Fredericton — They say you should face your fears, but that doesn’t go for Facebook’s terrifying phone- and video-calling features, which should be avoided at all costs.
According to Fredericton man Neil Ingersoll, the ubiquitous social media network has many faults, but no feature is worse than the little phone icon at the top right of the messenger window — except possibly the little video camera.
“It’s crazy how something so small can strike such pure, unadulterated fear in my heart,” Ingersoll said, still reeling from a near-call he had with an acquaintance he’d messaged simply to ask a question about his car. “I barely know Todd and he thought I was trying to call him…what the hell, man?! I hung up in time, but the damage was already done. I couldn’t relax for the rest of the night.”
Even worse than calling someone by accident is being on the receiving end of an accidental Facebook messenger call.
“Are you trying to give me a heart attack??” cried northsider Todd Peterson, when he heard the dreaded dial tone sound coming from his phone. Peterson then threw his phone outside rather than risk accidentally answering the Facebook call from his equally panicked contact Ingersoll.
Ingersoll’s friends agree with him about the calling option on messenger.
“I don’t care if they’re selling my data or reading my private messages, but if I’m gonna stay on Facebook they need to get rid of that darn calling feature,” said Rachel Loren of Nashwaaksis. “My fingers are so fat and clumsy I almost phone my friends all the time — what a nightmare! And if someone ever video-called me on messenger I don’t know what I’d do…probably delete my account.”
“Sometimes you’re just trying to click ‘x’ in the corner to close the chat window, and you’ll hit the phone, and suddenly hear this ringing sound, and let me tell you — I fear death less,” concluded Ingersoll. “Or you’ll try to hit the settings button to leave a group thread, and it’ll call that whole damn group instead! How would that even work?!
“I’m afraid of heights, too, but it’s nothing compared to the cold wave of adrenaline that courses through your entire body when your thumb hits that tiny phone thing.”
Research indicates that no one has ever used the calling feature for its intended purpose.
“It makes no sense that it exists,” said Francine Weatherby, a sociologist at UNB. “I’ve conducted surveys on the topics, and as far as I can tell, no human being has ever tried to make a call through Facebook messenger, much less a video call — it only happens by mistake.
“Perhaps it’s just to keep us on our toes.”