Facebook has been in the news a lot lately.
More than usual, I mean.
There was the whole IPO thing last week, which didn’t exactly live up to everybody’s expectations.
I’m not really sure how people didn’t see that coming.
Frankly, I don’t think Facebook’s initial offering could have lived up to the hype. Facebook’s IPO reminded me of the Star Wars prequels, there was absolutely nothing Lucas could have made that would have lived up to the frothy fanboy hype, especially for The Phantom Menace, so he just did whatever he felt like and got even more rich. The fans were all bummed, and they never got over it.
But, funny thing, they kept going back.
That’s right. Star War fans love to hate the Prequels, but they just keep watching them.
Dude, the prequels suck bantha poodoo!
Yeah! I know! That Jar Jar Binks is racist stereotype douche!
I know! I hate George Lucas!
Why are we talking like William Shatner?
Because from now on, it’s Star Trek all the way, my friend. Screw Lucas, Man, screw that bearded Jedi douche!
Yeah! We’re not giving him another dime.
So, what do you want to do tonight?
Go see Star Wars?
And on the way home, they bought the DVD. Then a year later they bought the Blu-Ray. Then a year after that, the director’s cut. And now they’re waiting for the 3D Extended Cut With Extra Dark Side. And they still hate The Prequels and George Lucas is still rich and The Phantom Menace and its two shitty companion flicks continue to make gobs of money to this very day. With Facebook it was the same thing. Honestly, people were acting like you were going to get a free Genuine Jesus and a new BMW with each stock share. There was no damned way Facebook’s IPO could have lived up to all the hoopla and expectations – and the folks on Wall Street certainly should have known that (Oh wait, they did. They just didn’t bother to tell you. But I digress).
Facebook’s IPO didn’t live up to expectations.
So now people are declaring it a failure and forecasting Facebook’s imminent demise.
Bawahaha. Yeah. Sure.
As I said on Facebook itself a couple days back, currently nearly a billion people use Facebook. A billion. That’s nearly one seventh of the world’s total population.
Yeah, but they’re a billion losers, Jim, I hear you say in that ponderous William Shatner voice you use when you’re about to explain how we should all go get a life. Real life, that’s where it’s at. Dump the ‘book, Man, go outside!
Sorry? I missed what you said because I was busy posting a picture of my cat to Twitter.
Look, no way in hell is business, Wall Street especially, going to ignore a platform that provides access to a billion people all over the world. No way. Maybe the current revenue generating system isn’t working as well as it could, but real soon now some bright guy is going to figure out how to make that profitable and people who own lots of Facebook stock are going to retire to the Bahamas – maybe they’ll have to dump the prepubescent CEO first, but sooner or later it’s going to happen. A billion people. Point to any other platform with that kind of captive audience. Sure Facebook stock took a dip, how could it not? So did Microsoft’s, more than once (remember when the government sued Bill Gates? Sure you do). See anybody burning Mircosoft stock to stay warm nowadays? Yeah, me neither.
People may hate Facebook, or claim they hate Facebook, but more go back than don’t. Two weeks ago if Facebook went bust, so what? Zuckerberg would still have been reasonably wealthy and he could still start any number of new ventures and people would throw money at him by the bushel. If Facebook went bust last week, nobody would have lost much of anything other than a place to post pictures of cats.
This week? This week a whole shitload of people, including Zuckerberg and all of Wall Street, have very, very good reasons to keep it going and turn it into a world dominating social networking business. And they will.
People have been hating on Facebook since Zuckerberg first dreamed it up in a drunken stupor back at his Harvard dorm room.
Google “I hate Facebook” and see what you get.
"Good morning, Twitter!"
"Hi everyone on Facebook!"
"Just had eggs for breakfast. They were good."
WHO CARES!!!!!! The second anyone posts anything like this on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ immediately gets unfriended and blocked! Don't waste my time. I have 100+ legitimate tweets and posts I need to sift through every day without having to read stupidity.
A hundred plus legitimate tweets and posts you say? Frankly, I’m surprised you have time for friends at all, what with all those messages about the cure for cancer and world peace and all. Sorry to bother you, Mr. Trump, by the way, check out this picture of my cat licking his balls. LOL!
"YOU DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS GOING ON? YOU DON'T CHECK MY FACEBOOK?" Yeah no, sorry, maybe you could fucking call or text instead!
You ever wonder if maybe Facebook isn’t your problem? Maybe you just have shitty friends? Or, and here’s a thought, maybe it’s not your friends who are shitty, maybe there’s a reason they don’t like talking to you face to face.
My mom isn't on the Face Borg, but her sister is, as is my sister-in-law and my dad's sisters. Recently my mom commented on the fact that before everyone was on Face Borg, she would get emails from people once in a while, or phone calls. Now, nothing. She doesn't hear about anything because nobody bothers communicating by any method other than Face Borg. Kind of pisses me off. The sad thing is, saying something to those people is unlikely to change their behavior, because people are lazy and will always take the easiest way out, regardless of the consequences.
Back in my day we didn’t have no stinking Facebook, no sir! People actually took the time to get out the quill and inkpot and write! Then they’d put the letter in an envelope that they made themselves from the skin of small children and seal it with big blob of blistering hot wax – and they made the wax themselves, from the honeycomb of killer bees! There weren’t any self licking stamps back then, by God! You had to fight killer bees! It’s totally true! And then they’d give the letter to a guy who rode a fucking pony all the way across the continent dodging wild injuns and bears and tornados and shit like that! And the guy would have to swim rivers and climb mountains and gnaw off his own testicles just to survive winter storms! And it took months! And we were damned glad, damned glad, to get that letter! That was communication, Goddamnit! You little punks with your social networking and your smartphones, you kids are soft!
Back in 2009, Huffington Post published an anti-Facebook rant by Andy Ostroy. The nicest thing Ostroy says about Facebook is:
[Facebook is a] cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time. What started out as a social networking site for college kids has somehow turned into a cesspool of self-absorbed way-too-old-to-be-fucking-around-on-Facebook adults who think that the rest of us actually give a shit about what they're drinking, eating, thinking, reading, watching, and/or are listening to every five minutes.
Ostroy then goes on to explain how much better his real awesome non-narcissistic adult friends in the not-cesspool-like real world are and how they’ll drop everything and come over at 2AM to help him (See, calling your meat friends at 2AM because you just have to move a couch right then is somehow totally not self-absorbed, but hey, again, I digress). Ostroy then drops this bit:
Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a citizen of the Facebook nation. I was lured there by a dear friend with promises of mega-business-networking benefits, and I must also confess to periodically using the site for shameless self-promotion to my vast empire of 165 friends. But if I am indeed a Facebookian, it is citizenship in the vein of Che Guevara, Abbie Hoffman and Thomas Paine. I'm a radical. A dissident. A conscientious objector in the Armed Forces of Facebook. I might even call myself a revolutionary, for I'd love to stage a coup and turn Facebook the vainglorious social-networking site into Facebook the bastion of selflessness and redeeming social value.
See, everybody else on Facebook is a narcissistic douche-weasel, yes, but not Andy. Andy’s on Facebook, yes, but it wasn’t his idea, see, it was totally somebody else who made him join up, see, and he only does it for the marketing opportunities (which for reasons unexplained somehow doesn’t make him a complete tool). Besides, he’s not really really on Facebook because he’s like a rebel, he’s a, a, a Maverick! Yeah, a maverick and he’d totally turn Facebook into a place more awesome than a stack of hot chocolattey bunny waffles smothered in melted Jesus butter and kitten syrup except for the rest of us self-absorbed douchecakes. See? (Note, it would appear that Andy either eventually deleted his account and moved to a small cabin without power or indoor plumbing somewhere in the vicinity of Bozeman, Montana, or his contempt for the rest of us eventually grew so great that he imploded like a small bitter black hole. He’s no longer on Facebook, which sucks because it looks like he’d totally be prime Friend material. If you’re looking to make your Farmville roses grow, I mean. What? I’m just saying you shouldn’t pass up free fertilizer is all).
Now don’t get me wrong here, just because a billion people like something doesn’t automatically make it not suck, but it should obvious that Facebook appeals to something a lot of people want and enjoy.
And that as they say, folks, is the secret of business.
Seriously,you’ve got to admire Zuckerberg’s business plan:
Step 1: Go to College. Get drunk
Step 2: Write some code instead of studying for midterms
Step 3: Profit
Step 4: Get chicks
Seriously, the guy is 28 years old. He’s a buzillionaire because he came up with a gimmick where people could post pictures of cats and talk about how they totally got shitfaced last night and had sex with the lawn-jockey in their parents’ front yard (forgetting that they friended their grandmother last week. Oops sorry Grammy, look, Kittens!) and vicariously spy on people who used to bully them in high school but are now blubbery losers who live alone with their mangy diseased little shitty dog and obsessively play Farmville all day (Heh heh, how’s that pro-ball career working out for you? Loooooooser! Ha! Er, sorry. I never do this. Never), and they can do it for free (post stuff, not the lawn-jockey sex thing, that’s gonna cost you). And without any effort on his part, he managed to convince one seventh of the world’s population that they needed it. Dude.
Sure you could probably make a case that Facebook really serves no useful purpose. It’s bloated and superficial. But nevertheless it appeals equally to titans of industry and those Mindanao tribesmen who live deep in the jungle and speak only the click-click language. Facebook is the Kim Kardashian of modern communications!
That’s capitalism, right there.
Truthfully, I didn’t think I’d like Twitter, but I do. I didn’t think I’d like Facebook, but I do. (I really thought I’d like Google+, but I don’t, go figure).
Yes, that’s right, I like Facebook. I admit it.
Which doesn’t mean that it doesn’t irritate the hell out of me sometimes.
Take the Timeline for example. People bitch about the Timeline. Hell, I bitched about the forced change to Timeline.
Yeah, turns out I like it and I probably wouldn’t go back to the old format even if I could, because I’m the guy in this Oatmeal Comic.
When people bitch about how much they hate Facebook, they’re not really bitching about Facebook, are they? No, they’re bitching about the people they interact with on Facebook. These people, for example:
The Drama Queen Friend: OMG! OMG! Waffles!!! I think my husband is trying to kill me! These people live their lives in the middle of an ongoing Lifetime Channel movie, with themselves as the star.
The Quitter Friend: I CAN’T STAND IT!!! I’M QUITTIN’ FACEBOOK! I hate it! I hate this fake online “life.” Fake fake fake. Who’s keepin’ it real with me? Who has the courage? Who? They’re always quitting Facebook, and Twitter, and Google+, and Pinterest, and YouTube, and TV, and Texting, and Email, and they’re going back to nature. They’re going to retreat to a loft in Portland and churn organic butter and do something with chalk art on the sidewalks. And they’re going to have lots and lots of “real” friends who are made out of meat instead of electrons. Oh yes, yes! Except, of course, they never do. They just go on and on and on about it, hoping you’ll say “Oh no! Please don’t leave us, dear dear electronic friend! Please stay and tell us how fake we are. Please!” Yeah, good luck with the butter churning, Wilber.
The Ghost of Christmas Past Friend: Great picture of your kid, bro! Say, did you ever tell him about that time when we all got drunk on that crap @boobassfuckheadshitballs thought was Yeager and you got beat up by that hooker? Good times, man, god I miss those days! Thirty years. Thirty goddamned years and the only thing this guy can talk about ever, in every single conversation, is that time you did something dumb. He’s fifty years old now, married, kids, job, veteran, been around the world, flown airplanes, met Elvis, tamed the Yeti, cured cancer, but the only fucking thing in his entire life that he ever thinks about is that one time you barfed in the back of a taxi. It’s the one single bright spot in his entire life. Every single conversation. Every single one.
The Mom Friend: LOL! I saw you complaining about my grandbaby on Facebook. LOL! Here’s a picture of that time you shit your diaper and then wore it as a hat! LOL! You were such a little stinker! P.S. Ran into your old girlfriend at the Safeway, she’s such a nice girl. We’re having lunch tomorrow. Oh well, got to go. Kiss my grandbaby for me and say hi to your wife, @whatshername. LOL! Facebook is fun LOL!
The WTF Friend: Flarn splith roxnark! ROTFLMFAO! It looks like English, sort of, but the words never make any sense together. No matter how much you squint your eyes.
The Creepy Sharer Friend: Huggy Jones The Hairy Barbarian likes Anime Sex with Lawn Jockeys! Seriously, Dude, you’ve got to stop logging into porn sites with your Facebook profile. Really.
The Cat Friend: Look at me everybody, I’m a cat! I’m a cat on Facebook! On Facebook, I’m a cat! I’m going to be honest here, I do not understand the concept of pretending to be a cat on Facebook. I do not. I understand the concept of pretending to be a fourteen year old Asian girl on Facebook. Cat? No.
The Needy Friend: Nobody likes me, everybody hates me! Click Like to give me a Facebook Hug, if I don’t get a hundred likes in the next hour, I’ll probably kill myself. What? I don’t even know you, now I’m responsible for keeping you alive? Really? You might as well go shut the garage door and start the car now. Say, you know what you need? A cat. I just happen to know one, on Facebook, I’ll hook you two up.
The Wet Blanket Friend: Haha! Great post, I needed the laugh. My dog died today. In a car accident. He was riding with Grandma, who had a heart attack and drove off a cliff. The car landed on an orphanage full of Nuns. Then it exploded. Grandma had senile dementia and I’m her legal guardian, but I’m an unemployed single parent dealing with a child born without toenails and so I didn’t notice that Grammy had gotten into the vanilla extract, took my car keys and Mr. Muffley and lit out for Atlantic city. I’ve got to go, the police are here, but great post, Bro. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.
The Paranoid Friend: Facebook sells your information to Russian Mafia Pedophiles! It’s Twue! Really? Then maybe you should stop sharing pictures of your friends’ kids all the goddamned time, eh?
The Non Sequitor Friend: I see that you’ve posted a picture of your cat, Mrs Wiggims. I’m not interested in your stupid cat, so I decided to comment with a link to this article on the complexity of free market capitalism and its relationship to gas prices in Zimbabwe. All men know this guy. He’s the tool who, no matter what the topic of conversation, no matter what the situation, no matter who the audience, interrupts with highlights from last night’s ball game.
For further examples of how to suck at Facebook with amusing and strangely drawn illustrations, as always I refer you to The Oatmeal.
But it’s not all bad. Unlike real life, online communications tend to distill people down to minimal dimensions – which, if you know people in meatspace with hygiene problems, isn’t always a bad thing. They might be nice people, but phweeee! back off on the aftershave there, Stinky. Online? Hey they can dose themselves in as much Hai Karate as they want and you can still like them.
Which is not to say that if I was Zuckerberg for a day, I wouldn’t make some changes:
I want an Unlike button. I want it to be big and red and I want it to say UNLIKE! And instead of a poke, I want it to send a raspberry noise to the poster of the content I’m unliking. ZSsssssssrp!
I want to be able to edit my posts and comments.
I want a Block-All Games Requests Forever Button – including games that have not yet been written or conceived of. In fact, I want a button that not only blocks all game requests, but also sends painful electric shocks directly to the reproductive organs of people who send me game requests. Instead of raspberry noises, I want it to send that Nyah, Nyah, Nyah sound like the Aflack Goat.
I want a Block All Further Comments Until I’ve Finished Typing My Witty Response To Your Comment button.
I want an app that automatically deletes any dorky picture of me more than ten years old posted by people who used to know me because they think that’s funny. Dude, remember this? LOL! You were such a dork! Yeah thanks. In gratitude, how about I post this picture of you humping a lawn jockey on your mom’s home page, OK?
I want expanded unfriend options:
- Passive/Aggressive Unfriend: this option doesn’t really unfriend you, it sets my Facebook page to ignore you and doesn’t tell you why because you should be able to figure that out on your own. If you’re really my friend.
- Geeksquad Unfriend: unfriends you, then crashes your hard drive and makes your smartphone explode. Looks like somebody will be making a trip to Best Buy.
- Menace to Society Unfriend: unfriends you and automatically signs you up for invasive strip searches by the TSA.
- Unfriend for Liberals: unfriends you and changes your profile picture to a shot of you kicking a puppy while holding an AK-47 at Sarah Palin’s BBQ. Sends you Groupons for a ten percent discount on baby harp seal apparel.
- Unfriend for Conservatives: Unfriends you and sends an autographed picture of you holding hands with Jane Fonda at a gay pride parade to your entire contact list. Then it invites Levi Johnson over to impregnate your daughter.
- Because, Fuck You That’s Why Unfriend: Sends a picture of you humping a lawn jockey during company time on a huge pile of stolen office supplies to your boss, accompanied by a sound clip of the Aflack Goat making the nyah nyah nyah noise.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have like a hundred legitimate tweets and posts I have to go read.
Remember to “Like” me on Facebook, folks, or the lawn jockey gets it.