Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Facebook? Fakebook? Freakbook? F***book?

So Facebook has plans for a $10bn share offering?  443 million people log on daily and Mark Zuckerberg has got first one, then two billion in his sights. That’s kinda freaky. I’ll be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Mainly I detest it. In fact, it pretty much pisses me off on a daily basis.  On the whole, it’s just the sheer inanity of the thing. The same funny pictures doing the rounds; the same quizzes and memes; the same plugs for books and services; the same ‘Yippee, my book is now #523 in true life dog stories (toy breed subsection) on Amazon.’  Oh God, does that sound horribly cynical?
I hate the way the ads show that they’re monitoring your likes and dislikes, grabbing your information and squirreling it for future use. I don’t get the causes thing. Yes, I’m against child pornography; no, I don’t think homophobia is particularly clever; but how does my clicking a button on Facebook change anything?  Where’s the practical change here?  I guess you'd argue it's about raising awareness but, really, is it more that it make us feel better; that it's a way of showing we’re decent people, part of the tribe?? Am I missing something? Please tell me if so.

I hate the invasiveness of its apps – the way it nabs what people are listening to on Spotify or what they’re reading in the Guardian and spews it out to all and sundry.  I can’t stand the ‘join my event’ malarkey.  Sometimes I sit with a glazed expression, watching the moving sidebar thingy, with the lols and pmsls and endless cute kittens and inspirational quotes and just feel nauseous.  Like, like, like, like.  Bleugh, bleugh, bleugh, bleugh. Don’t get me started on games.  I. Don’t. Do. Games. No, not Farmville, not Bejewelled, not Scrabulous, not none of ‘em. Not noway. Not nohow.  I did my stint on Farmville for James and that cured me for life.  Jeez, am I grumpy old bag or what? J

lightwork.org 
So, why do I stay on it?  Why don’t I just delete the whole thing?  Well, I did…a while back.  And then realised I was cutting off my nose to spite my face.  Because sometimes it’s damn useful.  For example, my fitness gurus put updates on their FB profiles so yesterday I avoided a wasted trip down to the river for kettlebells cos I knew that Trisha couldn’t get down cos of the ice. Handy. Equally there are family members that, for some strange (but I’m sure good) reasons all of their own, don’t do other forms of communication – so I can keep in touch with them in a surreal sort of way – even if talking to a Buddha rather than a real face is slightly weird. And other people I love are on it and it’s a way to keep in touch with them.

One thing I did a while back was clean out my timeline. Totally. Removed pretty well all my pictures too. It’s not that I had anything particularly incriminating or shameful on it – just that I realised I didn’t want my entire life, likes and dislikes available on-line. This blog is quite enough angsting and splurging and making an arse of myself!

Sometimes I do wonder if it’s a young thing.  My son loves Facebook.  He says it makes him feel part of the pack.  Hmm, maybe that’s why I don’t like it. I figure it’s a good way to introduce him to the potential pitfalls of the Internet. I don’t hang over him all the time but he knows that Adrian or I might drop in unannounced any time and that seems to be enough to keep him from going crazy. If one of his friends posts something a bit…inappropriate, it’s a good opportunity to talk about stuff.  Though of course it begs the question, do you mention it to the child’s parents? Hmm.

I also drummed into him that he must ONLY accept friend requests from people he knows in real life. Okay, so you could say that’s hypocritical of me but there’s a helluva difference between worldweary old me and a 13-year old lad. I’ve tutored him in the avoidance of viruses and phishing scams. Do I let him on my timeline? No. Because my list is relatively wide open, sometimes people publish stuff I wouldn’t want him to see.  Likewise, I don’t accept friend requests from under-18s.  Of course, if your account is family-only (or you don't have friends like mine), that’s something quite different. 
James is pretty canny. His friends aren’t always so switched-on.  I think I told you the story of one lad who came over and boasted he had a coupla hundred friends.  When I took a closer look my hair nearly turned white.  We did a lot of unfriending that afternoon. 
I keep an eye on the addiction thing too.  Facebook addiction is, apparently, a real syndrome. Yup, 'they' researched it. Take the test... 

Are you suffering from FAD?  If your answer is straight No, then answer the following questions honestly:
  • The first (or second) thing that you do when you log on to Internet is check your Facebook page.
  • You constantly change and update your status and Wall updates.
  • You are so involved into the Facebook World that you even post things like “ going to sleep “ or “ I am tired “.
  • As soon as you click a picture, you rush to post it Online on your Facebook albums.
  • You become agitated or restless if you can’t get Internet to check up your social networking updates.
  • You feel too delighted or too sad depending upon the comments you receive on your profile or pictures, comments etc.

Sometimes, however, I feel a weird rash of fondness towards Facebook.  Someone or other will pop into my head and I’ll trundle over and see what they’re up to; maybe I’ll leave them a message; maybe not.  It’s just nice to know they seem to be okay (though, really, who ever knows?). Or they do the same for me and it brings a smile to my face.  Or someone will appear just as I’m thinking about them and a spontaneous exchange occurs. It’s less formal than a phone call or an email – just a quiet stroke or a bit of fun and banter.  I also take a childish pleasure in dismissing the ads on my page, citing ‘against my views’ for pretty much everything. 

The new timeline thingy?  Well, it doesn’t rock my boat but not much I can do about it. Given I only have about six posts at any time on my entire account, it’s never going to be a thing of beauty. J  I’ve found pinterest for beauty, anyhow – you’re welcome to follow – click the widget on the sidebar or here. 
But, back to Facebook.  I guess what I think is what I always think. Each to their own. Whatever suits you.  Maybe the bottom line is use Facebook, rather than allow Facebook to use you.  And, if you have children, keep a beady eye.

What do you think?  Love it or loathe it?


Oh, and btw, my anti-guru loves Facebook and always likes...new friends. So say hell o.  

53 comments:

Sessha Batto said...

I LOVE Twitter - I tolerate facebook - too much repetition, too much intrusiveness, too much everything. Still, there are people I only see there and, for that reason, I can't leave. I check in once or twice a day for a couple minutes . . . and even that is stretching it some days.

Silentnovelist said...

Like you said at the start, I don't get it. I click to support people and things that I like, but what's that actually *doing*? Nothing, as far as I can tell. But I'm still there because, like you, some family and friends are there and it's nice to see a picture of their new puppy. I enjoy hearing news of writer friends success and I have in short excited moments posted my own updates, like when our son got married and again when my book hit the virtual shelves but other than that I'm mostly absent. I don't really get the point of it either and frequently ask,
'Am I missing something?'
Kind of glad it's not just me.:)

Jobo Pooks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison Cross said...

I'm like any addict - love and hate constantly flip-flopping for me on Facebook. I love the keeping in touch. I hate how some arse's comments can totally ruin my morning.

I won't let sonshine on fb - he's too young for a start - but his friends show an alarming degree of naivity - photos freely downloadable (photos of very small children too), no security....utterly scary. Some of them think that they are ACTUALLY friends with Johnny Depp. God alone knows who it is they HAVE friended up with!

Re the FAD thing - yes, that's me. Totally.

*eye twitches*

Jobo Pooks said...

Facebook and Twitter are great ideas, but like all things online they will be used in ways that include criminal activity whilst also leaving one open to the rising cases of litigation should you stray from the path of what the landmark legal cases are creating in what we can and can't say by law. FREEDOM OF SPEECH MY ARSE!

It's also keeping alive this belief in our young that unless you are famous or financially wealthy with lots of friends that you don't even know then your life is meaningless and worthless.

There seems to be a need to know exactly what all your cyber chums are doing every minute of the day and when you look at some of the tweets it's fucking hilarious.

I wonder if someone came back from a hundred years ago they would probably think the whole world had been poisoned by some weird nerve gas that had turned them all into fucking retards....lol

I did have a face book for a bit and a twitter, but dumped them. The Jobo Pooks that is currently on facebook is a phony one, bit like the wolf cries man one and the django zoon one....WTF? LOLOLOL

replacing the above deleted post because I didn't proof read my work....Ha!

Exmoorjane said...

@Sessh - Pah! You use Facebook to poke me... :D

@Diana - Yeah, I confess I like the puppy pics too... It's not just you.

@Jobo - your Twitter was hilarious. Remember the popcorn? WTF??? Ah, okay.it's back. lol.

@Ali - Yeah, I kinda wondered.. :)

@Jobo (reprised) - People make phony Pooks FB accounts? Fame, m'dear, fame. You're a celeb! :D

Jobo Pooks said...

Jane, I was reading your blurb on Amazon and couldn't help laughing at the part when you said: "I'm afraid I don't always practice what I preach"

It's like, you have all these books on self-help and well-being and you're trying to sell them by telling people that you don't really practice what you preach.

It kind of reminded me of Gerald Ratner when he declared that his merchanise was crap. His business folded overnight. I wonder what he had been smoking that day.....lol

PS: I like your writing btw. If I didn't then I wouldn't bother my arse with you. lol xxx

Jobo Pooks said...

"@Jobo (reprised) - People make phony Pooks FB accounts? Fame, m'dear, fame. You're a celeb! :D"

Oh boy...fake celeb....I hope they make pics of me with a great bod and a big nob...then I can remember what things were like in the olden days.....lol xxx

Exmoorjane said...

Jobo, yeah...but then I've never said I was a guru. :) I'm just a reporter, an interpreter, a poop writer. :) I go talk to the people who (allegedly) know and then I chuck their stuff out there for people to take or leave. If I followed what all of them say you should do, I wouldn't have time to eat, sleep or take a shit!

Cait O'Connor said...

I detest Facebook too Jane for all the same reasons as you. I deleted my account a while back but went back to stay in touch with my writers group and a few other reasons but I haven't added many friends this time, I just can't be bothered. And I really don't want everyone reading everything if you get me. Purplecoo was great but FB is far too 'big'. Twitter I haven't gotten into so can't comment on that.

Exmoorjane said...

"Oh boy...fake celeb....I hope they make pics of me with a great bod and a big nob...then I can remember what things were like in the olden days.....lol xxx"

Unlikely huh? They'll make you wrinkled up like an old prune with a weeny weiner. :D

Exmoorjane said...

@Cait - you snuck in! :) I like to keep in touch with you via your blog... do love it. xx

Anita-Clare Field said...

I have much the same relationship with FB as you. In the main family although after I was told what I couldn't write about my Mama last year by my sister, she was blocked! I cannot believe I had to actually block my own sister.. That's why I love The Twitter, in the main FB friends do not 'get' Twitter and I can say what I like without fear of calls and texts from every direction! Facebook has a place and I still think personally at 43 I'm a bit too old for it but like you, just can't press the delete button. Great read thanks :)

Everything czyli wszystko said...

FBI (Facebook I) don't know no nothing no more. :o(

werio

Exmoorjane said...

Anita-Claire - ah, I've had that...is crap, huh? xx

@Everything - - + - = + :)

Everything czyli wszystko said...

MA in Maths, huh? Actually, it's '-' + '-' + '-' + '-' = '+' :o)

in ge sad

Sarah said...

I'm on Facebook and Twitter (@sazen) and I probably post more on Twitter because all my tweets are automatically posted on FB anyway. I respond to others on FB but I'm certainly not addicted.

I never go on during the day cos I'm at work, so it's an early evening or later evening thing for me. I like being able to keep in touch fairly effortlessly though. Writing emails is a pain in the arse sometimes.

Jobo Pooks said...

"I go talk to the people who (allegedly) know and then I chuck their stuff out there for people to take or leave."

So you're a kind of health freak regurgitatorfor money then....lol
What are the tax breaks like?

Exmoorjane said...

Everything - Barely scraped Maths GCSE.. :(

Sarah - Hellfire no! No way am I putting tweets on FB... *shudder* But sounds like you're very sussed.

Jobo - pretty colonic actually. lol.

Jobo Pooks said...

"Jobo - pretty colonic actually. lol."

I see. So the tax breaks are like the processes of tubes that convert food into shit.... So nice stuff goes in one end and horrible smelly stuff comes out the other...unless, of course, you are into scatophilia....in which case and reverting back to tax breaks, you would actually enjoy being ripped off by the league division one crims known as The Establishment.....



WTF am I going on about? lol....

Exmoorjane said...

Nah, in colonics someone else is always cleaning you out...ain't that a metaphor for work, huh? :)

Jobo Pooks said...

I read somewhere that colonic irrigation actually causes a miriad of problems and lots of people have become seriously il because of it.

Also that the claims by these companies that sell you bowel cleansing potions and claim that you can have months of undigested crap clinging to the gut is a load of bollocks.
I love the way threads digress and ebb and flow. From Facebook to Arsebook in 21 moves.....lol xx

Exmoorjane said...

Yup. I never advocate colonics. And, for once, that's my own opinion - not someone else's...lol
Whole pile(s) of reasons - not just physical but psychological.
Actually I haven't talked about my crap (as in the actual physical stuff) for quite a while... hmmm

Jobo Pooks said...

So what are we onto now...Shitbook?

Jobo Pooks said...

Ok, I'll go first. Who enters into savage battles with their floaters?

Exmoorjane said...

"So what are we onto now...Shitbook?"

Works for me!

Stobbit! I'm crying with laughter. No battles here - we've got "The Improved Victory Flush Valve" (I kid you not)..

Jobo Pooks said...

The Greek islands are always a nightmare as you can't use paper to help em along.

I once heard of someone who actually picked out a log that refused to go and lobbed it out of the bog window thinking she was chucking it in the back garden, but on re-entering the conservatory, which was immediately below the bog and being used for the wedding reception, found everyone in silence, staring up at a brown mess on the roof....Eeww!

Jobo Pooks said...

Victory flush! That sounds like a kick arse system...or should that be kick turd?

I eat lots of nuts so mine tend to sink quite sharply. The only thing is, I keep smashing my teeth on metric ones...

Jobo Pooks said...

http://youtu.be/VNXeLpLaYao

Exmoorjane said...

Holy crap! I am speechless.

Jobo Pooks said...

Holy crap! That could be the answer to the floater nightmare. But, how to get the holes in the crap before it is born....

Jobo Pooks said...

Shitbook is great eh? lol xx

Come on everyone.....join in.....there's some real shit going down here!

Jobo Pooks said...

After we're done with the floater section, we could talk about all the different kinds of logs and the wiping techniques employed to deal with them etc...oh boy! This could turn out to be the shitiest thread on The Net! lol xx

Exmoorjane said...

Eat Polos, Edam and Aero, of course!
And nah, think it's just you and me, buddy... Everyone else has got better shit to stir... :)

The Victory is pretty amazing though...you just hold down the handle for as long as you need - so a quick burst for the pert littl'uns and a good long swoosh for the pesky blighters that want to prolong the party.

Jobo Pooks said...

Sounds good and much better than blasting them with the jet wash; if you don't aim it right, it's shit facebook.....lol xx

Exmoorjane said...

Sod the thread - we could write a self-book on it. Deal with your Crap! - the 10-step programme.

Jobo Pooks said...

I'm sure there's someone real sitting there making up these word verifications....this one is phoomint....lololol

Exmoorjane said...

You're shitting me! :D

Jobo Pooks said...

Or even.... "The concise crapper"

Foreword by Bear Starse

Jackie said...

I prefer colonics to facebook :-) Colonic irrigation made me feel mentally alert and vibrant, Facebook hmm not so much. I just use it for business, have nae 'friends' but enjoy seeing updates from pages I like. I'm so easily distracted I don't want to open up the floodgates of personal updates on Facebook too. Also Facebook hates me and has banned me for typing too fast in my updates. This makes me seem like a Spambot apparently. Spambot/Shambot/Colonicbot/Whatever. Facebook is just a little too stalkerish for my liking.Twitter I love,Twitter friends I love xx

Everything czyli wszystko said...

Verily, verily I say unto thee, the only difference between food and shit is the frequency rate.

Word verification: rensed be

Everything czyli wszystko said...

Plus, let's facebook it: life would be less confusing, if God hadn't made that mistake when designing the human anatomy. How on earth could this Divine Architect place the funfair so close to the sewage outlet?

Word verification: ran co

Exmoorjane said...

Isn't one of your favourite aspects of God his sense of humour? :)

Everything czyli wszystko said...

My name is Time. Justin Time. Am I late for something? Cos I don't think so. :o)

kiser sel

Midlife Singlemum said...

I always laugh at fb profiling as they have me completely wrong by jumping to all sorts of steriotypical conclusions - the main one being that I bother to read anything that pops up in Hebrew. As I live in Israel everything they decorate my pages with is in Hebrew. Hehehe what a waste of space. They have no notion of someone physically living in one place whilst mentally being in another.

Bab's said...

Facebook often irritates the crap out of me. I initially joined as a way of keeping in touch with my dil and grandchildren. But often I have to grit my teeth and steel myself not to comment. Then I had the brilliant idea of publishing a page where I would be able to chat about relationship issues etc in more than 140 characters. I don't think it's really been a success but as an optimist I keep thinking I'll give it a little while longer? Writing this down has made me feel a little sad. Perhaps I need a rethink? As per a really interesting post :)

Victoria said...

Facebook is enormously useful for small charities and causes. OK, it's not terribly useful to click to say you are against something broad and well-recognised like homophobia - but there are a lot of organisations where there isn't much public awareness of the problems that exist.

Because Facebook is lowest-common-denominator easy to use, it is a lot easier for these small organisations to communicate with potential supporters who would never have known they were there, via their existing network who would probably never have emailled their friends to tell them about it, but are prepared to occasionally share a photo or have their comments pop up in a timeline.

By doing that they can educate, appeal for one-off volunteers to man a stand or help transport something, request donations and even sell stuff - there are lots of FB charity auctions.

I am not keen on Facebook either - so many sad / unflattering lights shed on people you had thought were nice and clever! But it has its place.

It's also quite handy for complaining about things. Only the other day I found that an organisation that had ignored my phonecall and email, suddenly became VERY attentive and helpful when I posted on their Facebook wall for all to see! :-D

Kim Bennett said...

I'm a FB fan. Especially when I'm in Greece. I just hide those people who post stuff that doesn't do it for me, I'm sure people hide me too. But most of my friends are sharp as tacks, and I love their posts and the pictures and some of the music that gets posted. I prefer it to Twitter which sometimes just feels like hard work. I think the FB addict thing is true for anything computer-related. Each to their own :-)

Gappy said...

I would love to monitor my 13 year olds Facebook usage, but unfortunately I can't understand a sodding word of what he writes on there.

Random capitalized consonants in rows just make my eyes go funny.

Tyson said...

I laughed so hard at this post.

So much of it is what I think on a daily basis.

People don't even interact on it anymore. It's not even about social networking.

It's spamming.

And I do it, too. Because I post my blogs and vlogs and plogs and crap for others to *not look at*. Because I'm pretty sure a lot of people do what I do and hide the annoying crap.

And I am not deluded. I know mine is annoying crap as well. :D

Jobo Pooks said...

Since I put a link from my website to the 2 fake pooks facebook accounts that cover my books, 2 likers have removed their likes.....a bit too late in the game now if they're trying to brush the tracks out of the dirt and head for the hills.....lol

Gerald D. Johnston said...

Jane, I don't think there's anything sexier than the way you write a blog post. As in life, my opinion of FB is all over the map. One minute I enjoy it for many of the same reasons anyone would, and the next I hate it as much as that apple jackass who created the mac.

I play games on FB, plan world domination with the cofounder of The Quark Paper Cutting Factory, confer with co-authors of a zombie series we're doing for Spore Press, and chat with relatives and friends all over the world.

I don't understand most of what I do on the internet in general, so I fumble thru the bulk of it like a horny teen on a first date. This is when I don't hate FB.

When I hate FB, I do all the same stuff but do it hatefully (and prolly play more games).

Exmoorjane said...

@Gerry - what? WHAT? Sexy? LMAO!
Brilliant last line though...brilliant. Fumble...what a wonderful word. I'm all in favour of fumbling. :)