Friday, May 30, 2014

5 More Reasons Why Facebook in Japan is Annoying

A while back I wrote about why using facebook is damn annoying in Japan. 

Today, I'm back with some more reasons. These apply to facebook and apps like LINE and Kakao Talk. Let's start:

1. Do you facebook?
Why do people think that someone they just. met. wants to exchange facebook information? This shit pissed me off in the US before facebook came out. Then it was annoying guys trying to get your phone number like, "Can I get your number?"
If you are a foreigner from a western country the people here KNOW that you use facebook. It's not a question. It is a statement. A statement that says, "You are a foreigner and you use facebook. I know this because I know that foreigners use facebook. Now, you are to "friend" me on facebook, because I am asking you to. To not friend me would cause awkwardness between the both of us and it would amount to you rejecting my friendship. So, despite knowing nothing about you, you need to open up the facebook app on your phone and friend the fuck out of me."

It's like this. But in Japanese.

2. Do you have LINE?
Fucking hell. If you can get out of them getting your facebook, then they ask for your LINE ID. Hell, even if you've given in and given them your facebook, they'll ask for your LINE ID. It's like there's a need to be all up in your business 24/7. Don't have LINE? What about Kakao Talk? No Kakao Talk? Then how about your cell phone email address? Your PC email address? Your social security number, date of birth blood type, mother's maiden name???
Might as well give that away for all the questions you're subjected to.

3. Give up ever having interesting posts
Now that you've friended every other person, you now have to face the reality that none, and I mean NONE of them write anything on their facebook pages. Ever. So, when you're posting some picture of yourself barfing after a night of booze and crack, make sure that all of your new "friends" can't see it. Because, despite having absolutely nothing on their facebook pages, they are constantly checking out yours. Heck, you might think that they've dropped off the face of the earth and forgotten about you, but that's when you go to work and hear, "So, you like drinking? Because I check your facebook every day and I saw those pics of you drinking."
Most people aren't interested in having intellectually stimulating conversations (probably not limited to Japan), but, they read everything you write and take offense to it. Don't like something about Japan? They know it. And god help you if one of your "friends" also posts on 2ch, because you might find your posts translated into Japanese and then you'll have yourself out of a job for saying you like Chinese food better than Japanese food.

4. Guilt trips
If you don't enthusiastically pull out your phone and start friending everyone like your life depended on it, you'll be thought of as "mean" or "cold" or whatever. If this was the US, who cares. But, since relationships are so important here, you've just gone and shot yourself in the foot.

5. Everyone knows it sucks
They know it sucks, but they don't do anything to change it. Your choices are to only friend people who you know well; restrict access to people; whitewash your social media; or, have no facebook, etc at all. The vast majority of people choose to whitewash their online presence. A smaller, but vocal, minority choose to loudly proclaim their opinions. Unfortunately, those opinions are often racist and sexist. 

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to navigate social media with Japanese people. It is definitely an exercise in frustration!

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