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Clark: Don’t be just another Facebook in a crowd

Tue., Oct. 12, 2010, midnight

Not that I’m planning on checking out anytime soon, but I believe I know what I want carved on my tombstone.

“Here lies Doug. Never joined Facebook.”

Life is filled with many milestones – winning the Nobel Prize, earning the GED …

But finding the fortitude to just say “NO” to the Facebook fad could very well be the Everest summit of human achievement in this chit-chatty Internet Age.

And if you’re a non-Facebooker like me, read on. I have an offer that will win the top two online outcasts a free lunch, plus some cool prizes. (More on that later.)

You’d have to be living in a cave not to know that Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site.

At last count, some 500 million members are using Facebook day and night to keep their so-called “friends” apprised every time they hiccup.

Facebook, in other words, has replaced the Christmas form letter as humanity’s most annoying self-absorbed social contrivance.

I heard about one Facebooker who actually sent out a message chronicling his minor belly button surgery.

Call me nostalgic, but I long for those more civilized times when people kept their belly button abnormalities on the down-low.

I can’t see George Washington, beloved Father of our Country, ever posting to his “friends” about his gross personal problems, such as …

“Wooden teeth really murder today. Spitting bloody gobs all morning. Martha says I should see a dentist. What a nag.

“Oh, yeah. Death to the British!”

The peer pressure to join Facebook is more relentless than a pack of door-knocking religious jackals.

I receive e-mails all the time from people I barely know who want to “friend” me. To which I always respond with a polite thanks, but no thanks.

I don’t want to piddle on anyone’s parade. But this thing that has turned 26-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg into the world’s youngest billionaire is a superficial, energy-draining waste of typing.

But back to the contest …

I’m inviting you non-Facebookers to contact me via the information below. Tell me why you don’t do Facebook or think Facebook is dopey dumb.

I’ll buy lunch for the winners. We’ll sit down together and socially network the low-tech way, eyeball to eyeball.

As I mentioned before, there will be some groovy goodies for the winners, too.

You can also enter if you joined Facebook and then quit. Tell me why.

From what I’ve seen it’s easier to get out of the Mob than to leave Facebook.

Facebook makes those who want to depart fill out a form and answer questions like, are you sure you want to deactivate your account?

Then when you say yes, Facebook will guilt-trip you with pictures of your friends who say they’ll miss you.

You’re never actually out, either. Facebook reminds you that you can always log in and come right back.

It’s a cult, I tell you.

I am even more convinced of this after shelling out 10 bucks the other night to see the Facebook film, “The Social Network.”

This movie basically portrayed founder Zuckerberg as a total misfit who couldn’t keep a real friend. He only dreamed up Facebook at Harvard after getting dumped by a girl.

True, this is actually the same reason Alexander Graham Bell had for inventing the cell phone.

But at least Bell had the decency to not get all whiny about it in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at Or if you’re really old-fashioned, mail your Just Say No To Facebook contest entries to Doug in care of The Spokesman-Review, 999 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99201.

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