Mark Dice got irritated as he read Facebook posts:
â€œWhy did I take off work Friday?â€
â€œFootball season starts today.â€
â€œSushi craving taking over.â€
â€œItâ€™s completely worthless,â€ Dice said, annoyed. â€œWhy would you feel the need to post this as if itâ€™s some important event in your life?â€
Donâ€™t even get him started on Twitter, which he says only makes sense for those with a fan base.
The media critic, author and conspiracy theorist has taken on Starbucks over its topless mermaid logo. Heâ€™s denounced Sarah Palin for running for vice president instead of staying home with her baby. And heâ€™s encouraged supporters to disrupt the opening of the film, â€œAngels & Demonsâ€ (because he believes the Illuminati is real).
Now he has a beef with Facebook and is calling for a boycott this week.
â€œIt turns people into self-absorbed narcissists,â€ said Dice, 32, who lives in San Diego. â€œItâ€™s a catalyst for that. Everybody seems to feel theyâ€™re so important, they need to tell the world every little thought and post pictures of themselves everyday. Â Itâ€™s a place to brag about every little thing they do in life as if theyâ€™re the star of their own reality show.â€
He says the â€œfriendshipsâ€ of Facebook are superficial. He sees dangers in putting so many details of oneâ€™s life out there and letting pseudo friends in, making people â€” especially women â€” vulnerable to cyber stalking.
But, I countered, many healthy, well-adjusted people living full lives use Facebook to further connect with others. Whatâ€™s wrong with that?
Nothing, he said, the problem comes when it replaces actual friendships.
â€œIt creates pseudo, shallow friendships where you feel youâ€™re still connected but youâ€™re not,â€ he said. â€œYouâ€™re not interacting on a social level.â€
If people donâ€™t log on to Facebook for a week, as he advocates, hopefully theyâ€™ll feel the need for real interaction and catch up with people in person or give them a call, he says.
He has another gauge for determining when the Facebook line has been crossed.
â€œIf you need to post a status update almost everyday, thatâ€™s very narcissisticâ€ he said. â€œMake a couple of status updates a month, if something happens. But to feel that you need to make some statement to the world multiple times a day to get self-importance, to get people to respond to your supposedly witty comments, thatâ€™s very odd.â€
I thought I had him when I pointed out that he himself is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and has a website.
â€œMy witty comments has to do with the system, criticizing the system, the cause Iâ€™m fighting for, not to say I saw a really good movie today or I like creamy peanut butter better than crunchy,â€ responded Dice. â€œMy comments are socially relevant.â€
And, he added, â€œI twitter rarely.â€