I know this debate has already been discussed on this site, but I’m really starting to get fed up with these two social networks (for the record, I’m completely refraining from mentioning Friendster, which my grandparents don’t even use anymore). This morning, when I came into my office, I had eight notices from Myspace and seven from Facebook. Did I care about a single one of them? No.
For example, this is a notification that Facebook has just sent exclusively to me:
From (random friend) (Switzerland) while using Moods: Hey, I’m feeling Dizzy. How are you feeling?
You know what random friend who added me on Facebook despite us never really speaking or making eye contact during the brief period we attended the same high school and might have been in the same French class? I’m not feeling so hot either. I’m feeling downright irritated at your news feeds, constant updates, invitations to join your clubs and, more than anything, your “moods” application. This is the fundamental problem with Facebook. There’s far too much going on. It’s inescapable. You’re bored one day and you see someone who you kind of knew in high school on Facebook. So you add them, just to check out their profile once. But then you are stuck with an eternity of their updates, invitations and, my personal favorite, wall scribblings saying “Hey! Haven’t seen you in a long time! How are you?” What am I supposed to respond to that? “My dog died and I hate my job! How are you?” No. I say “Good! How are you?” And the conversation goes on awkwardly until one person decides to stop the ridiculous messaging and the two never talk to one another again.
While Myspace isn’t as insistent on giving constant updates on everyone’s mood/feeling/purpose in life, all I seem to get from this site is messages and friend requests from bands I don’t want to listen to or women with scantily clad pictures of themselves, saying they’re lonely and that they want to be my friend (by the way, Angel and Sexxxkitten – you never wrote back to me). Although the random hot girls’ web pages tend to be amusing, especially when people post poorly-written comments under the pictures like “Ooooh girl you’re but is so fine I want to bite ittt,” they are still a colossal waste of time.
And then there’s the fact that Myspace is spamming everyone. I myself have been violated by a Myspace spam virus, which left Macy’s gift cards as comments on all of my contacts’ pages. Having never been to Macy’s, I was annoyed, and was then even more annoyed when I had to answer everyone’s comments asking me why the hell I loved Macy’s so much. My other friends have been spammed by dating services, hair-loss treatment programs and even Viagra. It’s as if there’s a faction of old, balding, impotent men who are looking for women to hit the sales aisles with and decided spamming Myspace would be the most effective way to recruit people.
Finally, I’d like to recognize both of these websites for what they really are. A chance to post pictures of ourselves. Obviously everyone is aware of the extreme narcissism involved in having a complete page devoted to yourself, but with Facebook now actually offering updates on each new picture you post and who has commented on it, we have reached a new stage of vanity. The pictures are normally of us in a drunken pose, or smoking a blunt or dancing innaproprietly, basically showing that we are laid back and like to party. Again, I too am guilty of this, my own picture being of myself, holding a beer, with a my friend suggestively wiping his cheek on a bib emerging from my crotch. Trust me, I think that Carly Simon song is about me too. I’ve even done one of those useless Myspace survey things, giving out personal information like what my favorite color is and how many times I’ve been on a rollercoaster (answers: green, omg too many to count!).
We hang on to these websites because they are slowly becoming the way that we communicate with people. Phone calls turned to text messages, which turned to IM’s, and now people are so scared of talking to someone who is actively engaging in conversation that they prefer to leave little messages on a message board. To quit either of these online communities might mean that we lose ties with people. However while these websites may be convenient ways to keep in touch with old friends, I think the convenience is beginning to be outweighed by the cacophonic shitshow which they are becoming.