I don’t have a Facebook account. And, apparently, that makes me suspicious.
A couple weeks ago, I discovered I’m well on my way to becoming a mass murderer. No, I don’t own a gun. Nor do I torture small animals. I just don’t have a Facebook account. And, apparently, that makes me suspicious.
Citing Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik’s and Colorado Joker-imitator James Holmes’ mutual Facebook-less-ness, a story in German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel predicted last month that those of us not on the ubiquitous social network are more likely to go postal. The internet caught wind, and now it seems everyone agrees that the only reason I—and others like me—don’t have Facebook is because I’m hiding something.
But there’s no need to assume the worst in people; there are plenty of non-sinister reasons why someone might abstain. I mean, doesn’t everyone on Facebook complain about Facebook anyway? Maybe instead of posting a status update about how much Timeline blows, the more sensible course of action is to deactivate your account.
Without Facebook, it’s that much easier to hide the fact that you really don’t care about your co-worker’s lame retro DJ night, your second cousin’s new relationship status, or that old roommate’s FarmVille livestock. Plus, you’ll never feel guilty for forgetting your friends’ birthdays ever again.
So, maybe we’re hiding something after all: We have no interest in the insignificant details of people’s lives and we don’t expect them to care about the minutiae of ours. But that hardly makes us deranged. In fact, it’s probably the other way around. Because, really, convincing yourself that Facebook’s fake emotional connections have any meaningful bearing on real life is more sociopathic than not being on Facebook at all.