Reason #95 - Don't like Timeline? Tough luck

There comes a time in all of our lives when we simply have to accept and move on. Marathon chocolate bars become Snickers, Vanilla Coke suddenly disappears from the shelves in your home country (seriously Ireland, not cool…) and Hotmail changes its name to Outlook years after anyone gave a crap about it. Change is tough but it must be confronted and in most cases, eventually accepted.
In Ireland, every child loves getting sick because getting sick means that your parents feed you nightly doses of Calpol medicine, specifically the purple variety. According to the never-wrong Wikipedia, "Calpol is a common cause of accidental child poisoning, due to its pleasant taste". I can assure you, everybody who has ever been accidentally poisoned was having the time of his or her lives with a purple bottle.
Unfortunately, however, your time with the beloved purple bottle is short, with instructions that it only be used for babies and children aged two months to six years. Once you hit the big six it's all downhill from there, as Calpol 'SixPlus' kicks in, with its dreaded orange bottle. Thankfully my parents loved me so I was on the purple stuff for years after, accidental poisoning be damned.
I promise you, ask any grown man or woman from the UK or Ireland today if they can remember the orange Calpol and you will be confronted with a look that stretches right into the darkest abyss of their soul and shatters your preconceptions of the human condition. Basically, it tastes like someone rinsed a sweaty towel after peeing on it.
Forced upon us after years of unaware bliss, Facebook Timeline is the orange Calpol of social networking. We can’t go back and once Facebook started spreading the word in December 2011 that Timeline was ready to park its advertising-friendly, eye-straining, glossy veneer upon us, we had just seven days to get ready. Seven days to hide our most damning posts (mocking our boss, kissing the face off our exes) from anyone who wanted to view “your life story”. I don’t know about you but my “life story” on Facebook mostly involves postings pictures of toasted bread that looks like celebrities, not marking real life milestones from 10 or so years ago.
For Facebook, Timeline is a concept that is too big at this point to fail, or perhaps it would be too embarrassing for its reputation were it to fail. Either way, it's here to stay and whether we like it or not, Facebook is going to ensure that we take our medicine, even if it leaves a worse taste in our mouths than the first drop of orange Calpol, in which we quickly realized that our innocence was lost, our childhood had peaked and that 25 years later the local pharmacist would refuse your please for a bottle of the purple stuff, regardless of how much you explain it's for the “really sick kid outside”.

Reason #70 - Facebook was mean to a really, really old woman

Unlike the RPG (role playing game) genre of video games, ‘leveling up’ in real life does not lead to greater health, vitality, ability to carry potions or even slay dragons for experience points. Instead, progressing through life is the equivalent of the first thirty minutes of a Metroid video game, in which your impressive earlier powers are quickly taken from you – powers such as being able to independently control your bowels, recognize grandchildren and own a full set of teeth.
In other words, growing old is a fate that none of us particularly look forward to, though it does have perks. The elderly enjoy free public transport, an incredible talent to suck on mints for hours and, of course, the ability to say whatever comes out of their mouth – even if it’s sometimes racist or is uttered without any hope of finishing the sentence – without any societal judgment. Not to mention they can ruffle the hair of youngsters and smile at them afterwards whenever they feel like it.
Even if the bodies of the elderly begin to inhibit their daily lifestyle, they know that, in general, society no longer discriminates against the elderly, especially not after we all cried at the beginning of Pixar’s Up.
Early in 2013, however, Facebook were forced to admit that they had actually adopted the rules of video game RPG and set a leveling cap on the site - nobody over the age of 99 could register. Tell that to 104-year-old Michigan resident Marguerite Joseph, who received an apology from Facebook for having to lie about her age to sign up. That’s right; Facebook made a really sweet old lady upset.
Marguerite was born in 1908, four years before the Titanic sank, and is legally blind and can’t hear, though it is unclear if that means she was lucky enough to bypass ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from the sinking’s 1997 film adaptation. Marguerite’s granddaughter reads and responds to all messages the elderly woman gets, hopefully none of which are ever sexual in nature.
To their credit, Facebook did eventually respond, with spokesman Andrew Noyes telling The Associated Press: "We've recently discovered an issue whereby some Facebook users may be unable to enter a birthday before 1910. We are working on a fix for this and we apologize for the inconvenience." By the time you have read this, Andrew will have already suffered the hair ruffling of a lifetime.

Reason #64 - The plight of Facebook’s only other Mark Zuckerberg

A lot of people say that they would love to be Mark Zuckerberg and their admiration for his ingenuity, easy smile and tousled locks (please excuse me, I’m trying not to get sued here…) is understandable. However, people never specify exactly which Mark Zuckerberg they’re referring to.
Yes, there are actually two Mark Zuckerbergs on Facebook and I can’t say that I would swap places with the other guy, a bankruptcy lawyer from Indianapolis who told Associated Press in 2011 that he receives over 500 Facebook friend requests each day.
In fact, I’m amazed he still bothers with the site at this stage. I’m not just referring to the daily hassle of being mistaken by idiots who confuse you with your billionaire namesake; I’m referring to the fact that Zuck 2.0 was actually deleted by Facebook – twice.    
Facebook's policy is to bar any false pages or names, which means that the second Zuckerberg was barred from the site for the second time in May 2011 before reappearing once more.
Zuckerberg also told Associated Press that although he had 400 friends, compared to the creator's 13 million+ ‘subscribers’; the lawyer had received emails from strangers thanking him for helping them find their lost relatives.        
The namesake had previously been barred from the site over two years ago and underwent a four-month battle to prove his identity, sending the site his passport, driver's license and bar number to prove his identification. That’s dedication to the Facebook cause right there.
Surely though, if your name is Mark S Zuckerberg then the last thing in the world you'd want to do is to log into Facebook and get tormented by strangers? Maybe sign up to MySpace instead? No one will bother you there.
If Mark S is reading this then I want to know that I feel his pain. Granted, there is no other famous Emmet Purcell – to the best of my knowledge – but I hope the less vaunted Zuckerberg can console himself to the fact that there is genuinely a Floridian Facebook user named Justin Bieber – a grown man – who has to fight off a short-sighted hysterical female following on a daily basis.

Reason #39 - Having children/getting tattoos named after Facebook

The standard scaremongering tactic employed whenever someone gets a tattoo is that it’ll look awful when your skin wrinkles, not to mention the horror when your grandchildren innocently ask why you’ve got a smiley face scrawled on your ass. Although you'd no doubt be asking yourself how you ended up in the latter predicament in the first place should it occur.
Of course, as anyone who has received a barbed bicep wire tattoo in the 1990s, or who has laughed at some unfortunate soul who has to walk around with one every day, will tell you, tattoos, like any trend, come and go. If you’re lucky, your chosen design might be cyclical and might eventually rear its head to become a ‘retro look’ twenty years later.
However, in the case of tattoos or yes, we’re serious – baby names, there is absolutely no hope that your choice will ever be anything other than horribly outdated within the next 12 months if you’re taking your inspiration from social networks.
Just imagine what life must be like should you be a four-year-old walking around right now cursed with the name ‘Bebo’, bullied on a daily basis alongside six-year-old Friendster, who is already begging to be home schooled? Don’t laugh; an Egyptian child was named Facebook in February 2011 at the height of the ‘Arab Spring’ protests, in honor of the site that was thought to have been a major force for organization among anti-government forces at the time.
‘Facebook’ pales in comparison to an even more recent name, however. Believe it or not, back in May 2011 it was revealed that Israeli parents Lior and Vardit Adler had decided to name their child ‘Like’. That’s right; they didn’t name their daughter after Facebook, they got their inspiration from a button on Facebook.
"We named her Like because it's modern and innovative," father Lior Adler explained to Israeli newspaper Maariv at the time. "I checked that the name does not exist elsewhere in the country, that was the main condition for me," he added.
Of course it doesn’t exist anywhere else (in the world, never mind just Israel) Lior – that’s because you’re a crazy person.
At least when you’ve decided to resign your child to a life of cruel taunts, they can eventually legally change their name. With tattoos, however, you’re left with expensive laser tattoo removal, not to mention years of former acquaintances accosting you at bars and asking if you’re that weird guy with a picture of ‘Tom from MySpace’ tattooed on their arm.
That’s probably the future for Auto-Tune crooner T-Pain, who proudly displayed his latest ink to his Twitter followers in January 2011 – the message ‘You Don’t Have To ‘Like’ Me’, which he tweeted a picture of alongside the message: “I get a tatt every time I come to Hawaii. I think this one is pretty sweet, unless Facebook shuts down soon.”
As you’ve probably noticed, Facebook hasn’t shut down, but what if the social network even slightly tweaks their Facebook icon appearance? What if Facebook renames the function? What if maybe – just maybe – a Facebook tattoo is a horrendously bad idea?
If you’re going to get any corporate insignia tattooed on your body, ensure its timelessness by opting for a Coca-Cola logo, which has been going strong since 1885. Failing that, how about the classic ‘Mom’ love heart tattoo instead? It’s simple, it’s classic and considering that she scarred her body giving birth to you, it’s only right that you eventually return the favor.

Reason #32 - Facebook farmers

As someone who spent many hours playing the original title in the Harvest Moon series for the Super Nintendo, I can vouch second-hand that the life of a farmer is a tough one. In addition to selling turnips at the local fair, petting your pixel-based cow and naming your chickens, you’d have to find a wife by proposing with a ‘Blue Feather’ and hold regular meetings with the local fairy goddess (yes, it’s a Japanese video game).
After a long day of farming – whether real or on your games console – surely, there’s nothing better than logging into Facebook and seeing what your friends and family have been getting up to? After all, that’s what ‘social’ networks are for, right?
Yet for millions upon millions of Facebook users, those friends are little more than recipients of spam emails to guilt trip them into visiting your land in the hugely popular Zynga social title FarmVille. As of this writing the game (or rather its sequel FarmVille 2) is the most popular game on Facebook (two spots above the nearly-identical CityVille) and at one point boasted over 70 million monthly users.
The idea that people would visit the world’s biggest social network to shun their friends and plant virtual crops all day (or spend real money on gifts within the game) would be inconceivable to any sensible person five years ago, yet Facebook farmers are countless and each of them sees you not as a loving, cherished friend, but rather an ideal opportunity to entice a gullible fool into signing up and handing over your beloved cherry trees.
Unlike the aforementioned Harvest Moon series, which is a curiously satisfying yet solitary experience, the bulk of FarmVille’s compulsive appeal to its fans is the game’s hugely cynical approach. Within minutes of your first playthrough you’re likely to be bombarded with adverts or begging long lost relatives for a virtual pig. Who has time for narrative anyway, eh?
For those of you sick and tired of seeing your friends get sucked into the world of Facebook farming, there is good news, however. Not that your friends are ever likely to drop their addiction, but at least it appears you’ll be seeing a lot less of them.
In March 2012, developers Zynga announced that they would create their own social network,, leaving the rest of Facebook farmers to head to pastures new. The idea behind the move was that since Zynga develop four of Facebook’s most popular social games – giving the social network 30 percent of the profits in the process– why not just go it alone in the hope that a loyal fan base would follow?
It’s the first sign that Facebook omnipotence over the sphere of social gaming is beginning to crack, and while doesn’t encourage devotees to (rather crucially) get an actual life, it’ll hopefully keep them at an arm’s distance from our own soon-to-be blissful lives in the process. We’ve given away a lot of virtual pigs to reach this momentous occasion, so let’s hope it isn’t spoiled.

Reason #23 - Posting song lyrics as a status message

Am I maybe being a little too picky or are redundant song lyric statuses purely for the creatively bankrupt or faux-intellectual? If you’ve ever stubbed your toe or fell over while running for the train, it seems as though in the minds of far too many, that’s the time to break out an inspirational line or two from a Nickelback track upon logging into Facebook.
This epidemic has gotten so out of hand that if you simply search online for ‘Song lyrics as status’, the top results you find will be puzzled teenagers beginning forum threads for the best song lyrics to suit their mood. That’s right, when the Facebook status bar explicitly asks users ‘What’s on your mind?’, before they fill out their latest status, some people actually have to consult complete strangers.
So why would someone post the lyrics of a song as a status? It’s because in their mind, it’s really ‘deep’ and forgoes the bluntness of actually explaining your mood. In any case, why bother explaining your mood when the ‘inspirational’ lyrics of a Top 40 song, completely out of context, can do that for you? Here are few extremely specific examples if you want to test it out on soon-to-be infuriated friends:

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day” - The Temptations / My Girl:
Useful for when the weather is rubbish and you’ve found money down the back of the couch.

“I rep Young Money, you know slim Baby?” – Nicki Minaj / Bottom’s Up:
I have a pair of obviously never-used crisp dollar notes and my understanding baby has a slender physique.

“If I lay here, I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?” Snow Patrol / Chasing Cars:
I’m really hungover.

“I don’t want to see a ghost, it’s a sight that I fear most. Rather eat a piece of toast, watch the evening news” Des’ree/Life:
Sadly, I have never seen anyone use this exact lyric on Facebook, mainly because doing so would confirm that the person is indeed as crazy as Des’ree.

Perhaps the quoting of song lyrics on Facebook is the 21st century version of some berk espousing romantic poetry during courtship a few centuries past, only it's even more annoying and attention seeking.
I declare that this act should only be tolerated if the user in question either explains why this song reflects their mood in a post below, or at least has the temerity to fill their page solely with Des’ree lyrics before being taken away for psychological evaluation.
In conclusion, “I bought a new dog!” works as a status message because it’s what’s on your mind, while the new Rihanna tune doesn’t because it’s what’s on the radio instead.

Reason #1 - Huge numbers of people gather together on Facebook to form the most pointless of groups

So imagine the scene: you’re in the hospital, gently holding your newly born baby girl and tears are welling up. Holding her in your hands you begin to realize how precious and delicate life really is and you discover an instant bond with a child who you will love and cherish until your dying days.
Or do you, eh? Maybe you don’t even like your daughter. Maybe she’s just an annoying sobbing weakling who you’re dying to give back to the nurse before heading home and putting your feet up.
The fact is, none of us out there will really know your true feelings, whether you even vaguely love that daughter, until you've hunted down an appropriate Facebook page that you can ‘Like’, thereby ensuring that your innermost feelings subsequently show up in our News Feeds.
Yes, there actually is a group on Facebook entitled ‘Like if you love your daughter’ and it’s comprised of over 140,000 of the world’s best parents. Meanwhile, ‘’Like if you love your son’ is the unassailable victor with over 190,000 ‘Likes’. What does this tell us? That 330,000 Facebook people are idiots – nothing more.
Why anyone feels the need to create such mind-bogglingly pointless groups is a mystery, yet the fact that hundreds of thousands of people feel the need – or perhaps even the pressure – to ‘Like’ them is the true mystery. Want to hear a few more crazy groups with staggeringly high ‘Likes’? Just nod your head and we can continue…
48,000 people have been suckered into clicking on ‘Join if you love your dad. Ignoring this means you don’t’. 1,300 ‘LOVE’ their dog. 270,000 have clicked ‘LIKE If You Love Jesus’ and – drum roll, please – 1.2 million of you lot out there joined ‘Click “like” if you love your kids!”
To put that into perspective, the latter is a Facebook page whose population is creeping up to match the entire population of Estonia. If that Eastern European nation ever decided to bring back child labor, they could potentially fight and lose a war against these good-intentioned Facebook mouth breathers.
The truth is that people will join any group that makes them feel better about themselves, and considering that it takes less than a second to ‘Like’ a page with its origins in Ahmedabad, India called: ‘Like this if you think Eminem is better than Justin Bieber’, they’ll do it.
In fact, Eminem IS better than Justin Bieber – 86,000+ people agree and there are only 71 people in the ‘Justin Bieber is better than Eminem’ camp. In other words, these pointless groups attract the easily amused and serve zero purpose whatsoever – unless you’re trying to ruin a 12-year-old girl’s day and you need statistical evidence to beat them in an argument.