Facebooking Proves That Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds

English: Not only Dutch beers! Belgian (Afflig...

English: Not only Dutch beers! Belgian (Affligem, Duvel, Kasteel, Leffe, Hoegaarden, Verboden Vrucht, Westmalle, Affligem…), Danish (Carlsberg), Dutch (Hertog Jan, Gulpener…), Irish (Murphy’s), German (Beck’s, Warsteiner…) beers… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Listen carefully and you’ll hear the clinkety-clank of beer bottles knocking against each other. If your ears are extra sensitive you might even hear the whispers of promises made and pledges fulfilled. It is all there on that Facebook page you are looking at. The man from Cleveland who moved to LA is heading to Dallas for the Superbowl. You hear that his business has done exceptionally well for him  and you are happy for him. Ok, you are not happy for him but you are not upset either. Really you are just ambivalent because you don’t have strong feelings about him one way or another.

It is not totally clear to you why you are Facebook friends. You weren’t friendly in school nor were you enemies. He clashed with a lot of the guys, this guy who has become the successful businessman. He was good at pissing people off but it never involved you. Back in the day as the colloquialism goes you were good at pissing people off too and even better at not taking grief from anyone. It is silly, but when you think of the guy these are the thoughts that come into your head. That is what he generates. That and one other memory.

A fraternity party. You are twenty years old and angry because the girl you wanted to marry is sleeping with some other guy. It is not like she wasn’t sleeping with you because she was. In fact she used to say that she loved you, but that was then and this is now. And now she is using her magic on some other guy. Some other guy who likes to call you at 3 am. He says your name in some sort of cartoonish voice that sounds especially stupid and that is about it. If you hang up he’ll call back a few more times and do it again.

You are irritated by this. It is not because he wakes you up because half the time you are still up. It is college after all. You are irritated because you know it is him and you don’t have his number. You are irritated because he is 80 miles away so it is inconvenient to go pay him a visit. Mostly you are irritated because he is shtupping the girl you professed your love to. You are irritated because you don’t understand why she would pick a buffoon over you.

He doesn’t understand you. He doesn’t know that he really is messing with the wrong guy because you are tenacious and smart. Not to mention that you have barrels of testosterone coursing through you and time to plot and plan. Eventually you figure out that the best way to get him is to find a wedge to drive between him and her. So the next time he calls you start sharing stories about what she used to do to you.

It is juvenile, but it works. The cartoon voice disappears and now he is cursing you. It makes you smile to hear the anger in his voice. You know that you have just purchased a piece of property inside his head. Now you want to plant a garden. Now you want to spread your seeds of doubt and confusion. For a week or so he calls you every night. Fortune smiles upon you because during that week she shows up at a party that you are at.

Yep, the guy who moved from Cleveland to LA and just happens to be heading to Dallas for the Superbowl. It was his party. You saw her there and you spoke with her and her friends. When he calls you that night you describe her dress and speak of her perfume. He is enraged. He tells you that he is a boxer and that he is coming for you without gloves.

So you laugh and tell him that while he was home alone she was hanging out with you at the party. You go for the cheap but effective move of telling him that she thinks that he is…small. You tell him that she kissed you that night and begged you not to say anything. None of that is true, but you figure what the heck. He is the one who drew first blood. He started calling you, not the other way around.

Later on you’ll hear that he was so angry that night that he punched the wall and broke his hand. Mission accomplished.

Epilogue

Later on you’ll read this post and think about why you told that story. The headline isn’t entirely accurate because your torch burned out a long time ago. It is true that you once loved her but you haven’t felt a thing since you were 24 or so. Why did you bother sharing this. And then you’ll shrug and prepare to write another post because you are in a groove. The words are flowing and you just feel like writing.

Facebook Comments

Consider this a short blog PSA regarding Facebook comments.  I do my best to try and respond to all comments, but I do not receive a notification for comments made via FB. I recently changed the settings so now there is an acknowledgment of the comment in the ‘count’ but no email notification. The point of this is to let you know that sometimes I may be slow responding to them.

If you you want a faster response send me an email and I will get back to you. If it is conversation that you want to take place on the blog let me know and if it makes sense we will make it happen.

Facebook Privacy Issues

The Wall Street Journal ran a disturbing article that provided details about an investigation that they ran on Facebook regarding privacy issues. Take a look at this:

Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook’s rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure.

The Journal ties this into companies that are building databases that track user activities online. The article says that 10 of the most popular apps on Facebook were transmitting user ID information to other companies. One of the bigger names that was listed was Zynga, the maker of Farmville,Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille.

Good old Zynga whose CEO Mark Pincus says “I Did Every Horrible Thing In The Book To Just Get Revenue Right Away.” (Hat tip to Jessica Gottlieb for the video below)

His behavior is shameful and reprehensible. He talks about controlling his destiny as if that justifies his bad behavior. It reminds me of the discussion my son and I had following his soccer game last week. To recap, we were short one referee so the father of one of the players on the other team stepped in and did his best to ensure that his son’s team could not lose the game.

Needless to say my son and his teammates were irate as were the parents. I am a hard nosed competitor and out on the field I do my best to give you all that you can handle but I don’t want to win at any cost. And I don’t want my children to be taught that it is ok to employ a Machiavellian strategy in life either.

Zynga is rightfully being sued for their actions here as is Facebook.

Lawsuits in California and Rhode Island are taking aim at Facebook and its largest application maker, Zynga, alleging that they violated federal law by sending identifying information about their users to advertisers and Internet tracking companies.

The lesson/reminder here is that it is important to pay attention and monitor the services and sites that you use online.

Facebook Follies- Poke Me

This is an open letter to the friends, acquaintances, colleagues and general riff-raff who have friended or been friended by me on Facebook. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the amazing magicians who feed the hamsters that keep the internets running we have a stronger connection between us than we might have in the past.

That is a roundabout way of saying that just because you have greater access to me than you might have 20 years ago I am not anymore interested now in you having unlimited contact than I was then. In fact I am probably less tolerant of that incessant tweeting and chirping than I was then when I had no responsibilities other than myself.

So let’s establish some ground rules here, shall we. Poking me is obnoxious and generally something that I prefer to leave to those whose pokes I enjoy in a more, festive manner. As a general rule of thumb let’s say that you shouldn’t poke me with any more frequency than you would telephone me. This is good for the very few people who can call me five or more times a day.

If you are in that class it means that we never run out of things to talk about and or we are in love or related to each other. So, you can feel free to poke me all day long. Just remember that I may return the favor and poke you all night long. Turnabout is fair play, is it not.

The Facebook chat function is a great tool that I happen to like a lot. It allows for quick and easy conversation that is a bit more involved than the poke but not so difficult as to require a telephone call. But like its little brother poke it needs to be used carefully.

Don’t buzz me every 20 minutes to say “what’s up” or ask what I am doing. And by all means do not ever try to interrogate me about why it takes me so long to respond to you. I am well aware that there is an icon that shows whether we are active or sleeping. The fact that my icon shows that I am active and that this makes you wonder if I am truly busy or ignoring you.

If you have to wonder if I am ignoring you than chances are that I am. Initially I might have been doing so because I was involved in work matters, you know the thing that I do that pays the bill so that I can my ISP so that you have the privilege of poking me ten thousand times.

But it is entirely possible that your incessant poking and need to try and get my attention has pushed me to the point at which I ignore you.  A while back I probably would have unfriended you but knowing how crazy you get I have no interest in getting ten thousand emails asking why I did so.

Instead I’ll take advantage of Facebook’s custom privacy settings and adjust them so that you have limited access to me. It is actually a nifty trick that I have used more than once.

And let’s be clear once and for all. Stop sending me stupid requests to help build you Farm, help your Mafia or Eat at your restaurant. Because if I had my way my mafia would burn your damn farm down, my pirates would plunder your village and the health department would shut down your restaurant.

And with that I bid you all adieu and Happy Facebooking.

Some Thoughts About Facebook