By Howard Hecht
Try as I may to escape the clutches of BuzzFeed’s tyrannical grasp on first world media, I, unfortunately, cannot. As – to put it in terms BuzzFeed would understand – “a 90s kid xD,” I am within an age range of people who are likely to possess a Facebook account, and on occasion I do in fact scroll through my newsfeed. I have gone out of my way to block as many links to BuzzFeed as possible with the options Facebook has given me, but sadly, when the girl I sat next to in 7th grade Biology shares “Ten Reasons Howard Hecht Won’t Care About This,” I am unwittingly exposed. Unconscious agents of Satan like her are always lurking within my friends list. With every sequential BuzzFeed post I view, I am convinced the experience can be equated to losing a part of my soul.
Once again, I am thrust into checking my hateful presumptions of social media. I will plumb the depths of human despair and chaos to fully explore yet another facet of BuzzFeed’s sphere of influence: its Facebook account. After all, how will I know what I don’t like, unless I immerse myself in it prior to judgment?
My first impression of www.facebook.com/BuzzFeed was that, incredibly enough, it has over five million likes – fifteen of which come from my own friends list! By clicking on BuzzFeed’s “About” tab, I was brought to a section with some information on the page itself, such as a “Short Description” that is simply: “Worth sharing,” and a “Long Description,” which states:
“BuzzFeed is building the defining news and entertainment company for the social mobile age. From the serious to the fun, from long-form to the short listicles readers have grown to love, we create content that people want to share on the web.”
Well, BuzzFeed, I’ll give it to you – one was short and the other definitely was long. But after reading that BuzzFeed itself has admitted to “defining” what we expect of news and entertainment through social media, I decided to see what kind of “listicles” and other fun content it pushes out through the page.
At first glance, BuzzFeed on Facebook is basically the same thing as BuzzFeed.com, with links to articles such as “These Five Sisters Found An Adorable Way To Thank Their Parents For Paying For All Of Their Weddings,” and “This Dad Had The Best Response When His Son Said He Wanted To Go As Elsa From ‘Frozen’ For Halloween.” What interested me more than BuzzFeed’s “news” articles were its use of Facebook specific features, such as “Milestones,” under the “About” tab. These “Milestones” included important events in BuzzFeed history, such as “Made it to Friday,” “Correctly Spelled ‘Necessarily’ On The First Try,” and “WTF IT’S ALREADY THE MIDDLE OF OCTOBER?!”.
Interestingly enough, I was also able to view the pages that BuzzFeed itself likes, and me oh my, the things I’ve seen. As it so happens, BuzzFeed doesn’t just have one Facebook page – in fact, it seems to have one for every individual category on its website. There are pages like “BuzzFeed Food,” “BuzzFeed Music,” “BuzzFeed Parents,” “BuzzFeed LGBT,” “BuzzFeed Politics,” and, perhaps the only one really worth looking at, “BuzzFeed BFF.” Now, not that I like to choose favorites, but BuzzFeed BFF puts the other pages to shame. According to its description: “BFF makes originals for you and the rest of the internet. Brought to you by BuzzFeed.” As far as I can tell, I have finally hit a kind of pure, previously untapped essence: something BuzzFeed specifically makes that isn’t connected to its parent’s site. And of all the things they could have called it, they decided “BFF” would be best.
Rather than try and explain what “BFF” is, I’ll let the following images speak for themselves:
If this is truly the content BuzzFeed thinks will make them relatable, funny, and help them define social media, then I think I’ve made a rather obvious, but important, discovery. BuzzFeed’s intended audience, and most likely, their writers as well, are infantile adults, who apparently enjoy admitting to it because they clearly think it’s endearing in some way. If I were crying all the time, I don’t think I’d want to make a joke about it on Facebook. I’d probably want professional help. Which I’ll more than likely seek after looking at all of these BuzzFeed pages.
I’m seeking fifteen new friends on Facebook to replace the ones I’ll be deleting. Auditions will be held in the coming months unless I decide life isn’t worth living before then.
I’m deleting my Facebook. Nevermind.