Alison Berkley: The Princess’s Palate

Alison Berkley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

The other day I decided to deactivate my Facebook page.

I mean, who needs this crap? It triggers this instinct to be voyeuristic and narcissistic simultaneously. It’s a waste of time. It’s creepy. Hello, who has access to this information? It’s as inane as it is insane. Why do I need to know what your Top Five Favorite Cereals or the results of your Which Celebrity Are You quiz? It’s like a high school yearbook except it never ends and every day everyone wants to sign it all over again with meaningless nostalgia and self-indulgent babble.

If we’re going to blow out every detail of our personal lives, how about sharing something that’s actually useful like maybe your penis size or your criminal record or your history of sexually transmitted diseases?

So I go to the account settings and am surprised to see how easy it is. It’s right there. Deactivate account.

I click on the button and all these big photos of my “friends” pop up. “Are you sure?” it asks. “Your 5,343 friends are going to miss you! Tom is going to miss you! Dick is going to miss you! Harry is going to miss you!”

And I’m like, “Harry accepted my friend request?” so I click back to my page to see if Harry is on my Friends list.

He’s not.

So not only is Facebook more evil than ever, I still haven’t quit yet. But here’s why I want to:

1. Your whole identity is summed up in a 1-inch by 1-inch photo, which is amusing when you consider everyone’s profile photo falls into one of the following categories: The Sporty Photo (Look at me! I can ski/surf/rock climb/snowboard!). The Mom Photo (Look at my babies! Kids! Pregnant belly!) The Relationship Photo (Look how attached we are! We can actually fit both our faces into this tiny little box!) The Sexy Cropped Photo (Look at me in my high heels! At pole dancing class!) And the I’m Too Cool for a Photo Photo (in which some bizarre graphic is used in lieu of an actual picture).

2. It counts how many friends you have. Think about it. How whack is that? I’ll admit I get a little jealous when I see people who have close to 500 friends and I just barely broke three figures. And here, all this time I thought I was so popular! Like my friend Shanti has 13,111 other friends. For years, she made me think I was the center of her universe, but it turns out I’m one of thousands. She has 54 photo albums, most of which feature her at some party that I wasn’t invited to, parties where she is pictured dressed in skimpy clothes and/or ridiculous outfits, at the Bunny Bash, at Burning Man, at the Pussycat Ball, at the Burning Man Decompression Party, at Pre Burning Man, at Esthetic Evolution (another Burning Man thing), at a Sex in the City party, the Firefighters Ball. I am sure there is not a single undergarment in her little panty drawer that the entire world hasn’t already seen, nor is there a cool party she has missed. Apparently I’m the one who has missed it.

3. The friend counters: I know who you are, or better yet, I have no frigging clue who you are. You don’t fool me. I know you don’t really care about me or the Top Five Movies That Made Me Cry, you just want to get your friend count up.

3.5. Some things are better left in the past. I didn’t need to know that the boy I loved in the 10th grade is now fat and bald and living in some dreadfully boring suburban town on the East Coast. I’d rather remember him as he was, all blonde hair and freckles, doing bong hits on the ninth hole of the public golf course where we used to party and drink vodka we’d smuggled from our parents’ liquor cabinets out of jars or shampoo bottles. I didn’t need to see those photos of him at his daughter’s school play. It just ruins it for me.

4. One day I noticed my friend count had actually gone down, not up. So that means I now have even more ways than ever to offend people I don’t even know.

5. It makes it a little too easy. Maybe all those people are out of your life for a reason. You just didn’t remember why ” until now.

6. Facebook gives you all kinds of opportunities to be rejected, especially by people who have already rejected you in real life. When people tell you she didn’t accept your friend request because she never checks her Facebook page, they’re lying. Then there’s that mean girl from high school who accepts your friend request so she can continue to torture you by ignoring all your attempts to communicate with her.

7. It’s a waste of time. Now you’re spending hours out of your day corresponding with people you don’t really know that well (friend counters), people you honestly don’t care that much about (friends from grade school), and/or people you see/text/e-mail/talk to every day anyway. The only difference is now everyone gets to listen in on your conversation. I never thought I’d come to think of e-mail as personal and intimate, but damn, do I miss it.

8. I’ve dedicated my whole life to filling the blank page, and now it’s all about writing in these tiny little boxes.

9. Now that your life is on display, you better make sure that it looks cool. That means posting party photos/travel photos/happy photos/photos from the past and most importantly, photos that make you look a whole hell of a lot cooler than you really are.

10. It’s totally addicting. Now that I’ve taken one hit off the Crackbook pipe, I can’t get off.