Web: Social networking for dummies

 
 

Despite being accepted by the docile masses, Kieran Murphy dislikes Facebook and your behaviour on it

Social networking is not a new phenomenon. Some people reading this may have had a Hi5 account, or even played around on Faceparty before they realised it was a dating site. However, social networking really took off with Bebo. We were all giddy with excitement from making quizzes for our friends and adding glittery effects to our pictures. Eventually though, Bebo got so bloated with tackiness that it all had to end. Consequently, once we finished school, we graduated to Facebook.

Facebook has solved the problem of Playboy layouts by not allowing any personalisation of the layout and adopting a totalitarian approach to its users. Since we can longer take out frustration on someone’s disgusting profile, we’ve turned on each other. Facebook has stuffed our social network into one easy-to-read wall.

Nevertheless, while Facebook has mimicked our lives, the users have sadly not mimicked the fine tunings of social etiquette. Perfectly lovely people become social pariahs on Facebook through actions that are completely normal to them, but which threatens onlookers’ entire faith in the human race.

The main offender is ‘liking’. It started out as a way for people to share a common interest, such as abseiling. Yet it has now turned into a monster, throwing up nostalgia from the nineties, secondary school, or even just a million different variations of a popular song. The worst offenders are the 21,245 people who liked ‘Fuck do Honda Civic tá mé capall taobh amuigh’, which for any non-Gaeilgeoiri means that they are in fact a horse outside.

Photos used to be confined to mantelpieces and albums, but are now sadly out there for the whole world to see. We all fear that one friend who always brings a camera on a night out, takes 300 photos and without any editing at all, proceeds to tag every single person. So, while you’re still in bed hungover, the whole world can see you shifting the first year with the gammy eye.

Facebook comments are the cornerstone of interaction on the site – great for having the banter with your friends, until some casual acquaintance joins in and party’s over. While some people are serial likers, others are serial commenters, butting in on everyone’s conversation. A commenter and a liker are often one in the same, as they like every mildly funny wall post, while also commenting on how funny it was.

While I have pointed out the problems of Facebook social etiquette, you might notice I have failed to offer any solutions. Why? Because instead of solving the problem, I’d rather just sit back and watch Facebook self-destruct owing to the creation of one too many groups about how UCD is better than Trinity.

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