Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Trouble with Facebook

So remember the time the Internet came to the world and it was awesome? And then remember when MySpace showed up and that was even better, and then Facebook came and WOW SO AWESOME? Remember that?

And then remember how something horrible happened when you started realizing that some of your friends are terrible at things like, oh, I don’t know, grammar and punctuation? Remember that?

Remember how it annoyed you, but you were able to move past it?

And then remember when Facebook changed their rules and all of a sudden adults joined in and started sending you friend requests and you’re like “ok, cool” but then suddenly you realize it’s not just your friends that suck at spelling, but adults suck at it, too? And not just regular “who cares” adults, but adults that you used to think of as being really smart and savvy and awesome? Remember how these “do-no-wrong” adults would flaunt their inability to spell all over the Internet? And remember how your world came crashing down? Remember that?

And you tried to ignore it. You tried to tell yourself “hey, it’s not THAT big of a deal that this 50-year-old man whom I greatly admire has the spelling chops of a second grader. It doesn’t matter, because not everyone has to be great at grammar. Some people are gifted in different ways.”

But then on top of the really bad spelling, these people, who used to be so epic in your mind, begin to forget to use periods, resulting in endless run-on sentences without any conjunctions. And again you tell yourself it’s not a big deal. You tell yourself they’re still the same people they were before Facebook. Before the Internet. Before the world advertised their educational missteps. And you try to not feel like you’re smarter than they are, but you can’t help it. Because doesn’t poor grammar equal not-as-smart?

And then just when you’re feeling badly about looking down upon others in such a villain-in-a-Dickens-novel way, you realize there’s no way for someone to write THAT poorly. For someone to be THAT bad at grammar, yet still so well spoken and awesome. And then it hits you. 

This issue has nothing to do with poor education, but everything to do with laziness.

And you get really angry, because to YOU punctuation and grammar are very important. After all, if we all spoke in brocken english how would we ever take each otherr seriusly huh tell me what wuld come of the world

And so you grit your teeth as you read status update after run-on status update and your blood starts to boil and you shake your head at their laziness.

And then, after double checking your punctuation and looking up the meaning of a word before you plaster it on Facebook for all the world to see, you hit “post” only to realize you’ve made a stupid error and NOW EVERYONE IS GOING TO SEE IT AND THINK THAT YOU’RE DUMB.

And suddenly you envy those free spirits. Those run-on beatniks. Those syntax hippies. Those alphabet nonconformists.

They have what you don’t. What you will never have. The ability to speak without spellcheck. To type without the thesaurus. To post ... to post without remorse.

So maybe these adults that were so awesome and amazing before the Internet are still awesome and amazing because they aren't bound by the rules of the English language. They're free.

And you realize that even online, you are still the lowly padawan and they, all-knowing Jedi masters.

And once again, they are awesome in your mind.


  1. Ahh, but that's the joy of Facebook now. You can delete said post and revise it. Unless you want to be lazy. ;)

  2. "And once again, they are awesome in your mind." - Where is this happy ending?! I have not recovered and I so *want* to!

    1. It was more or less a forced recovery :(

  3. What r u talking about amanda what ur sayin makes no sense & i think u need 2 take a chill pill


    1. o you no nothing thats to big of a deal

  4. Whew! That was close! I almost pointed out a typo that was not a typo. My eyes did that funny thing again and I read it wrong. I almost splattered it all over the internet. That would have been like a major boo-boo!

  5. I find myself vicariously venting along side you Amanda. And then I realize I disagree, and actually feel more riled up after reading. You take me on a roller coaster ride. Every time! Need to go drink some coffee, eat some chocolate and post some nonsense on FB so I can begin to think steady thoughts again! ha!

    You make me laugh!

  6. Grammar note: To "feel badly" is to grope awkwardly at something, as though you are blind and cannot see what you are trying to grasp. To "feel bad" is to be ill or sorrowful. The two do not mean the same. Otherwise, this was a very insightful essay.
    Doc Hensley (www.dochensley.com)

    1. Just keeping you on your toes, Dr. Hensley!!

  7. I have a couple of cousins who are like that on Facebook. Drives me crazy! One of them I had to hide because it was impossible to make any sense out of her statuses. Or should that be statusi...

    I also remind myself those people are normals. They don't understand why it drives us writers crazy and if we tried to explain it they'd throw us in the nuthouse.