Facebook, first you insult my levels of social aptitude by implying I’m lonely, and now you’re offering me ultimatums?!? Well guess what, I don’t play by the rules. I don’t even know the rules. I don’t even know what game we’re playing.
Facebook has formed a barrier between me and internet freedom. Standing betwixt me and every climax, preventing my perusal of every punch line, restraining my attempted ascent to the summit of every internet witticism, is the same thing.
Facebook is holding content ransom. The price? A like.
Like some perverted nightclub bouncer, every other page restricts your admittance until you’ve metaphorically fellated it by clicking the Like Button. And until you’ve paid the admission price and been inside the club you have no idea what music they play.
This is the problem. Pages force people to commit prior to having seen the content. That’s not how a transaction works. According to every movie I’ve ever seen, it’s half up front, half when the job’s done. So how about telling me what cup size my bride is before arranging our marriage. I’d like to see some content before I commit to liking your shit. What if I like it only to find that I don’t like it? I’m going to feel mighty silly and you’re gonna lose a fan. It’s a risk neither of us can afford to take.
Brands rely on the popularity of their products to secure likes. This isn’t enough for me. Red Bull, if your promise to bestow me with the gift of flight did not entice me, a few hints and a storm of arrows will also prove ineffective. It’s about as subtle as a wet brick to the face.
It’s not all major corporate brands that employ restrictive fellatio access parameters. Facebook is awash with lowly pages and groups exploiting the mindless curiosity of the world’s perverts and maniacs. These pages promise everything from hilarity, to gore and sexual exploits. Rarely do they deliver. Many more feature cryptic titles and puzzlingly conjured percentages like this:
98% of people cry with laughter when they see this pic
Really? Only 98% of, what I can only imagine, given the lack of specification, the global populace? That’s not good enough. Perhaps if these results were more conclusive I’d be tempted to like the page. But an entire 2%, an entire 138, 600, 000 of the world’s population were not brought to their knees pissing tears from their ducts, and I always trust the opinion of the minority.
It’s abundantly obvious that many of these pages are spam. If you’re vacant enough to click them you deserve every virus you will ever contract, including viruses not confined to the virtual world.
But amongst the canned meat produce I’m occasionally faced with content that I do actually wish to access. But do I really betray my own morals for a flash-based animation game or a whimsical caption below a charming image?
Here at Casa del MacTingz we do not negotiate with terrorists. Liking something to view blocked content is a submission of will. I never submit. I do this partly out of spite. It’s me getting one over on Facebook. Fightin’ the power. Stickin’ it to the man. It’s another win for the little guy. I also do it because within my twisted logical labyrinth of thought it makes me a better person.
Did you click the Like Button to satisfy your own curiosity? You did? Then you’re fucking weak.
The Like Button has become unavoidable. It’s in magazines, on the radio and on TV. Everywhere I look I’m being urged to like something. When did the world get so fucking insecure?
No longer is it enough to mentally like something. Nor is it enough to verbally announce that you like something. These likes are unquantifiable and this serves the business world no function. Now you need to demonstrate your love with the relentless clicking of a mouse. These can be counted and assessed in order to determine the popularity of a product or page. It’s Virtually Documented Popularity on a numerical scale. Everything you know you have to like.
Every brand and business has adopted the Like Button. Christ, even B&Q ads feature the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube widgets. Listen B&Q, I like you. I’ve always liked you. I like your competitive prices. I like your orange theme. I like your rhyming slogan. But you’re so needy I’m seriously considering terminating our relationship.
The entire internet has become a continual popularity contest. The omnipresent Like Button is a 21st century God, granting unapologetic ethereal glory to any shameless enough to whore their content on the streets of the net like a vulnerable Haitian child.
Having successfully infiltrated every aspect of mainstream media with the malignant Like Button, it’s only a matter of time before Facebook achieves total global supremacy and Zuckerberg becomes Master of the Universe. It won’t be long until our tangible presence is erased in favour of little more than a flickering quasi-physical image, and we all have Like Buttons perennially hovering over our holographic heads like great neon signs displaying our Likes/Dislikes as an interpersonal popularity rating. Expect a dramatic increase in suicides.
Zucks isn’t without his rivals however. The world is under threat from multiple rapidly evolving, potentially aggressive global superpowers. Who will be our ultimate masters? Facebook, Google, China, or an artificially intelligent fleet of mimetic poly-alloy nanomorphic assassins?
Facebook may be the least painful option, but I’d happily taste the liquid metal of T-1000 to forgo clicking that button.
Article first published as Facebook Ultimatums on Technorati.