a few thousand likes underneath by people who have jumped on their left wing, high horse thinking that of course, abusive potty training is bad. They will show their support to this and hit that like button, which then will show up in all of their friend’s feeds and show everyone what a good soul they have.
But, the thing is, hitting the ‘Like’ button doesn’t actually make any difference to it. Cruelty to animals, violence, pollution and perhaps even abusive potty training do occur. But hitting that like button, being the keyboard activist makes absolutely no bit of difference and I can’t help think that some spotty dickhead has wondered how many likes he could get for a picture. So he has Google imaged a picture of something bad and put it on Facebook with some text underneath that will accuse anyone who ignores it as being evil and hey presto, the little keyboard warrior has managed to get many thousands of likes for their post. Then after their little satisfactory chuckle, they can return to cyber bullying someone.
Final point about this, don’t you think it’s a little ironic to ask someone to ‘Like’ the picture, which is portraying something that actually isn’t to be liked?
AAAAAGH!!! This is infuriating. I have removed people from my friends list because of this. Again, I have taken selfies of myself with Mrs Grump when we have been out and about and haven’t had anyone to capture a picture. It’s capturing a moment, a memory. It’s nice. But seriously? Do some people need to almost produce an instagram flickbook of their lives in selfie form?
Look, here I am looking up at the camera. Here I am looking slightly of to the left but maintaining eye contact with the lens. Here I am with a glass of wine. Here I am in the kitchen. Here I am on the bus. Here I am with my hair styled slightly different. Here I am sitting on the shitter.
And then you also have the ones where they’ve taken a selfie but they are looking in a different direction altogether. What because candid shots look cool? Yes they do but not when you’ve taken it of yourself!!!! You can’t take a candid picture of yourself you bloody idiot!! That is not what candid is! And how many attempts did you make? There should be a selfie counter that automatically appears in the bottom of the image. ‘This was attempt 14.’
They annoy me a little.
So there you have it. I try to browse Facebook where I have limited times. Like commuting, sitting on the pan at work or when the kettle is boiling.
Do you feel my pain? Have you been drawn into the black hole of Facebook only to emerge the other side having lost several hours or days?