Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Facebook - The 9th Planet

We used to have nine planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto), but Pluto became a dwarf planet (an object in space). Facebook has since taken its position. With over one hundred and fifty million active members, Facebook has earned its place in the world of legendary planets. The only difference between Facebook and the other planets is that Facebook is virtual…and like all virtual worlds, it is full of surprises.

I was never going to join Facebook. I just thought it strange and unnecessary. Eventually, I joined for the sake of networking, or at least, that is what I told myself. Since joining Facebook a little over a year ago, I have found some old friends I never thought I would find again, and I have made some new ones too. I currently have two thousand, six hundred and eighty-two friends on Facebook. The weird thing is that I did not receive two thousand, six hundred and eighty-two perfumes (or Range Rovers) on my birthday. I really do not like this friendship. It is not quite beneficial to me – at least, not in the way I would prefer.

But like I stated earlier, strange (and funny) things happen on Facebook. In the profile section, every member has the option of declaring his/her relationship status. Your status could either be single, in a relationship, engaged, married, in an open relationship, or the funniest one of all, ‘It’s complicated.’ Facebook goes further to give you the option of declaring the person with whom you are in a relationship. For example, Joe’s profile might say, “In a relationship with Mary,” and Mary’s profile will say vice versa.

I can understand why a person’s relationship status might be single, in a relationship, engaged, or married. I can even try to understand (more like accommodate) a person’s relationship status being ‘In an open relationship.’ But why will a person’s relationship status be ‘It’s complicated?’ What exactly is complicated? Does it mean ‘we are divorced but still playing husband and wife?’‘we own a home together and have six children but are not married?’ Does it mean ‘I kinda sorta got my wife’s younger sister pregnant?’ Or worse, does it mean ‘I’m pregnant for him and I just found out we are first cousins?’ Do not tell me it means ‘my boyfriend does not know I used to be a man.’ Seriously, what does ‘It’s complicated’ mean?

No matter how complicated it really is, why does Facebook need to know? It has been quite a little while since I have been in a so-called relationship, so perhaps, I have forgotten how it is done. Pardon me for thinking that having a ‘It’s complicated’ status on Facebook will further complicate things. What do I know anyway? I am just a girl who owns a laptop and an imaginative mind. It becomes even funnier (and troubling, of course) when a person’s relationship status moves from ‘In an open relationship’ to ‘It’s complicated.’ One begins to wonder what might have happened. Did one partner decide to have a close relationship? Is one partner having a baby with someone – other than the one whom he/she is in an open relationship with? Has one partner caught a sexually transmitted disease and now unable to figure out where it came from? The possibilities are endless!

Speaking of relationships, Facebook does the most dramatic thing when a person’s relationship status changes. It is so dramatic that sometimes I am so sure that Facebook must have some Nigerian blood in it. When a person’s relationship status changes from being in a relationship (or married) and becomes single, Facebook alerts all the person’s friends. Example, it will tell everyone that “Joe is no longer listed as ‘In a relationship.” But that is not where it ends. It goes further to add a broken heart next to Joe’s name. Most of my Facebook friends are Nigerians, so you know they cannot help but be dramatic. People start leaving comments like “Oh, don’t worry Joe, your own will come…” or “Eyaa, poor you. Hope you’re coping sha…” or “What happened? I thought you were ready to pop the question.” Someone might even say, “Don’t tell me you got dumped again!” These comments never cease to tickle me. But what makes people (and Facebook for that matter) think that the end of a relationship means a broken heart? Is it not possible that the end of the relationship spells freedom and joy for Joe? Or maybe I am the only one who experienced that.

On the contrary, when a person’s relationship status suddenly becomes attached (in a relationship, engaged, married, etc), Facebook puts a heart – not a broken one this time – next to the person’s name. Of course, the busy bodies are always there to comment again. “Oh, congratulations, Mary! Who is the lucky fellow?” or “Ah, me too, I go love oh!” Once in a while, you will find an ignorant one like “Ah, ah, Mary, you’re in a relationship already? This babe, you no dey waste time o!” Now, I have to wonder; does being attached mean the person is in love or happy? The person might have just made a grave mistake by accepting to be in the relationship. But then again, maybe I am the only one who experienced that also.

Still on the topic of relationships, I have heard horror stories of people’s partners (husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends) being stolen on Facebook. I cannot say I am surprised. I do not think there is anything wrong with putting pictures of one and his/her partner on Facebook, but remember that one hundred and fifty million people may be watching. So before you embark on such a treacherous journey, it is imperative that your relationship is solid. When I say solid, I mean SOLID – not the we-just-met-yesterday-and-we-feel-like-we’ve-known-each-other-forever kind of solid. I mean the I-know-how-many-times-he-breathes-in-a-minute kind of solid – although some might call that obsession. It only starts with one friend poking your partner, and before you know it, all three of you are in a ‘It’s complicated’ status. All it takes is a poke. In retrospect, of course, only people who want to be stolen can be stolen. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.

Do you know that Facebook is also a proof of love, pride, and commitment in a relationship? Picture this: girl wants to ‘go public’ on Facebook, and boy does not want to. All of a sudden, girl begins to bear grudges against boy and overanalyze everything he does. Why does he not want to go public? Is he ashamed of her? Does he have someone else? Is he not committed? Does he not love her? Well, maybe he just does not want his business on Facebook. But girl refuses to see things this way, so she gives boy an ultimatum: either you declare our relationship on Facebook, or we are done. Cruel, cruel world, I tell you.

Facebook – God bless its heart – also wants to know if its users are interested in men or women. You have the option of picking one, both, or none. I have picked none. I am shocked to see how many people have indicated interest in both men and women. Does this mean that so many people do not understand what is being asked of them and therefore do not realize the implications of their response, or do we just have a rising number of bisexuals? Either problem is disturbing as it is bewildering. In spite of its obvious lack of sense, I will go ahead and believe that Facebook malfunctioned and mistakenly assigned both sexes to so many people. Honestly, that helps me sleep better at night.

Need false validation? Facebook is the place to get it. This is why girls who have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God constantly feel the need to post half naked pictures of themselves on Facebook. They put the pictures up and leave nauseating descriptions like, “I know I look hot.” Sex-starved men creep by, take a peek, and write what the girls want to read: “You go, baby girl! You look so sexy. I wish I could take you home right now.” The ignorant girl responds with a capital “LOL. Thanks!” Everyone else who has a functioning brain looks at the picture and virtually spits in disgust. Why do people leave false compliments on Facebook? Why tell a girl who obviously looks like she has just been used for a money ritual that she looks edible? Edible to whom? Vultures? A pack of wild animals? A ferocious beast? I wonder.

I have been told to never assume things, but I cannot help but assume that anyone who is on Facebook wants to be found. If that is the case, what then is the point of being on Facebook and changing your name every few weeks according to your mood in the morning? People that already have you as a friend on Facebook will find it difficult to find you; people that do not already have you as a friend will never find you. I assume, once again, that people who engage in this must not know the enormity of the confusion they cause for people like me. But then again, maybe I just do not understand the ways of the Facebook Citizens. Perhaps, I am still just a resident.

Anything and everything that can have a group and should not have a group has a group on Facebook. I have been invited to join the most ridiculous groups on Facebook. Out of courtesy and respect (and fear of being beaten up), I will not mention any. I have to wonder though; must there be a group for everything? Before one forms a group (virtual or not), it is imperative – in my opinion – to have an aim. One should not form a group just because the world wide web provides the unlimited space for it. I realize that some of these groups are for fun, but a lot of them were born out of the creator’s boredom – which is why you hardly see even the owner of the group participating in it. The poor group dies a slow, unnatural – though predestined – death before it gets a chance to even be ill. Such is life.

Everything happens on Facebook. People meet on Facebook. People fall in love on Facebook. People reconnect on Facebook. People get introduced by mutual friends on Facebook. Hearts get broken on Facebook. Hearts get mended on Facebook. Money is made on Facebook. Money is lost on Facebook. Spouses are stolen on Facebook. Fame is acquired on Facebook. Virtual fights break out on Facebook. Cheats get caught on Facebook. Employers spy on their employees on Facebook. Lunatics and psychopaths stalk people on Facebook. From the way things are going, I expect that people will soon start getting pregnant on Facebook. I shudder to think of the kind of virtual community my future children will belong to. I doubt if I will still be on Facebook by then. I even doubt if Facebook will still be in existence. By the time my future children are old enough to belong to a virtual community, Facebook must have gone to Virtual Planet Heaven. Or maybe Virtual Planet Museum. Unless, of course, the future will give birth to strange children who will join virtual planets at age one, write novels at age three, and – heaven forbid – get married at age five.

Ah, the possibilities...!


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JustDB said...

well said.... but FB has being painted as The Place for undiluted cool -- i doubt we can get ouselves off that planet!

Favoured Girl said...

Great article Vera, hilarious too. I'm also wondering what kind of world our children will grow up in, as the virtual world takes over more and more of our personal lives, our time, money and privacy. A virtual planet like Facebook would have been completely unimaginable 30 years ago.

And you are right, Facebook allowes everybody to be a mini-celebrity :)

I imagine that something better than facebook would come along sooner or later and it will die a natural death as everybody moves to the next hot thing.

Phoenix said...

3rd?? aewooo it must be christmas!!

sleekiest said...

LOL @ the groups & pictures. My thoughts exactly..
I like FB for a thousands of reasons including I find it entertaining to see how people feel the need to feed the world private information.
You missed the status updates though.. or don't you have friends who "sneeze on facebook?"
You try.. nice write up

B'Dazzle said...

Madam Verastic, wia have ur brain (& fingers) been?! Ehn?Missed ur notes like crazy, bbz.Just had meself a good laff - after a vewy stressful day. Bout d note, tru talk; too true. D wonders (on Facebook) are an endless, infinite ...
@ Ya: Keep up d good werk.

NoLimit said...

laffing @ Why tell a girl who obviously looks like she has just been used for a money ritual that she looks edible? Edible to whom? Vultures? A pack of wild animals? A ferocious beast? I wonder!!!

I wonder why some peops love to derep themselves on Fb in the name of "looking cool" mscheeewwww
You have said well Madam!!!

Geebee said...

Facebook has indeed taken the place of Pluto. Wao, over 150 million? I never knew this . . . and sure, the population grows everyday. I believe Facebook is just another wonder of the world, what with the way you hook up with people and like you said, DO VIRTUALLY ANYTHING on it. Lol @ the ‘getting pregnant on facebook’ part but then imagine the endless possibilities on this virtual planet. Great post, Vera. Facebook is IT!

Addict said...

Awesome post.I agree with everything you said. But guess what? I'm addicted to Fb.

blogoratti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blogoratti said...

Reminds me of that David Chappell episode where he wondered what the world would be like if the internet was a real place..
Facebook isn't the problem in as much as it is the internet really.

But your sentiments in your post captures it all -the over exposure of one's mind,body,and soul -not to forget hours and hours of unproductivity too. People need to get off FB and get a life..

blogoratti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

nna.....dat was rather LONG and VERY entertaining esp d last paragraph.

Bibi said...

lmao 2 the relationship part and the men/women part. true word my sista. but two thousand and some friends?

Laurel Kornfeld said...

Pluto IS still a planet. Please do not blindly accept the controversial demotion by four percent of the International Astronomical Union, most of whom are not planetary scientists. Their decision was rejected in a petition of hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. Even now, scientists and lay people are working to overturn the demotion. In fact, Facebook has many very active networks of groups and causes supporting Pluto's reinstatement.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Pple fall in love on facdebook? Well it's possible. I have being too busy using facebook for groups and causes to notice.

I was tempted to add you on facebook but I change my mind cuz I wasn't sure if you will be there as you or if it's an extention of Vera on Blogsphere... I am not bothered about letting you know me off blog but I was just like will she reveal herself (sounds crazy).

I change my status by removing married and some of my friends want to know if I leave Mr. Standy you know... cuz facebook help me tell them that Standy is no longer listed as married (lol)

Nefertiti said...

OMD! Vera u will not kill me for my mother o! The fb thing don tire me. I know one of these days, I will up and leave like I did Hi5. Does that thing still exist?

How do u get over 2000+ friends? Do u know them all?

LoloBloggs said...

Last count Facebook now has 175 million users. It's viral, doesn't understand the word no. If someone puts a photo of you on there and you're not on facebook, you have to join to report it and have it removed!! Now that's deep!

I'm a former (maybe still current really) FB addict, I'm working on it! I only have 316 friends and I think that's too much. If you have 2000+, my dear start saying NO!

Dante said...

Beautiful post, Vera...FB is very addictive..I can tell you. Already, there is a facebook

Buttercup said...

lol..this was fun to read..and very sinsible too....i've also wondered about some of the questions u raised..

@ dante is the REALLY a facebook anonymous??? wow..

Buttercup said...


Ms. SpicyTee said...

Vera ,very well written. Laughing at d relationsgip part.

I'm so much addictive too. Lets simply say Ori everybody ti fo kasi FB oh...

Sometimes I just wonder what the world will be without FB.

And yeah,FB does make pple look like celeb, I went 2 a parry d other day,everybody knows Shakeeera,Shakeera. What FB exposure cud do 2 u.

@Standtall..very funny. you always like misleading pple sha.Told u times wtout numbers,lets those single guys be oh.

O'Dee said...

You have said it all vera.
Everything happens on FB.

What amazes me most is the relationship status changes on FB, and how FB informs all friends. You 4got to mention FB also states how long they have been dating (4 d married) & where they met.

bArOquE said...

you sha wrote a lot about Facebook oh...& like i would say, there's no bringing to reality the phrase, "spread your shit all over the internet"...its so not funny, people i'd rather not know say hi at the gym & i wonder why i'm smiling back, i know i dont want you (i'm referring to men)...then go back & realise i have generally left he's friend request pending for months on end...see me see trouble...however, there's this girl i bumped into @ the airport, fb buddies, my junior in sec sch, she's coming into town for Easter & says to hang out, i hope i get 'really' lucky...i need it

Omotee! said...

I couldnt have read this at a much better time.
am just opening my fb page now and u wont believe the comment someone made:
"How Omotee wey fat like dis fit dance salsa?"
can u believe such rude comment? thats no big deal cos am about to reply in a stinker.

FB has its own credits tho, i joined so i could contact old friends. But it could be so annoying. personally, i fail to see the hype.

thanks for this expose, i hope those who leave silly comments will read this and stop.

nice one!

emilola said...

i feel d same as omotee and baroque
am about to open my fb .i have come across a lot of friends
recently and all they ask are u
it sure has its
opens u
up to the world.
i'll share my fb
with u all soon.

CultureCynic said...

is FB the new $$(root of all evil)? cuz it defintly crack for alot of ppl (i am a reformed addict)

Tigeress said...

omd pls tell me u're lying about FB being an avenue for husband/wife snatchers.

As for FB love- that is VERY true o. My good friend met her current bf thru FB.

bumight said...

I once met someone i "knew" on facebook at Target. I had never met her before, bt cos we were facebook friends and she posted pictures almost everyday, i felt like i knew her. I saw her and her face looked familiar, i already stopped, before i remembered that we were only fb friends - oops!

cerberus said...

Salient points lady Vera. here's a funn FB story:
I found out i was on facebook when an ex girlfriend called me to ask why i insulted her on there.
Apparently, the girlfriend at the time set up my acccount to see which girls would holler at me.
In the end, it became her ultimate nightmare.

MY of Cerberus

Dabizniz said...

facebook yuuuughck

Gochi said...

LOL @ cerberus..Ultimate nightmare that's funny.

Was going to do a FB post before but you've said it all Vera, and absolutely true all points raised.

I am actually one of the culprits that change their names but to be honest i have only done this twice, because the first time i tried after a looooong time lol, (this has taught me never to be curious again) FB didn't allow me change my name back *hiss* Well lucky for me i only have friends and family who know all my silly names so didn't really notice my name changing.

Good Post!

Nice Anon said...

I dislike FB. Hence my reason for staying away from it

Penelope said...

Yay!!..Im so happy I came Thru with the brilliantly Long note qritten above!
Yes Vera, u said it all!...The biggest mistake i made in my life was putting that relationship status thing up on facebook and having to remove it later on when we broke up! It's just too much abeg ahnahn! Facebook does not give room for priivacy anymore..Even peoples wall to walls self can be seen..kilodee

And Those invites and shit...I just ignore them cus they get really aoyin...especially the extremli silly ones..that dont even have direction!

Oh if i went on and on bou facebook, ild never end.

This was a brilliant write up ma'm! Good Job!

i_rep_naija said...

well said! well said! u're very good observer and analyst. I have been in that declaration of r./ship status on facebook before. not cool i swear. if only people would calm down and realise the 'bads' of fcbook PDA. imagine, a friend of mine broke up recently and I'm not surprised she is ashamed to delete her 25-photo album titled 'my boo'.

Afunto baby! said...

omo mehn! THANK U! i thought i was the only one finkin facebook is evil.. hahahahaha! shet I like the way u analizyed facebook sha. cudnt have put it any better myself.. TEW MADDDD! Carry

Aphrodite said...

Talk of saying it and saying it well...

You just did that babes.

Nice one!

Mr C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr C said...

Wow. Am feeling.

My ten cent.. it would be funny if facebook does not die; we would be having relationships between friends as "He is my grandfather".lol.

But on a more serious note, it could be an arhive of information that would tell our story. The way archaeologists roam the planet in search of the past, generations in the future would have web experts using facebook to understand our time and gain insight into how we lived.

Bumlight comment kinda remind me of my own post:

TDVA said...

vera, your imagination never fails to crack me up. only you would come up with such posts! love it.

Bushgirl said...

First time this post, esp the gbeborun responses to relationship, so true! fb has replaced CNN,regular customers check in in the morning to find out wat the latest is, I have signed up under duress but not a big fan

Olamild said...

The purpose of FB is to polish people's amebo skills

Olu said...

Well said , well said. This was an awesome post, i like the way your mind works and your delivery .

FB is what we make of it. Some for reuniting and keeping in touch with friends across the shores, others as a place to parade their exhibitionist tendencies, and some STRICTLY to promote their business or network.

Nice post Vera

Uzo said...

There is such a thing as waaaaaaaaaaay too much information and a lot of folks on facebook overshare...I just dont understand it

ababoypart2 said...

Great article delivery. Loved it!

tommeh said...

Fb is a planet on its own

Deedo said...

I cancelled my FB registration. I found it an unnecessary appendage and not quite as useful to me as a lot of people claim.

Further reason for deactivating my account: I didn't like the fact that anybody from anywhere can at anytime look me up and see what's going on in my life. Too bad some people won't be able to link up with me on FB but I'm ok with that.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled on this blog. and i was laughing the entire time. not sure if it was meant to be funny. but i found the humor in it and related a lot to it. great work!

Uzezi said...

u definitely handled every part of facebook and all its activities. nice article. i respect the power of ur imaginative mind sha.

Harry-Rami Itie said...

You are so right esp on d relationship part...facebook...dats another world of its own

mike said...

well said. i have witnessed a situation where a guy beats up her girlfriend cause she changed her relationship status from engaged to single, playfully! What a planet

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Torrent Engine said...

Hi. I agree that FB is what we make of it. Some for reuniting and keeping in touch with friends across the shores, others as a place to parade their exhibitionist tendencies, and some STRICTLY to promote their business or network.

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