Facebook

My Facebook Mini-Break

Wondering where I’ve been?  Probably not, but regular visitors will notice that there has been a long posting holiday.  I didn’t really mean for it to be that way, but when you give up Facebook and Twitter it seems you get out of the habit of blogging too!  Well at least I did.  For 6 weeks I stopped looking at, posting in and paying any attention to Facebook.  It all started at morning meeting one morning when I sat beside one of our staff who told me he was giving up online gaming for Lent.  I decided I would join in and give up Facebook.  Not for Lent exactly but because it was starting to really annoy me, and I wanted to know what would happen to my levels of annoyance if I took a break from it for a while.

What is it about Facebook that annoys me?

 

  • Turns out it isn’t Facebook it is the users.  It is the people who post constant updates of their life, be it miserable, be it chirpy, chipper, boring, adventurous or whatever.  Constant updaters need to leave the rest of us alone. It isn’t necessary for us to know where you ate breakfast, that you have a new handbag, that you want a new handbag, that your child is the most beautiful ever.  Constant updaters appear insecure and seem to need the constant feedback that Facebook can provide.
  • It is the people who share: the games they are playing, the quizzes they endlessly do, the highscores they just got, the online life they have.  Don’t do that people.
  • It is the constant urge to share which news articles people are reading, which pictures you’ve looked at, what you liked on Pinterist.  Risist the urge to share on Facebook please.  I’m following you on Pintrest if I care about the things you like.
  • It is the annoying, will not go away updates from games you used to play.  I blocked you once Bejewelled Blitz, how did you get back here again.
  • The friend requests from people I barely know.  Seriously, I have 144 ‘friends’ if you are not amongst them, and you consider yourself my friend, then either you don’t have the internet, you haven’t seen me in a bazillion years, or we have fallen out and please, send me a message not a friend request, I love a message, it is like getting an old fashioned letter in the mailbox.  Facebook is great for catching up with people you haven’t seen in years, but sometimes you haven’t seen those people in years because you aren’t the same person you were when you knew them!  There is certainly space for new FB friends in my life but only if they conform to my ‘rules’ (see above) and below – click the image!
But there is the stuff I missed.
I missed getting the fantastic links from Radio New Zealand and Booksellers New Zealand.  I love finding out about new books from several publishers I follow.  I love the Matinee Idle group I belong to, I enjoy some of my friends who are witty, clever and dry, their posts always make me laugh.  I missed seeing the photos my partner posted.  I missed the collegiality of posting in a group I belong to for work.  I missed the laughs and sniggers.
I enjoy finding out about my friends holidays, good fun times, new babies, witty and clever comments.
So, I’m back on Facebook.  Not obsessively looking at people’s profiles (I know people who do this), not really looking at anyone other than my family and close friends photos and status updates.  My Facebook has been pared back, invisibility spray has been applied to most of my annoying friends, as I would expect it to be applied to me if I am really annoying.
Anybody else taken a break from FB?  What did you think of your experience?  Has it changed your FB behaviour?  Will you go back to FB? Has it changed mine?  Hell yes!   I will think much more before posting an inane comment.  Will only share links I really care about.  Will try to cut out the drivel, because actually drivel seems to be the largest percentile on Facebook.

 

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The Facebook Sonnet – Facebook as a Xmas card list

The Facebook Sonnet

Welome to the endless high-school

Reunion.  Welcome to past friends

And lovers, however kind or cruel.

Let’s undervalue and unmend

The present.  Why can’t we pretend

Every stage of life is the same?

Let’s exhume, resume, and extend

Childhood.  Lets all play the games

That occupy the young.  Let fame

And shame intertwine.  Let one’s search

For God become public domain.

Let church.com become our church.

Let’s sign up sign in, and confess

Here at the alter of loneliness.

Sherman Alexie

Words to ponder on.  I decided to post the poem above onto my facebook profile and to see if anybody amongst my 107 ‘friends’ on there would comment.  Nothing!  This was a bit disappointing because I think that Sherman Alexie has a point.  While Facebook does give you a connection with people you are sorry you don’t have contact with in any other way anymore, and whom you miss.  Facebook also connects you with a bunch of people you don’t ever need to be connected to anymore.  People  you might be delighted to be connected to, but by the same token might feel duty bound to accept a ‘friend invitation’ from if they send you one, not accepting implies that you don’t wish to be friends with them, this by implication makes you mean.  Facebook is fraught!

What do you do about the friends who post constantly, inane trivia that does your head in, more than once a day sometimes.  What about the ones who send constant links to things that really don’t interest you, do you make it so that you can’t see their posts, will they know?  Maybe I am this person to some of my friends.  Do I post too often?  Do I put on too many links?  Am I talking about my inane ridiculous life?  Who knows? 

  • As for the reconnection with school friends and friends from previous times in your life.  This can range from the, frankly disturbing – how could I have been friends with this person, surely they weren’t like this when I knew them?  Who has changed me or them?
  • To the this person is too cool for me, I’m not the funky hip person this person thinks I am.
  • To the I’m only friends with this person because they are a newby on here and dear god if they send me another update on the Farmville or Zuma they are playing incessantly I will reach down the interweb cable and throttle the very life out of their mouse finger with that cable! 
  • To the deeply christian churchy types who tell me how awesome their church services are – why did I click the confirm friendship button I knew this particular relationship wouldn’t work out.  Why the hell did they want to me my friend anyway?
  • To those poor souls who search for meaning, happiness, and a purpose to life – you are just too lost for me.  I am too intolerant to be your friend, well I’ll be your friend but I don’t want to see your posts.  Actually you don’t like me anyway and don’t want to spend time with me, so why are we pretending to be friends on Facebook?

The last point is actually key, it is possible to be friends with all manner of annoying and irritating past friends etc if you can’t see what they are doing.  Block the buggers! I work on the principle that if they have something I need to know (I use the term need loosely here obviously) they will message me.

So, just like a high school reunion, people who knew an early version of you, feel like they still know you, and feel the need to catch up even though you have all moved on, and who don’t have anything in common with you any more, except memories of the previous you, want to rekindle something and befriend you in a Facebook kind of way.  Not in any kind of deeply connected real friend kind of way.

Facebook friendship is not the same as real life friendship.  It is a virtual friendship.  These are not the people you can pop round and have a coffee with at their houses, or go for a drink with on a Friday night.  These are not the people that you get together with at the drop of a hat.  These are a bunch of people, some of your nearest and dearest, and some who you will never see again but with whom you once had a connection.  These are the people that in the old days you would have been sending Christmas cards to and receiving them from.  Really once a year was enough!

So, go on, send me a friendship invite on Facebook.  If you know me well enough to go to coffee with me, if we have connections professionally and are actual friends.  If I would go for coffee with you.  We could be friends!  Or not!

This is courtesy of boingboing

“Yelp is Tiffany Shlain and Ken Goldberg’s new short film that provides a glimpse at their work-in-progress, a feature documentary called Connected  about “what it means to be human in the 21st century.”

This is really interesting, and made me wonder if I could actually spend 24 hours without Facebook, email, and so on.  And actually I did this weekend.  But I was pretty keen to go online when I got home.  It is my first reaction these days to turn on my computer and check my facebook page when I get home, which is very sad as often nobody has commented anything on there and I am frankly not much interested in many of the things that flow through on my feeds, and as for Twitter, I am only using it for professional stuff anyway and can certainly have a break from that for any amount of time and although there will be dozens of links posted in there I will probably only look at about 20% of them.

The time taken up with my online life is certainly meaning that other things drop off.  This is bad, my house is grimy, my reading life is suffering and I need to get control.  So, I am going to back on track and get my reading the classics programme up and running again.  A quick squiz through my bookshelf this afternoon, and I have discovered a huge number of unread tomes to get started on.  – After I check my facebook page hahahaha!