Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Facebook's Carnal Release

I think at one point in our lives we said to ourselves “Facebook is cool but it’s not that big of a deal.”

That was a bunch of bullshit. It’s a place to vent. To share who you are, what you believe, sure. But, more than that, it’s like crack. Facebook became something more than the other networking sites before it. Facebook is like an epidemic. It’s everywhere. Everyone. We’ve all caught it.

My mom has a Facebook, so does yours, heck your grandparents probably have a Facebook. For example, my son and I were in a restaurant and being the adorable and flirtatious 11 month old he is our waitress took a liking to him. She started talking about her grandkids and how they were great and then she said, “Thank God for Facebook! Without it I would never see my grandkids.” We live in Facebook. Meanwhile, I felt kinda shitty cause her kids never visit. But, I mean she sees everything through Facebook so really what’s the point of visiting. I mean this way she doesn’t get drool on her blouse.

So how, one may ask, did Facebook become the barometer of our lives? It’s our lives condensed onto a timeline, yes, but unlike the MySpace and LiveJournal preceding it Facebook presented in earnest at an opportune time. A time when a majority of the population started carrying the internet with them in their pocket.I carry my Facebook everywhere I go. My droid gives me access at all times. Thus, as soon as I get up in the morning I check my Facebook, at work, check my Facebook (with no reprimand for using work computers), and at home, check my Facebook. Sometimes I’ll even be on real desktop Facebook on my computer and my fingers are so trained that when I unlock my phone I immediately click open the app. Don’t judge me, you know you do it too. We all do. Addiction.

Wait, it’s deeper than that. Facebook is like your measure of societal acceptance. This is why we all look forward to the pinnacle of FB attention that most will ever receive (I mean other than that time you shared that really funny MEME off Takei’s timeline). It’s when you change one simple aspect in the basic info section of your timeline: Relationship status.

The FB relationship status is the judgment of the seriousness of a relationship now. It is where you make the public statement of your love for another. It’s a big step. I’ve known couples who were together months before even tackling the subject. It makes me forget how we used to announce relationships. Did we? Were there parties to say “Hey me and Billy are getting it on now!”?  In any case, the seriousness of this step has not been overlooked by the Facebook overlords.This is why it can’t be done on the mobile app. It has to be official. In front of a real computer, preferably at the same time as your lover as you coordinate mouse clicks. Ok, that’s a little obsessive. But, you get it. It’s a big fucking deal in this day and age. 

I just had this pleasure. Getting out of my familiar mobile app FB world to go onto the full desktop site to do just that, change my relationship status (albeit short-lived as it has changed back again...must admit it felt like the right thing to do but it was obviously a preemptive strike…Again FB relationship status change, big fucking deal. Do it too soon could implode the relationship with too much pressure. Too late and it’s a whole lot of “Why wasn’t it done sooner, do you not believe in us?” It’s messy business). And as I did I realized something that left me confused and a bit puzzled. You see there are other categories with serious implications that are also not editable on mobile. Birthday, Quotes, oh yeah and Religion. When I went all excited like to change my lovely relationship and tag my partner I realized my religion was set to Christian.

Odd…I haven’t considered myself Christian in years. I know I’ve changed it before. I mean even on MySpace I think I’m still listed as Agnostic. But there it is, Christian, all reeking of long un-kept biblical commandments and the pastoral advice of my youth. So I changed it to Agnostic and went on to more important things. Changed to “In a relationship” and tagged. 

And the flood poured in. Well-wishes, likes upon likes, and the same on his page. If Facebooking provided a carnal release this would certainly be it. I go back to my basic info just to look at it again, see his tag and…Christian. It didn’t change. 

At first I guess I said I was Christian because I didn’t really know what I was in 2008 on the cusp of losing my father. Never good to create a Facebook account when going through an existential crisis of faith, by the way.I said I was Christian because I didn’t want my family to think otherwise I guess. I wasn’t ready to deal with being the different one yet. I didn’t want to hear it from those in my group of friends that might consider it off putting to go against societal norms. I knew I didn’t believe in Christianity. I had created some sort of an amalgamation of a faith system for myself at that point. Which Facebook had no name for obviously.Slowly, since then, that’s all dissolved as well.  So then, what now? I started to consider my position.

I believe in good people. I believe in good acts. I believe in making the world a better place. I believe in eliminating prejudice and hate in the world. I believe that there are a lot of people who go against my beliefs under the guise of serving their God or Gods. 

I do not believe in a deity. I do not believe anyone died to save me.  I am anti-organized religion. People in groups are dumb. We know that. People in groups that are also being led by someone feeding them what to believe out of a book or books they’ve probably never read, can in some instances be homicidal. Not a good thing. I mean, have you seen the Middle East? Messy, messy, messy.

So then, what label should go there in that box of religion? Labels suck. Seriously. Because, really I don’t feel I completely fit into a category. But, I feel a decision must be made. I feel I shouldn’t leave it blank.
So, the result, two proclamations to the people of my cyber kingdom, I’m in love and I’m agnostic. Well they kind of already knew that, not much of a proclamation. Agnostic Atheist. Hmm…*sigh* Fucking labels. In love and an atheist.Straight up, no chaser. Let them comment on that one. 

–Colleen Amos

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