[OT] Facebook

Jeff Reynolds jeff at siphonophore.com
Tue Oct 2 15:05:37 EDT 2012

security and personal information aside (very important and bad in my book as ell) I find that the vast majority of fb communication to be worthless as true human communication.

I actually was on facebook pretty early on. a couple of clients had wanted to investigate it so i had to get in and play and later manage their accounts. i did not like much of the interaction that was happening, but did not care much as i would find an interested volunteer in each org to take over the upkeep and take over each one.

At the early time i didn't like the amount of info they asked for and vague privacy policy so i signed up as fictitious scifi character with a burner email address. I also did this to see if they could detect faked accounts as well. As i was not communicating or friending i was very under the radar. then late one night facebook emailed they wanted a second email address for security purposes. i was tired and not thinking and used one of my main email addresses for this. Well i woke up the next morning with a few hundred friend requests! they of course used the 'security' email address to mine folks address books to make more connections (many did not realize they were allowing this as well). 

So i thought what the heck I'll just go ahead and give it the full look (this was a couple years back when fb was going ballistic). i instantly had a few hundred friends going all the way back to high school. I would say 75% of the friends were folks that i had a very passing association with and had not communicated with me in any other way in a long time. At first i thought cool, i can catch up some. Well quickly i found that none would really communicate other than 3 word posts at time and when i would email them would get little or nothing back from them. Then the stream of completely inane posts came in, some of which just reminded me of the worst of high school/adolescent behavior (i taught high school for a while so got to revisit this first hand as well). Try as i might to hold any sort of quality communication with this large group of very diverse folks, nothing worked! It amazed me that it was called social media. It was the worst aspects of being social, the most shallow, vane and devoid of any human quality communication.

to end the fb saga and the capper of bad behavior was how i ended up getting booted. everyone pretty quickly figured out my fb persona and knew my quirky side and got it and had a laugh. one of the old high school acquaintances (we ran track together and no real friendship) that had friended me early on kept sending cause requests for a lot of rather extreme causes. He started emailing me to ask why i was not joining his causes. I responded very nicely that my friends are spread across the political spectrum and i learned not to be public with politics much as any cause would piss off a good fraction of my friends. He kept at me and I kept trying to say sorry. He finally sent one message that was pretty angry and then that evening fb busted me for being a potential fake information. Im sure he was the one that turned me in at that point as i had survived several years with the fake id. so it was so ironic that i would be booted by one of the bad behaviors i felt fb was encouraging! 

To boot during this time i actually knew and met a few folks that were only interested in continuing communications if it was only thru facebook, no direct email. Again i found this so stunning. 

The funniest part of all this is im probably one of the most tech of all my wide circle of friends as well as the one who has always tried to keep in touch with folks the most, but im not on fb. I have not found fb to increase my connection to anyone or to have much of anything to do with being social, just the opposite.

I also have a few friends and clients that are big fb cause promoters. They are always touting the likes they have and yet when i ask what have they gotten for action, fund raising, etc out of all this (some invest a lot of money and time into these), they never have anything solid to point to. they all just fall into the argument that they have to be represented here and that its important to have all those likes. it becomes a circular argument.



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