Facebook: A Love/Hate Relationship March 4, 2012 by Chris LeBrun

I think it was Shakespeare who penned the poignant and hauntingly beautiful phrase, “Women! You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them!”  What The Bard didn’t realize about his completely mysognistic and inappropriate statement is that nearly 400 years after his death, his words would still be true about women but also about Facebook.

Can I get a witness?

Over the past year or so, by my estimation, Facebook has become something that more closely resembles a giant soapbox of propaganda than a way to keep in touch with friends. Part of me would love to just be done with it all together, leaving it behind like MySpace for a less annoying and more useful social media platform like Twitter.  The problem is, I have almost 1,500 friends on Facebook compared to only not even 350 followers on Twitter.  And when you look at people I know well, the percentages are probably 80% on Facebook to only 20% on Twitter. (That’s cause I have people like @orlandosalon following me!  You know how I fit right in with the hair extensions crowd!)

On the one hand, Facebook is still a vital form of communication between geographically challenged friends and family.  This week I found out that a college friend had died tragically in Texas, kept tabs on another college friend’s recovery from brain surgery in Boston, and “watched” in real-time as my friends in Tennessee and North Carolina survived Friday night’s deadly storms.

But all that important stuff is outweighed by redonkulous amounts of worthless junk (called “meme” if your interested in the facts, unlike that Shakespeare stuff) that gets posted each day. Apparently, some people think that it is their responsibility to share with the world every single picture they find floating around the world wide interweb, especially if the picture is of a celebrity

or a cute animal

or better yet, a cute celebrity with an animal!

What really gets me though is the propaganda that gets added to these pictures.  I think you know how much I hate stupid people so you can imagine how I feel about the people who believe that Brad Pitt really said this:

I know it’s confusing! Those words are right there on a picture of him so he MUST have said them!  Of course there are a couple of hot-button words in there like “equality” & “vote” & “pinecones.” I’m sure he said it!

Then there’s the inspirational or funny quotes, said by animals!  I feel so much more motivation when the inspirational thought is accompanied by an animal picture.  I mean, what’s more effective: “Life is like a box of chocolates…” or

Get it? A giraffe telling me in life I never know what I’m gonna get? Priceless!

(Don’t worry, we’re going to leave Katy Perry and her kitty alone!)

Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for sharing a cute picture or funny joke or interesting story.  But if this type of stuff dominates your Facebook wall we’re gonna have a problem.  If you want to propagate your beliefs on politics or religion (or the lack there of), that’s fine with me!  Just start a blog where you can share all you want to your readers! (The fact is you probably don’t have an original idea in my head and share and reposting is all you’re really good for.)

So here’s my plea people: stop being afraid of Twitter for Pete’s sake and follow me @bigtexlebrun.  Yes we can still be friends on Facebook but I can have your tweets go right to my phone (I’ve maxed out that capability on FB) and I can cut down the time I spend looking at your stupid meme.

But if you feel compelled to share that kind of junk, consider sharing the following:

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