Ubiquitous “social media” website that, like overuse of marijuana, causes severe mental deterioration.
Facebook is deeply committed to mangling the English language. Its first and most successful assault on English was to turn the meaningful noun “friend” into a parody term referring to any person you may or may not vaguely know who has decided “to friend” you. If the absolute stranger-“friend” turns out to be a sort of stalker, you are permitted by FB to “unfriend” him, her, or it. Other Facebook usages that have succeeded in draining meaning from the language are “like,” “share,” “status” and “hide.” Pressing the “hide” button on some non-friend’s photo of a cute cat gives you the illusion that you have banished the non-friend and the cute cat photo to some netherworld from which they will never return. However, their disappearance is temporary at best, and when you next scroll down your “news feed,” there they are again. Various mouse-clicks or screen-touches will falsely reassure you that you can restrain them (e.g., prevent them from “sharing” photos with you) or, in extreme cases, “unfollow” them. We now “unfollow” various non-friends whom we have not yet “unfriended.”
What is the content of Facebook? Ranges from the aforementioned endless photos of very cute cats to endless self-promotion, usually by obscure poets, stand-up politicians, and desperate house husbands. Speaking of poets, one of our FB “friends” is a Vancouver poet who posts lots of cute pictures of himself. At Dooney’s, we prefer cute photos of poets to those of cute cats. If Facebook Canada carried more photos of cute and uncute chimpanzees, we don’t know if we would prefer photos of poets to photos of chimps.
In addition to self-promotion and cuteness, FB also specializes in preaching-to-the-converted. As it happens, we have lots of friends, vague acquaintances and total strangers who are “political junkies.” They fill the “news feed” with hyper-links to articles in publications that you’ve already read with your morning coffee. If these news feed clutterers are leftists, they hyper-link you to infinite material designed to convince you that PM Stephen Harper is leading us on the road to fascism, or that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Senator Mike Duffy are very weird people. But you already know that. Wouldn’t this choir of preachers-to-the-converted better utilize their time becoming “friends” with people who didn’t already agree with them? On the other hand, we’re grateful to harmless obsessives who send us obscure baseball factoids or hyperlink us to six or seven YouTube versions of some nearly forgotten jazz standard.
When you open FB, it always asks you, “What’s on your mind?” Some days, you just want to tell it, “I feel like a motherless drone.”
Some very few people who are not on Facebook Canada report, amazingly enough, that they are not suffering from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
BTW, there is no Facebook Canada because FB is everywhere… and nowhere.