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A ‘Facebook Outsider’

15.January.2011

Before my favorite TV shows rev back up to full throttle and I get caught up with all the episode reviews I intend to make, I have to get something out of the way first. Yes—about Facebook.

I am not one to think obsessively about Facebook—until I started to, about a month ago, when Time chose Mark Zuckerberg as its Person of the Year.

Then, last Sunday, I chanced upon this article, which, since then, has spread like some communicable disease across the Facebook community (naturally), Twitterverse, and practically everywhere else on the web.

Obviously, the article—entitled FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th!—is a hoax (hello, satirical news website). However, it does feature some very good points to consider (especially if you have a Facebook account), and it effectively plays on everybody’s imagination by creatively posing the scenario of Facebook coming to an end on March 15th 2011. Actually, we never know until the day comes, but it’s a sure bet that a billion-dollar website/company like Facebook won’t be shutting down—at least of its own will—in the foreseeable future.

But what really pushed me into writing this post is this article by Rina Jimenez-David entitled A ‘Facebook 0utcast’. It caught my attention because I didn’t know what a Facebook outcast is or how that’s even possible. Well, you know, because when a person has an account on Facebook, which is one big community of communities, he/she has got to be a member of at least one group, since the whole premise of the website is to connect people (it’s a social network for crying out loud) wherever they may be on the planet.

As I understand it, a Facebook outcast is the antithesis of a Facebook narcissist (see Facebook narcissism), and the author herself is a prime example of an outcast. She has her own Facebook account that she seldom opens (her daughter created and maintains the account from time to time), she does not frequently post status updates as if activity on her Facebook wall is tantamount to her vigor in real life, and she does not post sexy pictures of herself for the watchful, ogling eyes of the world to see.

The two articles got me thinking. Where do I stand in the midst of all this?

I couldn’t care lessI don’t have a Facebook account.

Am I a Facebook narcissist?

Again, I DON’T HAVE A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT, so I guess that makes me a run-of-the-mill narcissist.

Am I a Facebook outcast, then?

Possibly. But since I’m nothave never been, or ever tried to bea member of the Facebook community, how can I be rejected or excluded from it?

I guess you can call me a ‘Facebook outsider’.

First, I have to clarify: I may not have my own Facebook account, but I have used the social network more times than I’d care to admit (I use my mom’s, brother’s, and sister’s accounts, as well as some of my friends’ accounts from time to time). So, I may not know what it really feels like to have my own Facebook account, but I know how it works, albeit on a very basic level.

Also, about 90-95 percent of the people I know have Facebook accounts. Even the kids, babies, and unborn babies.

Bottomline: I do know what having a Facebook account is like (from what I’ve experienced myself and what I’ve seen others do), meaning I can be relied on to be accurate in my writings about it. And, as an outsider, I have a clear view from the outside looking in.

Let me start by saying I don’t have my own Facebook account because I don’t need my own. I can always borrow someone else’s account when I want to get up to speed on the latest happenings with my family/friends who are on Facebook, or if I desperately need to do some online stalking.

As for narcissism (if you think you may be at risk or just curious about your mental state, take the Narcissistic Personality Quiz here), I think it is part and parcel of human nature. We are all inherently egotistic (in varying degrees, of course), with or without Facebook.

It’s just that since we do have Facebook and it’s all the craze right now, a whole assortment of mental disorders—narcissism just one of them—has become more evident and easily recognizable there.

But, perhaps more significantly, the way people use Facebook also showcases just how human (as in curious) humans are. It shows us how badly we want/need to know everything we can about other people—especially those closest to our hearts, and, of course, those whom we desire.

As I write this, the debate rages on—whether Facebook improves the quality of human relationships or not, since Facebook does rob people of face to face interactions (the purest form of communication). But isn’t it possible Facebook does both? If so, then it really all comes down to the Facebook user and how he/she values and utilizes it according to his/her needs—however narcissistic or selfless the need.

At the end of the day, I—a Facebook outsider—consider Facebook a one-of-a-kind innovation that has had a  more profound effect on human society than its creators/founders ever intended it to have. Nevertheless, I deem it a mere tool or instrument—completely dependent on its user’s will and fancy. A means to an end.

And a tool, my friends, is something humans can live without. If you have a Facebook account, you’d be wise not to forget that.

My fear is that it’s only a matter of time before Facebook becomes a creature with a life and mind of its own—if it isn’t already that. After all, it has succeeded in modernizing—and thus, dramatically changing—the way people (about 500 million of them and the people in their immediate vicinity) live and behave unlike any other online social network in history (hello, Friendster, Multiply, Myspace, etc.). Who knows what else it could change in a couple of years or in a decade or two.

Facebook is approaching its seventh year of existence, and it will go on—for how long, no one can say. And yet, one thing is certain: at the rate Facebook is going, we (users and non-users alike) will be stuck with it, and we will all have to deal with it—for better or for worse.

But for now, I am quite pleased being a Facebook outsider.

* * * * * * * * *

WORD

1. and 2. I. Am. Ecstatic.

My favorite TV show, NCIS, returned from its Yuletide hiatus with 22 million viewers—the most since the series’ inception in 2003. But wait, there’s more!

Mark Harmon—who plays NCIS‘ lead character, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs—has been voted America’s Favorite TV Personality, coming from number eight last year to beat Oprah and House‘s Hugh Laurie (now tied at second place).

3. Thanks to a series of rather unexpected events, I found Mike Tompkins’ a cappella cover of Maroon 5’s Misery, which led me to his a cappella cover of Owl City’s Fireflies. Yep, I’m not up to speed with YouTube: the Misery cover was posted way back in July 2010 (Fireflies, May 2010). But still.

4. I’m feeling the new Spider Suit (minus the fake muscles).

5. If this doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. Thanks, Love, for getting me to watch this. You we’re right. It did make my day, er, night, a little happier. I couldn’t stop smiling when the video got to the Single Ladies part. 😀

6. Happy birthday, Xaxie!

7. This is such a great idea that has led me to find some of my kababayans who also blog here at WordPress. I cannot offer enough thanks to those who came up with the idea.

SHAME

1. How can something like this manage to fly under local news headlines? Shame, indeed.

2. For the players’ and fans’ sakes, can somebody please pull the trigger on the Carmelo Anthony trade already?

* * * * * * * * *

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

We’ve gone from Socrates to Snooki.

~Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard, on the state of acquiring fame, from ancient times to nowadays, where fame is more easily obtained and people with enough money and/or lack of self-respect can become famous just by being famous.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. 15.January.2011 8:48 am

    I, too, am a Facebook outsider…I REFUSE to create an account unless I need to at some point for research purposes (I’m an anthropology grad student). On the hoax news of Facebook ending on March 15th…Am I the only who noticed March 15th is otherwise known as the Ides of March? Beware, indeed! 🙂 Lastly, the fact that someone with the last name of Mallard chooses to go by “Ducky” is the best thing I’ve heard in a minute!…And his quote is on-point as well. 😉

    Me 🙂

    • 15.January.2011 5:27 pm

      Well, hello there, fellow Facebook outsider who studies anthropology. I think I’m going to have a look around your blog when I have more time to burn. 🙂

      Wow. I did not know about Ides of March before now. Interesting. Beware, indeed. 😀

      Oh, and Ducky is actually a fictional character (from NCIS) played by the brilliant David McCallum. Still, his quote does speak a lot of truth as to the current state of humanity.

      Anyway, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Hope to see you around WordPress! 🙂

  2. 17.January.2011 9:36 am

    Great. I love your blog.

  3. 17.January.2011 9:09 pm

    I think I want to hang out with those unborn babies who have Facebook accounts 😉

    I, too, have no Facebook. Maybe because I’m obnoxious.

    Months ago one of the screws in my head got loose and I actually created an account. But later that night, before I went to sleep, I had palpitations like crazy.

    Morning came and I woke up from a horrible, horrible nightmare. I immediately deleted my Facebook and I’ve never felt relieved.

    Nice article. Glad to meet people who are not Facebook clones. How apt because I was just to write something of this strain. A+++

    • 17.January.2011 10:32 pm

      😀 I’ll set you up with the unborn kiddos. But, uh, I have to ask: why would you want to hang out with them? Hmm.

      Obnoxious? I think you’re quite the opposite. There’s another reason why you don’t have a Facebook, for sure. Maybe because you don’t need it?

      Whoa. Palpitations. Good thing you came out of that nightmare unscathed.

      Yep, it certainly is a pleasure to meet Facebook outsiders such as ourselves. Lord knows there are hardly any of us left.

      Thanks for liking and the A+++ rating. It means a lot. 🙂

  4. aperockstar permalink
    20.January.2011 12:14 am

    If you’ve been visiting my blog for the longest time, you probably know by now that I’m also what you may consider a ‘Facebook Outcast’. I created an account back then (March 2009) but didn’t really enjoyed the whole ‘join this vampire group, accept this cupcake shit, or join our pillow fight’ crap. Those stuff really turned me off.

    p.s.
    I agree, the new Spidey look is justified. I mean, Spiderman has superhuman strength but it doesn’t mean he grew muscles and shit.

    p.s.
    Carmelo doesn’t want to speak with NJ Nets representatives. I can understand why. Who wants to play for the Nyets anyway!?

    • 20.January.2011 1:37 am

      Join a vampire group? Accept a cupcake? Join a pillow fight? ROTFLOL
      I can see why you decided to become a Facebook outcast.

      Yeah! The new Spidey look rocks, man. Enough with the fake, let’s get on with the real!

      Melo is stubborn, I’ll give him that. But an insider report says the deal hit a roadblock, but it’s not because Melo isn’t too hot on going to NJ. Read more here.

      I’m right there with you mate. Keep in mind that I posted this at the time when the Melo trade seemed like a done deal. So I thought the GMs should just get it over with, because the longer the wait, the longer the fans stay in limbo, while the players are probably feeling something much much worse.

      And considering that the deal isn’t anywhere close to completion as of the moment, I really wish these ‘front-office guys’ get their acts together and just get it done already or abandon the trade entirely.

  5. Rod permalink
    3.September.2013 4:20 am

    Just stumbled across this when googling ‘outsider’ and ‘Facebook’ at the same time. I’ve had a Facebook account for several years but in recent months decided to deactivate it. I say deactivate because a) I have tons of pictures I need to find the time to download to my hard drive and b) I’ve considered instead of deleting it, deleting all friends and letting it be a one-stop source feed for news and entertainment…from sports to world news to my favorite bands’ tour dates to scholarly journal links…even to keep up with a friend’s business if they are using Facebook to promote it so I can show my support. In the time I’ve ‘ left’ I’ve gotten varying statements of ‘why are you quitting??’ as if I need to conform to this complacency that plagues our communication amongst one another. That segue ways into my reason for quitting: people become lazier with communicating with others. You can call or send a text message and not get a response, but I can bet you, as we all have seen, that person has updated their status, posted a picture or commented on the pages of others in the meantime while they might later say ‘hey sorry I’ve been busy’ if you get that at all. It certainly has devalued the importance of personal contact. Now it’s ‘I put that on my Facebook page.’ Sorry. I don’t need to follow your life nor do I need someone to follow mine. So, in essence I feel a bit of a social outsider. It’s a shame that of the 700+ ‘friends’ I had on there whom I have all made in real life through high school, college, through friends, work, etc, Im lucky to hear from even one or two in a more personal form of contact. When I raise my future children, I’ll be certain to instill within them the value and importance of personal contact…face-to-face, phone call, letter, text message even on occasion(and learn when it’s not an appropriate time) over social networking, and being an outsider is quite ok in this regard 🙂

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