Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Facebook Rant

[EXPLICIT] This post includes explicit language. I was in a Mood.

Mom's Scoping the Business
Mom's Scoping the Business
Uploaded by toastfloats
I am not a great fan of Facebook. Its user interface lacks elegance, and Zuckerberg's machiavellian approach to privacy is profoundly annoying. It is, however, the AOL of its time. All the people we want to know, all the people with whom we are interact, they live on Facebook. We are, in a word, stuck.

Stuck with the fat ads. Those assholes. I have never in my life clicked an ad for botox, a fad diet, or magical ways to get rid of belly fat. Nevertheless, the pricks that wrote the algorithm on Facebook insist that because I am a woman of a certain age with children, these are my Must See adverts. I imagine a pimply faced, sun-deprived graduate of the Stanford comp sci department sitting in a cubicle in Silicon Valley tweaking the selection algorithm to prioritize diet ads above every other possible option for all self-avowed females who also admit that they eat. I have down-voted these ads countless times. In vain, I once attempted to up-vote a series of "Have Sex with this Russian Beauty" ads that somehow slipped through Facebook's no-porn policy. I figure if I'm having sex with Russian beauties with enormous tits, I am clearly comfortable with my extra tonnage and don't need any further assistance. My next foray will be to up-vote anything having to do with a penis. Penile implant surgery on my non-existent manly appendage would be vastly more appealing to me than a magically surprising way involving eggs and a tire to resize the waistline.

Stuck with the crazy as chick who I vaguely remember from high school who posts semi-nude photos of herself, the one probably also clicking those belly fat ads. How the hell do these make it into my feed, anyway? I mean, yeah… at one point I was stupid enough to agree to join the group devoted exclusively to my fellow high school alumni. I was a problem child. As I had zero social life in high school, loathed most of those people at the time, and abandoned my hometown with no regrets nearly 20 years ago never to return, I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking. I just spent the last 5 years utterly sabotaging the usual geek's revenge of owning the companies where my former class mates work as well as sporting a better hair cut, gorgeous eye candy husband, and fantastically higher standard of income. I suspect that no one 'back home' is going to be impressed with the fact that DrC and I dropped out as it rings eerily familiar to so many of them. I have no interest in their lives or their children, and I am utterly convinced that the feeling is profoundly mutual. So I unsubscribed or declicked or unchecked or something which was another completely pointless exercise. Once a relationship lives on Facebook it is like a stain on a white fiberglass boat deck and remains forever to remind you of the error of your ways. 

Stuck with requests to take this or that poll, join this or that cause, or participate in this or that quiz. I believe that Facebook proves we are all monkeys banging away at the keyboard attempting to produce Shakespeare and instead generating enough demographic data to keep a football stadium full of marketing executives cumming in their boots till they all pass out in brand awareness nirvana. What these clicks do not do is make a damn bit of difference in the greater scheme of things. There are ways that social media is a force for change. Facebook is not a participant in any of them. 

That Steep, Really...
That Steep, Really...
Uploaded by toastfloats
I think the only thing more annoying than a Facebook friend who plays Farmville, participates in every poll, and feels compelled to Share every link in their feed, is a relative who insists that Facebook is the anti-christ, refuses to check their pages, and then whines that they have no idea what's going on in your life because you "don't write any more." Wake up and smell the bits, people. The letter is dead. Frankly, so is the phone. If you want to know what I had for lunch, by all means look it up. I have absolutely no privacy any more, but don't expect me to spoon feed you. This is a pull economy. If you want it, pull it down; I will never send it to you again. You should be thanking me for not filling your life with a monthly, landfill-worthy missive detailing the size of the growth on my nose and the length of the seaweed on Don Quixote's transom. It is so much easier to avoid my drivel now than it ever was before. Just get Facebook to stop displaying it. Oh wait… good luck with that.

Techies know Facebook is crap, hate the cascading absurdity of Facebook's privacy setting changes, and would like to put a gun to head of every Zynga developer and executive while forcibly requiring them to grow strawberries on a real farm surrounded in singing and dancing middle school students dressed as badly drawn mange characters. Nevertheless, it is foolish for us to believe it is going to go away or that we can convince our family and friends of the superiority of any other social network. What we need is time. In the list of great where are they now social sites, we have Orbit, LiveJournal, AOL, and -- perhaps most memorably -- MySpace whose decline and fall signals in my opinion one of the greater triumphs of form and function over sheer numeric dominance. Like Rome, the British Empire, and American Hegemony, Facebook will ultimately fail to be replaced by something even yet more inane and intrusive. 

As long as it includes a heads up display and lets me down vote the bitch who cut me off on the highway this morning, I'll be there.

13 comments:

brains said...

If you set your profile to single and male, you'll get tons of escort and penis-related advertisements.

Anonymous said...

Toast,

Well, you got me to comment, I try to make that difficult.


Well done.

Steve

jomamma said...

Girl you are telling my story here, but you didn't quiet use the profane language I would have used. I think I have made it clear to all those in the School District that I work for, that I WILL NOT BE YOUR FRIEND...EVER!!Hell, I don't really like working with you. I also refuse 'friendship' with relatives, who gives a shit if your annoying little brat finally pooped in the potty. Good Lord it's about time, he's 7 years old!!!

It really pisses me off when the ads read that whatever unbelievable weight loss or tooth whitening break through has happened to someone in my home town. Bull Shit!!!! Do they think we are ALL that stupid? I live with these fat snaggle toothed bastards, I know what they look like. Besides, I'm one of very few women my age that still wears a size 8 and can pull off wearing clothes that my 29 year old tries to smuggle out of my house. WTF... they DO NOT know me! I am only here to keep up with that wayward 29year old Mr. Mark Zuckerwhatever.
Any 'friend' who posts whatever game they are playing will be 'unfriended' get a life, go outside and play a game, let the stink blow off ya!

Rant over, thanks! I needed that.

hbunny said...

Why are you staying in an abusive relationship? Close your account. You have the balls to leave the country and sail across the Pacific but can't find a way to go Facebook-free? "Dr. It hurts when I do this."

...so stop doing that.

Pat said...

I'm siding with hbunny on this. If you hate it that much, why use it?
"All the people we want to know, all the people with whom we are interact, they live on Facebook." Really? I find that hard to believe coming from someone with a life like yours. And, if I remember correctly, you yourself played Farmville to the great annoyance of some.

Diane, Evan and Maia said...

Well said. I'll join Facebook when there is a compelling reason to. So far I haven't got one.

Evan

Bobbie Jo said...

I actually enjoy your rants!

islandwonder said...

Maybe Google Circles will take off. Unlikely but I am hoping.

Jim said...

You need to go watch the video of this talk by Teresa Valdez Klein at Seattle Ignite earlier in 2011. Talks about the social conditioning of Facebook ads... and how to mess with it.

Nice little five-minute talk, I was in the audience. You'l enjoy.

http://www.igniteseattle.com/2011/07/the-art-of-subvertising-on-facebook-teresa-valdez-klein-tetesagehen/

Winkyboy said...

Look these up: FIRST, AdBlock. If you're using Chrome, or at least Firefox, it's a plugin in their app stores. Install, and viola - ad-free surfing. I haven't been bothered by ads on Facebook in so long, they look weird when I use someone else's computer and see them.

Second, Social Fixer. Another plugin. If you must use Facebook (sigh; I do, too...), this can do all sorts of amazing things, including auto-hide lame app notifications from your friends.

Third, Google Plus... would be at least better than Facebook. It's easy to switch, just not so easy to get everyone ELSE to switch. However, keep your eye out for Diaspora - joindiaspora.com is its URL, but it's still in "alpha" phase so not everyone can get in. It's essentially Facebook that is owned by NO ONE and hosted by NO ONE.

Toast said...

Yeah, Pat, there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker. *sigh* I'm a reformed farmer. But with my lifestyle, trust me most of the people I know are on FB. I have clients who don't check their email but routinely send me FB mail. *shudder* And as I said before... children are a factor. Both as a protective, stalker style parent and as a loving supporting one, I have to at least be present in their FB moment.

Toast said...

@Winkyboy Thanks for all the great tips! I am on Google+ BTW. I've made the startling leap on that one to to only add people I actually know and enjoy to my circles. It's both much quieter and infinitely more interesting. My children are NOT there ;)

NatGeoWannaBe said...

HA! Now I'm 'friending' you - just because.