Matt Labash Hates Facebook Even More Than You

The Weekly Standard's most florid wordsmith, Matt Labash, has unleashed 3,156 words of pure hatred on an unsuspecting Facebook. Not an undeserving Facebook, mind you, but unsuspecting — because isn't hating Facebook so 2007?

Ah, but Labash, a senior writer at Rupert Murdoch's ultraconservative magazine of politics, makes it fresh because his bilious contempt for Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard-born social network is so pure. He pretends that his late ire was roused by a piece in Slate by Farhad Manjoo, "Everyone else is on Facebook. Why aren't you?" But Labash never quite spells out the real reason why he loathes Facebook. It's because Zuckerberg stole his wife from him:

The hardest to watch fall, however, has been my wife. I'll call her "Alana," since that's her name (but note to Face-tards: Don't try to friend her to heckle me, she will not receive you). A few months back, she became a hardcore Facebook addict, as our late 30s age group has become the fastest-growing Facebook segment (35-54 year-olds have increased 276.4 percent to nearly 7 million users in just the last six months). There are worse things she could become, I suppose: a Meth dealer, a UPS delivery-man groupie, a Twitterer. Still, it's unsettling.

In our house, there have always been clearly defined roles. I procrastinate, shirk responsibilities, and spend much time peppering a fairly wide circle of friends with an incessant barrage of individually tailored emails, many of them lengthy (as opposed to the abbreviated, promiscuously generic, group-blog like messages left on Facebook). I tell myself it keeps me in game-shape, writing-wise, like a baseball player taking cuts in the batting cage. Alana isn't an Internet dawdler by nature, but rather, a doer, a model of graceful efficiency. She is Felix to my Oscar.

But slowly, I noticed things taking a turn. The cosmetic stuff, like her immaculate appearance and hygiene, stayed the same. Nor did I see her do anything too creepy or severe, such as sending pictures of her feet at the request of a new Facebook friend or running out to some hot-sheets motel to get worked like a farm implement by an old high-school flame who'd renewed contact (which happens with some frequency on Facebook). But I did notice a general distractedness, a vacantness, a thousand-yard-stare. She seemed to notice it too. In the old days, she'd check her email maybe once or twice a day. Now, she was hitting her laptop like a rat hits a lever for pellets in a Skinner box.

"I hate myself," she'd say.

"Why?" I'd ask.

"Because I'm becoming you," she said.

Zing! Alana Peruzzi Labash has 226 Facebook friends (four of them from right-wing evangelical hotbed Liberty University)! Her sin, according to her husband: She uses Facebook the way he uses email. But somehow her electronic communication is suspect, while his is okay. Labash, in the end, spends a lot of words proving he's an Internet-enabled Neanderthal who doesn't think that women should use computers. We'd have hoped for a better anti-Facebook screed than that.