Why Does Facebook Think Pleasure Is Dirty?
Apparently, “pleasure” is a dirty word. At least it seems to be according to the Powers That Be of Facebook. I had no idea. Being a small business owner definitely has its educational moments.
I’ve used a variety of tools to promote my business so far: Twitter, blogging, guest posting, networking on- and offline. I had done a fairly good job of ignoring Facebook, mostly because I hadn’t quite figured out how I wanted to use it. But recently, I had a conversation with a friend who suggested a strategy that made sense. It sounded possible. It even sounded fun. I was able to redefine the Facebook tasks in a way that made sense…so I decided to get set up. I’ve had a page but I decided to rebrand from Leela Life Coaching to Body of Pleasure and actually engage at a higher level.
Name the page. Check. Tell people about it. Check. Twenty-five followers, check. Custom URL…not available. I tried BodyofPleasure, and then I tried other combinations and permutations. No dice.
In frustration, I posted to a forum of sexuality educators of which I’m a part. Someone posted back, “I believe pleasure is a blocked word.”
Indeed the Facebook help menus say that “certain words are blocked” from custom URLs, but nowhere is there a list of these words, nor have my colleagues been able to get an answer from The Powers Of Facebook. My colleague listed a number of words with clearly sexually explicit meanings that she knew were also blocked, but I was stuck on pleasure.
Pleasure, really? Pleasure is blocked? Pleasure?
Apparently so. Just to check I tried other phrases with “pleasure” and none were available. (Pleasing is ok though. Huh?) And Body of Pleasures, an adult toy seller (with whom I am not affiliated), doesn’t have a custom URL either.
So what’s up with this, Facebook? Surely you can’t tell me that the pleasures of ice cream, warm sun, cozy blankets, sweet pets, good movies, fabulous writing, grass under my toes, brilliant music, travel, art, and warm peaches fresh from the tree are all obscene. Pleasure is, in fact, not obscene. It’s not offensive, is it? It’s not even NSFW. People drink good quality coffee at desks and computers all around the world. By blocking the word pleasure you’re implying that enjoyment itself is somehow unfit for the public eye.
And it is this attitude that’s got our entire culture tangled in a hopeless knot.
Pleasure is not something that can or should be forgotten, hidden, or shamed. Pleasure is not something we can afford to set aside. Pleasure is the thing that tells us when we’re doing it right.
When we feel good, we’re doing it right. When we don’t feel good, something needs to change.
Sometimes it is a small thing. Sometimes it is a big thing. Sometimes it feels like EVERYTHING.
And when we can’t tell what we’re feeling, we have no idea if it’s right or not. We don’t know if we need new curtains. We don’t know if we need alone time. We don’t know if we should paint our toenails red. We just don’t know.
Which is sucky. And hard. And hard on everyone around us, too.
Pleasure saves the day. It is absolutely key. And Facebook? Blocking it from your URLs does not help matters one little bit. Instead you become part of a general cultural malaise that makes us less and less likely to know what we want and more and more likely to buy stuff or get drunk or get in fights or have insomnia and depression in an effort to figure out what we don’t even remember that we don’t know anymore. All we end up with is this general feeling of blah and no way to fix it.
No way that we remember.
We are caught in this shroud of forgetfulness around pleasure, and so we don’t know that all the tools we need are inside our own heads already.
Dear Facebook: help us remember. Help us remember to remember. Help us engage with the systems of knowing that we already have. Help us figure this one out. Sometimes pleasure is about sex. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes toes are about sex, too, but I don’t think those are blocked. Do one tiny thing to help us be a better place.