Any day now, someone’s gonna beat a murder rap with a groan-inducing, precedent-setting “Facebook defense.”
How long until someone founds Facebook Anonymous, where folks 12-step their way to freedom from Facebook – anonymously? I can see it now: FA, a program dedicated to anonymously relieving you of your inability to live unidentified. Of course Step 1 is admitting you’re powerless over Facebook, that you’d rather spend 127 hours hacking at your own arm with a dull blade than disconnect from feeling “a part of…” Bet on it. It’s a joke now, but it won’t be for long.
This week Facebook and Zuckerberg can be found in every digit of the digital revolution. It seems that no media outlet can allow the world’s desperate struggle to adapt to Facebook’s new features to go unacknowledged. Everywhere people are reacting to Facebook’s changes as though they’d lost control of a relationship. I’m not going to get into how fuckin’ pathetic this is, but in the spirit of Voltaire’s assertion that “it is hard to free fools from the chains they revere,” I’ll simply speculate that we haven’t yet scratched the Facefool surface.
Let’s be clear – my Dad, with his grandson pictures isn’t a Facefool, and neither is my Facebook-loving cousin who doesn’t get out much. I bet your family and friends are similar: everyone knows someone who spends too much time with social media. It’s annoying in the same way booze, food, and tanning salons can be – too much is obvious to everyone but the susceptible one in the center. Sometimes our dads and cousins say or do stuff that makes us cringe (with some cringes lasting decades), but they’re hopefully not dumber than a box of hair.
No, a Facefool would be, say, someone who uses Facebook to solicit a murder, like the woman who allegedly offered a “stack” ($1,000) on Facebook for someone to kill her baby-daddy. I’d say that posting pictures of yourself smokin’ weed or groping that ass would prove you’re an IQ point above a carrot, but again those are merely cringe-worthy and largely un-prosecutable. Directing threats towards co-workers or classmates via Facebook, on the other hand, is prosecutable and is what Facefools do. The idiots who hinted at their bank heist plans and then bragged about their haul afterwards certainly qualify, as does anyone who gets caught cheating on their spouse through Facebook (although now we’re getting into special needs dummies with self-sabotaging narcissism issues, and I’ll tap these keys all day if I go down that road).
While we appreciate that gullibility and susceptibility do not make us foolish and accept that the culprit is often pre-existing personal emptiness and anxiety, we also must recognize the shadows Facebook’s pervasiveness cast. Facebook’s inescapabilty is a sign that things are getting a little haywire in the public’s consciousness and character. For now, the above examples of Facefoolishness are still a far cry from what I predict is on the horizon: someone actually claiming “Facebook made me kill.” Simply put, it’s the direction in which we’re headed. Once we get there, Facebook Anonymous is sure to soon follow, with some A-hole insisting that Facebook “cravings” constitute a disease.
Imagine it: Facebook Anonymous, where you shed your identity so you can identify as a participant through the common “disease” of Facebook dependence. Where you un-ass your brain from impulsively and continuously removing all mystery about yourself to others – 200+ others, the Facebook “friends” you display proudly and who you imagine will be riveted by your wall posts about your kid’s shoes, unable to wait until your next status update. It’s crazy. Facebook bitch-slaps that previously timeless axiom, “You can’t get out of a friendship what you don’t put into it.”
Apparently you can.