Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Mini-Dictatorships of Facebook

(This is another of my City Press Magazine columns)

Facebook is the Wild West. Cats on bikes. Women with big butts. Eggplant carved into the Venus de Milo. Almost anything is okay. But it’s also made up of many millions of tiny dictatorships. Your wall is your country. You get to set the rules, and, even better than your typical country, you get to choose the people you want living within your boundaries.

My policy, which is a bit fluid, is in most cases I’ll let you in, but the second you annoy me you get the axe. And what sort of things prompt me to dig around in my toolbox for a sharp implement? One is an inbox messages saying- “hi.”. Nothing else, just: “hi”. Sorry, I’m a busy person. State what you want from me or be on your way.

Any sort of –isms I don’t like. Sexism, racism, stupidism. You’re gone.  Also, I’m an SMS language snob. It likely stems more from the time it takes for me to decipher what the person has said- “I h8 sum 1 lyk dat”.  Ten minutes later I figure it out and, frankly, I feel cheated.  Those were ten minutes I would have preferred to have used doing something else.

I have some friends with serious dictatorial tendencies. I have a friend who will unfriend you if you post pictures of food. He’s not my friend anymore. I posted a plate of lasagne I made from scratch. I knew what the outcome would be. I didn’t care, when you’ve made lasagne that good, it’s a wild and heady experience and throwing caution to the wind is the least of what will likely ensue.

I have another friend who is a rabid atheist. He will not allow a hijab or crucifix to spend a second on his FB page. Another friend cannot tolerate the unscientific aspect of a horoscope. Don’t even mention them. Even your star sign, you will be chased from her Facebook country before you can say Capricorn.

I often wonder if the world would be better or worse if it was run like Facebook. I’m thinking maybe worse.


Karen said...

Oh, I don't know that some countries aren't run like facebook. After all, didn't the US governmnent shut down because a handful of whiners got their collective panties in a bunch? I think they unfriended the entire country with that move. :)

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Some countries ARE run like Facebook. Countries which behead people, (Facebook is apparently allowing videos of actual beheadings to be shown) and yet demand that women are covered. (Facebook will not allow pictures or videos of breastfeeding, or boobs in general, I gather.) Frightening, ridiculous. Zukerberg is due to take up a dictatorship in a yet-to-be-discovered outpost ... where he will be covering boobs, and beheading, to his hearts content. Allegedly.

Unknown said...

Facebook may also BE a country the way they seem to live there. My brother posts at least 5 times a day, granted very pretty photos of art work he has found while surfing the universe called the web.

t said...

Ha ha ha Laurie