Facebook’s IPO is big news today. They’re talking about a $5 billion dollar deal here. All this from a social networking site that’s only 7 years old, and has only been open to the public since late 2006.
To this day, if someone says the words “Web 2.0” or “social media,” you’d be hard-pressed not to let that infamous blue and white logo pop into your mind. It’s the social media platform par excellence. Sure, other players are rising to the top. But Facebook is the 800 million-user gorilla in the room.
Why do I say Facebook is evil? Because I couldn’t possibly waste more time there. It’s like a disturbance in the space time continuum. I sit down to just take a peek, and two hours later, I’m still there, leaving comments, checking comments, doubling back, circling the wagons, using stupid metaphors.
I think I figured out their evil little secret. It’s simple, but deadly.
This little, innocuous-seeming icon is my undoing. It’s a Pavlovian masterwork, providing an endorphin rush right to the part of the brain that makes me want to feel more important than I really am.
“Oh lookie! Someone left me a comment!!! I AM LOVED!!!”
I have no doubt that an evil team of behavioral specialists and psychologists, and maybe even drug dealers, spent months working on this little soul-ensnaring gimmick.
Finally, after years of unquestioning submission, I voluntarily put myself on a Facebook moratorium this week. The plan was to go the whole week without logging in. I did fine on Monday. Tuesday…started out well. Then I wrote a blog post. I Tweeted it, but I only have half as many followers on Twitter as I have friends on Facebook. So of course, I got less traffic than I was really looking for. I resisted for most of the day. But it finally struck me that if I was going to drive any traffic to this stinking blog of mine, I was going to have to pander. So, with ice water in my veins, I logged in and I posted. It was supposed to be a surgical operation – in and out, no dawdling.
But look at that! Someone posted something about selling their PS3 just weeks after they got it! What is up with that? And someone else was talking about how their first day of going without sweets was like coming off of heroin. There must have been 30 comments, and I had to chime in with my own experiences, natch. And then there was that really funny Newt Gingrich picture that a friend sent to me. How could I not at least post that before I logged off again? No, really, just look at it:
And with everything I posted, every comment I left, another little red notification icon would pop up mid-stream. So I’d click it and find more accolades or rebuttals to bask in and respond to.
Ring me a bell, and I kid you not, I will salivate.
The fact is, I like Facebook. I enjoy it, and I enjoy the interaction I have with all 441 “friends” there. But I like it too much. It keeps me from doing more important things, like picking out which flavor pork rinds I want to buy, or playing tower defense. So I think that in the interest of being more productive, I’m going to have to continue to scale way, way back.
When I log in, though, and there’s a “47” in my little red notification icon, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.
P.S. – Please click “like” at the bottom of this post. It’s about Facebook, so your Facebook friends will probably find it amusing. And meta. And what’s better than something that’s both amusing AND meta?
Steve Skojec is a storyteller, writer, blogger, photographer, designer, and sci-fi fan. He is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. He lives in Arizona with his wife Jamie and six of their seven children.