Wednesday 13 December 2017

Colette Fitzpatrick: There definitely isn't a button for how I truly feel about Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is to become a father
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is to become a father
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Team pic
George Clooney

So Mark Zuckerberg has finally confirmed that Facebook is working on something like a 'dislike' button which will allow users to acknowledge posts with a click.

But this new button means you won't appear to have 'approved' of the post. A sort of a 'I feel your pain' button. An empathising one, so to speak.

There isn't a button for anything that would come close to describing what I feel about the social media site.

Even the 'it's complicated' relationship status doesn't cover it. Because it's not. It's straightforward loathing.


This cyberworld isn't a reflection of the real one. I simply never believe that what people post is what they really like, think about and feel.

That their timeline in anyway remotely reflects their mostly typical lives. It's a popularity contest wrapped up in vanity and attention-seeking. My baby is cuter than yours, my night out was more insane, my hubby gives me nicer pressies, my kitchen is more fabulous in my more fabulous light-filled home and don't I look great in that snap of me at my goal weight?

Hell, there are more pictures of 'beautiful' celebs looking more real on the net than what's on most people's Facebook pages. In the real world babies have rashes and dirty faces and are dressed in hand-me-downs. Kitchens are grubby. As are the husbands and wives.

Where are the real pictures? I don't want to 'like' it if it's counterfeit. And I have no interest in 'disliking' or 'I feel your pain-ing' it either. That would be virtual. As in, NOT REAL.

Notification bleeps, timelines clogged up with those baby snaps, being tagged when you look like that, having to announce a relationship and not being able to forget about one. And most of all, the hell bent eradication of privacy. That is why I can't bear FaceBook.

When people say they hate Facebook it probably means that they hate other people. It's not that they hate all people. It's just that they hate interacting with such a vast amount of people so regularly. It's not natural because we're predisposed to comparing ourselves with others. And jealousy.

I'm not a Luddite. I value the internet and sites like Twitter. But it bothers me that your data is being used for market research and advertising.


Remember the 'your year in review' app last Christmas? Web design consultant Eric Meyer wrote an emotional piece about it after viewing the picture of his daughter, who died of brain cancer earlier in the year, in his news feed.

'Clip art partiers danced around a picture of my middle daughter, Rebecca, who is dead', he wrote. She died on her sixth birthday, less than 10 months after she was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer.

'Yes, my year looked like that', he said. 'My year looked like the now-absent face of my Little Spark. It was still unkind to remind me so tactlessly.'

Social website? You may as well be in social quarantine if you're updating your status; it's the most unsociable thing you can do. No I don't want to be your friend, Facebook. Where can 'I check in' to somewhere you won't be?


If you're not into rugby, then prepare to be sidelined for the next six weeks

Team pic

'Darling do you have anything to say before the rugby kicks off? Because we will now interrupt this marriage and our family life for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.'

Rugby widows and widowers across the country are bracing themselves for how to deal with abandonment issues during the 48 matches. It kicks off today. Ireland kick off tomorrow. And if you're not into it, so begins six weeks of being sidelined as your other half is encamped in the living room, eyes glued to the screen. He or she has now ceased to acknowledge your presence.

We're all set in our house. Rugby jerseys from Lidl. Check. Wales in the sweep in work. Check.

But I'd be lying if I claimed that sport wasn't occasionally a source of friction between us.

He thinks I'm being deliberately provocative trying to talk to him when he's checking a result online. I think he's being casually dismissive when he loses concentration halfway through a conversation.


Your children will learn inappropriate language as they pass through the sitting room in the coming weeks. Your three-year-old daughter may drop a rice cracker on the floor and let rip with a choice four-letter word. If you explain that it's not appropriate for her to say that, just pray she doesn't say, 'why is it OK for you to say it when you're driving, so?'

A little bromance often evolves at times like these. In the excitement of the game, men are comfortable hugging their friends or slapping them on the back. It also gives them a ready-made topic of conversation because they can show off their knowledge of stats and game strategy.

The widows and widowers of this competition are thankful just for the invitation to watch you watch rugby. Just keep calm and hook. And think of that fictional man or woman who doesn't ignore you during the Rugby World Cup.


Just write more roles for women...

George Clooney

I see George Clooney has a solution to help fix the gender imbalance in Hollywood. He says we should 'rewrite more male roles for women'.

The actor (inset) suggested as much during the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Our Brand Is Crisis. He referenced how Sandra Bullock's leading role was originally written for a man and said: "There's a lot more out there if people just started thinking."

Bullock is one of a handful of actresses playing gender-switched roles in upcoming movies. Emily Blunt's FBI agent in Sicario was originally for a man, as was Julia Roberts' role in the Secret in Their Eyes. Perhaps they could just write roles for women from the beginning.


Why are we talking about thighbrows?

There was the bikini bridge (started as a hoax but actually became a thing). And previously the thigh gap. Now the 'thighbrow' is a thing. Thighbrows are the crease between your upper torso and thighs when you're sitting or kneeling down. 

On the face if it, it seems like something we could get on board with because it doesn't appear to be damaging to women's self esteem or bad for your health - everyone has thighbrows.

But here we are again talking about women's bodies, dissecting them and taking selfies of them. Some girls have thigh gaps. Some girls have bikini bridges. Some girls have both. Most of us have neither. But thighbrows ... we do have other things - busy brains, a couple of talents and hopefully a relatively healthy approach to the way we look in swimsuits.

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