Get out of my face

By Jackson Somes

I think we’re at the point where Facebook has become a part of everyday life. That’s ok, I can accept that. I don’t mind checking Facebook every once and again to see what friends are up to lately. In fact I find it comforting that people I know won’t turn to strangers once I stop seeing them in person on a regular basis; that I can contact almost everybody I know within a few seconds. What I can’t stand is the number of times Facebook is thrown in my face each day.

Ten years ago Facebook wasn’t even founded. Its concept was solely the imagination of science fiction 20 years ago. The idea of a virtual interpersonal network was hardly conceivable 30 years ago. Now Facebook can’t even leave me alone for a couple of hours.

From television commercials to Nature Valley granola bar wrappers, Facebook never seems to want to leave me in peace. Even when walking in public, I hear people talking about it. Facebook is not just a service you can frequent as often as you choose, free of charge, you are also confronted by it at almost any moment of the day.

All I’m asking is to keep social media on my Internet. It seems wherever I go on the Internet or out in the wild, Facebook is lurking behind every corner. Stop reminding me that I should ‘like’ your business, product or latest cheeseburger. A cheeseburger may seem like an odd product to endorse, but the Wendy’s Baconator has already garnered over a quarter million ‘likes’ on Facebook. That’s not to say the Baconator isn’t one tasty burger. I’m just not sure I’m ready to permanently tie it with my online identity.

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t even want Facebook on my phone. Everywhere I wander people are staring down at their own personal two-inch screens. I log in just one time on my phone to upload a picture and suddenly I’m bombarded with status updates from everyone in my contact list. What I assumed would be a simple fix ended up taking my days of tinkering and Google searches to figure out how to disconnect my phone from my Facebook account.

Speaking of Google, stop trying to connect my email accounts with YouTube. Let me save you some time, nobody wants that. My YouTube should stay with my YouTube, and my emails with my emails. I know you’re still upset that nobody likes Google Plus, but don’t try to force it. Stop trying to make Google Plus happen. Much like fetch, it’s not going to happen.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, Twitter. Right there accompanying every marketing campaign is a Facebook page to ‘like’ and a Twitter hashtag plopped right beside it. The only reason I’m more angry with Facebook than you is because Twitter doesn’t directly affect me because I’ve somehow managed to get this far without creating a Twitter account. It’s not that I don’t want my podium to the world to be limited to 140 characters or my deep feelings expressed through hashtags. I just haven’t come up a clever username yet. Don’t worry, I’ll get there someday.

I do have one bone to pick with Twitter though. Thanks for turning Facebook into a minefield of hashtags. I thought hashtags were Twitter’s thing, you can’t just go stealing it like that. Come on Facebook, what happened to cutting edge innovation.

I’m not upset that everyone I know has suddenly switched to hashtag format to share their thoughts, because many people I know still refrain from hashtags. What really grinds my gears are the people who drop close to 20 hashtags in a single post or status update. Once you’re at that number of hashtags, why stop there, might as well keep going. Try to set a record. If you’re going to use hashtags, at least try to keep it ironic.

If I could live in a world where all of my social media were kept in separate spheres I would be a much happier man. The worse of an idea the Internet and marketing agencies have of me as a person based upon my online persona, the more comfortable I feel.

Maybe the answer is to just turn away from social media and modern society entirely. That’s what I’m going to do. Let me grab my pointed stick, wooly mammoth pelt, neanderthal woman and head back into the cave. Let me know when they reinvent the wheel or at least a slimmer smartphone. My current four ounce supercomputer feels a little bulky.