In the most self-deprecating of ways, most of believe we don’t actually like, need or benefit from our experiences on Facebook, but that we have no choice but to be on the site.
It’s this very feeling many of us indulge in daily when we defend our Facebook usage to ourselves and others saying, “I have to use it because of X reason” and “I don’t really use it. I just use it for X.” It’s also the same idea that led the hashtag #IStillFacebookBecause to start trending on Twitter this afternoon.
As hundreds of tweets began pouring in every minute, responses, of course, involved jokes, but many appeared to be serious. Some mentioned what is perhaps one of the most addictive things about Facebook’s hold on us that no one can deny, which is summed up here:
It’s true, and we know it. But most of the tweets didn’t touch on this and actually fell into one of two less obvious categories. The first has to do with birthdays:
When prompted to discuss why they still use Facebook, a ton of people’s first thoughts were that we’re expected to know our friends’ birthdays, and Facebook takes care of reminding us. We’ve all been relying on the site for this information for so many years, and it’s become our birthday calendar. It seems so trivial, but it is useful.
What seemed to be the majority of tweets, however, pointed to gaining insight on friends’ and acquaintances’ views on current events and politics.
We like to be outraged, but even more so, we like to be right. Seeing outlandish updates from racist uncles and high school classmates who haven’t done much to open their minds gives us a sense of satisfaction and correctness, and it does so simply, without even needing to converse or debate. Especially with election season underway right now, a quick scroll through Facebook is all it takes to know where everyone stands. With this information, we can make sense of things. We can put people into categories and understand them in relation to ourselves.
Oh, and there’s this too: