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.

Today Is a Real Bitch – Not a Funny, Cool, or Sexy Bitch – This Bitch Cold

Get out your tiny violins, and settle in for a bitch-fest about a real bitch.  That bitch’s name is Today.

First, there was the traffic.  Some bitch in a Mercedes freaked out because I was going 60 mph in a 60 mph zone… behind 45 cars also going 60 mph.  Thus, it was definitely my fault that all the cars on the road were too slow for her.  Thank you, bitch.  Thank you for giving me the finger and honking at me inexplicably.  Even when I changed lanes (to get the eff out of your bitchy way), you cut in behind me.  Thanks.  I can definitely control traffic and construction and everyone around me and the weather.  I am amazing.

Second, some bumbling ass threw or left a sharp piece of metal in the middle of the road.  It promptly popped my tire.  I aggressively removed it from the street whilst cursing the heavens beyond reason.  I tried to change my own tire… and failed.  I cut myself on a rock(?) or some other such thing.  I managed to only be 15 minutes late for work.  I was enraged.

Third, when I slowly meandered to Discount Tire (which is a wonderful place), the gents in the back informed me that the wheel bearing I fixed three months ago, then 10 days ago was still bad and all kinds of broken.  Yay!  More money for the money pit.

Fourth, I realized I forgot to take out the recycling… for all of my buildings…

Fifth, I stepped on glass.

Sixth, I’m out of spinach.  This is a crisis.

Seventh, I missed poetry club for my damn car and I didn’t even get it fixed tonight.

Eighth, there is construction on every side of me.  I am trapped.  I am robbed of quiet, space, time, and order.  It is always dusty.  It is always loud.  Roads close randomly and without warning.  To leave my home, I must turn right, go two blocks, then right, then two blocks, then some other random shit I can’t control… After that, I get to choose.  I choose rage.  So much rage.

There, now I have finished whining.  This is not our usual format, but I am not usually this angry for this long a period of time for personal reasons.

Today is a real bitch.  I will now go play the world’s smallest violin.