Tuesday, December 29, 2009

These Are A Few Of My (least) Favorite Things

To follow is rant #3 of five, leading into the New Year – for 2010 I have pledged not to let the little things bother me to the extent they do – but it’s still 2009, so I’m going to rant away.

Volume 3: Ten Annoying Things About Social Networks

1. Woot.

While this word seems to be working its way into our digital lexicon, it always reminds me of who I referred to as the “woo girls.” These are the college girls who stick their heads out of apartment windows, car windows, and over balconies, shrieking “woooo!” as if anyone really cared to know that they were drunk and attention-seeking.

Aside from this, what the hell does it mean?

2. Thread Jacking

Suppose you or someone else posts something about, say, their dog Beau. Maybe Beau learned to fetch. So someone posts “Beau learned to fetch today” on their status message. So let’s say now that the poster has 672 of their closest friends linked to them in Facebook. By the time the thread is over, the topic of discussion is either Hillary Clinton, God, or Obama.

There are people out there who do this intentionally. It can be found at the bottom of any news article with comment posting enabled, or any other online article. Shoved in the middle of the tangential threads are ads for Extenze and black market Viagra.

If you really want to see a prime thread jack, read one of Obama’s Facebook posts. By the time you’ve even gotten to it the discussion (which may have been about healthcare) is about whether Bush should have been impeached, or whether Sarah Palin’s imaginary death panels are part of a global conspiracy to propel Glen Beck to the presidency.

3. Fishing For Sympathetic Comments By Way Of Open-Ended Status Messages

“John Smith is downing a bottle of vodka while watching everything fall apart.”

Okay – well, assuming all of your 672 friends really want to know, you actually told them nothing here. You just told them you were drunk and feeling sorry for yourself. So you wait for the inevitable “what’s wrong honey” and “it’s not that bad – pick yourself up again.” In the end, absolutely nothing was said.

If something is really wrong, and you’re not looking for open-ended sympathy for a problem that nobody understands, simply pick up the phone or send a private message to somebody who may actually be able to help you, or at least lend a dedicated ear. Otherwise, you’ve just told the world that you’re unhappy for no particular reason.

4. I Don’t Care About Your Mafia Or Your Farm

As of this posting I am deleting Mafia Wars in an effort to stop getting so many gift invitations and updates on how much “money” my Mafia friends have. I am on Facebook to keep up with people I would not otherwise be in touch with on a regular basis. I am not on Facebook to rob a bank, plant a crop or purchase a small country. Stop asking me, please. Even though I’ve turned off status messages from certain people who seem to do nothing but this, I’m still getting requests and invitations.

As my friend Anna recently said on Facebook when prompted to help fertilize someone’s crops, “don’t bloody tempt me.”

5. Friending From Strangers

You and I happen to know the same person, or you’re on some narcissistic quest to have more Facebook friends than anyone else you know. Okay, fine – that does not mean that I care to have you on my list. If you have not heard from me, please do not request again. I probably will not change my mind.

If we know the same person and you think we may have something to talk about, send me a message first.

6. Slamming Your Current or Former Employer

Recently an associate was “released” (I prefer “released” to “fired” – “fired” sounds negative – when I hear “release” I think doves – but I digress). This former associate proceeded to get very nasty about our current property. It really made her look defensive and petty – which I guess she was. It’s just bad form. If your friends on Facebook are actually friends, odds are they will not assume you were fired – sorry, released – due to your own actions.

Saying something negative about your current employer can get you released as well. Things get out. People love to talk. Again – I highly recommend using private messages for situations such as these.

7. <3

It does not look like a heart. It looks like a butt.

8. Glittery, Sparkly Crap

If I log into a MySpace or Blogger page and the first thing I see are silly little bees sprinkling glitter on the page, or fireworks that would have looked at home on a circa 1986 Rainbow Bright Atari game, I will log off. I will log off immediately.

And while I’m guilty of throwing music out on my blog, you at least have the option of pausing, turning down the volume, or changing the song.

I promise to never do this to you. And your cursor will never become a dragonfly or pixie with a stardust trail while on my page.

9. Endless Forwards

Receiving a chain email that tells me that I will have my wishes granted within seven days of forwarding this message, or that I will get hit by a car if I don’t, is aggravating. But at least in my email account I can hit the “spam” button. Receiving this kind of thing in my Facebook inbox increases the annoyance by a factor of ten.

My typical response used to be to reply back to the person who sent it, and tell them they were thereby released from any magical obligation they fell victim to by opening the email, and they were thereby released from any future obligations they might have by opening future emails. They are then to reply to the person that sent it to them with the same message. This really didn’t work, but it was fun.

When receiving these messages in Facebook, a medium in which I feel I should receive little or no spam, I’m tempted to start unfriending.

Additionally, if you feel you absolutely must forward a Facebook message, (which takes some effort in the way of copying and pasting), PLEASE delete all the crap that includes everyone’s response who ever received it over the past several months. I do not want to scroll down a mile of forwarding info before I reach the meat of the message.

10. E-Signatures In Private Messages

I know who the message is from. If you’re in my Facebook list it means I know you. And I do not need to read your “motivational” quote each time you send me a message. Since there are no e-signatures in Facebook it means you’ve been copying and pasting it from your email.

Stop it.

Thanks for listening. Only two more rants to go, and then I will attempt to play nice. Sometimes. More often than now, anyway. Or at least I’ll make a valiant effort.

Will Shealy is: Logging off. Have a great night!


Mandy said...

Love it. I agree with every single one of these. I, too, am deleting certain things from Facebook. I also HATE endless forwards, ugh. The "do this" and all your dreams will come true. Uh huh. If that's the case why are you still forwarding this to me?

Anyway, good post. Very good post.


Will Shealy said...

Thanks Mandy :-)

Iris Silk said...

Amen. Mom