TTYL, FB by Nerdy Indian Pimp
I’ve had Facebook since 2004, the year it came out. I’ve had it since before Zuckerberg screwed his partner, Eduardo Saverin, out of co-ownership of the company. (Or so Hollywood tells me, anyway.) I’ve had it before there was a ‘Newsfeed’, when, to know what your friends were doing, you’d have to CLICK ON AND CHECK EVERY SINGLE PERSON’S PROFILE INDIVIDUALLY. Not that there was much to check those days; the only things you could do is write on people’s walls and poke them. You kids are spoiled these days with your fucking Farmville and video uploads and location bullshit.
And I’ve been logging onto Facebook daily ever since.
There is nothing else I’ve done in my life with such frequency and consistency (that wasn’t biologically necessary) except check Facebook, and talk shit about the Lakers.
And since the Lakers have been monopolizing less and less of my hatred since Lebron moved to Miami, Facebooking has become the backbone (and bane) of my existence. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s now time for me to get off this technological heroin. This internet crack. This social network Pringles.
Screw you if you don’t think Pringles deserves to be in the same category as the first two. Pringles chips are addictive as shit. You try eating JUST ONE. Bitch.
It was my Freshman year in college when I first got on Facebook, or “THE Facebook” as it was called then. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon right away, though. Slowly, I heard growing chatter around me about “this cool new thing” where you can stalk other people. The kids in my dorm hall would engage in something called a “poke war”. Still, I dismissed it as just another internet fad like “Youtube-ing” and Japanese porn.
Besides, I had Friendster. Why the hell would I need this too?
Another reason I was hesitant about The Facebook (possibly the main reason) was that my roommate at the time was super gung-ho about it. He loved Facebook. And I hated him. He was the biggest nerd to hit state college in probably 50 years (give or take 50). Everything he did, I associated with nerddom. He was on his laptop 24/7, carrying it everywhere he went, checking his Facebook wall every half hour. (Back then, Facebook didn’t e-mail you everytime someone wrote on your wall. If you cared, you had to just not be a lazy d-bag and check it yourself. You kids are fucking spoiled with your “alerts” bullshit.)
In hindsight, or Hindu-sight as I sometimes call it, it may not have been his technological dependence that turned me off, but his technology. Seeing him fiddle away at amazing speeds on his brand new IBM laptop while I tried to write a sentence without crashing the whole damn computer on my Gateway 2000 Pentium III desktop may have made me a bit jealous. A bit.
No fuck that, he was a nerd. And Facebook was for nerds.
I wasn’t going to get dragged into the gateway drug of Facebook which would eventually lead me down to the treacherous path of Meetup.com, Match.com, and finally IndianMatrimonial.com to find girls. I wanted to find real (and real drunk) ones at parties.
And I held out for as long as I could.
3 weeks later, I was uploading a bitmap picture of me taken at a party clutching a beer onto my new Facebook profile. The photo was carefully cropped, making sure to leave as many people in the picture as possible so I looked popular. Or at least like I had friends.
And why did I suddenly drop all of my ideals and principles and renege on a drunk promise I made to myself one night that I would “never get on The Facebook, even if The Facebook is the last friggin website on The Earth”?
For a goddamn girl, of course. WHO’S NAME I DON’T EVEN FUCKING REMEMBER ANYMORE.
The girl lived on the same floor as me. She wasn’t super hot. But she was Jew cute. And I was going through a Semitic phase at the time. She was really smart and talked very little, and those were the two things my mom would love in a daughter-in-law. I didn’t have much girlfriend experience before college. Only a few casual relationships in high school. And by casual I mean we told people we were “going out” for a few weeks and held hands during lunch period.
But I held the shit out of those girls’s hands.
So for an adept and accomplished love guru such as myself, it was simple what I had to do before I began to woo her: Find out if she has a boyfriend so I didn’t get my ass kicked.
Two problems: 1) She didn’t really talk to anyone I knew so I couldn’t find out that way, and 2) she wasn’t on Friendster.
I signed up on the website, and within a few minutes The Facebook had sent a confirmation e-mail to my university webmail. Suddenly a whole new world was revealed to me. I could actually learn everything I wanted to know about people before I even met them. As long as that everything included favorite books, favorite movies, and a quote that they feel makes them look smart.
In the current Facebook age of photos, videos, status updates, Zynga games, tagging, Places check-ins, chat, groups and pages, it really makes me wonder how I spent countless hours every day on a website that didn’t have a thousandth of that. But I did, and it was amazing.
That girl DID in-fact have a boyfriend, by the way. Bitch. (Whatever, she was kinda weird anyway.)
Over the years, as my friend count grew, so did The Facebook’s capabilities. For one, they lost the “The” and added a “Newsfeed”. Instantly, groups popped up all over Facebook petitioning them to destroy this evil “Stalker feed”. How dare they get rid of the plain and simple homepage with nothing but “Welcome to Facebook” posted on it?! I joined this call to arms and spoke out against “the Feed” to anyone who would listen. Facebook won that one.
A year later they changed up “the Feed” yet again to add more stalker features, and I fought Facebook for a second time. How dare they change our beloved “Newsfeed”?!
I lost again.
A few years later, Facebook decided a million users wasn’t cool. You know what was cool? A billion users. So they opened up the platform to non-college students.
Get the fuck outta here.
Every high schooler in the country got on Facebook. Overnight, my Feed went from passionate political discussions between young adults to a barrage of Lil Wayne’s latest Youtube videos. Friend counts skyrocketed, and the private little club of your closest friends (and people you were stalking) became a stadium full of friends, acquaintances, close and distant family members, and co-workers you know and hate.
Not only that, but they would open up Facebook to the whole world. The whole fucking world.
This was the last straw, I told myself. I can’t have my parents or that one uncle from Delhi keeping up with my Facebook account. I was going to quit.
But then what? How else was I going to stay in touch with all my old college buddies who refuse to use AIM? Were there other social networking sites I could resort to? Friendster was now a barren land of fake profiles of Asian strippers and Russian brides, and Myspace was, well…Myspace.
You did it again, Facebook. And I hope I was wearing lipstick.
Over the years, I’ve seen my friends list grow, during peak times of popularity in college, and decline, during bouts of annoyance at “friends” who I barely knew who posted way too many ‘status updates’ and subsequent friends list cleanup.
I’ve gone on atleast 4 full fledged ‘de-friending’ sprees.
Since I got on Facebook, I’ve had the flu many times, and even had pneomonia once. Too ill to get up and get a glass of water, I still had to make sure my laptop was close by so I could check what my friends were doing.
I even logged on when I was overseas. Throughout my multiple visits to India, I’d stay with a relative who had no internet connection. I had to resort to regular trips to a nearby cyber cafe which had no A.C. or fan, and used computers even older than my college Gateway 2000. (And I’m quite certain the guys running that place stole my passwords because my e-mail account always got shut down after visiting them due to spamming.) But no matter. Gotta know what’s going on in Facebookland.
So one day, as I was on FB chat talking to my 14 year old cousin from Britain who was asking me why I didn’t accept his “Causes” invitation, I had a thought.
What if I just stop?
Do I really need Facebook to keep up with my friends? I can e-mail them whenever I want, and there’s always ‘good ole calling people on the phone’.
How else will I stalk?
What is left to stalk anyway though? I don’t care what you thought about the latest episode of ‘Big Bang Theory’. Nor do I want to see pictures of random people doing random cool stuff in random exotic places. That shit just makes me sad about my own dull life, anyway.
I realize I mostly use Facebook out of habit now. Even though I check it throughout the day, I rarely stay on it for more than 5 minutes at a time. That means there is nothing of real value on there that can interest me for more than a few minutes.
So with boldness and determination, I am now de-friending Facebook. I am suspending my account and keeping a detailed blog of my experience so I may help guide others through the same process. Below is my journey.
*** Day 1, August 4th, 2011 ***
Today was not bad at all. Didn’t feel the urge to stalk anybody, surprisingly, but it may have also been because I was really busy at work all day.
*** Day 2, August 5th, 2011 ***
I had a long phone chat with an old college buddy today. He’s married now! Guess not everyone updates their relationship status..
*** Day 3, August 6th, 2011 ***
Fuck this. I’m getting back on. I need to know what my ex-girlfriends are up to.
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