A few weeks ago, Facebook gave people a reason to use the word "ballyhooed" after a much-ballyhooed diminution of user privacy. The "Kill Your Facebook" movement has gained momentum, and a site dedicated to "Quit Facebook Day"
encourages visitors to "commit to quit" on May 31.
Friends? I'm here to tell you -- you can't
A few weeks ago, I quit.
I was worked into a libertarian lather about Facebook's transparent gambit to sell my beezewax to advertisers, and I totally was Not Buying their aggressive press campaign to explain and apologize. (It didn't work for Corey Haim, and it won't work for you, Facebook!)
But here's the problem, guys: We need Facebook. We do. We're too entrenched.
Sure, there were some really great things about quitting. Notably: the inability to drunkenly post the lyrics to Mr. Bigg's "To Be With You" at 4 a.m.; not getting alerts on my Blackberry from this one creepy dude who sends me golden shower videos; not worrying about potential employers seeing that picture of me mounting a fiberglass brontosaurus in a sombrero at South of the Border. It felt illicit but liberating, like not wearing underwear on a stand-up roller coaster.
But then a few things happened that made me realize that Facebook is like methadone. I can't quit it! And neither can you. Here are eight reasons why:
My 14-year-old sister joined Facebook and I needed to see if she was hanging out with bad characters or sexting or whatever it is tweens are supposed to be doing to upset Andy Rooney. This was incredibly fruitful, as I found out she has friends who USE THE F-WORD. DAD, CAN YOU SEE THIS? HANNAH TOTALLY HAS FRIENDS WHO USE THE F-WORD.
My friend Bryan and I had an epic fight and I needed to see if he was (as I suspected) losing sleep, posting photos of me with the eyes burned out and changing his interests to "Coldplay" and "whiskey." This turned out to be fruitless, since he's in his 30s
(old) and hardly ever logs in.
3) The Ability to Be Sort of a Bad Friend
My friend Josh is moving to North Carolina and I had to find out from my mom
. MY MOM! Having a parent go, "You didn't hear? It was on Facebook" is basically like finding out that Megadeth got back together from Meredith Vieira. If my mom hadn't told me, and I called Josh to hang out, I would probably look like a pretty bad friend
4) Beer Goggles
I met a cute guy at a party where I had A FEW MARGARITAS and could not be fully sure whether or not he was cute. When he emailed me to get drinks, I had to Google Image Search him. Have you used Google Image Search to try to figure out what somebody looks like? Because Google Image Search thinks I am either a naked picture of Richard Simmons or an animated deer.
5) People Who Rely on Your Hilarious YouTube Links and Constant Status Updates
My friend Paul was like, "Did you defriend me? Where are all of those great links to your own writing that everybody reads and should probably necessitate a new Pulitzer category? Who is going to quote 'Cabin Boy' at three in the morning?" And he looked so sad! Augh, I hate it when Paul looks sad!
My ex-boyfriend joined Facebook and I reeeeeeeally needed to know if he got fat.
7) Avoiding Actual Human Contact
A girl I loathed in high school CALLED ME to ask if I could get her cousin an internship with my old job. Had I been on Facebook, she would have A) known that I didn't work there anymore, and B) realized that I did NOT ACCEPT HER FRIENDSHIP, forcing her to learn an important retroactive lesson about making fun of people who play Live Action Role Playing games. Also, WHO USES THE PHONE?
8) What If a Celebrity Friends Me?
What if Bill Murray has a friend named Julieanne Smolinski and he accidentally friends me by mistake? I would totally not tell him I was the wrong one and then I would be Facebook friends ... with BILL MURRAY
The lesson here, guys, is that my fighting Facebook was like Cthulu fighting the Kraken: sooo awesome in theory, for sure, but with no ultimate human winners. At this point, it's become too much of a tool for stalking, networking, saying happy birthday to people who you would normally feel guilty for not texting or calling, and figuring out who has gotten fat or had an ugly baby. It's just too powerful!
So, I won't be quitting on May 31, or probably ever, unless it becomes really, really uncool, like MySpace. Or Mark Zuckerberg starts selling my address and the times I will not be at home to burglars. It seems like the logical next step.
Julieanne is a Lemondrop editor. You should totally follow her on Twitter, which is considerably less evil.