Unfriending Anti-Social Media
Justin Bieber can have my pizza, but leave my Facebook page alone!
By Dave Fox
I was feeling a little insecure last weekend. To improve my mood, I posted this social experiment on my Facebook page:
This is a fun test to see who among my Facebook “friends” are actually my REAL friends who care about me, and which ones are heartless bastards who think it would be funny if they could munch on a 29-inch pepperoni pizza in front of my face while I writhed in agony because I was starving to death.
(I’m talking the real kind of starving to death, not the lame, first-world, “Oh, I’m starving; I haven’t had a pepperoni pizza in like two hours” kind of starving.)
If you care about me AT ALL and would give me at least two bites of your 29-inch pepperoni pizza to save my life, then repost this message on your own Facebook page along with a 29,003-word essay about how awesome I am. If you do not repost this message along with the 29,003-word essay, then you agree you are a self-centered bitch who likes to dip cute and fluffy, amputee kittens into boiling oil while singing Justin Bieber tunes, and then you would give two bites of your pizza to Justin Bieber instead of me, even if Justin Bieber was not starving, which he probably isn’t.
As of yet, not a single person has turned in their 29,003-word essay. This either means I am pathetic and have no real friends, or my so-called “friends” are pathetic and can never be counted on in a time of need, or Justin Bieber is being extremely greedy, or… wait a minute.
People, what’s going on here?
Is it me or are Facebook posts getting weirder and more manipulative than they used to be? If you’re active on Facebook, perhaps you’ve seen this message slithering around:
Okay, I’ll play — This should be interesting…….. If no one reads my wall, this should be short. This is a Facebook game to see who reads posts, and who just trolls. So, if you read this, leave one word about how you met me. Only one word, then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you. Please don’t add your word and not bother to copy.
So if I do not play your game and add my one word, then I am a “troll” … and you will be left feeling as if nobody loves you.
Oh, fine. I’ll play.
That is my one word about how we met. For anybody who wants a word from me. Brothel! May you now feel my love coursing through your veins.
But wait. What’s with the sneery last part: “Please don’t add your word and not bother to copy?” I must now repost your re-re-reposted message on my Facebook page or I am not allowed to tell you I like you? (“Brothel!”) I must now guilt my friends into continuing this chain in the same manner you have been guilted into it?
No. I refuse to perpetuate this guilt-fest. I refuse to partake in an activity we all know is eventually going to cause the entire Internet to implode from the vacuous force of single-word, attention-starved grunts.
“But Dave,” you say, “lighten up! It’s just a fun little game. (LOL!!!!!!)”
No, people! It is not just a fun little game! (LOL!!!!!!) It is a slippery slope! Consider these real-life examples (typos included) from an acquaintance who, just minutes ago, I unfriended:
“We all have around 400 friends on facebook if not more, but when it comes to needing a ‘friend’ how many will actually be there for you? Guaranteed not even half of your facebook ‘friends’ will read this or even like it. Like this status if you’d be there for me if I needed a ‘friend’…. SET THIS AS YOUR STATUS AND SEE HOW MANY ‘FRIENDS’ ARE THERE FOR YOU”
“Guaranteed,” at least half of my Facebook friends do not care about me? Ouch. They would like to see me dunked in boiling oil, or fed for Sunday brunch to cute amputee kittens, or forced to endure a Justin Bieber concert? Thanks for the motivational thought.
To make matters worse (OMG this is sooooo embarrassing!) … I have fewer than 400 Facebook friends.
I am so screwed.
The same person posted this message:
“KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS ARE NOT WEIRD OR ODD. THEY ONLY WANT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WANTS….TO BE ACCEPTED. CAN I MAKE A REQUEST? IS ANYONE WILLING TO POST THIS IN HONOR OF ALL CHILDREN WHO WERE MADE IN A UNIQUE WAY. LET’S SEE WHO HAS A STRONG HEART ♥”
But hang on! I am a kid with special needs, and I AM WEIRD AND ODD! Why are you discriminating against weird and odd people?
I understand your intentions are good. I appreciate you are standing up for an unfairly ridiculed segment of society. I really do. I just struggle with the manipulative, weaselly part of your message. It is not necessarily true that my decision to not repost your misery-laced outbursts means I do not have a strong heart. It might just mean I am morally opposed to LITTERING MY FRIENDS’ FACEBOOK PAGES WITH ANNOYING ALL-CAPS STATEMENTS INTENDED TO SLATHER US IN GUILT IF WE DON’T COPY AND PASTE EVERY MESSAGE YOU TELL US TO!!!!
I propose Facebook should add a new option next to the “Like” button that says, “Just clicking this so I don’t have to feel guilty all day. (Oh, and unfriending you. LOL!)”
As far as my own social experiment went, I have yet to receive a single 29,003-word essay about how awesome I am, but writing that many words could take a few days, so I am not giving up hope that one of the people I am distantly “friended” with might be a psychopathic stalker who will complete the challenge and then show up on my doorstep with a box of kittens.
My post did receive comments or “likes” from more than seven percent of my Facebook friends – which is more “likes” than most of my posts get. We can interpret this in one of two ways:
- Only seven percent of my friends actually like me.
- My friends have better things to do than responding to manipulative cries for attention … and if I ever truly resort to such manipulative cries for attention myself, my friends understand it would be appropriate to dunk me in boiling oil.
I prefer scenario number two. The thought that there are people in the world who love me enough to dunk me in boiling oil, should I deserve it, is more comforting than the fear that our world is becoming a place where true friendship can be drowned out by passive-aggressive attempts to control our mouse clicks.
So, friends, you do not have to write a 29,003-word essay about how awesome I am after all. But if you would like to share your pepperoni pizza with me, that would be okay.