Monday, November 9, 2015

Facebook: just because we care

"Margaret, we care about you and the memories you share here," says Facebook to me on a desolate Monday. The notice just appears out of nowhere, popping up and interrupting my news feed. So they post something from two years ago that they assume I would want to see again.

Well, I think I'll go on living, folks, knowing somebody "cares about me" and the memories I share here. The thing they thought I'd like to look back on from two years ago was a chart which illustrated the inbreeding of Charles II of Spain, with a family tree in which half his relatives were either first cousins or uncle-niece combinations. 

It gave me a warm and lint-covered feeling to realize that Facebook cared enough - yes, CARED enough about me individually, as a person, to carefully select this damp and frothy memory. No doubt their loving, even tender choice revealed much about me, someone who shares special, nay, irreplaceable memories with her many thousands of Facebook friends on a daily or perhaps hourly or even moment-by-moment basis. But even more caring are all those ads for Walmart which they keep blasting in my face twenty times a day. Nice to know they're thinking of me as a potential market for corporate advertising - not just now, but always.

When I deleted this thing, a notice came up in bold type that said, "We're sorry, we know we don't always get it right." I heard muffled sobbing in the background. Or is that just the ever-present hum of the Facebook engine? Whatever, the statement was designed to produce a little twinge of bad feeling, something that would stay with you all day and just blight your joy a little, a sense you'd somehow been insensitive and done something gratuitously hurtful and wrong. 

Don't worry, the good folks at Facebook are apologetic and contrite, and just beating themselves up for doing this to you - but hey, didn't they do it just to please you, to make your day a little brighter? So if you don't appreciate their honest efforts to cheer you and make you a welcome part of Facebook Nation, doesn't that say something about YOU? Did you ever stop to think what a shit you are?

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