My renewed thoughts on Facebook

by Nina de Haan

I’ve got another confession to make. I’ve been struggling for years, covering my ears whenever the word Facebook fell in a conversation, crying out the additional ‘lalala I can’t hear you’, actively avoiding Facebook hotspots, making jokes as ‘oh yes I’ll post it on Facebook!’ and thereby making fun of everyone who truly behaves like that, holding on to the more and more rare friends without a Facebook account and even unfriending friends using the social media. Hmm-kay, not entirely true, but the point is that I’ve tried very hard.

And now it’s time to come clean. As you understand by now: I created my very own Facebook account. I can see how your eyebrows, or one of them if your face enables you to do that, have raised a few inches. I will explain everything in detail, as in one big train of thoughts. (In reality I’ve dedicated about a thousand thought trains to the social network, going through the pros and cons. See, I’ve been addicted for quite a long time, even before subscribing. Oh, did I write that down? Shh.)

My reason to not make an account was as follows: Facebook is such a hype. People are constantly praising Facebook and referring to whatever is on there and every now and then telling me that I should absolutely go there too, because it’s so handy. I just didn’t want to be a part of that. Let everybody be on Facebook what they want, I won’t join them.
Other reasons were about me wanting people to tell me their juicy stories personally instead of just mass upload them, assuming you would be reading. I want personal stories, goddamn it. And I want to tell my stories personally, to the people who actually care, or pretend to for my sake. I already find it creepy that the few friends who know about this blog sometimes go like ‘oh yeah I read about that on your blog’, and these posts aren’t even Facebook material. Then there are those users not posting, but just stalking. I don’t want to stalk anybody and I surely don’t want to be stalked. What the hell? And then everybody would tag me in their pictures, in which I would look ugly, ugh. People know how I look, thank you.
There’s even more. I barely have nice pictures of me. Should I then just take an ugly profile picture? And what do I do when people whom I’m not interested in want me to be their friend? I don’t want to get those people against me.
In short: all trouble, good for nothing. People will come to me when they want to. I don’t need Facebook for that. I can be social and Facebookless at the same time. Watch me.

Do you remember this earlier post on the pros and cons? It sums everything up pretty nicely, if I may state that myself. Yes, I am telling you this after you’ve read the gigantic story above. I just didn’t know where to put it! There’s also a comment about Facebook keeping track of everything you do but to be honest: I don’t care much about that.

But, as you can see, things’ve changed. But what has ‘suddenly’ changes my mind about 180 degrees? I’ll tell you: pictures. Facebook is being used to spread pictures, as you all know, and I had accepted that. What do you need so many pictures for? But now I’ve been on an excursion to the Pyrenees and naturally a Pyrenees excursion 2012 Facebook page was formed. And when there’s such a page, nobody is going to spread their pictures via USB sticks or other bulk upload websites than Facebook. And yes I can live without those pictures, but with is so much better. So, that’s my main reason. Second reason is that I always find myself being a bit lonely during the summer holidays. Friends are leaving and it’s hard to keep track of who’s in town and who isn’t. Maybe Facebook would be, right, handy.

I’ve kept a special Facebook diary and noted all my thoughts on the subject from the day I created my account onwards. Read on! It’s super interesting.

Day 1

Okay I am making an account, because of the pictures and the lonesome holidays. Here we go, I am just doing it.
This is so not me. Do I want this? Should I just… Argh.
I did it! Now what is this? I don’t want to search for friends now. What is this crap, I’ll give you my information later. You already insisted on knowing my gender, isn’t that enough?
There it is, the picture thing. What do I do? Will people think I’m weird? Maybe it’s not normal on Facebook to have weird profile pictures. Do I have to blend in? See, this is what Facebook does! It gives you worries!
Now I know my name was pretty common, but do we seriously share it with so many?! Oh, the ones before me don’t exist. Maybe it’s some kind of random. Right.
How do they know whom I know? Via my emailadress, but I didn’t think it would work so well with this one. Wait, is that… Wow, she’s changed. I wonder what my friend thinks… OH NO I’ve JUST made an account and I am gossiping already! What is happening?!
I am currently scrolling through Facebook. I am one of them.
Facebook is so ugly. Why did I do this? Oh yeah, the pictures. I’ll look at them later.
Why am I not in my bed yet? I can see how Facebook eats your time. Woah.

Day 2

Do I have to read everything my friends post? I wasn’t planning on doing that really, but maybe I should give it a try, once I am bored. Yes.
Oh my I already did. This is so lame. At least the friends I already have don’t seem to post much, so it might not be a problem.
Why does my neighbor gargle in the shower? It is such an ugly noise.
This is bad. Facebook has already nested in my head. I am constantly wondering if people have added me. I should be ashamed of myself.
Do people use Facebook in the same way as Twitter? I can do that. I’ve neglected my Twitter account, but I liked making witty notes on things that happened. (Or what I find witty. Opinions may very on that.) Oh yes, my non-posting policy.
Why does she add me? We have zero contact and zero interest in each other. Makes no sense. Can I deny her? Would she be mad? Why do I care?
I accidentally accepted her. Great.

Day 3

Ah, my friends aren’t that active on Facebook. I seem to be more active than them, but of course I still get all those friendship requests. And we are having summer holidays and many friends always tend to leave me all summer.
Why do people tag me in those really old pictures? On this one I’m just a spot, you can’t even tell it’s me, if it wasn’t for the tag of course. Why cares?
The Facebook chat is actually handy! And our friends’ group too. I don’t get why that one didn’t exist already. Of course I couldn’t be in it and without me it isn’t fun. That’s so true.

Day 4

Have I become an addict? I am again online. These days I am working on the computer all day so I guess I’m allowed to. And the guy I like has Facebook, which is not completely irrelevant.
Maybe I should have a look at those pictures someday. I’ll do that when I find the time.
Bikini pictures of me on Facebook. Oh yes.
Why would  you post every place you visit on your time line? Why would you want a time line on Facebook? Don’t you just, you know, have a memory? Or a cool notebook. A happy one perhaps.
I find myself chatting with three persons via Facebook. It’s easy – though, it doesn’t work that well. The small screens tend to just scroll upwards and in the big screen after you’ve sent a message, you have to wait two seconds before you start your new line because otherwise he doesn’t get it. And I want more than one big conversation. Is that possible? Am I being too demanding?

Day 5

It’s official: I’m an addict. But I have started to look at the pictures, that’s a good thing! I suppose.
My friend and me are gossiping with Facebook open. Really. Do I want to be like this?

Three weeks after Facebook

I seem to be a true addict. The thing is: I have friends on Facebook who aren’t in my contact list on MSN (Adium) or elsewhere except my mobile phone and talking to them is just so nice! And whilst I’m using my computer already, why not open Facebook? And I have to read what my friends post in our private groups. So far no bad experiences! Except for the excessive tagging of old pictures of me (I am exaggerating here, it’s not that much actually). Oh yes, now I am able to be using Spotify! With their annoying ads. Ah well.
Some more thoughts: My friends are indeed less active than I expected, but again the summer holidays are on so I don’t have true numbers or anything. I myself am not posting yet, but you never know.

The regrets haven’t arrived yet so I am happy. Thank you for reading my awesome bullshit post. :)