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Welcome back to No Chill Zone, a weekly column where I rant and rave about how some aspects of today’s society are sucking the ever-loving chill out of us. For those of you who maybe don’t know, being described as having “no chill” essentially means that one has lost any semblance of common, rational sense, opting instead to take things to wildly unnecessary extremes, or, in layman’s terms, “doing the most.”

Each week, I’ll be picking a topic that I believe perfectly encapsulates what it means to have absolutely zero chill, and put it on blast. There will be judgment, there will be harsh words and there will probably be tears. This week’s topic is:

Using Facebook as a Soapbox

Facebook was a crucial platform for me in my high school and college years. I mean, how else was I supposed to prove how downright cool I was without advertising it on Facebook, uploading massive photo albums of all the parties and events I went to and trying to congregate the most digital friends I could find? It was a tool that allowed me to chat with all my friends at various schools while I was bored in a classics class, an investigative bank to stalk the cutie I was into and just a great way to spam all my friends with links and gifs and hidden inside jokes.

But then I graduated. I don’t know if it was the sudden shift into the real adult world, but my obsession with checking Facebook every hour rapidly deteriorated. I no longer cared about letting everyone know what I was doing because I was too busy trying to figure it out for myself, outside of school for the first time ever, in efforts to truly survive in the real world. I didn’t feel the urge to make friends online because, after moving all the way across the country, I needed to make real, flesh and blood friends. And frankly, the people I wanted to keep in touch with, I made an effort to do so, negating the use of Facebook as a makeshift phonebook for past acquaintances.

Around this time as well, Facebook began to change. It was becoming inundated with fan pages, advertisements and the silver cloud of elder gentrification. Essentially, Facebook started seeming less and less cool – something that was counterintuitive to my use of the platform in the past. As the masses swarmed to Facebook in unprecedented numbers, the once fun platform became the breeding grounds for the most obnoxious, annoying and ill-informed bloviating imaginable. Not only was the cool vanishing from Facebook, but so was the chill.

I can’t tell you how many of my friends who still use Facebook regularly have the same complaint: there’s always some idiot they’re friends with using Facebook as a soapbox for their ignorant opinions and views. And thus, Facebook became the platform to air one’s idiotic grievances any time, any place, with a built-in captive audience. It became the digital version of a comment card – one that no one asked for, mind you.

The thing about using Facebook as a soapbox platform is that it only heightens how silly you’re perceived. Oh, and it’s a clear indicator to me that you have zero chill – and that even goes for the rare Facebook soapbox rants that I happen to agree with. For starters, when you get up on your high Facebook horse to start spouting nonsense, you’re essentially begging to either be validated or vilified. Online. Probably by your old fourth grade teacher or that weird second cousin in Wisconsin (aka people who have no profound presence in your life). Is it that crucial these nobodies know your pitifully researched stance on child vaccination? Absolutely not.

That’s another thing – there’s no fact checker on Facebook. People can literally say whatever they want and pass it off as a fact because, what’s holding them accountable? If you shout more than you think, well by all means, hop on top the Facebook soapbox because you just found your place in the world. Regale us all with how same-sex marriage corrupts the “American family” and how each and every Muslim is gunning to attack us. But, you’ll have to excuse me while I pick my eyeballs up off the floor.

Finally, and this is how I know you Facebook soapboxers have no detectable chill, you’re essentially using Facebook to become a loud and proud fool, because let’s face it, there’s no way you would get up in a public forum or on an actual soapbox and talk the ridiculous talk you do on Facebook. That in and of itself is still surprising, because it’s not like Facebook can shield your stupid opinions with any real anonymity. But again, who’s holding people accountable for the stupid shit they say? It’s kind of hard to be put in your place by waiting for a comment notification telling you you’re misinformed – it doesn’t quite have the same impact as an actual conversation. Maybe try one of those out sometime; it might help you develop people skills and expand your narrow-minded views and limited knowledge. Then again, who’s got the time when Farmville is a-beckoning?

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