CastleRain

My Online Realm

Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 2)

Dislike

DislikeI still hate Facebook.  Always have and always will.  But I’m forced to use it, so I take advantage of it the best I can.  Many people have made it their only means of communication.

However, do you remember when people talked to each other?  I mean actually called up, or came over and talked about a trip they took or when their child did something special?  Now it’s a low grade picture and a caption shared among certain groups or possibly publicly.  If you’re lucky, you can get a couple of horribly worded paragraphs.

OK and sure you can “like” something.  Or even now we can laugh, be thoughtful, angry, shocked and love something.  Where’s the “fuck you” button, or don’t give two shits button?  I bet they’d get used more than the others.

But here’s where you really find out who gives a shit and who don’t.  People who used to call and tell you I love you, or want to talk about their life, now just wait for attention from everyone to see who wants to give them a like or some pity comment.  Or wait for that praise on how pretty your 5000th selfie is.  Seriously, for some of you beauty is only skin deep.

When a special occasion happens like a birthday, graduation, wedding or a “first” of some sort.  Such as your baby’s first word or step.  Is now a mere photograph or video online reduced in quality for easy loading on grandma’s phone.  No one shares actual high quality photos or videos anymore.  As an example.  I have two kids who are married.  Wedding photos?  Why you can look at them on Facebook!  Low grade, grainy quality, good luck putting them up on the wall and don’t look too closely as they are pixelated from trying to “blow them up” to fit a 5×7 photo frame.  Same thing goes for my grand children.  Can’t get an actual photo to hang up, just have to right click and save from Facebook.  I live a little over 30 minutes away now.  But unless I go and take pictures myself, this is all I get.  Sadly, I generally am not there when something special happens.

Video’s are even harder to deal with.  Your phone may be able to record in High Def or Ultra High Def, but good luck getting Facebook to allow you to download that quality.  Phones generally automatically reduce quality when uploading to social media.  Again, so you can look at it on a portable device quickly.

I remember a few short years ago, I tried share a life event on Facebook.  Mostly because I was very weak and could barely speak cognitively and my mom didn’t know most of the phone numbers needed to contact folks.  I got a lot of angry people telling me finding out on Facebook wasn’t cool.

BadNews

Though I could say the same about finding out a month late that my step daughter was pregnant for the second time.  By chance I was scrolling through old posts of hers.  Which is hard to do when you have to fish for anything worth while among the bat shit crazy list of things I could care less about.  Foamy says it best here:

Unfortunately I catch myself sharing things that I’m sure some of you don’t care about.  Before Facebook, this would’ve never been known that I have such feelings about stuff.  Though I don’t apologize for who I am.  I know I’ve lost a few “friends” because of this.  If you can call Facebook friends real friends.  Some of these people I don’t really know, they just added me to their list or follow me.  Though, I do try to keep things I share to a minimum.

Honestly though, I miss things the way they used to be.  Family gatherings, talking on the phone or in person, and sharing photos and videos in ways that they can be appreciated by showing them off on a wall or full size screen.  Mobile isn’t great for people with fading eyesight.

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Why did you Friend me?

ConfusedIt’s no secret that I’m not that big of a fan of Facebook or any Social Networking for that fact.  However since it is the only way to reach some folks.  As they never check their email or texts.  I’ve conceded to it and managed to find a use for it on a small level.  Like draw your attention to the real internet.  Also, to make you laugh, think, admire my web design skills, advice on your technical gear or wonder when I will take over the world with my army of Flying Monkeys.  Probably all I will ever do with it too.

What I don’t understand is why of the (current count) 61 friends I have, there’s a good handful who never talk to me.  They added me as a Friend, but then have yet to speak one word to me.  Some have added me, then dropped me, then added me again.  I guess they are on the fence about being my friend.  Then there are a couple of individuals who don’t actually talk to me as a friend, but they just advertise their goofy business ventures of things I’d never be interested in.  They would know that if there were truly my friend.  They would know something about me.

Why would you just add me and never speak to me?  Say hello or at least act like you’re my friend.  Can’t say I count some of my Facebook friends as actual Friends.  Some I have refused their request as I just don’t see the point.  Plus, I don’t see the need to have 500 friends who just end up ignoring things I share anyways.  Is there some sort of prize for having huge numbers of people you’ve never met or even spoken too?

As for me, I’ll only add people I actually know as a friend.   Doesn’t mean we’ve ever met face to face, but we’ve built a rapport online or over the phone at the very least.  Plus, I’ll actually make an effort to keep contact with you.  Sure it might be a couple of months between chats, but it’s an effort to maintain some friendship.  Not like I’ll ask you to help me move.  Don’t think I’ll ever ask for anyone’s help to do that again.  Last couple of times has left me feeling guilty.  Sadly this last time wasn’t my fault, yet I feel like I’ve been a bad person for having to have done it.

Finally, if you don’t have time for me ever, don’t bother with me.  That’s just rude.  Adding me as a friend and then never speak to me.  Or perhaps talk to me once saying we should get together sometime and then never follow up on it.  If I have to wait for that kind of nonsense, this is what will happen.

My Tombstone

So if you’re going to be my friend, put a little effort into it.  I’m not asking for too much.  Just a note or message every couple of months.  Otherwise if all I am is someone you knew or have no time for.  Leave me be.  It’s much lonelier to be alone surrounded by people who don’t care.  I’d rather be involved with those who do.

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Beer Good! Napster Bad!

Not that I like beer.  To me it smells like old rotting pizza dough in the dumpster during a hot summer day.  Can’t stand the smell of it, certainly don’t want a liquified version of it in my mouth.  {turns head and vomits}  Though I do remember when the internet was awesome and fun.  Before the self absorbed twats taking selfies.  Before “planking” was cool…  How the hell did that get cool?  Must the what happens when you let mindless morons collaborate on social media sites.  Or perhaps it’s the sheep effect.  One moron does it, so the rest follow suit.  Oh wait, that would be the misconception of Lemmings.  (Which is an awesome old game you can play.)  Although proof of concept, humans tend to be more like Lemmings than Lemmings themselves by their nature to “follow what everyone else is doing”.  Hence the popularity of the aforementioned activities, as well as Facebook and Twat.. er Twitter.

However, before there was Twitter (July 2006).  Before the soul sucking Facebook (February 2004).  Even before MySpace (May 2000)… There were talented people all over the internet who ran their own websites and did wonderful things like flash animated cartoons.  Joe Cartoon, Camp Chaos and more!  Back in the days when Napster was an evil file sharing site and not the legit music site that merged with Rhapsody in 2011.

Here is one of my personal favorites from the Golden Age of Internet: Napster Bad!

It’s just fun running around growling Beer Good!  Napster Bad!  You can see more old Camp Chaos!

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30 Days with my Windows Phone 8

I Miss ChaseFirstly, I can’t put blame on the phone itself for the initial trials I had to withstand activating service on my new phone.  I blame AT&T for being boneheads.

I wanted to transfer my existing phone number to my new phone, but there’s no way to do it online and the first customer rep just dumped me on an automated activation system.  That got me pissed.  So I fought with the computer until I got a human who was willing to try.  She got me a temporary number and of course got my money.  Then came time to transfer the number.  I was calling on my office phone, which meant I still had my old phone working and my new phone with a temporary number.  Three phones at my disposal for use, but she kept fussing about my office phone not being loud enough.  She could’ve called me back on one of the other phones so we could continue that way, but instead she just kept bitching about not being able to hear me.  So, after 20 minutes of futility, I gave up and said I’d just keep my new number.  Not sure how long it will last, as the account she setup for me doesn’t have my name on it.  But I guess as long as the payments go through, it should work.

So yeah, AT&T are boneheads.

Now on to reviewing the phone itself!

Apps – Functionality & Availability

I’ve had the phone for 30 days now and contrary to what others have told me, I am finding that I get plenty of satisfaction from my Windows Phone 8 Apps.  Sure I’m still missing a small handful that I’d really like to have, but I have faith they are coming soon.  Although, Microsoft isn’t scouring the app store strongly enough.  There are a good handful of apps I’ve found that serve little to no purpose or cause users issues.  Still it’s not nearly as run away as the Android store is.  You can find all sorts of apps laden with malware and poor coding.  While I’d like to say the Apple Store is crap free, it’s not either.  Some of the apps I found when I owned a MacBook Pro that were complete crap as well.

A side note about an app that is going away.  MetroTalk: I was going to use it for Google Voice.  Google doesn’t have but one official app for Windows Phone 8 and that’s just for search.  Not for Gmail, not for Google Voice, or maps, or any of their other products.  It’s not that they can’t, they just don’t.  However, it’s not necessary to use an app to receive Google Voice calls or voicemails.  Only to make out going calls using your Google Voice number.  I can do that from the Google Voice website.  So it’s only a few extra, not too painful steps.  I’m so glad I didn’t buy the MetroTalk app.  It handles Google Voice, but after I installed the trial version, it informed me that as of May 1, it was going away due to a request by Google.  So it kind of sucks that Google is not providing software but also not allowing it by someone else.  This makes me a bit annoyed at the third party developer now.  As they are still trying to sell an app that will be useless soon.  That seems a bit underhanded in my opinion.

Photo Gallery

This thing integrates your cameras pictures with your Facebook photos along with all your friends Facebook photos.  You an view, share, like and comment directly on photos right from your photo gallery.  It is very handy and super easy to navigate.

Live Tiles (Metro)

As I said on Facebook when I posted about Windows XP going away:

Metro can kiss my ass. It’s brilliant on my Windows 8 Phone, but has no place on a desktop or laptop PC. Especially in a work environment. Should only be on tablets and phones.

Start Live TilesAnd that is very true.  Metro as far as I’m concerned should’ve never been part of the desktop OS.  But on Tablets and the Windows Phone 8?  It’s flippin’ brilliant!  They keep me informed and I can arrange them any way I see fit at any given time.

On my desktop, I don’t have a touchscreen.  I don’t want one, as I wouldn’t want to reach over my desk to touch the screen that I yell at others for putting fingerprints all over on it.  I don’t want that in my desktop or laptop computer.  I prefer a mouse.  Millions of other dissatisfied Windows 8 desktop and laptop customers agree with me completely.  I’ve lost count on how many people I’ve turned on to Classic Shell to bypass Metro and get back to a working computer.

But hell yes, I love the tiles on my mobile and would love it on a tablet.  If Microsoft would just get that through their pointy heads.  Keep the two separate.  Let me multitask in “windows”.  You know those things you can have 50 open and all over your screen?  Yeah those, they make life productive and gee, seems that’s how the OS got it’s name in the first place.

People and Groups

One of the best features is that when you put in all your accounts for example: Windows Live, Google, Facebook, Skype and Twitter.  The phone then combines them all under People.  From there you can see all your friends and family’s updates, it pulls in pictures to your Photos area.  You can post updates to all your social networks from one simple place.  You can create groups and then text, message, email and share on all the different methods you’ve added.  It’s a very handy way to keep certain groups of people in the know and they can share back with you.  You can even do it with the various calendars (i.e. Google, Live, etc..) and everyone can keep track of all events and gatherings.

Social Networking

For all you social networking and text junkies, you just can’t deny Windows Phone 8 is a great social tool. It combines your SMS and Facebook in the message center you use for texting. You can set your online availability, message and view who’s where.  Plus as mentioned already, you get a constant feed in your photos of things on Facebook as well.  You can comment and share without having to log into the Facebook app.  One interface and you can post to all your social networks at once.  No need to open the various apps.

Not just status updates but faster at taking and sharing photos as well.

Office  Mobile and OneNote

OneNoteHaving these included, make my phone incredibly useful.  No more specialized or purchased apps to handle my financial files or keep track of my medications.  I can quickly make a note to remember things later and no more need for forgetting my shopping list as it’s on my phone with me.  Also handy for when I think of something but may forget to write it down.  Just open the phone and pop it on my list.

What makes it even handier, is that MS Office file formats are much more common than Open Document Format.  This way I can keep things in MS file formats and not have to remember to convert files from one to another if I want to share the files for whatever reason.

Turns out I’m more of a Microsoft fan than I had realized before.  I’m a PC, even on my phone 😉

There’s a rant for another day.  The whole “I’m a PC”, “I’m a Mac” thing.  PC stands for personal computer regardless of the operating system software on it.  Therefore, everyone is a PC unless they don’t have one.  So take that you Mac bastards!!  😈

Overall

The phone is still very zippy quick and incredibly comfortable to use.  Hope it stays that way.  I think Microsoft did it right this time.  Just need some developers to jump on board.  While Android still runs about 80% of the market, perhaps Windows can put the squeeze on iPhone.

Need to find useful and good Windows Phone 8 Apps?  Click this link and you can see the ones I’m currently using and am happy with.  (List may change on occasion.)

Point of Interest: I haven’t had to reboot this phone once since I did my last write up.

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Public Service Announcement

OGODHELPMEIt’s often said in these modern times, “Common sense is so rare, it should be considered a super power!”.  I would have to agree.  People just don’t think before they act.  Once in a while I’m guilty of this, but usually only when pushed really hard.  I’m so surprised that people never think when they use a phone to call someone else, they automatically assume that the person on the other end knows everything going on in the customers home.  So this means the caller can leave out all the important details.

You can’t call a mechanic and tell them about a noise your car is making without telling them what kind of car you own.  You can’t ask a doctors advice when you can’t tell them the symptoms.  You can’t call support without telling us what it is you’re having trouble with.  If your only answer is “I don’t know.”, then we don’t know how to help you.  It’s that simple.

It doesn’t matter if you bought the item, or if it was given to you.  If you own it, you should know the very basics as to what brand it is and be able to read simple things like the model number printed on it.  You should have noticed in the months or years of using it, what are the particulars of it.  Such as an email program.  You should’ve seen the name of it by now.  Either under the icon or at the top of the window when it’s open.

Example being, if you own a computer, you should be able to tell me the following:  (None of this information is “technical”.  It’s easily found on the body, on a sticker or on your screen.  This is called reading, and reading is fundamental.)

  • Brand (HP, Dell, Acer, etc…)
  • Model (2200, XPS 8700, etc…)
  • Software frequently used (Windows 7, Internet Explorer 11, etc…)

Any “technical” information I need, such as processor, ram, hard drive, and so on.  I will help you locate it or look it up once I get the information above.  See how those few, easy to find things can help us?

There are only three things I ask, or any other tech person would ask of any one person when they call:

  1. Know what you own.
  2. Read to me exactly.
  3. Listen to me.

I’ve covered this before in fairly good detail.  If all you’re going to do is assume I know, argue with me when I ask and then get overly sensitive and act like a child, I’m at a complete loss.  No one can help you.  Hire someone to come to your house and do it for you.  We don’t offer that service.  If you want free help over the phone, you’re going to have to participate a little.

In a recent case.  A customer insisted that we gave them the equipment.  After many calls and much frustration, it turned out that an ex-employee gave them a piece of equipment, programmed it, and set it up for them.  None of it was documented anywhere.  The equipment was something we had never carried in stock for sale.  None of the current staff had any familiarity with this equipment.  Though being the person I am, I explained this carefully and offered to reprogram it free of charge.  All they had to do was bring it to a service location.  This was not a good enough offer.  Instead they chose to cancel service and then post their dissatisfaction on our company Facebook page like a 12 year old having a drama fit.

The major complaint was that I laughed at them during a call.  And that I was condescending to them because I insisted they tell me what they owned in order to be able to help them.  When in all actuality, the absurdity of them arguing with me.  Arguing about how I should know what they own and that they should not have to do anything to help me help them.  I’ve never been to their home, I’ve never seen their equipment and I have no way of knowing if they bought anything new.  It was too much for me to take at one point, and I chuckled.  It was not an all out laugh.  Sure I feel a tiny bit sorry about that.  However when they blasted our Facebook page with accusations of making fun of them, taking them seriously became very difficult.  We all know I don’t like Facebook.  This just proves it is not a good customer tool.  If they wanted an apology, they should’ve called my supervisor and I would’ve said I’m sorry for it and perhaps been disciplined.  You cry like a little kid in a shopping mall and the only thing that will happen is no one will want to listen to you.  I have a severe disdain for overly sensitive people anyways.

If you really want good service when you call, consider these following things:

  1. Make note of the exact error you are receiving, and repeat it exactly when prompted.
  2. If your frustration level is high, please take a break and calm yourself before calling Tech Support.
  3. Do not fuss and curse at the technician.
  4. Do not call Tech Support when you’ve been drinking or under the influence of other mind altering substances!
  5. Have your computer on, be in front of it as well as ensure you have the proper time to work on it.
  6. Please do not start your call with “I’m computer illiterate”!
  7. Please do not throw your “title” at us, or job qualifications.  (or tell us how long you’ve been a customer)
  8. Listen to Tech Support carefully, and do not click or press keys unless told to do so.
  9. Be honest with your Tech Support Personnel, inform them of any and all changes you have made recently.
  10. Remove any or all distractions before calling Tech Support.

Just sayin’

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Email vs Facebook

How much of a difference is there really between what people used to do (and still do) with email before the invention of social networks like Facebook, and what people do now with Facebook.  I’ve been using Facebook now for nearly four months now.  I’ve started noticing a lot of similarities between what email was and Facebook now is.

Back in the day, email was the thing and people got angry if they couldn’t get to their emails.  I should know, as I’m the guy who took the calls when customers had issues.  However, if they couldn’t get their daily fix of whatever content they were looking for, they got hostile.

Not a lot has changed really only the method.  Now I don’t take so many calls for email as I do for Facebook.  If a customer’s internet is down, they don’t really even notice it, but if they can’t get to Facebook because of it, they get down right nasty about it.  It’s their world.  They cannot live without it.

As someone who has relented to using social media, all I see is the same regurgitated crap I’ve already seen in mass forwarded emails years ago.  The only real difference is instead of sharing a bunch of email addresses of people I don’t really know, is that now it’s all shared with people I don’t know but have on some list.

* With the exception of relatives in either method.

Back when folks used email to keep in touch, they would send the following items:  (including but not limited too)

  • Pictures
  • Touching messages or images of spiritual and non spiritual of hope
  • Videos and Video Clips
  • Links to websites
  • Links to great shopping deals they’ve found
  • Long diatribes of a bad experience they’ve had
  • Information about places they have visited
  • Warnings about viruses and scams that never existed
  • Warnings about viruses and scams that do exist
  • Protests to stop abuse of one form or another
  • Chain emails
  • Information about online games such as Pogo and the like

The list goes on and on.

Now when I log on to Facebook, I see: (including but not limited too)

  • Pictures
  • Touching messages or images of spiritual and non spiritual of hope
  • Videos and Video Clips
  • Links to websites
  • Links to great shopping deals they’ve found
  • Long diatribes of a bad experience they’ve had
  • Information about places they have visited or are currently at
  • Warnings about viruses and scams that never existed
  • Warnings about viruses and scams that do exist
  • Protests to stop abuse of one form or another
  • Shared posts that insist you share them further (Chain Shares?)
  • A bazillion and one posts about people on your list who did something nearly useless in a game such as Mafia Wars, Farmville, etc.. (that list is friggin endless!)

That list goes on and on.  And on… And on…  {eyes are beginning to bleed}

Ironic huh?  Different methods but essentially it’s the same thing it has always been.  At least from my point of view it is.

Honestly I don’t really see the big fuss about social networks/media.  Then again, I’m just not into having 400 people be my “friend” especially when I have no earthly clue who they are.  But that’s me.  I’ve never been one to want a lot of friends.  I’m more comfortable with a close circle of real honest to goodness friends and of course my family.

But that’s me.

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Internet Crusades and their Crusaders

I can only imagine that someday ads will be forcefully beamed directly into our brains like they show in the cartoon Futurama.  You can’t escape ads for products and information no matter where you turn your head or hear just about every moment of everyday.  Through radio, billboards, print, T.V., internet banners and so much more.  It’s terribly difficult to escape it.  Sometimes these ads are for raising awareness of problems in the world at large.

Since I have actually joined these social networks (as much as I was reluctant to do so), I’ve noticed something.  That these are mainly places for people to share, reshare, retweet, repost, over and over and over again; images, messages and blurbs that they think will raise awareness to stop hatred, homophobia, neglect, abuse, racism, global warming, obama care, hunger, obesity, pedophilia, war, disease, illiteracy, immigration, poverty, piracy, violence, slavery and more.  It’s as if they are on some sort of crusade to help the world.  The same things I’ve heard and seen about since I was a kid in school.  I’m also pretty sure that all these people have seen and heard this stuff too.  These have been issues for years and years.  So, I can’t imagine anyone over the age of 20 who isn’t already aware of the worlds problems.

Which makes me wonder why people feel the need to constantly post and repost the same things over and over.  Everyone I know, knows about these issues, and have for a long time.  Does it really help?  Does a person who is guilty of a hate crime, or abuse or homophobia or whatever issue, see these posts and suddenly realize the errors of their ways?  Somehow I sincerely doubt it.  I don’t see a bully suddenly seeing he or she has been saved.  Or that they need to seek out help.  More off, I see him or her making a new target because they got annoyed with the post.

As it is, I don’t have huge friends lists on any of these social networks, as I don’t see the purpose of adding every Tom, Dick and Harry just so I can claim to have 2000 friends.   Which means I know most of these people for real.  I don’t recall having conversations with them on the phone or in person about these things.  Well, maybe piracy as I work for an ISP, so it’s a common topic of which my life is a part of.  Most all of them are like me, and have rent to pay and food to put on the table.  Or in some cases, what to wear to school the next day or what person to fall in love with.  None of the people that I know, are in any real position to stop hunger, or to shutdown piracy, or keep someone from being abused.  We have far more important real life issues we need to concern ourselves with.

So when these “crusaders” push that share button, does it somehow save someone?  Or does it just make themselves feel better by letting others know that all these issues they are somehow concerned with.  Perhaps it does.  It doesn’t do it for me.  If I wanted to feel better about stopping something wrong, I would want to take a larger part in helping for real.  Not by clicking a share button with my mouse and then continue watching the latest fail series of videos on YouTube.

Because if all I’m going to see on Google+, Facebook and Twitter is ads to stop every issue in the planet… Then why would I want to bother using them?  From my point of view, it’s just more ads.  The only difference is, the people posting them aren’t making any money for them.

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Majority Rules…

I give up, I concede.  I have finally succumb to using Social Networking.  As much as I’d rather not, it seems that I really have little choice if I ever want to keep in contact with folks on the net.  Even though I’ve tried over and over and over and over and over again to get folks to recognize me as I am, they simply refuse and insist that Social Networking is the ONLY way.  I guess there is no point in fighting it anymore.

Of course, because I have an unusual first name, immediately my new account gets flagged for being fraudulent.  So, that made the first experience even more painful.  As I had to submit identification to them and wait…  {sigh}  Off to a great start…  Actually this is my second attempt at Facebook.

Even threw Twitter in the mix for the hell of it.  No idea if or what that will do for me.  But hey, if Ray William Johnson can do it, I can too!

With any luck, I can start meeting new folks in my new town as well as add to my online friends and family.

OMG, what the hell is happening to me?!?! First a Mac, now Facebook and Twitter…  What will happen next!

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My Thoughts on Google Plus

It’s not a secret in the least that I generally can’t stand following the crowd like a mindless lemming.  So it’s no real surprise that I ended up loathing MySpace when it had it’s day.  It was like a clone war of hideous layouts.  Sure your screaming pink and green with purple text is colorful, but damn near impossible to read and still, the layout of content is identical to everyone else.  Not to mention the horrific amount of embeds that would make even the fastest internet connection groan.  The competition to see who had the most “friends”.  Does anyone really know these people?  Probably not, and apparently my definition of a friend certainly differs from other people, if all you have to do is accept a friend request from a stranger you’ve never met or gotten to even genuinely talk too.  I tried it for about a week before I couldn’t take the stomach pains of how god awful it was.

Then came Facebook.  It grew in popularity overnight it seemed but I still was skeptical of it.  It has generally the same basic principals as MySpace, though it certainly looked better.  But…. It looked so cookie cutter the same from profile to profile.  No color changes, no real customizations to give any user individuality.  Other than it seemed to be the “in thing”.  As people around me who had Facebook profiles, started having attitudes that would make others who didn’t have Facebook feel as if they were somehow a lesser grade of person.  “You don’t have Facebook?!?!?”, and then turn away as if the non-Facebook person had Leprosy or something.  Again, I tried it for about a week before wanting to commit bodily harm to the creator to have zombified the general public.  Good thing I can create and delete all the email addresses I like, or I would’ve never been released from the Facebook clutch.  As a technological geek, I can’t figure out how it got so popular.  The hundreds of people I meet can’t figure out how to do simple things with their computers, but they figured out how to operate Facebook.  Though it is a belief of mine, it’s how interested in what you are doing that makes the difference.  Loads of people apparently don’t care how to operate their computers, they just want them to work without having to take the effort to learn.  God forbid they take that attitude about driving…  Oh wait…  They do…  But that’s a different rant for a different day.

Then flew in Twitter.  One hundred forty characters to tell the world… “What are you doing now?”.  It’s amazing how much information people will try to divulge in so few characters.  Even more amazing that they think anyone would really care about the majority of the nonsense they spew, secrets they spill or what-have-you.  It certainly has helped hinder any form of proper language skills.  It’s hard to write how good or bad your day was in such a short space.  Good thing I have no limits here 🙂  Though, I shot the bird and moved on again back to my blog.

Now here comes Google Plus (Google+).  Well…  I tried it.  It’s been 3 weeks now.  I haven’t hated it.  Though, again everyone’s profile looks the same.  The layout isn’t god awful, it’s actually quite brilliant.  Stupidly easy to learn and already utilizes the tools I’m using anyways.  Such as Gmail and Picasa (web version).  I don’t have to have 3000 friends, I actually have a Circle listed as “No Idea”.  With only my real friends listed in “Friends”, and I have circles for “Famous people I’d like to meet” and “People I’d like to meet” for folks whose profiles interest me.

Granted, I know I don’t use it as it was intended.  I don’t blog there.  It does allow me to post my blogs there via links 🙂  This makes me happy.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll make more genuine friends this way.  Maybe not, but it’s certainly the first social network that doesn’t suck as far as I can see.  Then again, I’m obviously no Social Network guru or junkie like most.  I’m OK with that.   And Google Plus is OK with me.

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Lies!! It’s all Lies!!

PinocchioTeenagers are a peculiar bunch.  But when can you believe them?  I’ve had to deal with two teenage daughters in my life.  Even though you tell them everything you can in hopes to make them unique, outgoing and safe, even using content intended to scare them from doing wrong….  It’s like it goes in one ear, then processes into an audible answer that you want to hear, then when the opportunity presents itself, they do the exact opposite.  It’s almost as if they never heard your warnings.  Yet were capable of telling you that they did.

My case-in-point being my youngest.  Who for lack of better terminology, simply stabbed daggers right through my heart over a brand new “smart” phone her sister bought her.  Nearly the exact same thing her older sister did to me a few years ago.

I thought I had taught them to avoid internet predators.  How, not to do everything their friends did as it would likely end badly.  How to keep personal information sacred when using the world wide web so they can avoid identity theft and stalkers.  How social networking sites are not good for young children to use.

And they agreed with me, or so they told me they did.  Then I found the older one maintained a MySpace from anywhere she could because we blocked it at home.  Even though I gave her a hard worked, home made website she could do all the same things on but I could ensure the security of her data.  That didn’t matter, because her friends did it, she had to do it too.

This weekend, the youngest followed in her older sisters footsteps almost exactly.  I warned her of the dangers of the internet and skillfully crafted her a very nice website that she even stood over me and helped me design.  We talked at great length about how MySpace and Facebook were just sink-holes of societal lemmings all trying to “be cool“.  That her personal information can be taken even if she locks it down.

She’d even then make comments about her mom using Facebook because the family did.  But how she loved her website I made her.  She’d even do stories similar to ones I’ve written.

It was all lies.  Why would I ever even think I’ve gotten through to a teenager.

So her sister got her a phone, and it has Facebook and all that on it.  Immediately, “Mom? Can I have a Facebook?”.

I was speechless.  Hurt to say the least.  Why do I bother?  She never appreciated it.  She can do everything on her website that she can do on Facebook.  Without the worry of identity theft or that mess.  Post and share pictures.  Put all of her wonderful writings on it (oddly she never has and she’s a damn good writer).  Write her heart out if she likes.  But oh no, she’s gotta do it on Facebook because that’s what everyone else does.  Why bother being unique when you can be another lemming?

I guess it’s millions of people really.  They all do it.  They did it on Geocities back in the 90’s, MySpace 5 years ago and Facebook now.  Nothing like being apart of a fad rather than being your own person with your own look and style.

I’ll still fight the masses.  I refuse to be dominated by some corporate child or any of his future successors.  Facebook won’t last forever.  The internet most likely will remain long after they are dead and gone.

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