Seriously – who is anyone else to go making any kind of comment or assessment regarding the relative value, quality or relevance of your Facebook existence?
Coz let’s face it, many people have a relationship with Facebook that’s right up there with the relationships most of us share with breathing, water and/or wine. In short, there’s a lot of material for the discerning social media critic to work with.
But who’d do that? Why would anyone deem it necessary, or even appropriate, to cast judgement on your Facebook life?
For instance, who’s anyone else to dismiss all your pics of food, coffee and alcohol as inane trivia that only those in your immediate vicinity should ever be aware of? Why would anyone question why you don’t also post a photo every time you consume a slice of bread, a piece of fruit, a bottle of soft drink, or a glass of water? Indeed, who’s anyone to question why anyone else needs to see what you’re eating or drinking in the first place, to say nothing of your own utterly narcissistic belief that anyone else needs to see what you’re eating and drinking in the first place?
Who’s anyone to dismiss all the photos you post of your baby (and very little else) as a sign that – somehow – your time still isn’t fully occupied? Who’s anyone to decide that your baby, cute as it may or may not be, is suffering from a major case of overexposure thanks to your obsession with both it and social media? Seriously – who’s anyone else to level such an accusation against you?
Whose place is it to diagnose you with a “Facebook addiction”, even if your every move from one day to the next can be accurately tracked, in all their mind-numbing glory, via your multiple daily posts? Who’s anyone to declare that the thousands of ‘Likes’ you award each day – many within minutes, if not seconds, of the original post – are further evidence of your apparent “Facebook addiction”? Who’s anyone to make such ill-informed diagnoses?
And who says it’s not normal to have 4,679 friends, anyway? Who’s anyone else to question how well you could possibly know such a vast array of people? And whose place is it to suggest that you probably don’t have anything to do with 99% of them from one decade to the next? That’s a massive supposition and who’s anyone else to make one of those about the relationship shared between you and your thousands of Facebook friends?
Who’s anyone to decide that all those ‘happy couple’ and ‘happy families’ posts are either you massively over-compensating for something far less bright and cheery, or else they’re an obvious grab for attention from the “is your family better / happier / prettier than mine?” crew? For that matter, who’s anyone to insinuate that said crew even exists?
And who the hell is anyone else to imply that all those travel pics are just so much window dressing, disguising a deeply unsatisfying existence? That they’re more of an attempt to convince yourself, rather than the world at large, how fabulously interesting and exotic your life really is? Who’s anyone to theorize that people who do a lot of travelling are more likely to be running away from something than merely possessed of an adventurous spirit? Whose place is it to make such conjecture, anyway?
And who’s anyone to tell you that all of your pointless posts that vaguely hint at something but actually say nothing at all are an obvious attention-seeking grab at a reaction from anyone who reads them and, as such, are highly irritating?
At the same time, who’s anyone else to suggest that responses to said posts – along the lines of “awwww babe”, “omg!” and “r u ok?” – are, at best, empty platitudes and, at worst, puerile, disingenuous or even fake? Who’s anyone to question how concerned your so-called friends actually are if all they can muster is one poorly-constructed comment in response to your apparent cry for help? Who’s anyone to question the depth of such obvious care and concern (even if they never did bother to call or even text you, nor ever followed-up in any way on their one-line comment or your post ever again)?
Who’s anyone to criticise those posts of yours that are so clearly inspired by Academy Awards acceptance speeches, in which you thank the entire world, its dog and everyone in its family line back to the beginning of time for everything that ever happened to you? Who’s anyone to suggest that being that “high on life” is just a little bit vomit-inducing? That you’re smiling just a little bit too much right now? Or that your “thank you” messages might be better directed at the actual people you’re actually thanking – you know, as a group message maybe, or even as individual messages or by phone or text or – God forbid – face to face, rather than sharing with the entire population of your Facebook universe?
And just whose place is it to belittle anyone else for posting “Happy Birthday” messages to someone who can’t even read yet? Or to someone who shouldn’t even have their own Facebook account (assuming adherence to Facebook Inc. Terms, Section 4, Point 5 “You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.”) for the best part of a decade? Who’s anyone to rebuke you for such things? (Which reminds me – how did you end up tagging your 2½-year-old in that post?)
Who’s anyone else to deride your use of Facebook as the new family photo album, anyway? Who’s anyone to say you shouldn’t ditch photos altogether, and just create a PowerPoint presentation of old Facebook birthday posts for your kid’s 21st? Who’s anyone to suggest there’s something detached, impersonal and slightly crap about that?
And last but by no means least – who the fuck is anyone else to hang shit on all those status updates and pictures you post of exercise, fitness and associated minutiae? Who are they to even imagine that exercise is taking the place of something missing from your sad, empty existence and that your step count or heart rate or the number of kilometres you spent setting yourself up for lower-limb arthritis and a double knee replacement in later years hardly warrants posting with such obvious glee on social media… who on God’s green earth has any right to subconsciously ask such questions?
Seriously, who’s place is it for anyone to say, or to even think, any of these things about anyone else’s Facebook life?
How sad, bitter, angry and/or jaded they must be.