The Thing About Facebook Is … It’s Free

Kids, tweens, teens, young adults, and man-boys everywhere have been complaining about Facebook like crazy. I am constantly seeing Facebook statuses (irony apparently lost on the vocal complainer) about how Facebook is changing too often and making the profile page look “weird” or “annoying.” People think there are too many ads and too many sponsored links. While I do think it is fine and good to have an opinion – heck, have a lot of opinions – I think we’re missing something here. See, Facebook is free.

When something is free, complaining about it becomes more of an exercise in whiny entitlement than a foray into informed and opinionated public concern. There is no nobility is demanding free stuff.

Some helpful analogies:

  • “Waiter! Waiter! You gave us free bread to eat while we wait for our entrees, but you didn’t bring us jam or soft cheeses or cinnamon butter or sandwich meats! This is outrageous!”
  • “My best friend offered to pick me up from work because my car broke, but she didn’t get to my office until 5:15 PM and I get done at 5:00 PM. It was so rude of her to not leave her job early to pick me up on time!”
  • “I was trying to figure out what song was stuck in my head today, but I could only remember like four of the words. I tried to Google it, but Google RUDELY couldn’t find the song. It took me like two weeks to find out it was a Ke$ha song the whole time.”
  • “There were free hotdogs at work today, but only yellow mustard. It was horrible. I quit on the spot and I’m suing them.”

These analogies might make it clear that complaining about free stuff because it’s not exactly perfect is actually quite absurd. No one protests the candy bowl at their optometrist’s office because they don’t have any pink Starburst left. No one swears when their mechanic gives them a pen without a gripper.

I get that people feel connected to Facebook and depend on it for daily interactions that are very important to them. That connection does not change the fact that Facebook is free service with unlimited storage for photos, free email and instant messaging, free self-promotion, and the free opportunity to control individual online identity. Ultimately, Facebook is pretty awesome and I cannot believe it is still free.

Maybe instead of freaking out about timeline or new messaging formats, people should be thankful that they get to do so much for so little. The ads keep it free. The changes keep investors interested, and they keep it free. Maybe instead of sweating social media, people could just call their friends on the phone. They could even go crazy and actually hang out with each other. It’s worked in the past.

So, Pregnancy Is Inevitable Now?

DO NOT WANT.

I’m pretty afraid of pregnancy.  I think a majority of sexually active women in their twenties are also quite afraid of babies appearing inside their bodies.  Pregnancy is a constant threat weighing on us 75-90% of the time.  The other 10-25% of the time we have cramps, so we’re pretty sure we are not pregnant in those moments.  Those are good moments.  Those are moments that remind me of freedom, that ring of choice and birth control, and that remind that I am NOT ready to be a parent.  I’m far too creeped out by pregnancy.  I mean, my god!  Think about it.  Pregnancy is terrifying and a constant threat.  It takes you over.  It wins.  It is very, very scary.

Why is pregnancy so scary?

Oh, I don’t know… Maybe because a parasite grows inside of you?  Maybe because it makes your boobs go crazy?  Maybe because it’s the thing all women fear before some crazy switch goes off in their head?  Maybe because your body will never be the same?  Maybe because if you have a baby, you ALWAYS have it?  Pregnancy is imprisonment, and it’s a lifetime sentence.  Did I mention the stuff it can do to your body?

THERE ARE EIGHT BABIES IN THERE! EIGHT!

You might be wondering what prompted such a vile spew of anti-pregnancy thoughts, the answer is fear.  Pregnancy is not inevitable for me.  I believe in birth control and I know how to use.  It’s a good thing, y’all.

Lately, a lot of people (mostly my mother and my boyfriend’s friends) have been really chatting me up about babies. The message seems to be: “Pregnancy is inevitable.” I mean, I get what they’re saying. Maybe I will eventually decide to do that to myself or to let someone do that to me.  They all seem to think that for me not to know or for me to deny wanting children is blasphemous.  It’s not.  Some women don’t have children.  Some women don’t want children.  Some women don’t want to make their own.  Maybe I just don’t know.  I do know that I want to avoid this question.

Don’t ask.  Don’t wish babies on me.  That’s weird.

I know that a lot of women talk about the magic of childbirth, but I think many women have also experienced/are currently experiencing life as someone who is deeply and violently frightened of pregnancy and children. I’m tired of people telling me that I have to have kids. I don’t know what the hell I want. I’m 23. Back off.

Why is pregnancy being discussed as an inevitability?  Or at least, why is it being discussed as a fast-approaching, oncoming train?

No.

THIS IS WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR BODY. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS. OH MY GOD.

Basically, babies come from explosions in women’s bodies.  They are scary.  They shoot out of places and things go boom.  Then they cry a lot.  They cry so much.  There is so much stuff happening.  I get that babies are cute and stuff, but wowzers.  No thank you.

The babies get inside of you and then they try to get out of you.

There is just so much scary stuff about this. For example, THERE IS A HUMAN TRYING TO ESCAPE FROM THIS WOMAN’S STOMACH.

Sometimes I have dreams about babies happening, and I wake up in cold sweat.  I don’t wake up smiling and laughing and clapping my hands.  I wake up terrified.  Sometimes I have dreams about drinking and running and being awesome and single and not having babies and keeping my body the same shape.  Those are times when I wake up comforted and happy and joyous and giggly.  Good stuff.

Sometimes I think about my life in ten years.  When I think about that life including kids, it feels messy and sloppy and loud.  When I think about it without kids, it feels messy and sloppy and loud… Wait.  I guess those are the same.

Sometimes I imagine what would happen if I got preggers right now, and while it is better than a teenager getting preggers, it’s still not my favorite idea.

Also, this:

There are just so many things that can happen.  So many babies can happen.  So. Many. Babies.

You can stop whining about how hard it is to be young now.

More and more often, I’ve been seeing articles bemoaning being in your twenties (in particular, Thought Catalog and the HuffPost Blog love making lists on this topic). I wrote a goofy version (at least I like to think so) myself–far less, well, serious and doom-y. But I’m really, really, REALLY getting tired of people bitching and moaning about being twenty-whatever in combination with one of the following:

A. Not having a job. I get that this is frustrating. I do. Having a degree that you worked hard for and that you can seemingly wipe your ass with sucks. However, there is not some sort of cosmic significance to your lack of employment. We have a shitty economy. We are, realistically, in a rec(depr)ession, and you’re pretty much at the bottom of the ladder. It is, yes, adversity that you have to work through, but plenty of other people have worked through it before you. It is not something special for our generation, it does not make you better/unique/more self-aware. You’re also the one who refuses to do menial labor because you’ve been fore fed some bullshit about it being below you for the last two decades. You annoy me. Shut the hell up already.

B. Being single. And drunk. And single. Okay, I get it. You’re lonely. And you’re verging on being a full-blown alcoholic. This has nothing to do with being in your twenties. Being drunk and lonely is not a profound experience, nor is it the special property of the young.

C. Feeling directionless and using your blog to whine about it. Blogging always straddles that strange line between making your point and getting whiny in order to elicit sympathy from total strangers. One thing that is true about many people in their twenties (but also true of many teens and even a boatload of baby boomers) is a need for constant reassurance/confirmation from their social circle. Why else would social media be so addictive and so conducive to the humblebrag?

D. Being too far or too little self-aware. It depends on who you ask on this one, but for all the time you, author of blogpost/article, are spending reflecting on being in your twenties (instead of oh, I don’t know, living them) I sure hope you’re erring on the “too much” side of this equation. Honestly, quit taking yourself so seriously. Chances are, by the time you hit your mid twenties, you’ll experience something that will change the way you see the world or yourself. That’s healthy and appropriate. Whether that’s losing a beloved grandparent, having to break off a long-term relationship, or even getting a first phone call from a collections department, all of these things can force you to crawl out of your (supposed) vodka-induced coma from part B of this list and re-evaluate your shit. It’s called life, and it is not special or particular to being a young adult.

E. Whining about being broke. Your parents are paying (or stopped paying) your rent/grocery bill/phone bill/bar bill/healthcare bills (think Lena Dunham à la Girls). You live in New York/L.A./Miami/Chicago. Um. What did you think was going to happen if you moved to a HUGE metropolis and had, if we refer to part A, NO JOB? Shit is expensive! I hope your parents have already paid off the house they have in Happytown, USA because even a shitty studio apartment in some of those places is probably going to have them forking over twice as much as they did for their mortgage. Give me a break. Stop acting like they’re obliged to be paying for your dumb ass to live the high life while remaining totally oblivious to all of the benefits you do have, like parents who are not only willing but able to help you with your rent.

F. Jerking off to your own perceived intellectual, social, and cultural superiority. We get it. You have clever Tweets. Who knew so much wit could be packed into a mere 140 characters? Your Instagram photos each have the perfectly selected filter for the five hundredth picture of your cat, or the one where you’re holding up a half-drunken PBR at some skeevy neighborhood bar you like because it’s “pure” (that is, you’re the only person under forty inside of it). Your Tumblr is both thought provoking and delightfully cheeky in the 21st century intarwebs sort of way. You’ve read (and get) Derrida and Naked Lunch. You need to remind your Facebook friends how brilliant and unique and clever and unique and underground and unique and unique and unique you are. Did I mention you’re unique? And your blog, OH! Your BLOG. It is so deep and meaningful and there’s just so many feelings you need to discuss.

The biggest problem is that there’s a good chunk of “twenty-somethings” who aren’t anywhere near this obnoxious, self-righteous, self-absorbed, and arrogant.

We live on our own. We have jobs. We pay our own bills. We might have put ourselves through college. We aren’t stressing that we don’t have the newest version of the iPhone. We still don’t really “get” Twitter. We’ve (self-consciously) learned how to resist the humblebrag. We take care of our parents, financially, physically, or emotionally. We appreciate cheeky internet humor as much as the next guy, but don’t feel compelled to base our entire self-worth on it. We, too, sometimes drink to much, have a crisis of conscience and confidence, and really–really–enjoy watching Girls. We just don’t take to the virtual streets and feel it’s necessary to tell the world each passing detail of our lives, or record them in photographs, preferring to experience them without a camera lens in our face or our fingers racing across the touch screen of our phone to check-in on Facebook 24/7. And quite frankly, we’re sick and tired of getting lumped in with people who do act those ways and do those things. I’m looking at you, New York Times.

So, let’s be real. Being in your twenties, like being in any other conveniently-named age range, has its ups and downs. Sitting around pampering your bruised ego on the internet or looking for affirmation of your feelings and your self-worth from your peers, known or unknown, is a (bad) choice, not a feature of an age group. It’s okay to feel pissed off because you’re unemployed or because you can’t find a boyfriend; it really is. But it has nothing to do with your age.

10 Ways to Test Your Relationship

Relationships are hard, weird, and hopefully great.  Every relationship will be tested naturally, but if you’re looking for ways to see just how strong, or good, or whatever your relationship is, here are some ideas.

  1. Ask about porn.  When you do this, make sure to ask about the frequency, type, subject, and any other details you can imagine.  The more you push for details, the more of a test it really will be.  Once you’ve completed asking about this wonderful subject, make  certain you share your interests and preferences just as openly.
  2. Road Trip!  Being trapped in a car for hours and hours and hours is a sure-fire way to see if you secretly hate each other.  Plus, if your partner doesn’t shoot you when you scream and startle them upon seeing a spider…  You’re golden.
  3. Fart in front of your partner while maintaining eye contact.  I haven’t tried this, but it seems like it would work.
  4. Have a really awful day.  Then, hang out.  While it’s hot.  And you’re tired.  Experiment away!
  5. Go hiking.  You will quickly learn if you or your partner are whiny, lazy, weepy, weak, annoying, or cool.
  6. Debate who is weirder.  This will get ugly fast.  You will see what your partner finds odd and possibly annoying about you.  If you can withstand this, you’ll be alright.
  7. Have weird sex.  I don’t care if it’s role play, bondage, blindfolded, exhibitionist, group, or just different – try something a little out of your comfort zone together.  When you do this, you will either build trust and see that you already have a great deal.  OR it will be an awkward mess and perhaps a sign that you should avoid each other forever.  OR maybe it’s bad, but you can both laugh.  It’s a test.  You be the judge.
  8. Meet the parents.  What could be more telling than that?  Do you hate your partner’s parents?  Do they hate yours?  Are they creepy together?  Do you feel judged?  It will be awkward, but you can do it… and if you can’t, maybe you’ve failed.
  9. Meet the friends.  You will be judged so damn hard.  Get ready.  Get set.  Get to impressing.  Friends will tell it like it is.  You have to impress each other’s friends, or you will ruin each other’s lives.
  10. Throw up on your partner’s bedroom floor.  Trust me, this will test you both. Big time.  If your partner simply begins to take care of you, cleans your barf, and then refuses to sleep to maintain surveillance of you and your illness for the night, then they are awesome, and they deserve major rewards.  If they get mad at you and tell you to clean it up, they might be a real dick.  The lover that holds your hair deserve high praise and hella love.

Your Bra Size Is NOT My Concern

Sometimes, I am a loud-mouth.  Still, I have self-control, and an awareness of myself whilst in public places.  A young lady I encountered today was lacking in the whole control area, but she was clearly an expert in loud-mouthery.  Man, oh, man…  She could talk.  LOUD.  She struck me as the kind of person who updates her facebook status at least twice a day; likely about half of those statuses are vague and emotional so that people will ask what’s wrong.  Basically, I’m saying she was really darn annoying.

We were all trapped trying on clothes in the Salvation Army, when some loud-mouthed teen decided to declare her cup-size to us all.  I was not amused.  Here are a few things she exclaimed:

  • “I’M ONLY 5’1″ AND MY BOOBS ARE D-CUPS!  D-CUPS, I TELL YOU [and everyone else].”
  • “OH MY GOD, STACY.  YOU HAVE TO COME SEE HOW HILARIOUS I LOOK.  MY TITS ARE SPILLING OUT ALL OVER THE PLACE.  IT’S RIDICULOUS.”
  • “DEFINITELY WHEN I’M DONE LOSING WEIGHT, I’LL BE ABLE TO FIT IN THIS… OF COURSE, THAT’S ONLY IF MY D-CUPS SHRINK! HAHA!  THEY’RE SO BIG!”
  • “UGH! I HATE MY D-CUPS!”
  • “MY BOOBS ARE SO HUGE.  IT’S SO AWFUL HAVING BOOBS THIS BIG.”
  • “BIG BOOBS ARE THE WORST.”
  • “NO ONE MAKES CLOTHES FOR BOOBS THIS BIG!”

I have a lot of issues with this.  First of all, don’t scream about your boobies in the middle of a store.  It’s one thing to say to your companion, “This won’t fit over my boobs,” or, “Haha! Look at this.”  It’s very different to share your cup-size like a news announcement.   I promise, no one cares as much as you do.  You can share the moment with your friend, but you don’t need to share it with everyone else.  There are kids around, and old folks, and folks who just have normal levels of privacy…  They don’t care.

Also, they do make clothes for big boobs.  As a lady with boobs EVEN BIGGER than yours, I can assure you that I wear clothing that I do not make.  Therefore, some clothing has to fit over boobs of that stature.  Yes, it is harder to find button-ups, bathing suits, dresses, and tanktops, but you learn to deal.  Big boobs happen.  Big shirts happen too.  You just have to accept that you can’t fit into anything and everything… You know, like everyone else.

Another thing, most people don’t want to hear complaints about big boobs.  Big boobs get a lot of press and a lot of love.  Maybe don’t whine in front of all the A-Cups and B-Cups of the world.  They’re hatred of you and your D-Cups could penetrate your skull and crush you at any moment.  Stop complaining.  You’ll be fine.

Maybe I’m just a cranky old lady, but I just don’t want to hear about a stranger’s boobs from across the store.

Do you think Christina Hendricks screams, “HOW WILL I FIT MY CRAZY-HUGE TITTAYS IN THIS OUTFIT?!” every time she tries to buy a tanktop?  No.  She does not.  Christina Aguilera doesn’t either.  Some ladies have big boobies.  Every single person who sees a lady with big boobies will, with a doubt, notice that she has them.  Big boobs are kind of hard to miss.  Therefore, they don’t need to be announced in the Salvation Army dressing rooms.


Your Facebook Status Bums Me Out

I’m bummed out.  Why?  Because I read your facebook status.

1.  It’s spelled wrong – very wrong.

  • “Your not the smartest perosn in teh wrld.”  You may be right.  Well, if you meant you.
  • “My neighbors r SO loud!!! I can here everything their saying!”

2.  You’re fishing for compliments.

  •  “Ugh!  I’m SO fat today!”
  • “I should not have had a second Pringle.  Now, I’ll be fat forever!”
  • “OMG! I wish I was skinny like I was in High School…”  Wishing anything about your life was more like high school is never acceptable.  
  • “Yay! I lost 3 lbs. Too bad I still need to lose 400! JK LOL HaHa… But, seriously, though.”
  • “Do I look fat?” (attached bikini picture below…)

3.  Your math is wrong.

  • “Snooki is pregnant and due on December 21st… The dates the Mayans predicted the world will end!” If we already know she’s pregnant, she cannot be due in OVER nine months.  It only takes nine months to pop out a baby, you dumbass.  
4.  You’re bragging.
  • “Blah, blah, blah… I bought this thing!”
  • “OMG!  My boyfriend/girlfriend bought me this thing!”
  • “Another iPhone?  What am I gonna do with this?!” (sent from facebook mobile)
  • “Yay!  Daddy bought me a BMW!”

5.  You’re really over-sharing.

  • “I am so bloated… Ugh!”
  • “Beard-burn! hehehe”
  • “I’m gonna regret last night…” (along with 400 photos)
  • “Guess what I got pierced?”
  • “Blah, blah, blah… sex…”
  • “Blah, blah, blah… drugs…”
  • “Blah, blah, blah… money…”

6.  You’re way too depressed to be on facebook…  You should call a friend.

  • “I have no friends!”  What about all your facebook friends?
  • “I cannot BELIEVE he dumped me!  I’m devastated!  I’m dying!”
  • “I hate my life.”  I hate it too…
  • “I haven’t stopped crying in four days!!!”

7.  You’re fighting with someone…  You should just call them.

  • “I hate my boyfriend.  He’s such a jerk sometimes.  Why can’t he just listen to me…”
  • “Tina is a bitch.”
  • “You are an asshole.  I hate you.  You’re so dumb.”
  • “Blah, blah, blah… WAAAAA!”
8.  You’re being sexually explicit… or implicit.  Don’t be sexual.
  • “I want to see you naked.”
  • “I’m gonna see you naked.”
  • See picture…

9.  You’re way too obsessed with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

  • “I love you, baby!” (tags boyfriend/girlfriend)
  • “Cuddle time!”
  • “Snuggle time!”
  • “I love my baby!”
  • “BF/GF TIME!”

10.  You just update too often.  Shut up!

  • “Blah…”
  • “Blah…”
  • “Blah…”
  • “Blah…”
  • “Blah…”
  • “Blah…”

These are all awful.  These are all things you should keep to yourself, or at the very least edit.

We Get It, Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day needs to settle it down.  Seriously, why are we putting so much value in this little old day?  It shouldn’t make or break a relationship, it shouldn’t define us as people, and it shouldn’t depress us based on whatever relationship status we can use to describe ourselves on that day.  It just shouldn’t.  I’m actually not sad, lonely, or depressed (this year), but I still think Valentine’s Day is a little evil.  A person cannot escape hearts, red crap, shiny shit, lacy shit, feathered shit, champagne shit, chocolate shit, expensive shit, diamond shit, more heart-shit, etc.

Why not just do something nice for the people you love?  Even if it’s not sexy, you’ll feel good.  If you are in a relationship, you’re expected to have a fancy dinner, eat chocolate, drink champagne, and then put on crazy lingerie and have the hottest sex of ever…  That’s unreasonable.  You will be bloated.  You will not feel like having sex with the lights on.  Just willing myself to get into a corset is enough to ruin a nice meal.  “I’ll have the side salad without dressing as my entree…”  The expectations are unrealistic.  Shouldn’t this be reserved for anniversaries?  What happens if a chick is unavailable for the supreme pleasures of Valentine’s Day doin’ it?  Ladies get this thing every month, and it complicates things?  I’m just saying: what if?  That’s a lot of pressure for a reproductive system to handle.

I’m also infuriated that the V-Day tropes are that dudes spend cash while ladies put out.  Blerg.

I just don’t want to see hearts everywhere.  I don’t like them.  I don’t want everything to be pink.  I don’t want my boyfriend to feel like he has to send me roses or I will kill him.  THAT’S STUPID.  No one is entitled to roses.  I’m certainly not.

Plus, dudes can’t handle all this pressure.  It makes ladies crazy, and guys can’t live up to the crazy expectations pushed into female minds by rom-coms and Hallmark commercials.  I think I’ve even seen a cat food commercial about human love recently.  What? How? Why? COME ON.

Ladies, settle it down.  If a dude doesn’t buy you flowers, it’s okay.  Maybe just take a moment to appreciate the people you love instead of buying everything in CVS?

If you’re single, Valentine’s Day is just gigantic reminder that you are not in a relationship, and that you will likely not be needing any lacy accessories.  Why should singles be tormented further by our weirdly couple-obsessed culture?  Being single kind of rules… because there are no rules!  Okay, not really, but still.   This can be such an awkward day.  We should just act normal.

Why are heart shapes so anatomically incorrect?  It really bothers me.

Friggin’ Valentine’s Day…

10 Things That Make You Sound Like a Major Asshole

  1. “There’s something wrong in this country when gays can openly serve in the military, but ‘our’ children cannot openly celebrate Christmas.”  Rick Perry is an asshole, obviously.  The first problem here is that these two things are not related.  Gay people don’t hate Christmas.  Most Christians who celebrate Christmas also don’t hate or feel threatened by gay people.  Rick Perry is a crazy person who is trying to criminalize homosexuality while hiding behind his religion.  Suck it, Rick.
  2. If you are a dude and you call a girl a tease simply because she wouldn’t bang you for buying her a drink, it’s going to make you sound like an asshole.  Actually, just expecting this to happen (if it you just think it) makes you an asshole.  You don’t even have to say it to anyone.
  3. You just complained that your parents won’t pay for your phone/car/trip/etc.  You’re a grown-up.  You have to buy your own shit, asshole.
  4. You just complained about the phone/car/trip/etc. that your parents bought you.  Only assholes complain about gifts.  This isn’t “My Super Sweet Sixteen;” this is real life.  In real life, if someone buys you a new phone, a car (new or used), or pays for other nice shit for you, you thank them profusely and you keep your mouth shut about the color/brand/make.  It was free to you.  It’s a gift.  Get over yourself, asshole.
  5. You say the following to your friends to help make them more cultured: “Well, I’m not claiming to be an expert, but while I was in Paris/London/Europe/Madrid/etc… All the locals did/said/wore [insert random, judgmental, and terrible idea].”  Unless you’re really being earnest, you probably just made yourself sound like an asshole.
  6. Calling yourself a visionary.  No thanks, asshole.
  7. You complain about what other people are drinking around you.  “Oh god, is EVERYONE drinking Bud Light? Kill me.”  “How can people drink Sam Adams and take themselves seriously?”  “I’m so over beer; now, I just drink artisan wines…”  We get it.  You’re cultured.  No one is forcing you to drink anything, asshole, so shut up and enjoy your $100 hotel-sized bottle of wine.
  8. Your facebook status is about your Hummer/BMW/Mercedes/etc. and how much you hate.  Basically anytime you’re complaining about how rich you are, you sound like a major asshole.  This includes complaining about poor people, protesters, homeless people, and the like.  This also includes being annoyed because your flight to your vacation was delayed, or that your limo wasn’t as big as you expected.
  9. You think a lot of girls are obsessed with you.  Hey asshole, unless you’re Ryan Gosling, you’re wrong.  The only one obsessed with you is you, asshole.
  10. You complain about other ethnicities, nationalities, and races.  You are the major-est, biggest asshole of all.  Congratulations, Captain Asshole!

Your Facebook Baby

If you post a picture of yourself holding a baby, and the caption just says, “So cute!,” I will assume that baby is yours.  When I see a picture of you lovingly holding a baby with no information given, I will assume that baby is yours.  It’s only a natural reaction.  I’m going to be left with the impression that you’ve had a baby recently, and that I just didn’t know until now.  It’s not far-fetched.  Lots of folks my age, your age, her age, his age, all ages… are having babies, so I’m sorry, but I’m going to assume the baby you have in your arms is yours.

Which of you is the mommy? Is anyone the mommy?

Just label the picture.  Let all your facebook friends know that you didn’t have a baby.  All it takes is a simple caption.  For example, try, “My sister’s baby is cute!” OR “I’m an auntie!”  Just explain where the baby originated.  Everyone loves a good origin story.

WHOSE BABY IS THIS?

On another note…