We all have that one friend on Facebook. In fact, we probably know a lot of these people. You know the ones. Whenever a major story breaks in the news, they chastise the rest of Facebook for not talking about that news story. When we tell some dick jokes to our friends, we’re called out for “ignoring” the possible government intervention in Syria. If we post a funny news story, we’re being “distracted” by the government and media from the NSA. If, for just one fucking day, we decide to discuss the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, we’re inundated with condescending pictures of The Joker with captions about the Syrian conflict and the saying, “PRIORITIES, PEOPLE!!!”
See, I’ve always thought of social media as being a way to connect to friends and family via the internet and possibly meet cool new people that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to otherwise. Through Myspace and Facebook, I’ve been able to reconnect with all of those people that scribbled their phone numbers in my high school yearbook along with a note, “STAY IN TOUCH!” (a note that I ignored with most people). I’ve been able to reconnect with former co-workers, the ones that I’d say, “You’re cool” in the midst of “Fuck you”s as I exited the office (slightly exaggerated). I’ve also found cool people through mutual friends that I otherwise never would have met whose friendship I value just as much as any other.
Imagine you’re at a high school reunion. You’re sitting there with a group of friends that you haven’t seen in years. You’re having some drinks and making small talk. “Hey, you hear about Ben Affleck being Batman?”, “Paul Walker died. I wasn’t a fan, but that’s a bummer for his kid”, “Hey, wanna see pictures of my kids?” Then, some asshole comes up to the table and shouts, “WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS? NONE OF THESE THINGS MATTER! YOU SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT THE NSA, EDWARD SNOWDEN, AND BRADLEY MANNING! THAT’S THE REAL NEWS! STOP CARING ABOUT CELEBRITIES!” And then you and your friends look at each other and just go, “Oooooooooooooooooooooook…anyone need another drink?”
You see, I trust my friends to keep up with the news on their own time. I know that people don’t use Facebook as their go-to news site. Just because they’re not talking about current events on Facebook doesn’t mean they’re not paying attention. Perhaps we just want to bullshit with our friends and post funny stuff. So you don’t like the fact that a story about George Zimmerman popped up in your news feed? Ignore it. I ignore floods of posts about football, but I don’t take to the streets and protest what “Facebook is for”. Facebook is whatever you want it to be. Dictating to others what they should and shouldn’t care about makes you sound like an asshole, and yes, I realize that me telling you to stop being an asshole is also someone telling you what you can and can’t post. Leave me alone. I’m going to go hump the fridge.