Facebook is boring

Social networking can be stressful and silly.

By Jean Charisse Arboleda

I don’t like Facebook. Ok, ok, I can feel your collective gasps of disbelief and looks of disapproval as I say or write the unspeakable. My dilemma is being oblivious or simply not caring that I’m in a dilemma by not having an FB account.

I just spent less than 10 minutes on Facebook tonight and then I couldn’t stand it any longer. I set up an account a few months ago just to stalk my younger sisters in Manila but gave up altogether within minutes of signing up, before even sending them friend requests. So that defeated my sole purpose of setting it up in the first place.

First of all, I don’t see the allure, the fuss, the use of it and the amusement one can get from it. It’s not like smoking pot where I can understand the goal of getting high with college friends after traveling 12 hours on a bus and staring at a bonfire in Sagada one February night on a leap year, laughing for no apparent reason and making new friends. That’s way too detailed for it not to be true.

There is an end to the means, in my mind so unlike Facebook. You have to try it once and then say “Been there, done that. Don’t have to do it again or maybe just once in a while in the company of good friends.”

I have heard and read about Facebook’s commercial and personal usefulness: Keeping family and friends updated on your fascinating life and being updated on theirs. Even prospective employers now check on an applicant’s FB account. Uh oh for me then.

I used to have a Friendster account (so embarrassing to admit, it’s been more than 10 years and it was quite popular in the Philippines at the time) but I deleted my account when I realized how silly it was to let a social media website take over my life. I remember fighting with an ex-boyfriend when I suddenly changed my status to single after a big argument; elated when I found out a crush checked out my account and browsed through my pictures. A co-worker was offended when I didn’t accept his friend request. Why didn’t I? I don’t remember.

Maintaining a social networking account had caused me more pressure in my life than having had my professor tell me to completely re-write my final college thesis and finding out at the last minute that I needed more footage for the short film I was making, more stress than having to stay many nights in the university library editing a documentary which will be entered in the first university film festival. I wouldn’t be surprised if the lines on my face were because of all those social networking melodrama.

Secondly, I began to feel fiercely protective of my privacy a few years ago. Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie has nothing on my paranoia. News of cyber-bullying because of certain revealing pictures of teenage girls online (photos that should never have been posted in the first place) has scared the living daylights out of me. A 32-year-old is scared of stupidly mimicking teenage tendencies to share and post everything. Who knows what I might do on a lazy, hazy Sunday afternoon? I am woman, hear me roar. I might upload pictures of me in a housedress, scrubbing the toilet bowl like it did something wrong.

Finally and most important of all, I am just too lazy for this shit. I work two jobs; I sometimes get home from a 14-hour work day and excuse me for not wanting to waste my time on some boring networking site. Somehow, logging on to FB at any time of the day is not my idea of rest and relaxation.

Jean Charisse A. Arboleda loves to write and travel. She would love to go on a train ride on the California Zephyr from Chicago to L.A. if she ever finds the time. She works two jobs: a receptionist at a theater district restaurant and a paralegal-in-training.

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