I’m pretty sure Facebook removes my brain upon log-in

by Janelle Hanchett

I consider myself a rational person. Generally, in arguments, I’m the one constructing bullet-proof logical defenses of my ego. Err I mean “point.” If the person I’m with is crying or engaging in some other sort of extreme emotional reaction I usually look at them rather alarmed and wish they’d stop so we could get back to the logical portion of the evening, where I’m more comfortable.

Or I’m yelling and flailing wildly, which is how I do sadness.

Alright, fine. I am irrational, but pretty much only with family. Family has the ability to bring the crazy RIGHT UP TO THE MOTHERFUCKING SURFACE with me, but it’s because I love them more than the rest of you (sorry) and since they’ve got my heart all wrapped up in their chest hairs (just leave me alone with my metaphors), they affect me on a level others cannot. I think this is normal.

“Normal.” Whatever.

My point is I’m a somewhat rational, thoughtful, reasonable human who only loses her shit around her kids, mother and husband. Winning, in other words.

In public, I don’t look for fights and I’m not confrontational and usually I just want to eat the triple-cream brie in peace.

You know, at parties. I want to eat the brie in peace, not argue with you about guns. We should stop shooting each other. That’s my opinion. There. Pass the salami.


I don’t waltz out of rooms or scream and yell or demand that you get the fuck out of my house because your opinions and insights make me want to fold up in a corner and weep for humanity. I realize you don’t really affect me, and I can always lambaste you later on my blog, so I focus on appreciating you for something good (like maybe your kids are cute, or you have nice boots, or love to sing. I love singing too!).

In other words, I don’t freak the fuck out when people annoy me.

Unless I’m on Facebook.

But only sometimes. Sometimes I’m okay. Sometimes Facebook removes my brain upon log-in. But I never know which it’s going to be which seems totally unfair because if you’re going to act irrationally there should at least be some warning for it.

Oh wait. That MAY not make sense. Whatever.

The question is: Why do I repeatedly act in irrational ways on Facebook that never end well? For funnies? Okay. Except it’s not fun.

It’s never fun. It’s never once been fun ever.

“Hey Janelle, let’s try that again because maybe THIS TIME it will be fun.”

For example:

The Rage Unfriend: We’ve been friends for a few months. I don’t know you very well, but you seem fine. You like cats and roses. But then yesterday you shared Matt fucking Walsh’s “essay” about how Planned Parenthood murders children and none of their other services matter and that is such a fucking stupid thing to say because HOW DOES WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH NOT MATTER YOU FUCKING OMG and I have to unfriend you. Immediately. I want to block your ass. I want to unfriend you, lecture you for 9 hours, and call your mother. Wait. No. I do not want to call your mother.

Now, this all makes sense in the moment. I don’t want Matt Walsh in my newsfeed. I don’t even want to come face-to-face with the reality that people READ the man let alone use him as the embodiment of their perspectives. And if you’re interested in blotting out Planned Parenthood we clearly don’t have much in common, and you’re not my cousin sister aunt grandma so WHY ARE WE FRIENDS? Let’s not be friends.

But then again (a day later), I realize: Really, Janelle, this person was just sharing her opinions. There was no threat to you. Not real or imagined. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why unfriend because your politics don’t align? Know thy enemies, asshole.

You could have just unfollowed her and gotten the same result.

BUT it’s so damn satisfying in the moment.

Actually, you know what? Fuck it. One cannot be expected to thrive emotionally in the face of “none of Planned Parenthood’s services matter.”


Okay, but this one. This one is real:

The Distant Family Member Unfriend. The evolution of our “friendship” inside my head:

  • Day 1: Oh “so and so” I saw at that family party wants to be friends. Okay. Accept request.
  • Day 14: Wow, she writes some really unfortunate shit.
  • Day 30: Wait. Trump? Nope. Unfollow.
  • Day 45: Please stop commenting on how I can improve my parenting.
  • Day 45.5: You have been banished to “acquaintance” setting.
  • Year 365: Damn, why do I ever publish anything publicly? There she is again.
  • Year 2: Did you just? No you didn’t. You did not do that. You did that. Unfriend.

Damn you Janelle. A way better option would have been to NOT BE A FUCKING LOON and just let the distant-family-member flow across your FB feed a few times a year and pretend it isn’t happening or repeat a peaceful mantra or stack rocks or something.

But I can’t because I need that moment of satisfaction. I NEED IT.


There are more:

The Rage Block. I’m not afraid of you but I hate you so thoroughly I must block you because unfriending is insufficient to express my rage. Somehow, I feel like I’m DOING something by blocking you. Like I’m really letting you have it. I find satisfaction in the idea of you trying to find me and being like “I can’t find her!” And then realizing…wait. Right. Oh yeah. Nobody cares.

The Heartfelt Discussion with Total Strangers. I feel strongly on this topic so I’m going to share my deep feelings and well-thought-out perspectives, to which Facebook responds: “I’d like to beat you with my barren uterus you fucking cunt.” (That’s a direct quote.) Thanks for getting me. I feel good about this.

The Logical Argument with People’s Logical Fallacies:

  • You: If people would behave the cops wouldn’t have to shoot them.
  • Me: That doesn’t make sense. One doesn’t prove the other.
  • You: Yes it does. Cops only shoot people who are misbehaving so if people don’t misbehave they won’t get shot.
  • Me: But you can’t explain a problem with the problem. It is possible that cops shoot people even if they aren’t misbehaving.
  • You: No.
  • Me: What do you mean, “no?”
    You: You’re a cop-hater. My dad was a cop. I KNOW COPS.
  • Me: Okay but the presence of helpful, law-abiding police officers doesn’t negate the possibility of cops who shoot people unnecessarily.
  • You: You liberals hate everybody. Why don’t you go back to the country you came from?
  • Me: Wait. What. Okay.


Why do I waste my time? Why? Why? Why do I torture myself with mental acrobats leading only to existential wasteland (okay so maybe I’m a tiny bit dramatic) and why click on the story about the baby being put in a microwave so I cry about it off and on for two days straight and question everything I’ve ever known to be true and real?

Why click on the lost-kid story or the killed-tiger story or the latest from Donald IMAFUCKINGFASCIST Trump or anything from the “#AllLivesMatter” crew (seriously just go home with that crap)? The Wendy Williams boobs are for sex only intellectual shit-show? ONE MORE MEME TELLING ME TO GET SOME ME TIME BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT. Gahhhhhhh why am I here get me outta here.

Why? Does Facebook remove my brain? Do I like pain? Maybe I like pain.

I should get off. I can’t get off.

Because cat videos, newborns, and you.

Oh, so it’s your fault. Good. I feel better.

Now excuse me while I hop on over to my hate-follows on Instagram.




I teach better than I manage my emotions on Facebook.

Join me for my February writing workshop.

And btw, there are only 5 spots left and this is the only evening version I’ll be teaching of this in 2016.


  • Felicity

    Haha so true. And if you try to delete it everyone knows! You get phone calls and messages from people you forgot existed asking what’s wrong with you !!

  • Adrienne

    It’s some kind of Facebook induced madness. I got caught in a circular argument one time with an anti-theist (those are the fundamentalists of atheism) who I am somehow peripherally related to, and that vague relationship made me feel like I should be nice, so there I am, explaining I can actually be a person of faith and a decent human, and he’s all NO WAY THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE YOU’RE NOT A REAL CHRISTIAN AND OBVIOUSLY YOU HATE GAY PEOPLE AND MUSLIMS and I’m on the other end, basically begging him to believe that I don’t hate anyone (OK, there are two people I hate, but because they acted like dicks, not because they’re gay and/or Muslim). And why? WHY?? Across a dinner table from each other, we would have discussed the weather, or our food, or books, or whatever. We’d have been so nice. Instead I had to rage block him.

  • Emily Donahue

    Excuse me while I continue to adore you❤️

  • Bettie

    Bring it on sister! I’m still laughing….at myself.

  • jnl

    i think you are confusing “Facebook friends” with facebook “friends”. is your friends list everyone you know and meet and are related to? or do you keep it small to only the people you really want to hear from? it sounds like you keep switching between the two. maybe just set your friends list as “anyone” and unfollow people you dont want to hear from. OR make your friends list super exclusive and only add the people you really want to hear from. its the inbetween confusion where the drama happens.

    • Amy

      phew. this fixes everything.

    • Jack Daniels

      Jack Daniels

  • jnl

    have you not yet figured out that morons are morons for a reason? saying smart things to them will not make them smarter. lol

    • Karen D

      I believe this has just become my mantra for 2016. Short sweet and accurate. Hope you don’t mind if I copy.

  • Rachel Greig

    The problem here is that people these days have been raised believing they should not have to look at dissenting or opposing views because it ‘offends’. This is utter rubbish. Once you come to terms with the fact that looking at alternate views is actually necessary and important to making up your own mind, then you won’t mind their opinion drifting across your facebook news feed AND won’t ever feel the need to block anyone.
    In other words… people who do this… get over yourselves!
    Written with the best of intentions and light spirit. 🙂
    Great blog!

    • Meg

      So very true! It is “all about me!”

  • Denise B

    I am the most unhealthily passive person in the world and I actually had a real life fight with someone because I was tired of all the FB shit. I am tired of the nostalgia posts where we posit that life was better before I could marry my wife, or back before my dad could go into all the restaurants in his town because somehow life was more innocent back then. Do not get me started on the people who think our kids are damaged because everyone gets a trophy. Everyone knows who the stars are, I promise you, they don’t think they’re good at sports because they’ve gotten a trophy. Old ass fist-shakers. Thanks for the column, it was cathartic for me.

  • Lyla

    This. All of this. EXACTLY. I swear I am not going to say anything political on Facebook, and then the sister-in-law posts a meme about how we have been at peace with Japan since we bombed them and maybe we should ‘make peace’ with the Muslims. Excuse me while I lose my shit.

    • Meg

      Exact thing happened to me! I grew up on a small still 87% white “church going” people and they spit out that ignorant stuff all the time! People who I thought were educated – went to college not far away and moved right back home send me invitations to Trump rallies and not and a joke!!

  • Jennifer schartz

    I’ve been reading you only a short time and was originally offended by your love of profanity. (I am likely of your mother’s generation.) I mostly got over it and continued to read. Although I wish you exercised a different vocabulary, I must admit that I get it. You are the voice of your generation and your readers are well served. Your liberal views are like a breath of fresh air to someone suffocating in a sea of tea baggers. You have a lot of passion. Don’t be afraid of it. Keep up the good work.

  • Heather

    On Unfollowing – That moment when you run into a “Facebook Friend” and realize she had a baby or got divorced (eg some life altering event) and you say, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know.” BUSTED as an ASS for unfollowing her. Ha

  • Susan

    Haha yes!! I so badly want to delete my Facebook because I don’t even care anymore… And then I try to do it, and realize that I care. Then I go and get pissed off all over again about stupid stuff.

  • Lauren

    Brilliant. We should be friends on facebook (I already stalk your Instagram) so that I can invite you to the closed “Shares from your Relatives” group. It has helped me refrain from going berserk on my mother’s new boyfriend for posting videos of “thugs” (aka kiddos who happen to be black) “disrespecting” the police, or, worse yet, passive aggressive, unoriginal memes directed at his “narcissistic” ex-wife. (Is it just me, or do people suddenly become clinical psychologists whenever they find out about Narcissistic Personality Disorder or BPD for the first time?) (To be fair to him and my mother, the ex is objectively insane… and indulges in some batshit FB posting of her own.)

    It also helped me the time when my cousin, who is inexplicably conservative despite basically living on the poverty level with her FOUR children (who spend their days being babysat by the television and their iPads, without a book in the house to be found), announced that, although she “never” (re: always) posted controversial political content, she would speak up in this particular instance to denounce the “pussification” of America, and linked to a news article from CANADA about a CANADIAN university yoga class being cancelled due to students’ CANADIAAAAN concerns about cultural appropriation. CAANAAAAADAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


    When I called my mother up and asked if I could unfriend the cousin, she said no. On the bright side, she gets to bear witness to a slideshow of what her life could have been via my carefully-curated social media presence, which is, of course, 100% accurate and real. (More on that here: https://wanderlustalmanac.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/my-fake-life/)

    Anyway, pleasure as always.

  • Bianca

    So me. Don’t know whhhhaaattt my actual problem is. Sometimes I don’t even read the article, I head straight for the comments like some sort of sadist.

  • Stacey

    EXACTLY! I thought I was out here spinning alone with my impotent Facebook rage. The comments were great on this one too.

  • K T

  • Angela

    Ha ha, that’s why I left Facebook last week! Life’s much better (more unwasted time and less irritations!) without it even though when I’m bored I’ll still think of reading feeds and then remember I don’t have Fb anymore. It’s poison :-p

  • Hillary

    These and a million other reasons are why I did QUIT Facebook. Love it! And it gives me more time to do meaningful and productive things like read your blog!

  • Diane

    I am the one who gets “unfriended”. My former hairdresser posted a picture of an elegant deer having been shot and the shooter was holding up his antlers. I registered my dignified disdain. I did not say, “big buck, small dick” but that is what I was thinking. She unfriended me because, she said , we had a difference of opinion. It is a philosophy of life, sweetie, not a difference of opinion.

  • "Josephine"

    So, I am just trying to figure out what it is about me that I like to read your blog and Matt Walsh’s! Obviously, it’s the snark and the liberal use of the f-word (you, not Matt). I might have multiple personalities.

    I can’t be trusted with Facebook because I fall for someone’s ignorant post every time. I can’t help myself to respond. Seriously, if they don’t want people to comment, they shouldn’t post it. There is a comment button for a reason, people…it’s called SOCIAL MEDIA! Since I left FB my life so much better. This way I can go on pretending my friends aren’t crazy. 😉

    • Cathey

      I’m with you! Multiple personalities must be the only way to explain it. 😉 It’s hard to agree and disagree at the same time.