Roar writer Alex Blank on Facebook’s decision to change its logo to capital letters.
If I see another ‘I’ toned-down in written form, I might just give up. That’s what we do these days, don’t we? Not only do we start our sentences with lower-case characters, as we if didn’t want to own up to a beginning, a source, a pre-existence’s essence, if you will (and, therefore, do we ever really say anything?)—let’s not forget about the utter negligence when it comes to punctuation, because apparently no one has the time for that—but now, even the speaker seems to hide themselves away.
By saying i or i’m or i’ll, the self becomes as lonely and insignificant as whatever it is they’re about to say or do. Is i love you the same as I love you? Some would argue it is; I see sloppiness or lack of agency. That may just be the neurotic me, but it is also an I that resonates, because I wholeheartedly am it, and grasp and embrace it. It is an I with a voice.
What does it say about Facebook—sorry, FACEBOOK—going in the opposite direction, then, deciding to capitalize their entire brand? On one hand, it is quite clear, that in an in-your-face world of homogeneous stimuli, only capitalisation might fit into the framework. The company’s claims to bring about a “sense of optimism” through altering their logo does not quite convince me, though.
Personally, I use full-on capitalisation in a couple of instances. One is anger. That means I don’t use it at all, because other human beings cannot ever witness my vile side, and so I use a perfectly polished mixture of everything in its right place, an I for an I, and a full-stop at the end if I feel comfortable enough. Well, that might mean FACEBOOK is not feeling particularly comfortable at the moment, and it is nothing short of obvious. Due to an evident lack of trust in the platform, as a result of Cambridge Analytica, politics’ propaganda and the like, could it be passive-aggressive on their part, then? An underbelly of a scream?
I also use capitalisation in my Google Calendar, when I create reminders. I don’t even know why I do it, maybe it’s just that seeing CLEANING DAY instead of Cleaning Day does make me more inclined to get out of my room and grab that vacuum. Or maybe it doesn’t. But I do it just in case, as a contingency. That makes much more sense in regard to the unstable position of the social network. Maybe FACEBOOK is a ray of light, in that sense—its capitalisation serving as motivation, that one simply has to try harder, no matter the obstacles, the hatred, or the scandals. That, as long as you’re going strong, stimulated by the grandiosity of the capitals, you might still have something up your sleeve.
Or it may just mean desperation. PLEASE LOOK AT ME will make one inclined to look at someone 99% of the time, albeit pitifully or amusingly. But that doesn’t really matter, right? As long as someone’s still looking. That’s the entire premise of today’s society, the technology-savvy, stalker-friendly bunch, influenced by no more no less than Facebook. Now that the lower-case has left its mark on the world—incoming: FACEBOOK. Not that it will change anything. On the contrary, their vulnerability seemed to have reached a tipping point.