Why is it so hard to unfriend our friends on Facebook? I don’t think I’m the only one who suffers with this problem. On an episode of HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother, for the uninitiated), this phenomenon, dubbed “Graduation Goggles”, comes up and is discussed in detail.
To explain: Every normal person hated high school, or at least doesn’t want to repeat the experience. (I’m with Stephen King on this one; anyone who claims to have “loved” high school is not to be trusted.) It’s horrible. You have no idea who you are, what you want to be when you “grow up”, your friends are flakes, and there are bullies in some form or another. After four years, it’s finally over, and you can move on to something supposedly bigger and better.
But then why does everyone get all weepy on graduation day? Graduation Goggles. When you look at all the people with whom you endured the last four years (or however long it took you…), they look the same, of course, but with hazy, vignette-y instagram-type borders around the edges. You think, “I might never see these people (schmucks, assholes, bitches, what-have-you) again.” Maybe you remember that one time that guy handed you your pen that you dropped on the floor, or the time that one normally pretty bitchy girl gave you a compliment. You think, “we had something in common once!”, and then start to get all nostalgic. And you haven’t even graduated yet.
This is what happens (at least to me) whenever I try to do a “friend scrub” on Facebook. I see people’s inane posts about whatever filling my Newsfeed and every time, without fail think, “Why the fuck do I give a shit about this?” I don’t. I could go on, living my life happily and ignorantly blissful, unknowing of the boeuf bourguignon a la roasted quinoa or whatever other ancient grain you made for dinner although truly, it was a delight. It would be the same if you told me in person, though it might seem like I give a crap. I would nod along, politely, inserting poignant eyebrow raises and making “yummy” noises all the while thinking, “first of all, I’m a vegetarian. Second of all, did you cook this for me? No? Do you plan to make it for me one day? No again? Well what the fuck are we doing here then? I have some names of ancient grains to mispronounce.”
So I go to unfriend this selfish supposed culinary genius from my friends list only to hesitate upon hovering my cursor over the “unfriend” option. We had some good times, didn’t we? You posted that thing about quinoa and chia oatmeal (seriously, what is your problem with oats? Jump on the gluten-free bandwagon much?), I rolled my eyes and scrolled down my Newsfeed… those were the days. I might really miss your asinine posts about eating paleo or playing ultimate frisbee every Sunday. What would life be like without that information?? Ooh, and you had this interesting thought about why it keeps raining so much! And that time you were like, so hungover omg. (Ok, that was a bunch of times, you’re right.)
Ok, yes, let’s address the point that I have Facebook in the first place. Clever you- you caught me. Why should I get to complain about stupid Facebook posts if I have one myself and therefore, probably post stupid stuff from time to time as well? Good question. The answer, dear reader, is simple yet elegant. Because this is America, I have freedom of speech, and because I am entitled like the rest of my generation. That’s why. So there. Unfriend me if you want. Go ahead! You have the right! That’s why this country is wonderful! Ok, enough with patriotism. Yikes.
Yes, I have been hungover. I have cooked a meal that I was proud of. I have preached about some “totes amazeballs fad diet that I am so totally into”. All on Facebook or other social media channels. I’m not proud of it. You, reader, are the real victim here.
I guess the moral of this rambling, glorified status update is that we’re not going to stop posting useless crap about ourselves on the internet. Why should we? It’s there for us to post our paleo/GF/vegan/gourmet food porn and regretful, forlorn self-actualizations on! Let’s fill the internet with absurd crap until its browsers runneth over! We can always “unsubscribe” from our friends’ posts if they truly are annoying. That way, we can still be friends. Oh, why can’t we all just get along?!
Maybe we can.
(Perhaps ironically, I plan to post this on Facebook. Maybe my friendlist scrub will do itself?)