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Facebook Woes? Perhaps You Need More Facebook Foes.

Illustration for article titled Facebook Woes? Perhaps You Need More Facebook Foes.

Sometimes a frenemy just isn't enough.

Sometimes it's not enough to smile when you run into each other on a mutual friend's Wall, or to make nice to someone in public and then complain about them to your partner in private. No. Sometimes you just need a foe. Perhaps, even, a nemesis.

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Epic's Tim Sweeney suggests that for true plot and character development, any story needs to have a foe. And that includes the story of your life... as told on Facebook.

Of course, it makes sense why Facebook only has ways to codify, quantify, and acknowledge positive actions or relationships. There's enough drama all over every inch of the site without a "foe" category and no matter how often part of my secret heart sympathizes with the calls for a "dislike" button, I never particularly want or truly expect one to appear.

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Perhaps this is why Facebook can never truly represent the breadth and depth of the human experience. We need adversity to grow, and Facebook lets us block those who cause us strife. Like the two dozen in-laws who never stop talking politics...

(Top photo: Shutterstock)

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DISCUSSION

A related problem with Facebook is the damn notion of communicating openly with everyone / having one profile. Yeah, I know you can find ways to limit content to specific people, but it's a hassle, and the whole system is clearly engineered around the idea of having a single online identity.

Bleh. I'm completely different with different groups of friends, coworkers, extended professional contacts, the person I'm currently dating, ex-girlfriends, family, etc. There's no way I could possibily create any part of a profile that makes sense for all those contexts. Even the main picture would be radically different for each. So screw that.

I know that it's starting to sound like proclaiming you don't own a TV, but I've been happily Facebook-free ever since I dropped my account last year, and I couldn't be happier. Now when I meet someone new, they can find out about me however I feel like presenting myself, instead of adding me as a friend and instantly pulling up some list of other friends, contacts, past posts, etc. How horrible that is for new dates in particular. Finding out about people the old fashioned way in conversation and through subtle cues is what social life is about, not gaining instant access to lists and details online.