Two things I dislike about Facebook
This post is a day early, because tomorrow I shall be at a family event in Birmingham.
I am finding Facebook, although terrifyingly time-wasting, a source of a lot of innocent fun, gossip and useful information (as well as those pesky cats). (I’m still refusing to wish everyone a happy birthday, though, because I’m mean.)
But some things definitely annoy. Among them…
The innumerable number of “SHARE IF” posts. Cute or sad photos or images with captions that effectively say “Like me/share me/send me some love if you are a nice person.”
No, I won’t. In my youth, there was a concept called the chain letter. In their most evil form these were (and maybe are) unsolicited letters saying “Send £1 to the top six people on the list, add your name at the bottom, and forward to another six. You will soon receive loads of money in your turn! DO NOT BREAK THE CHAIN. Terrible things have happened to those who did.”
But some of them were much more innocent – just “Send a nice thought to six people, and add your name. Lots of people will write to you!”
I have always tried to resist this kind of moral pressure, and I intend to continue doing so, even when it is accompanied by a really really sweet baby picture.
Second… well, it’s the sexist jokes.
Now, I have an exceptionally lovely set of Facebook friends. I know there’s a lot of horrific anti-woman stuff on the internet, but I haven’t come across it. I don’t look for it.
But how about: “During labour, the pain is so great that a woman… can almost imagine what a man feels like when he has a cold”, or the one where women are surveyed on what they think of their arse – “too big, or too small, or do they love him just as he is”?
Or the version of the popular children’s book “That’s not my puppy” (Discworld version “That’s not my cow”), which says things like “That’s not my husband… he’s doing the dishes”?
Or: “He called me a bitch, so I called him an ambulance”? Just imagine that one the other way round. “She called me a bully, so…”
“Women who are over-weight live longer than the men who mention it”?
Maybe I’m being over-sensitive, because some of these jokes appear both ways. “Lost: husband and dog. Reward for return of dog,” can also be “Lost: wife and dog (or cat)…”
But most of the ones I see are meant to amuse women, about men. Feeble, whining, useless men.
Now we all know that through history women have suffered oppression in many forms, ranging from automatic rape by slave-owners, to medieval marriage vows that only expected fidelity by the wife, to not being allowed to own separate property from the husband etc etc. Lower-class men have also suffered oppression, but they’ve still on the whole been better off than women.
And we all also know that in some parts of the world it is still dangerous to send girls to school. (And that Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her own brother earlier this month for bringing the family into disrepute.)
And we all also know that even in modern Britain assertive women get death threats on the internet, and there is no male counterpart insult for “slag”, etc etc.
But I still don’t think it’s liberating to lump all men together and laugh at them. It’s arguably a sign of insecurity, one that we don’t need.
And it gives any men who want to be feeble, whining or useless an excuse that nobody should have.
Because all of us should be the best that we can be.
… Anything else wrong with Facebook?
Love from the PPI Blogger