Facebooked

I’ve still to find any good reason to visit Facebook more than once a month. It’s just never really grabbed me, largely because I have plenty of other places online where I can interact and all of them are far more subtle than the constant barrage of utter nonsense that the bulk of Facebook seems to thrive on. I mean what is that virtual poking thing all about? Seriously, answers on a postcard to WHYTHEHELLSHOULDIBOTHERWITHFACEBOOK, c/o IFEARIAMMISSINGTHEPOINT. Thanks.

That said, the upside of Facebook is that it has allowed me to ‘connect’ to some old school acquaintances. I’ve emailed a couple of them but considering that I struggle to keep up with my friends I’d be very surprised if I manage to keep in correspondence with any of them on anything more than a bi-annual basis.

My Facebook contacts are a mix of real and virtual contacts, friends and family. It’s an odd hybrid but not hugely a problem. Until some chuffnut decides to ‘tag’ me with some Facebook meme thing. Thankfully this isn’t as bad as, say, someone throwing a virtual polar bear at me (seriously, wtf?) so I guess I might possibly consider following up on this one. Here are the rules then:

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose up to 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

OK, so writing a note with 25 random things isn’t a big challenge. I mean it’s not like I struggle to waffle on about random nonsense, is it?

But the bit that gets me is the “choose 25 people to be tagged”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve participated and nominated people in a fair number of blog memes in the past, but to me this is different. A meme is a soft suggestion, something that you know may be ignored, particularly as the ‘invitation’ to participate is held on MY blog, not rammed into the blog of the invitee.

I think this is what still irks me with Facebook, it’s far more aggressive. Multiply the number of contacts/friends that you have by the number of applications/games/useless and pointless ‘poking’ variants and before you know it your inbox is deluged. This then puts the onus on you, to do something about whatever it is you’ve received. Delete or participate? Doesn’t matter which, I now have to spend MY time dealing with something that YOU think is interesting, cool or funny. It’s quite a subtle and bizarre intrusion, loaded with expectation and the premise seems to be that once you are in, you are in. You can’t join Facebook and block everything, so, regardless of what filters you have in place you still need to maintain your account.

That is why I don’t visit Facebook all that much. It’s too time consuming. Yes it is genuinely handy and I do keep in touch with people using it but even then a simple check becomes a 20 minute wade through the quagmire of application approval requests, new friend notifications and other levels in the myriad of random crap.

I remember once, whilst still at school, receiving an anonymous letter which suggested I had to add my name and forward it on to 5 different people. I can still remember mulling it over before throwing it in the bin. If you are the person that sent it, I apologise but frankly what did you expect?

Chain letters weren’t fun or cool in the 1980s and the current fad for intrusive social applications isn’t any more fun or cool today.