I HATE FACEBOOK
9 July 2008
When I first joined Facebook, it seemed like kind of a fun thing. You could reconnect with people, find out what your friends were doing, maybe play a couple of games.
But then there were these things called "applications." At first it was fun. You could help someone make a garden by giving him/her a flower graphic that he/she could position in a graphic of a garden. You could give a gift that would "grow." An egg that got bigger, began to crack, and reveal some furry little critter inside.
It was new and fun.
And all sorts of people wanted to be my "friend." Some people I'd never heard of wanted to be my very best friend. It was flattering, in a creepy stalker sorta way.
Then it began getting out of control. For every "application" that you thought sounded interesting, before you could even SEE it you had to invite all of your friends (or a collection of your friends) to see it too. If you wanted to take a movie quiz, you had to invite your friends to take the quiz too. If you wanted to send a friend a "gift" (unbelievably, people could BUY a tiny graphic to send to a friend--I think the price was $1. I can't believe people actually did that!), you had to invite others of your friends to see the gift too.
It was an invitation for everybody that you had ever met, or everybody who ever thought you sounded like an interesting person, or everybody who just wanted to collect names of people as "friends" to spam everybody.
There was also something called a "poke," which means you get a message that says "so-and-so poked you." This is your invitation to poke so-and-so back. Then so-and-so pokes you again. The most stupid thing I ever heard of.
I hated it. Hated it as much as if so-and-so were sitting next to me continually poking me in the arm over and over again.
There are a few people, mostly older women, who are only names to me who keep sending me sappy poetry about the beauty of close friendship and how glad they were to have me in their lives, people who don't know me from Eve.
A guy in the Netherlands whose path crossed mine because we are both Judy Garland fans, now routinely sends me requests--in Dutch--for joining groups I have no interest in, or elaborate graphics and verses--in Dutch. I know it's because he's choosing all of the people in his "friends list" to send something to.
When I turned into Facebook this morning, after a few days of not checking it, the graphic at the right shows you the number of items that required my attention.
One GOOD thing Facebook recently did was to add the option "ignore all." There are things that might be fun. Like the "word challenge" invitation. But I know that the "word challenge" invitation starts with a screen where I'm supposed to select a number of "friends" to invite to view the word challenge. And I'm just not going to do that. I hate all these "requests" so much I certainly am not going to inflict them on someone else.
I actually tried a couple of times to take quizzes that were sent to me, dutifully choosing "friends" to invite to also take the quiz, and then I had to go through so many screens of instructions to get my results, I finally gave up in disgust.
There are good things about Facebook, which is why I stick with it. I've rediscovered some people I've lost contact with. Oh, we haven't had a huge "falling into each other's arms" sort of thing, but I am at least aware of what they are doing now. People like my one of my mother's step-sons, some cousins, kids that I knew when they were growing up, members of groups I am part of.
I like playing Scrabulous, Facebook's version of Scrabble. For some reason that hasn't yet been Facebook-ized and you can just play without bothering your friends.
People can post photos and video. (If you are a Facebook member, I highly recommend Rob Rummel-Hudson's video which is a promo for his book, Schuyler's Monster.)
But really, the fun went out of Facebook for me the day I started
getting overwhelmed by "requests" from so-called "friends" of mine,
and when I could not do anything without spamming at least some of my
"friends" (I started choosing only the stranger-friends who routinely spammed
me, but even that got to be too much work that I gave up doing it)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MILES TO NOWHERE: 56 miles