Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Booknote: 99 Reasons Everyone Hates Facebook

Purcell, Emmet, 99 Reasons Everyone Hates Facebook. Smith Publicity, 2013.

ISBN: 9781626757547

Genre: Humor
Subgenre: Web 2.0, online social media

Facebook started out as a small college directory, and it has become a big social media behemoth with much to hate. Mr. Purcell has 99 reasons to hate the social site. Let's look at the book then. 

For starters, the book does feel a bit like an extended series of blog posts. I also think some of the reasons presented can be a bit of a stretch. However, Purcell also presents some reasons that I think many Facebook users will identify with, or they will smile when they recognize which friends of theirs are responsible for one Facebook sin or another. 

The book is divided into nine chapters, organizing the grievances against Facebook by themes. Some of the themes featured are: idiots (this includes people who join pointless groups and those who constantly fall for scams online), attention seekers, too much information (for example, see Reason 46: People who won't shut up about having the "world's best girlfriend" -- or boyfriend or spouse), and social harassment.  

Purcell also raises some good points. For example, the way that people grieve on Facebook. For this, see Reason 53: Leaving RIP messages as status updates. I will admit that when someone has a loss, if they post an RIP expression on their Facebook status, then I am willing to cut them some slack. This does not really bother me. However, here is where Purcell's good point comes in: it is not just the RIP statues. He writes, "That's right; your grandmother has just died and somebody 'Liked' it-- does that not bother anyone else?" (96). I know when that happens, it does feel very odd. Then again, it could be Facebook's fault for not having more options besides the "Like" button (and yes, he mentions that as another reason to hate Facebook, see Reason 67). Do note that for the author the rule of not using Facebook for RIP statuses has an exception. He writes that if he dies in a spectacular death, say "killed in some cool volcano/hang gliding combination or a shark attack," then do break  out the RIP statuses on his behalf. There are always exceptions to rules. I will be honest. I think if I were to die in some cool volcano/hang gliding incident, I would want it celebrated too on Facebook. And then, there are some reasons to hate Facebook you may have never heard about until now. For instance, Faceboogling, which is Reason 78. This is "when Facebook users decided to use their Facebook status instead of Google, asking their friends a pertinent, factual question and waiting patiently for responses" (136). 

Overall, this is a short read with some entertaining moments and some less entertaining moments. As I mentioned, some of the reasons seemed a bit of a stretch at times. However, as the saying goes, your mileage may vary. The book does lend itself to browsing and skimming; just find your grievance and read on. Many Facebook users will probably appreciate this, in light of the ways in which Facebook has just been getting more cluttered and difficult (as in a pain in the rear end) over time. If you don't use Facebook, this book could save your life by keeping you away from it.

If I have to give it stars, I'd say 3.5 out of 5. Do note the book is priced at $2.99, so if you want to add something quick to your e-reader, this could work.

If you wish to learn more, the author does have a website.

Disclosure note: I read this book as an e-book via NetGalley. Book was provided by publisher for honest review purposes (there, we have appeased The Man, a.k.a. the FCC once more).

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