Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Your Facebook

I'm on Facebook a lot, I admit it.  I'm on my computer a lot in the evenings and therefore it is pretty easy to keep a Facebook tab open and periodically go there and click Home to see what's what.  I love watching TV with my laptop on so that I can look people up on IMDB and figure out where I've seen them before.

Back to Facebook, though.  Here are some comments based on my Facebook journey thus far:

1.  I don't friend request people lightly.  Because of this, I tend to deliberate before pushing that button.  Sometimes I deliberate for a while.  I've realized, though, that the downside to this is that there are two situations where that Add As A Friend button appears.  The first (and most obvious) is when you have never requested the person as a friend.  The second (and more insidious) is when you have requested them to be your friend and they ignored your request.  So now I find myself wondering if I request so-and-so as a friend will they be logging in next time and thinking that I'm some kind of psycho who can't take a hint.  I would love to respect their decision if I could be sure that a decision has been made.  I'm tempted to start keeping a log of which requests are pending but that in itself sounds like a totally psycho thing to do.  I seriously do not want to think this much about this.

2.  Does anyone else have a FB friend who uses their account solely to recruit others to their pyramid scheme?  (Call it what you want but if you recruit me to recruit others and the more we recruit the more money we make without lifting a finger, as a professional mathematician I can say definitively that that ain't a rectangle.)  Now I don't mind if people put little blurbs up about their home business or request help for a charity drive (I've done the latter) because to do so is a smart use of social networking.  However, if you friend people under the guise of being long lost pals and then inundate their new feed with exhortations of the the wonderful business opportunity you have for them, you are sleezy.

3.  I play Scrabble and Wordscraper (a Scrabble knockoff) on FB.  I understand how these games work. I don't understand the Mafia Wars/Farmville/Fish Tank style games.  I tried Mafia Wars and from what I could tell you don't actually need skills you just need to be logged in all the time.  Perhaps there were subtleties that I missed but it seemed like all I had to do to advance was to log in and click a button a bunch of times and convince others that this is fun so they'll do it too.  Come to think of it, this sounds a whole lot like a pyramid scheme too.  One where you don't actually make any real world money which makes it all the more unfathomable.  Like patchouli there has got to be an appeal that I am fundamentally incapable of appreciating.  If you enjoy it, though, I wish you the best of luck with your wise guys/crops/fish.

4.  I also don't understand the snowball fight style game.  Is it even a game?  I'm not sure what it is.  There are several for every holiday and season.  Are they cute?  They must be.  I don't really get cute.  OK, that's not entirely true.  Baby animals are cute and make me make noises like "Awwww" and "Ooooh".  (Oddly, I don't find baby people anywhere near as cute as baby animals but that's a WHOLE other blog).  Anyway, if you send me a request for any of these things, I thank you.  First I thank you because you thought of me (or clicked the boxes that chooses your whole friend list) and second I thank you because it gives me the chance to block the application which saves me some time later.

5.  I'd like to pause here and say I have very smart, funny, insightful FB friends and I'm glad you guys are out there because you're way more interesting than the TV shows that I have on when I'm lurking on FB.  Except for Glee.  You guys are going to have to really up your game to top Glee.

6.  I don't have any students as friends.  It's not that I am worried about what they would learn about me because I'm pretty careful about what I put out there.  It's more that I've learned the absolutely most horrifying things about my students through FB.  Mark my words, some of these kids or going to have problems if they ever have an employer who bothers to do an internet search (and a lot of them do).  What they seem to not understand is that it's not just what they post that's seen it's what their friends post also.  Considering how prevalent this is, though, I almost wonder if there will come a time when it no longer matters because  it will be so hard to find someone who doesn't have compromising information out there.

OK, that's it for now.  I have to go see what's up on Facebook.


  1. I love Glee. I can sing, too. Maybe I can start singing my status updates to you.

    I have a fb friend who is a young woman I knew as a teen, when she was a volunteer at my library. She was the sweetest girl. She is now in college and likes to post photos of herself licking her giant fake breasts, doing bong hits, and kissing other girls (just for the shock value). I weep for the future.

  2. I know most people don't make it out of their Idiot Years unscathed but for most of us those moments would only be learned if we were to apply for national security clearance. I've been a defense contractor, I know they ask about _everything_. These kids are putting those moments out there so that literally anybody smart enough to operate Google can find them. It's not going to be pretty.

    I foresee that eventually we'll be expected to feel sorry for them somehow.

    i look forward to your musical status updates, Lyssa. Will there be dancing because Glee has dancing too.

  3. Hmm. Fake breast licking, girl kissing... what was her FB name?

  4. Dave: Perv! You know if you were actually friends with a young person who did that you wouldn't be able to unfriend them fast enough. ;)