Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Facebook Etiquette - Part 1

Part 1 - Introduction

Oh Facebook. You've given the world such a platform for millions of people who just 500 years ago would have been shot just for opening their mouths. Speaking of freedom of speech, what does that mean anyway:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

God, who doesn't love that First Amendment. It means anyone can say whatever they want, whenever, they want without fear of retribution, right? WRONG, and fuck you for thinking that. The First Amendment just means the government is not allowed to institutionalize censorship. The noun in that sentence is Congress, not regular people. If you say something stupid or offensive, my freedom of speech gives me the same right right to call you an idiot asshole as you do to say stupid shit in the first place. The moral of this story, "If you say something stupid, people will think you're stupid. You can't hide behind the internet."

What's that you say, you don't care what people think? Of course you do. We all see through your bullshit. When you say you don't care what people think, what you really mean to say is, "I can't admit when I'm wrong." Of course you care what people think, that's why you're posting on the internet in the first place. You want people to agree with you, or pity you, or give you any sort of positive attention. You care so much what people think that you take your innermost thoughts and post them in a general forum. That's why I'm writing this right now. I feel like everyone on Facebook is insane and I want someone to fucking agree with me.

The web gives people "internet balls." If someone's pissing you off in life, more often than not, you stay quiet and deal with it. People don't like confrontation; it's awkward to be around. On the internet, though, you can post your opinion, then walk away. The response isn't immediate. You can be passive-aggressive and hide behind deniability because it will be hours, even days before someone calls you out, if ever. The people you affect through Facebook are miles away, so it's hard to give a crap about how anyone's going to feel about what you say.

What's that you say? Aren't I doing that very thing right now? Clearly, every opinion I'm voicing right now comes from some incident or another, and by not naming names, aren't I just playing the passive-aggressive game? Yes, of course I am. The difference is that this is my site, my blog, and I'm not going to link to it on Facebook, or anywhere for that matter. I will say, though, that if you think anything I write on this topic is the result of anger toward you, it's not. I feel I'm just putting my frustration in positive directions, in hopes that at least one person starts a conversation about Facebook etiquette. I feel no ill will toward anyone, I just wish we were all on the same page.

If you disagree with anything I've said or will say, feel free to comment. If I disagree with you, I'll just delete your comment. I'm not Congress, I can do it if I want.



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