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Last week, I logged onto Facebook for the first time in a couple days. I scrolled through my feed for a bit and came across something horrific. My grandmother, who is 86, had shared a video titled “They Went So Hard For Three Days And It Was So Forceful That She Ended Up In The ER.”
Above the title was a photograph of a man and and a woman, completely naked, in the middle of, uh, doing it. The link came from a Ukrainian porn website.
Grammie had “shared” it 48 hours earlier. It had two “likes.”
Facebook has become awful. It’s not because my grandmother has started sharing Eastern European porn links–I’m not entirely upset about that–but because Facebook has become a place where smart people can survive as complete fucking idiots.
Go scroll through your newsfeed and count how many click-bait headlines you see:
“You’ll Never Believe What This Dog Did To Save This Baby”
“This Whale Got Washed Ashore With A Dolphin, What Happens Next Will Shock You”
“The Conflict In Gaza, Explained With 17 Hilarious Ron Swanson GIFs”
Look at the little gray text below. Check out the source of the content. Is it something like “www.seriousrealnews.china.xx.net”? Probably.
And the comments encourage the madness:
“Hahaha! Numbers 11 and 14 is so us!”
“OMG number 6, I can’t even.”
The amount of garbage on the Internet is nauseating, but the epicenter for all things awful has become Facebook. What happened to writing on people’s walls? What happened to poking each other? Yeah, it was stupid at the time–but I would trade it in a heartbeat to get rid of this new era of Facebook.
When did Facebook become the place to share the results of “Which ‘Mad Men’ Character Are You?” where 1,500 of your friends are inevitably forced to know the results? Why is it pertinent that I know all your BuzzFeed quiz results? “Oh, yeah, that’s Katie. We went to elementary school together. I haven’t seen her in, like, 15 years, but if she was on the show ‘Mad Men,’ she would definitely be Megan Draper.”
The worst part of this whole ordeal is that I feel like I can’t escape. Facebook has become an integral part of all our lives, and leaving it means that we become disconnected from more than just an Internet profile. Friends, colleagues, and businesses all use it for networking. It’s expected that you are on it. It’s weird if you’re not. Facebook has become “too big to fail.”
So, I’ll keep my profile. I’ll scroll through the bullshit. I’ll look at the bikini pictures. I’ll avoid the constant brand interaction. (Wow, Burger King, you used the word “bae”? That’s edgy as hell.) But I’m not going to act like Facebook is cool anymore. Facebook sucks, and there is nothing we can do about it.