Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello, Mr. Facebook

Hello, Mr. Facebook,

     Gotta tell you, I'm seriously thinking about breaking up with you.
"What?" you cry incredulously.
Yes, it's true.  It's not that you have been a bad boy (though you do carry on with an awful lot of women).  You don't cost me much - perhaps ten minutes a day - and you pay off in some smiles and an occasional snort of laugher.  Why would I break up with you then?

     Well, for one thing this whole privacy thing drives me crazy.  I realize it is tough to maintain any kind of boundaries on one's personal information but when you randomly changed my email last week, well, that pissed me off. I also get mad when you decide what status updates I should think are important and which are not.  I hate advertising and yet I hate even more being profiled for advertising.  Why should that bother me?  Hell, I don't know but it does.  It makes me feel manipulated.

     Oddly enough, one of my biggest reasons for breaking up is also one of the reasons I am tempted to stay bound to you.  I do like to see the photos of babies and engagement rings, weddings and picnics, new homes and vacations run amok.  But sometimes looking at all those happy faces makes me feel as if something is wrong with my life.  Sometimes I feel left out or less than.  I seldom post anything personal on my own wall.  I don't really like putting my life out there like that but I am drawn to what other people put up.

     The feature of Facebook that I like the most is the ability to access so many articles or videos that other people think are interesting.  I also subscribe to the Internet Anarchy feed and am guaranteed several good laughs a week with those posts.  I am often steered towards good books with the five or six links I have to book review columns and I am linked to a number of social/political sites that feed that part of my mind.

   So, I'll tell you what, Mr. Facebook, I am going to put this out in my blogging world.  I like these people and I don't generally feel manipulated or left out by them.  I wonder what they think about you? Let's find out, shall we?

   Your friend (for now)

Blogger friends:  What do you think?  Send Mr. Facebook packing or keep him around for awhile?


  1. I am annoyed by the ever-evolving Facebook tweaks, but when I think of all the little peeks I get into lives of those I have friended, I am overjoyed. I dreamed about something like Facebook for 20 years - just a way to see where people are and what happened to folks when they grew up. I love it and would hate to be without it.

    1. Yes, I get this. I especially like the stuff that nieces, nephews, Sonny and Sissy and their friends post -- but still, I can feel less than on lots of things.

  2. First question: Why is FaceBook a male? MISTER? I think not.

    Second question: For someone who "does not like putting my life out there," what's with this blog? I see lots of personal elements of my little sistah on this forum. Both are public.

    Third question: Who EVER notices advertising? [Or is willing to admit it...]

    Fourth question: Doesn't it seem a little like throwing the baby out with the dishwater? Let's see now...I do not like some elements, so all of those smiles lose out to the frowns.

    Quiz time is over. Being new to Face/Book, I am still on an epic carnival ride, an emotional journey packed with twenty years of memories, primarily from my career in teaching. I have hooked up with more than 600 former students, their parents, former colleagues, and long-lost relatives. I have nothing negative to say about this incredible social networking system. For me on my ridge, it is an elixir of life. I love it.

    Oh, and yes, the email thing was annoying, but it also motivated me to get Lito to help me reset the information part of my board, to update others to my new email address, so it was a good thing in the end.

    Thanks for the post; if you stop doing FaceBook, I will be sad. I may even cry.

    1. Okay, yes Facebook (mine anyway) is Mr - he is authoritative and presumptuous and simply reports the facts, ma'm.
      Ah, the blog is so different. This is a small group and the messages are not just Wow! Look at me! There is depth and thought in many blog posts. Can't say the same about FB posts.
      It's not the advertising itself - it's the manipulation that angers me - the way the advertisers use information and take over my space. Not a big deal b/c I don't' really pay attention - just the principle of the thing.
      As far as throwing the baby out with the bathwater: the bathwater is pretty damn dirty and I don't think I want any babies around (other than for an occasional peek) right now.
      I'm glad you enjoy it though - it is fun to see you embrace it. I think I am more cynical and perhaps more jaded than you are these days - we'll see. Thanks for responding to my poll! xoxoxoxooxoxo

  3. I keep Facebook for three reasons. First it is the way I find out what my kids and grandkids are up to. Although, sometimes that can be a negative. Second, my blog is automatically posted there. Third how in the world would I ever remember Aunt Dee’s or second cousin once removed Dottie’s birthdays? :)
    I have to confess, I have clicked on one or two of those targeted LyndaGrace ads.
    By the way, what’s this about Facebook changing e-mail addresses? I will have to check that out!

    1. So maybe I need to become your FB friend. What do you think?
      And FB converted all email addresses to a link to them - so if someone checks your profile and wants to send you an email it will come to you as a message on FB -- you can go into your profile and edit contact info and replace with your usual email.

    2. Sure we can be FB friends. Search for me as I think that should work.
      I checked out the email thing. On mine there are two emails listed. The dot facebook one and my regular one. My regular one is hidden from my timeline, but is available to my friends via a search. In other words FB friends can search for me using my email address, if they know it. Which kinda doesn’t make much sense.

  4. I have a love/hate relationship with facebook. I love to be able to share pictures of my kids with relatives who rarely get to see them. I also enjoy when people like one of my posts or comment on it with an encouraging word. What I don't like is reading posts from others that make me angry. You know, if they say something political or mean spirited that I don't agree with. I used to just unfriend them. Now I just block them so I don't have to be exposed to stuff that brings me down. I'll visit their pages occasionally, but not daily. I think it's important that we expose ourselves to all points of view. If we only spend time with people who share our world view, yes we may be happier but as a writer, if something makes me uncomfortable, I need to understand why. Often times, I'll write about it.
    I do spend less time on there than I used to.

  5. Well, I've never done FB, though I admit to occasionally glancing over my wife's account, to see what people are putting up....It seems too mundane, too shallow to me. But then I'm not a chatty kind of guy. I hate small talk, and that's what most folks like. I vote no on FB.

  6. Funny, I've been thinking about dropping it - for all the reasons you mention. I know only a HANDFULL of people in my generation who aren't on FB... So it would, in fact, my my social life more challenging. And yet - I've grown tired of it, of the games, of the obnoxiousness of some people. For the meantime, I'm ruthlessly x-ing out friends, un-liking things I don't care to be bothered with, and generally only checking in once or so a day. Maybe it will dwindle to once a week... I want to be LESS 'connected' and more CONNECTED. Does that make sense? - Bubba

    1. Yes, that makes sense -- to be connected vs dashes in the universe - The blog is so much more satisfying that way. I can write from a place of depth and the comments are useful. I ignore all the game stuff on FB but I do like seeing photos of babies (Megan, Roman, Stella, Shaela, just to name babies from the past few months!) - I also like those funny things and those links to videos or articles - it's not my go to place for friendship, that's for sure. But it is a nice venue for touching bases and laughter.