Dear Mr. Zuckerberg, although I don’t know if it’s proper etiquette for me to even refer to you as “mister” because you are three years younger than my son (so Mark it will be). I read on Wiki that you and I share the same birthday of May 14– I feel as we if have something in common, some sort of kinship, you might say. A dedication to following through, to conquering the unknown; like-minded.
Now sir, I am having a devil of a time with your Facebook thingy.
I saw a brief clip of your appearance on the Today Show with the smirky Matt Lauer (not hiding his jealousy of you much when he mentioned his big closet. Tacky, Matt, real tacky. Just keep reading the teleprompter and throwing off a few more snarky comments and you’ll feel better. I know, I know. We all wish we were Mark Zuckerberg. Get over it.)
Sorry, back to my original train of thought… I’ll paraphrase what you said to Matt about what you and the late Steve Jobs had in common…a similar desire to make your product user friendly. There’s that word again…friend. Friend-ly. Well, Mark, your Facebook is really, really NOT user friendly, at least to me. It is most definitely unfriendly, adversarial, and actually passive aggressive– if not overtly aggressive at times.
I want to be liked. I want friends. Social media is supposed to bring us all together, right? Globally, right? I try to “like” and “follow” and make comments and most of the time all I get are cryptic error messages. On those rare occasion when a comment of mine is accepted (and these are nice comments only, not anything outrageous or censor-worthy) I am only represented by that asexual robotic hermaphroditic android-like outline of a head and shoulders. No one could mistake that silhouette for me. I. Am. A. Human! I have a face, Mr. Facebook! Actually, a seashell is my profile photo, but that’s another story entirely. Why, oh why, can’t I make it appear?
This is so very disheartening. Do you have any idea of the hours I have spent–literally HOURS–combing through FB support and Googling questions? I’ve lost count. In fact, I represent the real lost generation, and I may have come a bit late to the Facebook table, but I’m here and I’m ready to proceed, but I am totes lost. And I do so want to belong. I long to belong to Facebook. I long to count my followers and my friends. I really really do!
One could probably say with some certainty that I possess at least average intelligence; I have a BA and some work on my Master’s degree, but where I really excelled is in the child department–my son got his Ph.D. from Yale and is a professor there, at the age of 31 no less. And although I am no brain scientist, my son married one! (Insert laughter here).
What I am trying to communicate is that I don’t believe there are any intrinsic organic reasons for my inability to grasp some rudimentary working knowledge of your product. If my son and DIL were here, I’m sure they could help, but they are both on the east coast and too far away and much too busy to help me navigate my way through the ins and out of Facebook. In all likelihood, (get it...likelihood? good one, huh?) I would wager that they rue the day they offhandedly told me to get on FB and join the 21st century.
But Mark, please, isn’t there an easier way to learn how to “like”someone? I am trying to find some friends, others with the same interests as me, so that we can form our own little “following” and sisterhood, but I am just about friendless, if you don’t count the arm twisting I had to do to get son and DIL to– air finger quote —like me.
You have me doubting my very core, my very existence. I am examining the deepest levels of my psyche. Am I fundamentally NOT likable? Is the universe sending me a message that I am essentially friend-less? Are you thwarting my attempts to be hip and cool? Is it too late for me? Do you not want me to be Facebook-adept? Do I mess with your demographics? I want to like- but I’m beginning to dis-like, even hate Facebook because I can’t seem to comprehend the simplest of directions to lead me toward a satisfactory conclusion. Don’t do me like this, Mark!!! Is this how you would want your own mother to feel? Defeated…depressed…overwhelmed?
On your FB support pages, I am not alone. Maybe that is the group I am destined to be included in. More properly said, in which I am destined to be included. Right there, in your Community Forum, that’s where you’ll find hundreds of messages, such as “Help! I can’t friend anyone” or “Help, I don’t know how to like anyone!” or “All my comments are rejected!” or “How do I un-friend someone? ” or “I can’t like pages…once I do it, it flashes on my screen…’Your attempt to become a fan was not successful. Please try again.’ ”
Please Mark, please help us be liked. Please help us acquire friends. Please help us share photos and events and belong to your groovy club of one billion.
Will you be my friend?
If you somehow receive this plea, my gut wrenching cry for help, go to http://www.facebook.com/EnchantedSeashells and please work some kind of magic so that I might not go to sleep one more night like this; lonely, friendless, and unliked by all humankind.
Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tug Boat Captain’s Wife