Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook… can you hear me growling? Even though it just had a major graphic overhaul, the content remains as-is. Am I the only one who remembers its genesis as “Facemash,” an internet-based meat market for rating the “hotness” of women at Harvard? When I ponder if I’m capable of being a sellout, using Facebook is a stone-cold reminder that I can toss a principle or two aside for the sake of expediency. I’ll state this clearly: I both love and hate Facebook.
Where else can I still be friends with—and keep track of—my fourth-grade teacher and my besties in fifth grade? Or my adorable grandnieces? Or promote my particular brand of advocacy? “I wish I knew how to quit you,” the famous line from “Brokeback Mountain,” applies to me.
Besides assessing Mark Zuckerberg as fundamentally unprincipled and amoral, (those who have worked closely with him agree), I have other complaints about his brand of social media. My ambivalence extends to some of the loudest and most annoying characters who populate Facebook. Perhaps they can create their own versions of the platform to more closely reflect their seemingly single-note approaches to other people. Here are some ideas for them:
• Asinine Unsolicited Advice Book: Wow! Yes, I did think of Googling it! And yes, I have read the first chapter of the Book of the Obvious. And yes, I did consider [fill-in-the-blank], along with a big who asked you? emoji. Oh, Facebook doesn’t have that emoji? Not that they asked, but they should!
• Explain Everything Book: I sometimes wonder if I have “I’m stupid; please explain everything to me slowly” tattooed on my forehead. While men tend to be the primary perpetrators of this cringe-inducing phenomenon known as “man-splaining,” there are female “splainers,” too. I especially love the people who explain why a joke is not funny… forgetting the “not funny to me” clause, as if there’s anything funny to everyone.
There is also a particular subgroup here called “Lecture Book.” I had one person very patiently lecture me that wearing a mask would compromise my health because—you know—breathing all that carbon dioxide has been proven to cause health problems. So that explains all those fainting, retching, and incapacitated surgeons who wear masks for eight to 12 hours at a time! Go explain to your heart’s content… to someone else.
• Creep book: My mission is to teach women and girls how to protect themselves verbally, emotionally, and/or physically. Not surprisingly, I have gotten a few propositions from Facebook “fellas” who would like to hire me to kick them in the gonads while wearing stilettos. They haven’t crept around for a few years now. And now that the economy is tanking, I am more open to that than I was a few years back. Kidding!! Kind of… I wonder how much they would pay? (See “selling out” above.)
• Scold book: There are a few people on Facebook I would really like to ask, “Do you have any other setting than ‘scold’?” as I ironically scold them for being scolds. Unhappily, “scold masks” were reserved for women throughout history. They were used for “gossips” and women who were too smart for their own good. I have never seen a historical record for men being convicted of being a scold, although maybe there were some. There are a few men I can think of who are certainly contemporary scolds. I think scolds would have a great time on this new platform, scolding one another!
• Righteous Libertarian & Right-Winger Book: I’ve been so tempted to block or unfriend a few of these types, and yet I’m eerily fascinated by their views, which are antithetical to common sense. Did they sleep through civics class, which is why they don’t understand the separation of church and state? Were they raised in a Pro-Soviet household, which is why the palpable threat of Russian interference in our elections rolls off their backs?
I guess I can understand some of those views, but I am baffled by someone being ultra-concerned about the poisonous fallout from so-called “chemtrails” in the sky, yet are blasé about actual human “chemtrails” from a virus that people spread if they are not wearing masks. Lunacy. And truly believing that Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci and the World Health Organization are in cahoots to implant tiny little trackers when they distribute the COVID vaccine? Bonkers.
There’s mounting evidence that people consumed by conspiracy theories and/or religious zealotry are manifesting severe mental psychosis, so I try to have compassion for them rather than ridicule.
Will I be quitting Facebook? Probably not, but every time I think of Zuckerberg and his “Hot or Not” roots, it makes my blood boil. I think that was a pretty good indicator of what kind of moral core he’s had from the get-go. If you can objectify women in this era, to that degree, then I’m guessing he “thing-ifies” all of us, regardless of gender or hotness.
Ellen has been writing “Consider This” for a long time! She also is a writing coach. Contact her at beautybitesbeast.com