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Monday 15 March 2010


In many ways, Facebook is great. You can keep in touch with people, share amusing clips like that guy with "titties like a woman", see who out of your class at school has the ugliest children, and get into arguments about whether or not Didier Drogba cheats. It's a right laugh. If you're a rapist, it's also great for networking. But we're not here to talk about things that are good. We're here to talk about things that are pony, and there's a lot that is pony about the Facebook too.

1) Rubbish status updates

As with Twitter posts (I can't bear to call them "tweets", it just sounds like something only a tosser would say), Facebook status updates vary wildly from being amusing or interesting, to being as banal as an episode of the One Show (you know, that shit that's on before Eastenders where they talk about arbitrary boring subjects like say, the history of chips, in a patronising way and for some reason Donny Osmond is nearly always the guest).

You know the kind of thing, someone's just had a nice sandwich, someone really loves their kids, someone has a hangover but they've had a nice sandwich and now they feel better. Some people are cold. In itself, these things aren't so bad, so not everyone is out there narcissistically composing their status updates to impress their friends, some people just want their friends to know they love their kids, which to be honest we all kind of knew anyway seeing as how you never fucking shut up about them, but still. What makes these, the Facebook equivalent of drizzle, truly annoying is this. Compare the two examples below:

So cold today! But it's OK because I have some nice warm soup.

So cold today!! lolz! But it's OK because I have some nice warm soup! Woop woop! :) xxxxxxxxxxx

If you see the first one, you think, well, that's dull, but yes, it is pretty cold, and yes, soup is nice, especially on a cold day. I'm glad my friend has soup.

If you see the second one, you think, exactly what kind of idiot am I dealing with here? When I see you in the pub you don't behave like this, whooping like you've just been made fucking mayor over soup, and laughing, actually laughing out loud, because it's cold. And fucking kissing everyone. Only Tom Cruise behaves like that and I'm certainly not friends with that freak. What the hell passed through your mind there? Oh, I'd better write something, not written anything in a while, but all I can think of is the coldness and the soup. Guess I'll jazz it up with a "lol" and a "woop woop!". A few extra exclamation marks. A smiley, always good to have one of them, so people know soup makes me happy, and of course some kisses, because that's cute. Done, now it looks exciting! No, now you look like a cunt.

If you want to build the amount of secret resentment your friends harbour for you even further, and create what could be likened to the Mount Everest of terrible status updates, then you will also need to adopt the following strategy:

2) People who can spell writing like people who can't spell

This irritates the b'jaysus out of me, and sure I'm not alone. I'm talking smart people, people in their twenties and thirties with jobs and shit, who unaccountably, and only on Facebook, write like fuckwitted halfwit fucks. Is it like in the olden days of texting when people wrote like twats to save time and characters? No, not really, because half the time the collection of letters substituted for one of the queen's own words is actually just as long as the correct spelling. It's just stupider. Taking the previous example, an enthusiast of spazzy writing would enhance it thus:

sooooo cold 2day!!! lolz!!!! but is ok cuz I has sum nyce warm soop!!! woop woop!!! :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now what is the fucking reasoning behind that kind of behaviour? I'm a rebel, I don't play by society's rules (or rulez. Or roolz.). I spell lots of words with a "y" where there should be an "i". It's AWESUM!

It's bloody not though.

3) Groups. Not all groups, just the annoying groups.

Sometimes the groups are used for good, like to stop that terrible X Factor song getting to number one at Christmas and putting an end to that predictable bullshit. Or to take the piss out of Ashley Cole. But sometimes they are used for evil. Well, maybe not evil, I am struggling to think of a group I've seen that actually seemed to be evil (there's probably some lurking on there for people who like Sarah Palin, that would be the closest I reckon), but there are a lot of annoying ones out there.

Lately, I've seen a lot of instances of one of my friends having joined a group called something along the lines of "I pissed myself laughing at this picture of Miley Cyrus". And I think, yeah, my day could be brightened by laughing at Miley Cyrus, so I have a little click on the link. But no, no funny Miley Cyrus picture for you, unless you join the group. And I don't really want to, I just want to laugh at her and then get on with my life. If I join it, all my friends will see that and maybe they would like to see a funny picture of Miley Cyrus too and then they'll have a little click on the link and the whole miserable cycle will continue. Damn you, Miley Cyrus group creators.

Another scenario that annoys me with the groups is this: whenever the elders of Facebook (who the hell actually runs Facebook, does anyone know?) make some change to the layout or settings everybody always inevitably hates it, so you get all these groups like "CAN WE FIND 1,000,000,000 PEOPLE WHO WANT THE OLD LAYOUT BACK?", "BRING BACK THE OLD FACEBOOK!" etc, etc, but they never do bring back the old Facebook so if you joined you look stupid and futile. And you know it.

The whole thing with social networking is the delicate balance between allowing people to interact and share stuff and forcing them to to the point where it is annoying and the user begins to feel, quite correctly, that they are pissing off their friends. This is where the groups can fall down and - most annoyingly of all... Any guesses where this is going next?

4) Apps

That's right. You knew I was going to come onto it eventually. No article about Facebook being pony would be complete without some discussion of the bastarding apps.

I'll start with the games. Farmville. Yoville (sounds like Yeovil. Imagine a game based around running Yeovil?). Pretend Shit Cafe. That one with the fish tank that you unaccountably seem to be able to keep a humpback whale in.

Some people get addicted to these things like they were heroin laced Pringles. I don't see the appeal, I wouldn't want to work on a real farm, that would be shit, but at least I'd get paid for my efforts. An imaginary one? Fuck off. Who is that bored of life? This is the weirdest thing, how the most popular ones generally seem to be largely based around things that you wouldn't want to do in real life. I saw an advert the other day for an app that said "Step in as mayor of your very own city on Facebook! Manage energy, control crime and decrease pollution!". That sounds like quite a lot of responsibility. I don't want that. Managing energy doesn't sound entertaining at all. It sounds tedious. If it had said "Step in as mayor of your very own city on Facebook! Manage the red light district! Organise crime! Get bribed for stuff!" maybe I would have thought it wasn't quite so shit, but, make no mistake, it would still be shit.

It's not the general lameness of the games that makes them so annoying, though. A lot of things that are annoying wouldn't be annoying if people just got on with them quietly and didn't make you look at it all. Strictly Come Dancing wouldn't be annoying if it wasn't on television and just took place in a Butlins somewhere. It's all that crap you see on Facebook. Somebody has found a lost and lonely manta ray, will you adopt it? Firstly, what the fuck? How is the manta ray crying? It's a manta ray. Well, it's not, it's a cartoon drawing of a manta ray, but it's a fucking inaccurate one because it's fucking crying. And has eyelashes and a bow on its fucking head. I don't want your fucking manta ray, it's a fucking sissy.

You can hide these notifications about the nerdy shit people you know have been doing, but there are so many of the bloody things a few always sneak in. Thought you'd hidden Fishville? Ahhhhh, but this isn't Fishville, it's Fishtown. You didn't hide Fishtown. They're different.

It's not just the games, people also like to use other apps to piss you off. Do you care what some bird from the office's horoscope says for today? I'd wager that no, you do not care, unless it says she is going to go on a killing spree. Sometimes people also send you inane pictures of hearts and puppies and crap and post them on your wall so you can look really gay. They send them to everyone so it doesn't even make you feel loved. Sob.

I would cover off poking here too, but as far as I can tell nobody does that anymore. Unless it's just me that isn't getting poked. Because I'm not.


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