I am going to punch you in the Face(book)

Continuing my theme of websites that drive me crazy, let’s talk about the one everyone loves to hate: Facebook.

But, akin to my gripe with FML, I don’t really want to talk about the site itself as much as the people who use it. I know everyone likes to complain about Facebook’s various privacy issues, but if you’re using the site you either need to stay aware of their changing policies or you need to NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION. It’s a non-issue to me.

ANYWAY. My problem with Facebook isn’t their labyrinthine privacy policy. It is the people who try to friend me when WE WERE NEVER FUCKING FRIENDS.

I willingly joined Facebook when my friends and I started to graduate from college, because some of them were a year ahead and I wanted an easy way to keep in touch. Even now I don’t use it with great regularity. I just check in to see what my friends are up to, but the ones I’m close to I always e-mail or keep in touch with in other ways as well. The problem with Facebook is when people from middle school or high school see my name pop up on a friend’s page and are like “Oh, Anger Ball! I wonder what they’re up to!” And then they friend request me.

Then I see this friend request and I think “What is this fucking asshole doing trying to friend me? Did they forget the part where they made my middle/high school life a living hell?” Apparently, they did. But it should surprise no one that I NEVER FORGET.

So I just ignore it, and usually it goes away. BUT SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T GET THE FUCKING HINT AND REQUEST ME AGAIN.

I’m going to break it down, then: If you friend request someone on Facebook, or a similar site, and they do not accept it, they either do not check their page with regularity or THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE FRIENDS. Either way, requesting them AGAIN will accomplish NOTHING. SO FUCKING CUT IT OUT. TAKE THE HINT.

I will admit that sometimes I’ve gotten a surprise request from someone that I was acquaintances with or I hadn’t thought about in years but would like to catch up with. But more often than not I get requests from people who seem to have amnesia and are living under the delusion that I want them back in my life. I don’t know if it’s the rising urge for people to feel like they have a zillion friends (hint: the number of Facebook friends does not equal the number of actual friends a person has) or what, but I’ve had so many people whom I’ve wished death upon be like “LOL LET’S BE FACEBOOK FRIENDS” that if I could, I would take them back in time to middle school and be like “REMEMBER THIS? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I’D WANT TO BE YOUR FUCKING FRIEND, ASSHOLE?”

The other thing is that there is the ability to send a message with a request. So maybe if one of these assholes that suddenly thinks we were BFF sent me a message being like “Hey, I know I tormented you but my therapist says I should try and make amends and I’m sorry,” I could at least understand where the urge to friend me came from (although the answer would still be no, jackass). But 99% of the time I’m left in the dark about their reasons, with just a random friend request sitting there with no explanation. So the only choice I have is to assume that they just want to see if they’re more successful or better off than I am or something equally petty and stupid (and not indicative of happiness), and I am just not interested in that bullshit. ALSO I HATE YOU SO FUCK OFF.

The other annoying thing is when people you met once, at some random place, look you up on Facebook, sometimes months later, and try to friend you. This happened with me with someone I met at a competition whom I didn’t even particularly LIKE. But he friend requested me out of the blue, and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. I met him a handful of times (a yearly competition) and he was a complete pompous asshole every time, which, surprise surprise, is NOT A PERSONALITY TYPE I RESPOND WELL TO, so I just avoided him, and apparently he thought that meant we were friendly enough for him to look me up on Facebook. UH, NO. THAT IS NOT HOW THE WORLD WORKS. Breaking news: If someone is AVOIDING YOU, it means they DO NOT LIKE YOU.

I think there should be mandatory Facebook etiquette courses that people have to take when they sign up, because I hear about this shit happening ALL THE TIME to my friends. Like, if there could just be a checklist that was provided to the idiots, to keep them from bothering the people who only want to friend ACTUAL FRIENDS on Facebook, that would make it so much more tolerable. I imagine the checklist would look something like this:

    Do you know how to spell this person’s name?
    When was the last time you spoke to them?
    What was your past relationship with them like?
    Did you pick on them in school?
    Why the hell do you think they want to be friends with you or care about your life?
    Are you just lonely and want to feel like people love you?

I can think of many more things the checklist could say, but they eventually all devolve into: “DELETE YOUR PROFILE AND JUST GO SIT IN THE CORNER. STOP BOTHERING EVERYONE.”

I understand wanting to connect with old friends that you might have lost touch with for various reasons. But if half of these people have as hard a time in real life distinguishing between “friend” and “person who hates me,” I can only imagine how much fun their birthday parties must be. “Sally got me a box of razor blades again; I just don’t get it!”

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