Tag Archives: social media

On Facebook, Blogging, Privacy, and Imaginary Animals

Here’s my second (and last) Facebook update with Sad Pony and Squirrel.  For the other two click here and here.  Thus far Squirrel has twelve friends.  All of his friends are my blogging buddies.  Some people would call them “enablers”, but I call them freaking awesome.  He has sent out friend requests to Jethro from NCIS and Sarah Palin.  No response from Jethro, but Sarah froze my Facebook page demanding personal information from me and I had to shut it down to get rid of her scary face.  You know, I’m thinking maybe that wasn’t really Sarah Palin.

Squirrel has gone around manically “liking” everything from Zingers and Energy drinks to every TV show with the word “Bachelor” in it.  So we get lots of posts from these companies.  And people not only like them, they actually comment on them.  It says something when you are a squirrel on Facebook, but you don’t come close to keeping up with the weird.  For instance, Fisher Nuts asks you to fill in the blank.  Their latest: “This weekend I plan to ____ with ____.  They really shouldn’t have left themselves so open there.  (Click to enlarge.)

I like my answer best.

I like my answer best, though the guy mowing the lawn with his nuts is also amusing.

I was most curious about what sort of advertisements the two would get.  Here are some of Squirrel’s.  I’m not sure why. (Click to enlarge)

My favorite is the one about luxury travel.  High on every squirrel's list.

My favorite is the one about luxury travel. High on every squirrel’s list.

The “friending” stuff has been amusing in other ways.  One of my IRL (in real life) pals is also a blogging buddy.  Here’s what happened when one of my pals came up as a “suggested friend” on her facebook page. (Click to enlarge)

So many animal friends on Facebook, so little time.

So many animal friends on Facebook, so little time.

 But what about Sad Pony?  Oh, he’s been active as well.  Well, as active as he gets, which is using a mouse with his teeth.  He has tried to friend several My Little Ponies but gotten no response.  Rude.  I guess maybe it would help if he were pink and glittery.

Sad Pony has not “liked” as well as Squirrel because he doesn’t like many things.  Mostly he posts gloomy Facebook updates, because everybody loves that one friend who ONLY posts gloom and doom.  On the other hand, excessively happy people can get annoying too.  Observe: (click to enlarge)

Those two do have fun.

Those two do have fun.

Sad Pony also got some strange advertisers, including a group that was concerned he was on Meth.  I think they should have targeted that to Squirrel, personally.  But what does Facebook know?

Not much.  Neither do I.  Though this has been interesting and at times amusing, I think it’s time to draw this experiment to a close.  For one thing, it is very easy to cross the line of stupidity and offend people.  Yes even I realized that.  And if I’m going to friend fellow bloggers, I’d rather do so as Alice.  Or the girl behind the curtain, ie the writer behind Alice.

Pay no attention to the writer behind the curtain.

Pay no attention to the writer behind the curtain.

But it’s a tricky thing.  Part of me wants to share with all of you more of me, but the other part gets a little freaked out.  When you blog, it is easier to express stuff, even stuff you wouldn’t normally express, when you are anonymous.  On the other hand, it frees you to express this stuff without accountability.  Should we be held accountable?

Yeah, I’m getting all serious here, and maybe too serious.  Does it matter what we reveal on Facebook, especially if we are careful to keep everything private (by constantly checking to make sure Zuckerberg hasn’t changed the settings AGAIN)?  I’m well aware that most people could get that information about me in other ways, if they really wanted to do so.

I’d love to interact more with blogger friends, because you can get to know people better through other social media such as Facebook.  On the other hand, some things make me uncomfortable. Why does Facebook feel the need to keep suggesting the friends of my friends?  Maybe they don’t want to be suggested as friends, but they don’t have a choice.

Then there is the time issue – do I have time to waste on Facebook what with all my time already being wasted on blogging and silly computer games?  And it’s so easy to lose track of time on a site like that, when really I should be paying attention to my Things and that husband guy occasionally.

So as Sad Pony and Squirrel disappear from Facebook, I ask you some questions.  How close are you with blogger friends?  Do you have many on Facebook or other social media?  Have you ever thought of tossing your Facebook account?  Do you worry about privacy?  I know many people have family on there, but thank goodness, I do not.  So there’s not that tie for me.  If you didn’t have a tie like that, would you still Facebook?

Let me know in the comments below.  And thanks to everybody for playing along.  You guyz are great.

The Facebook Experiment

In case you didn’t know, Sad Pony and Squirrel are now on Facebook.  I thought I would let you know what’s going on with them, Facebook wise.  So here’s some shots I took of the page.  I have deleted any real names to protect the guilty.  Here we go – Sad Pony’s profile page.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Yes, he really does have a facebook page.  What?  I can't keep an eye on them all the time.

Yes, he really does have a facebook page. What? I can’t keep an eye on them all the time.

Next up is Squirrel.  I think he’s going to be the one hardest to keep in line here.  Get ready for the parental controls.

Sure he LOOKS innocent.

Sure he LOOKS innocent.

A few of you  have played along and friended the two.  They are especially excited about finally finding Miss Four Eyes.  Check out some of Squirrel’s recent posts.

Shouldn't have let him have that Latte . . .

Shouldn’t have let him have that Latte . . .

Squirrel has also been taking pictures of himself and uploading them to the site.  I’d better watch out or pretty soon he’ll be on Instagram, posting pics of his nuts.

I don't think the Tai Chi is working out . . .

I don’t think the Tai Chi is working out . . .

No longer desperately seeking Miss Four Eyes

No longer desperately seeking Miss Four Eyes

Of course the two interact together as well, which can get complicated since they have to share the one computer.  Sad Pony has that awkward hoof problem and Squirrel – well, I think you know his issues.  Anyway, here’s a little correspondence between the two.  Note that Sad Pony is a fan of Snoop Dogg and that there really is a band called Tired Pony. (Click to enlarge)

I predict flame wars in the future . . .

I predict flame wars in the future . . .

Deep down Sad Pony loves Squirrel.  Deeeeep down.

Deep down Sad Pony loves Squirrel. Deeeeep down.

Oh and HEY what’s this?  I’m going to have to watch what these two are posting up there.  Not nice, Sad Pony.  I am not evil.  Well, not always.

I get no respect.

I get no respect.

How long will this experiment last?  How long is my attention span?  I have a feeling they’re going to be retiring soon.  I’m feeling some of the same creepiness I felt before.  Like all the friend recommendations.  Yes, even a squirrel and a pony get friend recommendations.  One was for Jethro Gibbs of NCIS – the fictional character, not the actor who plays him on TV.  How ironically perfect.  The others are people I have never heard of, and I kind of doubt they’d want a depressed pony friending them.   I’ve considered randomly trying to friend as many people as possible just to see who would take the bait.  But I don’t know.  Right now Sad Pony is giving me trouble about it.  He’s SUCH a killjoy.

I’ve considered getting another Alice Facebook page.  I had one, ages ago, lost interest and deleted the account in one of those rare acts of “I am not addicted to the Internetz!”  I probably won’t, but I’d be more likely to have one for Alice than another personal one.  I’m not comfortable with that much real info about me out there. I like to pretend there is still privacy.

So what do you guys think?  Do you have a real Facebook page or a page for your blog or both?  What do you think of privacy?  What do you think of animals on the Internet?  I think there are more out there than we realize.  Should Sad Pony and Squirrel keep their accounts even though they aren’t technically old enough – at least in human years?  Anyway, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Facebook Loser or Hipster Douchebag?

It's only a matter of time, really.

It’s only a matter of time, really.

I’ve had a Facebook account for a while.  I didn’t want to get one originally.  It was a school assignment.  No, really.  It was supposed to help me keep up with my classmates while I got my MLS degree.  They seemed to think I wanted to keep up with my classmates.  I did not.  Most of them were okay people, but in general, people just tend to annoy me.  They were no exception.

There was one well-intentioned student who took great joy in announcing everyone’s birthdays.  We were then obligated to all say “Happy Birthday” to this person.  Thirty times.  There’s only so many ways you can say “Happy Birthday” so it gets old after a while.  Since the degree took two years, she did this twice.  The second time she had to wish happy birthday to herself, because no one else bothered to do it but her.

Hey, I was original.

Hey, I was original.

So I had this account, and eventually I gathered new “friends”.  In case you’ve been under a rock, and don’t know about Facebook (can you make room for me under there?) Facebook friends are not the same as real friends.  Oh, they can be just as annoying, yes, but you don’t have to ever see or even really know these friends.  Your “friend” could be the friend of a cousin of a friend of your ex-boyfriend.  But hey – you can boast that you have a lot of friends!

The way you make friends is by sending out a “friend request”.  I remember making friend requests.  This was in elementary school.  I wasn’t a big fan of elementary school, and it wasn’t a big fan of me.  So the idea of asking someone I barely knew to “friend” me (by the way, friend still is not a verb) seemed very second grade.  But of course I did it, because everyone else did it, so maybe Facebook is more like junior high instead.

Not that I'm desperate but . . . BE MY FRIEND!!!!!

Not that I’m desperate but . . . BE MY FRIEND!!!!!

Anyway, as time went by I found other people I had random things in common with, and I joined a couple of “private groups” defined as groups where only invited people, and Mark Zuckerberg and his buds, are allowed to read.  Then a funny thing happened.  One private group branched out into another private group whose purpose seemed to be to talk about the first group.  Attention: You have now officially entered a high school clique.  The acne will sprout anytime now.

People in the first secret group got rather angry at the new double dog secret group.  It was a huge trainwreck, and naturally I read the entire exchange in between glances at Cosmo magazine.  While momentarily entertaining, I figured this might be a signal that I really didn’t need Facebook anymore.  Another signal was when I decided to “hide” someone’s status (Status def:  When people voice their ill-informed and stupid opinions and make you wonder why you ever liked said person.)  Facebook helpfully offered to let me hide the statuses of all friends I didn’t interact with – and this turned out to be almost every single one of them.  Huh.

. . . and then makes you hate them.

. . . and then makes you hate them.

So I took “the plunge” and deactivated my account.  But Facebook is like Hotel California – you can check out any time you like, but Mark is going to keep all your information for all eternity and try to trick you into coming back bwahahahaha.  First, he will show you sad puppy faces of the “friends” who will surely miss you if you leave.  Tough.  Then it will leave your account open for a few weeks, in case you change your mind, or accidentally click on something that leads you back to Facebook.  You’ll never guess what I did.  Yeah, Superbetter is in league with Facebook.  It’s a conspiracy.

Anyway, I was still pretty happy that I had mostly abandoned at least one form of social media addiction.  I’m not patting myself on the back too hard, though, because hello, I’m blogging.  Some like to call it trading one addiction for another.  Also, while I was informed by one article in Psychology Today that the more Facebook friends you have, the bigger loser you are, another article by the illustrious Huffpo told me that if I got rid of my Facebook account I was a hipster douchebag.

Me loser or douchebag?

Me loser or douchebag?

In essence, the Huffpo article says that quitting Facebook is the “in” thing and only done by those annoying people who also quit watching television and eating meat and bathing and act like they are now somehow superior to you for living closer to nature and whatnot.  Honestly, I don’t care about these people as long as they don’t say they are the specialist snowflakes ever and I’m squat.  Am I a hipster because I think Facebook is a waste of time and stupid unless there’s a major trainwreck going on and then it’s kind of funny but I feel like a jerk later for enjoying it?  Am I a douchebag because I don’t spend time relentlessly planting pretend crops and posting about my bowel movements?

What do you think?  Do you have facebook?  Do you want to get rid of it or do you like it?  Are you a loser or a douchebag?  Which is better?  Would you like to go “poke” Mark Zuckerberg for real with something sharp?  Let me know in the comments below.