Every time I log on to Facebook these days, I feel as if a little bit of me dies inside. Specifically, the bit of me responsible for faith in the world and the human beings that inhabit it. It’s not just that Bono stands to make more than a billion dollars from the company’s flotation (he was an early financial backer), although obviously this does very little to kerb the feelings of misanthropy that threaten to engulf my very being every time I see that stupid little F logo. No. It’s mostly my “friends” on the site, who seem to spend their days sharing meaningful quotes, pictures of snowmen they have built, and extreme political opinions of both persuasions.
Here’s the thing: Facebook has made me actively dislike people. Worse, I think it has made me actively enjoy disliking people. For passive aggressives who are too weak simply to de-friend the people they don’t like and get on with their lives, Facebook (and Twitter, for that matter) are dangerous things. These aren’t social networks – they are anti-social networks, outlets for all manner of pent-up aggression that might turn me into a complete sociopath otherwise.