I checked my Facebook 58 times today. No, not literally. I’m obviously being sarcastic and saying such a large number for effect, you moron, but you get it. You know you checked yours at least once today, and you know you’ll check it once more before you go to bed, just in case anything has changed, or, as you put it, anyone has said anything important to you. Like people would convey life or death messages via Facebook, and you not checking might seriously put your health in danger.
Almost everyone I know has a Facebook and every single one of those people checks it daily, at least. My roommates and I bond more over Facebook than in person.
So what the hell makes Facebook so addictive? Why is it that the first website most of us log into isn’t Google news but instead some self-indulgent, pointless website where you talk virtually to people you talk to every day anyway?
I’ll tell you what it is: Facebook lets us become self-obsessed without being bitchy. Where else do you get to talk and talk about your favorite subject (yourself) without interruption and without judgment? On Facebook I get to ramble on and on about how much I love *NSYNC and why I’ll own you at JEOPARDY! and impress you with the scholarly books I’ve “read”. Because you’re not actually talking to anyone, you can blissfully assume that everyone who visits your profile is wildly interested in what you have to say and with that confidence, your self-esteem increases two-fold. Everyone likes to feel like hot shit and Facebook makes us feel just that.
Suppose maybe you’re one of the holy ones and you actually care about others more than you care about yourself. Right, like you exist. Don’t act like you don’t spend thousands of hours on Facebook, stalking your roommate’s boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. Facebook stalking has become an official sport and its discoveries are things worthy of putting in print. Now we can all get to know each other without actually ever really meeting, which is great, because introductions are damn awkward and hand shaking is so 19th century anyway. I like that when I see someone at a party I can shout out, “Hey! Aren’t you the one who worked at McDonalds over the summer and dressed up like Wolverine on Halloween last year?” That’s not creepy that I know that about you, right?
Facebook has made stalking acceptable. Now you don’t have to wait outside your crush’s class and follow about 20 yards behind her to find out where she lives. Just look under “residence” and bam! You’re outside with binoculars in hand within minutes.
Facebook takes away that whole figuring out if you actually like someone thing, too. Usually, the first time you meet someone, you ask all those stupid things like “What’s your major?” and “What year are you?” and “Do you like to have random sex with people you don’t know?” But no more! Now you can instantly judge a person and determine, without even having a conversation, if you’re going to be friends or not.
I’m not saying that I’m actually friends with everyone on my friends list. God, no. I’m friends with most of those people to know where they are at every moment – thank you, News Feed – so I can avoid them and because it makes me look insanely popular. We all do it – we look at how many friends and pictures people have to determine their popularity and therefore how much we like them. Just because we all ditched high school doesn’t mean we completely ditched the drama that went along with it.
We all used to love Facebook because it gave us some sort of prestige. Only those brilliant enough to attend college could be on this exclusive network, setting it apart from its lesser counterpart, MySpace. Then Mark Zuckerberg let those other people on, too, which totally burst my snobby bubble and forced me to realize that I was no better than “them.”
As painful as it is to say it, yes, I’m addicted to Facebook. Until they create some sort of virtual patch, I don’t think I can quit.