It’s the hip new thing to say “I don’t even use Facebook anymore” or “I only go on Facebook for Facebook chat”—is there any other website or product that attracts so much disdain from its users? Even my cousin who is in high school, meaning her and her friends literally have nothing else to do besides go on the site, says she’s getting bored of it. Yet, statistics show that in the past three months Facebook has increased it’s users from 1.11 to 1.15 billion users. So why, if we hate it so much, aren’t we deleting our accounts?
Probably because we’re too damn vain. Sharing news about your new job or photos of your new Marc Jacobs bag is rather aggressive when you’re broadcasting to hundreds of people. We’re all guilty of these social obligation posts, but the highs of public obsequious flattery are short-lived, and when we see our “friends” boasting, it makes us jealous. Recent studies claim Facebook actually makes us depressed because it inspires envy and a sense of missing out on fun.
Personally, I get a perverse pleasure from other people’s cringe-inducing brags on Facebook. I distinctly remember the peak of “humble brag” Facebook statuses in my newsfeed. Senior spring of high school when all my friends were getting their college acceptance letters. Of course when you get into your dream school you feel inclined if not required to post it to Facebook-—and you should! But no one should feel compelled to post a status listing all the schools they got into, it’s beyond obnoxious. Or even as a college student, the essay long posts about new internships (#blessed), the transcript screen shots, the let-me-just-list-everything-I-drank-last-night posts. Yet, while those kinds of posts may annoy most, people are like that in real life too—Facebook just does us the honor of letting us know who these people are, reminding us to never hang out with them.
The reason everyone hates Facebook is the same reason we (reluctantly) still use it: it’s just a simplified, exaggerated interpretation of who we really are—a reflection, if you will, of our personalities, albeit an edited one.
So when people say they hate Facebook, what they mean is they hate other people, which makes sense– we’re probably not meant to interact with that many people daily, given how predisposed to comparison and jealousy we are. But there are some ways you can peruse your news feed without rolling your eyes in a painful loop: If you have some friends who are constantly posting things you don’t like you can hide/delete them(a luxury we don’t have in the real world but that I tend to use a lot on the interwebs) or you could just delete your Facebook altogether. Just be sure you don’t graduate to the high priesthood of online smugness, and go around telling everyone how happy you are without it.