Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Vexations About Facebook

As if I don't spend enough time with my laptop fiddling with Blogger. I recently joined Facebook and Twitter just because "everyone's doing it". Being over 21, I don't completely understand it yet, but I'm starting to catch on. A year or two ago I joined MySpace and since I'm over 14 I definitely never got it. Facebook seems to be fairly user-friendly and doesn't take long to learn the basics. That being said, there are some things that I still mystify me and other things that drive me crazy. This was the inspiration for another scintillating edition of the Saturday Seven: Vexations About Facebook. It is a fascinating bit of programming, because it uses algorithms to link up people or find friends. Your interests, hobbies, where you went to school, work, etc all give Facebook clues about who you are. It can be a really fun site to use. What some people fail to remember is that nearly everything you type or upload is visible to everyone, or at least your friends and network, depending on how you set it up. I've seen people have "private" online conversations with someone else not realizing that their entire network of friends was reading along about "how that Suzie So and So is a conniving beyotch". Oh my. So take note, you have to select the "wall to wall" option for those truly private conversations. Anyway, onto my Saturday Seven: Vexations About Facebook:

#1 Content is Written in Stone: There are lots of things that once added cannot be edited, only deleted. For example: any comments you make, any status updates, comments on walls, or comments about someone else's photos.
#2 Friend Finder: Facebook looks at your mutual friends and suggests all sorts of people you know, or should know. 90% of the time I have no idea who those people are.
#3 Status Updates: The never-ending flow of updates about people. Foolish things people post like- "I've just started the laundry" suddenly becomes news. It's like a news network for non-news. Sometimes the updates get overwhelming...being constantly inundated all kinds of junk. Fortunately there is a feature to "see less about so and so" which will reduce the amount of junk mail that appears on my wall.
#4 Sponsor Ads: These annoy me and are NEVER related. I use their feedback box on the ads and use the drop down option "I find it offensive" in the hopes they will someday think I am a prude and give up.
#5 Social Applications & Groups: I'm constantly blocking all kinds of applications that are meaningless to me. I don't have time to comb my hair, let alone spend hours online chatting about Shaun Cassidy's haircut in the 70's

#6 Virtual Gifts & Applications like that: I never accept them, I don't understand them and I'm bored by them. "So and so passed you a drink" or "So and So is giving you flowers". What's the point? (I sound cranky here).
#7 Photo Limitations: For some reason Facebook has a hard limit of sixty photos per gallery. If you have vacation photos to upload that becomes a problem. I have trouble uploading more than 10 at once. So it is time-consuming. I prefer flickr, snapfish or one of the other online photo share sites.
Well that's my list. What about you? What do you think about Facebook? Any other things annoy you that you'd like to share? Go ahead, leave a comment, this is the first Saturday Seven of 2009 so splurge!


Sheila said...

Funny, I recently joined Facebook when my Generation X daughter-in-law invited me. I still don't really understand it and think Facebook appreciation is generational. My Millennial son doesn't care for it at all. Nice post.

Anonymous said...

I try to only keep a week's worth of "stuff" on my profile. In fact, I've got only stuff from January 1, 2009 to today up right now. And I don't do the gifts and stuff...I "ignore" those.

Now I'm guilty of the "laundry" thing...but that's because I have no life! Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Tea N. Crumpet said...

"I use their feedback box on the ads and use the drop down option "I find it offensive" in the hopes they will someday think I am a prude and give up." I do the same thing, especially if diet related. What, do I look like I need to loose a few pounds? They still don't get it.

BTW-- I'm off to do laundry now. :) (This IS news considering the amount!)

lime said...

hahaha. i joined it because my daughter asked me to so she could have me on her list. i figure if a teen invites you into her world you accept the invitation. but yes, parts of it bug me.

David said...

Yes I joined too when my partner and his mother joined so we could stay in touch with our son and nieces and nephews. Since then I think every librarian I know is on it and I've met and reconnected with high school friends too.

You're right though, I don't need the "snowballs" however I confess I do throw them back so as to not seem ungrateful.

DvS said...

I get a lot less invitations for silly applications than I use to. I love being able to keep up with friends and relatives that I don't see that often and are too lazy to maintain their own blogs.

Sunshine said...

I love Facebook and am amazed at the number of high school kids who have friended me (from church, or I'm friends with their parents, etc) that put their ENTIRE LIFE on there and I know who drinks, and who is having sex...they are VERY dumb on Facebook for the most part. I'd say 15% (that's being generous) remember to edit themselves.

I like to put very weird conversation starter things for my status updates and when I'm truly just working on the computer for a couple hours and have Facebook on, I'll put 80s song lyrics or movie dialogue for my status and like 20 comments later, all my 30-something friends have added to it, makes it kind of a laugh.

I ignore ads. Perhaps this comes with having small children, the ability to not notice some of those annoyances: yelling toddler is very much like a sponsor ad - I mentally block it out

I like about 3 applications and the rest I've ignored or had them once and deleted because I added them when I was still figuring out Facebook in the first place. But seriously, Pieces of Flair is fun and makes me feel like I'm in Junior High.

And now I've totally highjacked your comments, but I did notice you were on FB more and I'm glad to see it!

Desert Songbird said...

I don't understand how to use Facebook. I was invited several times by friends to join, but when I tried to sign up, the stupid thing wouldn't let me.

Then when it finally DID accept me, it didn't tell me how to set up a page or anything.

Whatever. I'm over it.

Jeni said...

I only have the little old blogspot blog but my younger daughter has a MySpace as well as Facebook acct. She is also into a group called "CafeMomP which has a kazillion sub-groups and several pertaining to autism. If I had to choose between MySpace and Facebook, I would opt to the Facebook but truthfully, I don't like either one of those places. Give me my blog, with some reading and pictures that I can sink my teeth into most of the time.
Cheers -and Peace.

Rhodester said...

I've no use for Facebook at the moment, but I'm all over Twitter like flies on a camel carcass lying in the desert sun.

You're welcome (for that picture).

Anyway, follow me at @rhodester (if you want) and I'll follow you back when the dead camel emails me your follow notice.

W.O.T.E. said...

Being one of those annoying (and apparently unintelligent per some of your blog readers) lovers of facebook I must point out that when I want to tell my friends whata conniving biatch Suzie is i DO NOT USE THE WALL TO WALL (*alert*alert*) because this publishes to the news feed and is indeed viewable to others rather than the private conversation you are seeking - for that use the INBOX. Rickster, can't wait to see the trouble you cause with this one!

Palm Springs Savant said...

WOTE- Right on with your comments, obviously you get it! That's the difference between someone with a brain who knows how to use FB! :-)

© Karelian Blonde said...

I have been messing around in the Facebook for about two years now and it is mainly a very clever way to remember peoples B-Days and find people you forgot existed :)

kenju said...

I have only been a member on it for about 2 months and I don't understand all the "pokes and super pokes" and giving gifts, etc. I also don't understand how it makes money for the owners, since I never click on ads.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Okay! I do not understand Facebook or anything about it...I joined by Default about a year and a half ago....NEVER understood the first thing about it and WHY anyone belongs to it---I opted out abojut 1 year later after truly never "getting" it.
Blogging is enough for me and I understand it and how it works and why people blog.....FACEBOOK?? NOT AT ALL! I think it is all pretty silly.

Olivia said...

I refused to join FB for a couple of years after being invited, since I was already on MySpace and hated it (still do).

Finally in summer 2007 I relented and joined - it was much simpler then, and really was only about networking with people you know. I am thankful for all the old university buddies I've reconnected with and have seen in town since then.

But then later that year they came up with the stupid applications. It didn't take long for me to get fed up of having sheep thrown at me, or being gifted with hatching eggs. I hated being pressured to join groups like "One day I want to own a giant plastic dinosaur and put it in my front garden."

I was greatly relieved when a few months ago they redesigned the platform so all those silly applications are not clogging the front page - out of sight out of mind - so I deleted like crazy. I am happy to stay with my status pages and messages so that I can truly just be in touch with people.

As for ads, I am practiced at blocking them out and don't see them any longer.

Uploading photos - if you have Java enabled you can open folders and click the ones you want, rather than the old fashioned upload. The former works on Google Chrome but not on Firefox.

Sorry for making this so long, but I always have a lot to say about social networking sites.

Sharon said...

I was against MySpace and Facebook because I didn't understand them. But then my son helped me set up a Facebook page and now I love it because I get to keep in touch with people all over the world. I also get to keep dibs on his crazy ex-girlfriend, who never deleted me as her friend..shhhh, don't tell! LOL! But I agree - I got tired of all the requests for planting trees or joining this cause or that, so I ignore most of the crap. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks after all!
- Sharon -

C said...

OMG, Rick! Sooooo true! I was chuckling when I read this because of how true it is!

texas_fan said...

I absolutely detest the virtual gifts. I'm with you...what's the point???

I have found the Scrabble Games to be tons of fun. I'm playing online with several friends. It's stimulating and competitive at the same time.

I think the one plus that everyone seems to enjoy about Facebook is finding long lost friends from years gone by. Personally, if they are lost, they are lost for a reason!

Have fun with it's definitely a distraction at times.

WAT said...

Look, I agree that MYSPACE and FACEBOOK are cool in certain ways, but you are so right, I TOO AM SO ANNOYED by what some of these people are doing! AS IF THEIR LIVES ARE REALLY THAT GOD DAMN IMPORTANT! Mind you, I probably annoy some with my status updates too!

Let's face it, people just want attention. I admit, I do.


Kanani said...

I use Facebook, but only to drive traffic to my blog. I share the link of what I've written and that's it.

My main observation is (like Twitter) Facebook has given rise to the archiving of every blow by blow thought or event that happens in the course of one's day no matter how dull!
Such as:
*Going to take a shower
*I'm out of shampoo. Am going to buy some.
*I wish I could be like Jack Bauer.
*Why aren't I as hip as U2?

Anyhoo... it's fun reading your blog. I love Palm Springs. In the summer I stay at Casa Cody and eat at that cool little deli. In fact, I might go out real soon just to relax.


Okay, if you're on facebook..I'm going to come lurk for you. l0l :)FYI you can go completely private so that no one can find you. You can allocate your albums to be seen by whomever you choose. I'm hidden completely in facebook and It's an addictive thing, but also sort of annoying==plus have you ever noticed how slow it seems?


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