Much like wearing leggings and growing mustaches, social networking applications are a privilege and not a right. A general rule that should apply in life is that just because something exists that does not mean that you have the right to use and/or abuse it. This especially applies when it comes to social networking applications. Applications are tools on websites such as Facebook that allow users to play games, exchange virtual gifts, and increase their community online. There are a vast array of applications that allow you to virtually send buttons (flair) to your friends,recruit and organize a vampire army or mafia family, pass happy hour cocktails such as cosmopolitans out to your friends and maintain a garden full of plants and creatures to promote some kind of social/global awareness. As much as these applications sound harmless, they have the potential to destroy all social networking as we know it.
There’s nothing worse than logging into your Facebook account to find that you have been invited by your “friends” to join hundreds of different applications or invites as they are referred to by users. You are then forced to manually go in and delete or accept each invite. And it seems that no matter how many times you ignore or deny these applications access, you just get sent more invitations. Sure, you can choose to block all application invitations from certain overzealous friends, but then what if you miss that one application invite that will change your life? I realize this application probably doesn’t exist, but what if? I can’t bring myself to make a commitment such as this with so much uncertainty dancing around me. I commend my friend’s that seem to have endless hours available to send me these invitations, but I often wonder how much more attractive, productive, college-educated and drug free many people would be if they instead used this time to better themselves rather than wasting it using applications that allow them to throw virtual snowballs at me.
The worst application invite of them all are those that promote some kind of social/economic/global change or awareness. I frequently receive invitations asking me to plant a virtual tree or grow a virtual garden in order to help some cause for some displaced community like gay purple babies who are addicted to meth in Africa. Not that I have anything against the gay purple babies and their horrible addictions, but I don’t think me pretending to have some kind of green thumb or social conscience will provide these babies any solace. Wouldn’t it be better if I just sent them money, fresh pipes or simply ignored them like a normal white American does Africa?
And finally…Here are some general rules to follow when it comes to Application Invites:
• If your friends reject your invite once, don’t send it again. You don’t want to be that smelly kid in school who even after all the other kids ignored his birthday invitation to the roller skating rink and used the thoughtful tissue paper insert to wipe their butts on, he still goes up to everyone and asks “are you coming to my party?”
• It’s okay to use the application yourself without inviting any of your friends. When these applications ask if you’d like to send it out to friends, simply respond “no” or “cancel” and move on with your life. I know I haven’t always done this, but from this day forward I plan to. Unless something really cool comes up and I need you to become my “sister” so that I can get to the next level in Sorority Life, but I digress…
• Before sending application invites stop and think – “Hey, would this person really benefit from me passing them a virtual Jag Bomb? I mean, she’s only been out of alcohol treatment for two weeks now.”
• If you find yourself with extra time available don’t spend it sending out application invites. Instead, take care of your kids, pay your delinquent mortgage payment, read a book that isn’t a magazine or run in front of a bus. Each of these would be more productive and helpful to yourself and the ones around you than sending more application invitations.
Thank you and have a pale day.
And remember kids…when you’re Facebooking to keep those keyboards clean of any and all substances and germs. Purell is next to Godliness.