A slap in the Facebook

13th April 2012 at 01:00

I reckon it's all over for Facebook; it's fallen out of fashion faster than baggy jeans and dip-dyed hair. No one in my school can be bothered with it now. Overnight, my colleagues have turned into militant members of the anti-Facebook league. In some ways, it's a relief. They kept tagging me in photos taken on blustery mountains and while they look like a campaign for North Face, I look like I'm sporting a comb-over and the BMI of a bison.

I would welcome their stance if it hadn't made them so sanctimonious. They are like proselytising non-smokers, only twice as preachy and half as wrinkly. It's easier to empathise with ex-smokers; their vice has left its mark. You would have to have a heart made of cobbles not to feel pity for people who have given themselves rasping lungs, crepey skin and lips like concertinas. But former Facebook junkies have no such albatross around their necks. They've done Facebook, they're over it and now they're endorsing cupcakes and post-war family values. All that remains is to convert the rest of the world to their new-found traditionalism with their Palin-esque republican zeal.

The staffroom has become a cathedral to their evangelisms; you can't dunk a Rich Tea without hearing how they "feel so much better since they came off Facebook", how they "don't miss it at all" and how their "teachingparentingembroidery and fellatio skills have improved" since they stopped updating their statuses.

Interestingly, few of my colleagues have killed their accounts - they are letting them lie dormant. This smacks of swearing you will never smoke again, then stuffing 20 Rothmans under the bed. Addictions may come and go, but seldom are they forgotten. However "over it" they look, ex-smokers and alcoholics are just biding their time, waiting for a global catastrophe so they can smoke that stash of fags or glug a bottle of whisky. It's no joke. I knew a lady in her eighties who hadn't smoked for years. When she discovered she had cancer and months to live, she got her daughter to buy her some ciggies. I'm the same. When my husband left for six months, I was torn between thoughts of suicide or using it as an excuse to start making roll-ups again.

The weirdest thing is how synchron-ised my colleagues' decision was. They spent the past three years scrutinising each other's posts or buying cows on FarmVille. Now, if you mention liking something on Facebook, they look at you as if you have spoken in favour of foot-binding or NHS clitoridectomies.

This prissiness won't last. Since there are now more social media sites than branches of Pizza Express, they will soon move to another online haunt. They could use this donut-themed guide to social media (by editor Michael Cuffe and his Warholian team) to help them decide where to go: "Twitter - I'm eating a donut; Facebook - I like donuts; Instagram - here's a vintage photo of my donut; Foursquare - this is where I eat donuts; LinkedIn - my skills include donut eating; and G+ - I'm a Google employee who eats donuts."

Here's another couple they might try: WordPress: "When no one buys your donuts you can give them away here for free." And, of course, Chatroulette: "Fewer women's donuts but lots of men's eclairs."

Anne Thrope (Ms) is a secondary teacher in the north of England. @AnnethropeMs.

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