Monday, February 8, 2016

Losing Face on Facebook

I have talked a number of times on this blog about my love/hate relationship with Facebook. It's numerous proponents are constantly reminding me of all it's virtues, so most of the time, I make  continuing promises to myself to become more Facebook involved?

Wouldn't we all admit how impressive it was that Mark Zuckerberg went from being a little Harvard hacker to a multi-billionaire?  Just imagine if any of us would of had the foresight to hack/steal student pictures off of a college server for the purpose of deciding  who's hot and who's not...and act on it in a way that would make us rich, rich, rich....

On the event of FB's 12th birthday, I was reading a little about FB's history and it was talking about Facemash, (Facebook's predecessor) with a couple of Zuckerberg's blog entries.

Facemash, the Facebook’s predecessor, opened on October 28, 2003. Initially, the website was invented by a Harvard student, Mark Zuckerberg, and three of his classmates – Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz. Zuckerberg wrote the software for the Facemash website when he was in his second year of college. The website was set up as a type of “hot or not” game for Harvard students. The website allowed visitors to compare two student pictures side-by-side and let them choose who was “hot” and who was “not”.....
That night, Mark Zuckerberg wrote the following blog entries:

I'm a little intoxicated, not gonna lie. So what if it's not even 10 pm and it's a Tuesday night? What? The Kirkland dormitory facebook is open on my desktop and some of these people have pretty horrendous Facebook pics. I almost want to put some of these faces next to pictures of some farm animals and have people vote on which is more attractive.
— 2:49 pm
Yea, it's on. I'm not exactly sure how the farm animals are going to fit into this whole thing (you can't really ever be sure with farm animals...)

Zuckerberg missed the mark by not including farm aninals Mark, didn't get the farm animal component to pay off but perhaps it was due to the fact he was intoxicated when he had his flash of brilliance.  I am sure if he would of pursued the idea once sobriety came into play, he could of turned that into piles of cash as well.

Because today I choose to be a "glass half full" kind of girl, instead of telling you how Facebook is stealing our loved ones and turning them into distracted, preoccupied automatons unable to communicate in anyway that doesn't provide a LIKE button, I  am going to provide valuable information to insure your Facebook friends stick to your page like glue.

I ran across an article this week aptly named The 3 Facebook Posts That Will Get You Unfriended

Christopher Sibona PhD., a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver, has studied the reasons why people unfriend their Facebook friends. According to the doc there are three top that the top reasons and three sub-reasons. (He refers to those three as subcategories.)  I guess the doctor has trouble counting to 6. 

1) Polarizing posts about politics and religion.
2) Inappropriate posts with sexist and/or racist remarks.
3) Banal topics.
a.  Things that are purposefully vague. (It's been one of those days!)
b. The humble brag.  (I got accepted to both Harvard and Yale, making the decision is brutal.)
c. The unfriendly warning.  (Posting a comment on FB why you are going to unfriend someone.)

OK..the first two are kind of self-explanatory, I guess.  Although as with all things randomly typed without any preliminary thinking involved,  what one person deems as non-polarizing or non-offensive isn't necessarily viewed that way by the reader.  I think it's safe to say that a lot of people are offended by a lot of things.  (OH NO! Did I just offend a lot of you people that are easily offended.)

This isn't breaking the
doctor's rules, right?
The third item really caught my attention.  Banal topics.  There are a number of questions that I ask the good doctor.

  • Who uses the word BANAL?  (guess we have to exclude Dr. Sibona)
  • What constitutes being BANAL?
  • Isn't 99 percent of everything on Facebook banal?
  • Who is the judge of what is banal and what is interesting?

As for the 3 subcategories...Dr. Sibona seems to be a tad fussy.  I plan on finding his Facebook page and peppering it with banal comments laced with purposely vague updates. 

Personally,  I am fairly convinced that most Facebook users use Facebook  as a place to become immersed in knowledge, find interesting and enlightened documentary or seeking true wisdom beyond their understanding.  Who is to say that pictures of me standing in the line at Kansas City Joe's BBQ isn't absolutely  fascinating to everyone that reads my Facebook page.

Let's not diminish the importance of where I dine.

Zuckerberg thought it would be of interest to have people vote "who is hot and who is not".   Nothing offensive about that....unless you were the poor slob that was "not hot" then maybe it would of stung a bit.  BUT perhaps,  Dr.
Sibona didn't poll Zuckerberg while researching potential reasons to "unfriend" friends.

So, let's see if I understand the rules. On the outside chance, I improve my frequency on FB, I should be prepared.   I shouldn't be polarizing, talk about religion or politics, anything that could be sexist or racist unless it is directed at farm animals, and I shouldn't be trite or boring. Additionally, I shouldn't be vague, I need to be mindful not to brag or you may be forced to warn me of my potential "unfriending".  

Sounds like a lot of pressure to me.  

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