Ah, Facebook: the writer’s biggest procrastination tool. Or, I suppose, anyone on the internet’s biggest procrastination tool. We spend many an hour when faced with writers block, burnout, or simply a case of CBF. It comes second only to Twitter, but since there’s a lot more to do on Facebook (i.e. waste away the hours with), more time can be wasted. Time that can be spent creating, sleeping, eating, cleaning the house and generally catching up on that 200-strong to-read list (cough, cough).
For anyone new to the internet—or fresh from an internet detox—Facebook is a social networking service created by Mark Zuckerberg and a few classmates in 2004 to perv on his attractive classmates at Harvard. Now, it’s the domain of middle-aged women playing Farmville, Candy Crush Saga and other monotonous freemium games I long ago blocked in my settings; 20 somethings posting about their boring lives to make them seem more exciting; 30 somethings posting the most cringeworthy pictures of their kids; and, of course, the many, many random fads everyone talks about obsessively, and then forgets about forever.
You don’t know what I’m talking about? The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is probably the most popular, taking over everyone except Fred from down the street who hasn’t had Facebook since 2008. What originally started as awareness for Motor Neurone Disease (MND), it quickly spiralled into an attention seeking pit of: “Watch me throw ice all over myself…for LIKES”. You may have obsessively played those freemium games like the Housewives of Facebook: Candy Crush Saga, 4 Pics 1 Word, Petville, blah, blah, blah.
Since most people see the events of Facebook as a blip on their constantly whirring monitor, these fads on Facebook fade out of our consciousness as quickly as they attention seeked their way on. In order to make the most of our utterly useless Facebook addictions (I suppose you could also do this on Twitter or, God forbid, Google+, but most of these fads were originally on the Zucker-zone) and to slowly release ourselves from the grip of social media and its constant sucking of time, hours, and resources, I propose the Internet Explorer Facebook Challenge.
“What is the Internet Explorer Facebook Challenge?” you may ask. And I would respond by pointing you in the direction of Internet Explorer, the world’s most divisive internet browser, and the most common browser to download a new browser (like Chrome, Firefox, or for the hipsters among us, Opera). What Internet Explorer used to be most famous for is its incredible slow…ne…ss. Zzzz. It loads so damn slowly, and is usually bloated with so many popups, add-ons and other useless clutter, it’s generally only used by Technologically Impaired Ducks and anyone of mid-Gen X and above.
Following this logic, the Internet Explorer Facebook Challenge involves viewing Facebook through the lens of Internet Explorer: i.e. very slowly; so slow in fact that you’re only just understanding the Facebook fads that people discovered back in the long gone eras of 2009 to a few weeks ago. For 30 days, you’ll post something related to the following 3o Facebook fads, which will then lead to you getting overloaded on Facebook nostalgia (or madness), and eventually decide to quit Facebook and focus on your creative pursuits entirely. Ready?
30 Days of the Internet Explorer Facebook Challenge:
- Ice bucket challenge
- Words with Friends
- Draw Something
- Nan pages
- ___ Memes
- The awkward moment when…
- Adding dumb answers to polls
- Change your profile to a cartoon to fight child abuse/to stop negativity
- Facebook Gold/Channel 13 News
- Selfie stick
- KONY 2012
- Flappy Bird
- Pre-2010 Facebook quizzes
- Starter packs
- Poke wars
- Keep Calm, It’s Only ___
- Friends on Facebook with ___ for ___ Years
- Facebook movies (2014)
- Minions memes
- 4 Pics 1 Word
- What People Think I Do/What I Really Do
- Be Like Bill
- Five Second Videos (Vines)
- Memes in general (Scumbag Steve, Technologically Impaired Duck, etc)
But, for me, I propose simply not partaking in [yet another] challenge and simply logging off Facebook. Finish your latest novel. Write another blog post. Weep as you realise you actually use Internet Explorer: but please, remember, there’s finally one browser to match the evilness of IE, and that’s its successor, Microsoft Edge. Maybe a new name for this useless challenge is in order?