22
Jul
11

the weirdness of facebook

I posted about this just the other day, but now it’s getting even weirder.

My dentist wants me to “like” him on facebook.

I guess I could look at it as a member of a misunderstood and unappreciated profession trying to redeem himself — “I’m likable, really I am!” — as no one really seems to like to go to the dentist, myself included. And even if I liked him, (which I don’t, really, I barely know him), does that mean I have to “like” him?

(In a barely related story, I actually think dentistry is quite possibly one of the most ingenious scams ever visited upon mankind, as a dentist can tell you, for example, that your child has “suspicious” areas on his or her teeth which really should be tended to, as the dentist points at ambiguous gray spots on your child’s Xrays that look an awful lot like a lot of other spots on other of your child’s teeth on the Xrays, and you nod sagely [the emperor has no clothes] and agree because god forbid you look stupid or be an inadequate parent and cynically refuse to take care of your child’s teeth.

I also think that dental insurance has been the one of the worst things that could happen to the average consumer — have any of you been given a reduced rate for procedures because you don’t have insurance? They try to spin this as aren’t-they-considerate-they-are-giving-you-a-break, but it seems to be more like stores that mark their goods up 25% and then have a 15% off sale. Some insurance companies are countering the possibility that they’re being scammed by limiting what they’re willing to pay for a given procedure, but the last two dentists I’ve dealt with merely passed the excess on to me.)

Anyway.

What I really see it as, (remember what “it” was?), is a perversion of what most of us understand to be facebook’s “mission,”* and a descent into rampant and shameless self-promotion/advertising. You know how most people can’t stand to watch network TV anymore, because for every 19.3 minutes of “entertainment” (and I’m using that term loosely, considering the state of 99.99999% of what’s on television) you have to slog through 11.7 minutes of commercials? Pretty soon we won’t be able to check what our barely-acquaintances are eating for dinner without paging through 3 pages of status updates from our dentists, acupuncturists, internists, and the postman.

Do you think, if I do “like” them on facebook, they’ll at least stop scamming/overcharging me?

*Have any of you actually seen facebook’s mission statement? Maybe I’m missing the point entirely, and it was just to make a boatload of money, in which case it’s not a perversion at all.

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