Though it’s almost unfathomable (and probably should be illegal), some people still do not have a Facebook account. We all know one or two of these die-hard resisters, who believe they are somehow more superior to the rest of us because they have managed to spit in the face of digital conformity and still understand the meaning of a ‘postage stamp’.
The idea sounds nice, but in reality they are just the guys who don’t get invited to parties anymore.
It’s a little ironic that they would be the one person at your 10-year reunion who you don’t know every single minute detail about their lives since you left them in year 12… and yet they won’t even be there because they never received the Facebook invite.
Even sadder, probably no one will even notice their absence because their very existence has been slowly erased by the fact we are not being fed constant daily updates about what they ate for lunch, what a great night they had last night and why their life is better than ours in general. Facebook: the personal marketing machine, where you vie with hundreds of others to stay ‘top of mind’ in the feeds of your facebook ‘friends’.
Inevitably these people experience what I like to call frequent ‘Peerbook Pressure’ [not really, I just made that up then and even I’m not really sold by it] – whereby everyone else teases them for being a digital dinosaur and uses all forms of bribery, blackmail and persuasion to convince them to adapt. Cries of “but you don’t have to live like a digital recluse anymore” and “you can still be like us – just join now” and my favourite “if you don’t sign up you won’t be invited to any of my parties!” all collide into one endless avalanche of fruitless persuasion.
All pressure is shaped in the form of their best interests, but the real truth is that we want these non-conformists to sign up for completely selfish reasons. Less money spent on text messages and calls, more time gossiping about what such-and-such wrote on their wall last night (due to less time required for real catching-up as we already know everything about their lives), and not to mention a higher facebook ‘friend’ count. But the most important of all (which we will NEVER admit)– somewhere, deep, deep in our souls in a crevice so buried it has yet to be digitalised, we admire these people and their ability to resist the inevitable – the courage to fly in the face of digital popularity and ruin their chances of being a real, functional, normal human being.
And that is why we must unite to assimilate these people. Because in some small part they make us feel inferior, and the only way we know how to combat this is to post some status update about our job, house, kids, friends or social activities in a thinly veiled attempt at asserting our superiority. But they won’t even see it.
So how then do we prove to them in a (not so) subtle way that our life is better than theirs? We would have to re-learn how to do so using archaic and near-obsolete channels – maybe even meet with them in person or something similarly absurd.
No, the safest option is to continue on our quest for absolute Facebook world domination, so keep up the relentless pressure and hope that one day they will conform (for their sake, of course).
This post is dedicated to Carolyn and Kevin – two (once great) friends who have been lost to the world of anti-Facebookism. May you both see the light soon.