Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Like Everything

I see I've been writing about once a month lately. That's not real good, so for the four of you who read this regularly, I'm sorry about that. For the rest of you, you're welcome. But that's not what this post is about.

I have written about facebook before. Facebook bugs me in a lot of ways, and it's not generally facebook itself, it's the people who use facebook. I guess that's pretty much everybody these days. But I'm not going to quit using it, even though I'm seldom using it to its full extent. I check facebook fairly regularly on my cell phone, and fairly, uhh, irregularly on an actual computer.

When you check your facebook on a computer, there is so much more information presented to you. The mobile version of facebook fails (I'll consider it a success) to inform you of some requests, like every friend you have trying to get you to join their cause for abused ostriches in Madagascar or become a fan of their favorite coffee shop in a remote corner of their favorite vacation spot in northern Saskachewan. For the record, I don't care. But that's not what this post is about either. Stick with me.

I got on the computer today and checked my facebook, and my attention was drawn to the right-side column where you are reminded to connect with old friends and to help them be less popular than they are. Facebook also recommends people you may know. This can be convenient if you're like me and don't generally go actively looking for people to be friends with. Turns out that's not what this post is about either. I'm a mess.

It's been recommended to me, apparently by some higher power, to "like" certain things, based on other things I "like" on facebook.  I have chosen to "like" on facebook a comedian that I actually like in real life named Brian Regan.  So now I get recommendations for things like "CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS", because "Many who like Brian Regan like this".  By the same rationale I should also like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.  I wonder how many people no longer like Brian Regan because they assume they have been put into these demographic categories.

I "like" Chick-fil-A, and not just because my sister Marianne (whom I love) works in their corporate offices, but because I'm a pig.  But facebook seems to think that because I "like" Chick-fil-A, I should like Pop Tarts, Starburst, and Lil' Wayne. 

One of my favorite bands, the Avett Brothers, suckered me into a "like" as well.  As an Avett Brothers fan, I should like Barack Obama and camping.  Maybe facebook is right.  Maybe I should become a Mormon and spend more time enjoying the political right AND left while camping and listening to my favorite tracks by Lil' Wayne and the Avett Brothers.  Nice work facebook, you dummies.  I guess it's not just your users who bother me.

But about those users.  This whole "like" thing got me wondering if people just decided to tell Planet Facebook about every little thing they were appreciative of.  Sarcastically, I typed "breathing" in the Search bar.  Six different pages came up with a total of about a quarter million fans.  Another necessity for human life is eating.  Apparently 1.5 Million people on facebook agree and think they should clarify that to their friends by actually joining a group.

The old saying, "it's better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt", doesn't really work anymore.  Now we have facebook to broadcast to vast numbers of people just how dumb we are, and we never have to say a word.