So, something slightly out of the ordinary happened the other day. Starting at about 7 pm Tuesday and until around 3pm Wednesday, I was inexplicably unable to post, comment, like, share or do pretty much anything else on Facebook. And I still have no idea why. I can only assume that I was flagged as a spam account due to the fact that shortly before it happened I had “liked” somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 comments made by various people in a hockey discussion and that kind of camaraderie and supportiveness is (possibly) not tolerated.
I never really thought I’d find myself terribly attached to Facebook. I hardly post anything personal on it. If anything, I mostly just use it as a place to share the jokes I write and a way to find an audience for this blog. That being said, upon realizing that my account had been rendered useless I found myself quickly spiraling downward into madness. It’s not that it’s specifically Facebook, it’s more the fact that I’ve been using the same account there for about 8 years now and have a lot built into that. I’ve made many connections with people, have a fair amount of pictures on there and I like to think I’ve built a pretty solid reputation for posting funny status updates (a few people have told me this and I took the liberty of extrapolating the data).
In the midst of my panic over how my jokes and blog posts would continue to reach the audience I’d built around myself, I came to a few hysteria-induced conclusions. First, is that I crave the validation of my peers and that humor is the most natural way for me to achieve that. Furthermore, Facebook makes the approval of my humor easily quantifiable. So, without the ability to post my newly written jokes, I found myself sitting the broken remains of a Rube Goldberg machine that was designed entirely to stimulate my sense of self-worth. Imagine the game Mousetrap, only instead of catching the mice at the end, the game gave you a hug. Then your little sister breaks the game and you no longer get the false satisfaction of a hug from a game that actually doesn’t care about you at all (ouch, that got dark pretty quickly).
The other thing I noticed is that in some sense, it was kind of like Facebook had broken up with me. I could still log in and see what other people post, but I was not allowed to interact with anything. Facebook had broken off contact with me. It was ignoring me. It wouldn’t return my calls or texts. But I could still see it all the time, still having a great time because it had already moved on from me and I was just sitting a dark room by myself looking at my computer screen and wistfully remembering the way things used to be; hoping that we could reconnect and patch things up because I always thought we were great together.
I tried to be as logical as I could about the situation (reports of my success in being logical may vary). I sent a few reports to Facebook explaining the situation (and begging them to take me back, swearing I’d treat Facebook better this time). I never heard any response as to why my account wasn’t working but thankfully, it was fixed before I ended up standing outside of Facebook headquarters holding a boom box over my head blaring Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” If anything, I think this taught me that I need a lot more practice at being funny in fewer than 140 characters, because Twitter is hard for me.
There are people in this world having real problems, yet I spent most of my day here losing my mind because I had no idea how I was going to share my blog posts without the use of my Facebook account.
If it ever happens again, I’m fully prepared to start a #FreeRyan campaign.
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