Facebook Party: Reminding Me My Birthday Is Coming

Facebook told me that it’s party time. It’s had enough of my lack of planning birthday parties and felt that I needed to get a head start on it this year. Especially since I’m getting older and need more time for everything. Reaction time is at historical lows. Hell, it took me a good minute to recall the word, reaction. Thanks for looking out for me Facebook, you know me better than I know myself! Time for a Facebook party! (Bwa-bwa-bwahing of airhorns)

Now, I’m not one of those people that traditionally fear the annual age increase. The promise of good times and putting more distance between me and my formative years is still enticing. If I’m surrounded by friends on the day I put another tick on the board of death, so much the better. Simply put, I enjoy it, I just don’t make a big deal about it.

Part of it’s because I find it unbecoming when people pump up their birthdays. Sure guests love to have a good time, but does anyone need eight reminders for a White Rose Formal for a thirty one year old? I don’t even know what a White Rose Formal is! It sounds like something I made up on the spot, but whatever.

That’s just a personal opinion of course. No need to have witch hunts and put people on trial. Calm down internet, because here comes the twist. I also find it unbecoming when people don’t promote it at all. People need a heads up. Especially those that are close. This also includes coworkers. No one wants to discover it’s the big day while sitting on the birthday person’s lap. That’s just awkward Steve!

Of course maybe all of this is a symptom of my birthday remembrance guilt. I can’t remember people’s birthday for anything. Yet, many people can remember mine. Sure it helps that it’s on a holiday, but one can never tell if the people in my life are just super duper and remember my birthday or have an annual alcohol fueled Jim Morrison adventure and are told it’s my birthday by a French orangutan in the desert.

Yet, who needs drugs and a chatty ape when one has Facebook? It’s been reminding people of birthdays for years. Which is great for schmucks like me. Now, it has a new feature that reminds the birthday person the big day is approaching. That way they can go about setting up some gnarly shindig. Facebook party! The reminder contains all the Facebook information necessary to throw a great party: date, time, place and of course, the people. Making my life better and my wife’s life easier because she doesn’t have to prod the information out of me. But then, what would we have to talk about? I closed the window and went on with my life. Thus ensuring a communicative marriage.

 


 

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Facebook Anniversary or Wedding Anniversary


 

Facebook has been around for ten years or so. At least, that’s when the first wave of schmos realized it was there. MySpace was fad in the rearview mirror. I thought social media – not that I knew that was what it was called – was dead. I logged onto facebook right after the hipsters, who came in on the coattails of affluent ivy league students, who coked it up with the founders. Yes, even with those twins!

Ten years have come and gone in almost a flash. I’ve witnessed people growing up from thousands of miles away. All everyone seems to do is get married and/or have kids. Hell, I remember when all anyone did was play Mafia Wars or that Vampire game that was Mafia Wars, but with Vampires. Here’s a word no one has uttered in four years, Zynga. BAZINGA! They’re still around, just not in my face each time I log in.

With ten years came the anniversary notifications. I used to get them when an odd number of years had passed. Now those odd numbers have evened out and I’m getting the big one-oh. The first one was my wife, which it should be. I logged in like twenty minutes after she did and had a conversation with myself on my wall. The next one I got was from my best friend, Montague Cummingsworth.

Now, Montague and I’ve been friends for closer to thirty years, but our choices split us apart closer to fifteen years ago. Not that we did bad things. Neither one of us got into drugs or macrame. We just went to different universities and ended up moving to northern and southern extremities. Needless to say, we only see each other every couple of few years. Which means six or so.

When we do meet up, there’s a good chance it’s for a wedding. A fact that facebook capitalized on. Of the ten or so shots, each and every single one of them was from a wedding. For the keen eye, there is a difference in our tuxes and ties, but it isn’t easy. At the end was a photo from my wedding. We had taken a shot with our wedding bands on our fingers. It was to show that we had both grown up and fooled some poor women into marrying our dorky asses.

For this video though, it’s the nail in the coffin, the cherry on top, the finishing touch. I started laughing. My wife asked me what was so funny. As I replayed the video for her, I walked her through this narrative.

All those other shots, we’re two guys in tuxedos. We’re always together and sometimes, a little too close. Some shots were just us sitting right by one another. Others, we had a friend between us. Then our hands with rings on them. We’d also happened to like each others posts 69 times. It looked like we’d gotten married! Not that there would be a single thing wrong with it if we had.

 


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The MySpace Exodus of Two Thousand Whatever


 

The Rise, The Plague, The Fall

MySpace, remember that? It still exists and at one time, scrolled sideways in an effort to be cool. My page is* derelict and full of plug-ins and quizzes that no longer exist. Remember how easy it was to take the default page and turn into a late nineties DIY blog’s interpretation of a Las Vegasian nightmare?

Someone once said that MySpace was founded on three principles. Skanky pictures, of skanky people, doing skanky things. That isn’t an exact quote, but it is damn close. It may also be only one principle. Either way, they were right, so very right.

MySpace started its descent from popularity around 2007. Facebook threw the first punch and everything else swarmed it. Someone flipped on the lights and the skanky people scurried away like plague infested rats scrambling from a sinking ship. Problem is, they took up residence on the surrounding icebergs, in other words, the new cool social networks.

Back In Your Ass With The Resurrection

A while back, I discovered a vein of skanky people on twitter. One follow back and the next thing I knew, my feed looked like it was straight out MySpace. In other words, the digital equivalent of watching from behind the curtain as the neighbors have a naked fist fight in the front yard and, as the cops pull up, their toddler – the one with tattoos – steps out on the porch shooting a .44 while dropping bombs of the eff and cee variety. Then Ron Jeremy shows up. It was 2004 all over again!

Have you been to MySpace lately? It’s rebranded cleaned up and seems to completely be about music. No one gives a fuck about Tom. I assume he is either chugging beer at the frat house in the sky or moved onto other marketing opportunities. Unfortunately, he left his skanky friends down here.

 


Written at Ikea while waiting to return something, refined at home.

*Was. Now it’s shut down.

I’m Sorry, I Can’t Be Your Friend Anymore.

  That is a heavy sentiment. Regardless if it is conveyed through words or actions. Someone has done something to emotionally distress someone else. The end of a relationship. For whatever reason, these people can no longer cohabitate or interact. Hopefully, they were diligent in getting their loaned out belongings back. This is a life altering event, that should not be taken lightly or done in haste. So, why the hell do people do it on social media so easily?

  Every now and then on facebook, you may see a post in your feed. Someone is cleaning house. Getting rid of noninteractive friends. They may keep you, if you reply to the post and let them know you still care. Perhaps they don’t even announce it, you don’t even get a chance, and at some indiscernible point in the future you discover that you have been dumped. Why? It takes effort to unfriend people. Furthermore, it can cause the dumped to feel rejected or feel that they have done something wrong.

  I believe the main reason is the perceived line that some draw between internet life and real life. I suppose these are the kind of people that still have active yahoo accounts and type in hotmail.com in order to be redirected to outlook.com. It is an outdated view that has been widely accepted throughout the last twenty years. It needs to stop.

  There is no line! There hasn’t been one for a long time. What is facebook, if not one of the best examples of this. This platform has augmented our daily interactions and communications. A majority of facebook friends are actually people we have met in real life. Sure, some are more acquaintances than friends and some haven’t been seen in person in over a decade, but does that matter? Facebook’s algorithms help tailor your feeds. Unless you are constantly interacting with someone’s profile by clicking it or corresponding, they will eventually go away. If they aren’t going away fast enough, you can manually tailor them.

  If someone shared a link on urban falconry, you can opt to see fewer posts on the subject. If someone constantly posts NSFW images that you definitely want to see later, you can hide these posts from your feed. If you just are completely tired of someone, just unfollow them, you can still be friends. So when the need arises, you can still easily get in touch with one another. Just because they are annoying on social media does not necessarily mean they are annoying in person. When you are with them in person, do you listen to everything they say? When they start talking about the impact that My Little Pony has had on Obama’s Foreign Policy, do you actually listen? You probably tune them out, not unfriend them.

  I somehow doubt that back in the, eighteen whatevers, when the phone was in it infancy, that there was such a perceived line, between real life and the new form of communication. I doubt that Orville Reginald Moorehead would request the operator connect him to Hoobajoob Joe Brown Johnson III and once connected say, “I am sorry good fellow, I can no longer be your phone friend as I have far too many. See you in real life at the pub!”

  There is no divide between internet life and real life. If you do weird stuff on the internet, you are doing weird stuff in real life, that goes through the internet and ends up in someone else’s real life. The sooner society accepts that, the better. Quit unfriending people, unless they have truly wronged you! You both have over four hundred friends. You do not interact with one another. You are not on each others radar. Although, someday you might be and how awkward will having to re-friend be?

Choose Your Robot Overlord Before the Machines Rise. #1

  Let’s face it.  Science Fiction has been so inspirational to our technological evolution that it appears to be prophetic.  Alright, our cars don’t fly and our skateboards don’t hover.  Personally I blame Big Oil and Tony Hawk.  However,  we have put people in really expensive tin cans and shot them into space.  Any day now we will begin terraforming Mars.  We have little communicators and tablets that work almost everywhere.  We have put buttons on the endangered species watch list.  Big brother is tracking us – Hi!  There is a new harbinger of world ending calamity each week.  Whether it is natural disasters or ego’s of men, it seems to only be a matter of time for the human race.  Science Fiction says our society won’t make it and machines will rise to replace it.  If I do say so myself, now is a great time to choose your future robot overlord and affiliate yourself to a brand.

  There are so many potential overlords to choose from, whether it be an OS, Web Browser or Web App.  Best of all, at the moment it is a buyers market!  All are quite literally tripping over one another to get  your hard earned dollar and  your valuable time.  All we need to do to make the switch from consumer to consumed is start picking.  I feel that diversity is important and will pick one from each of the three categories.  I don’t want to have all my eggs in one basket when the robots come for me.  Below is a glimpse and my criteria and process.  Let’s take this journey together!

Some food for thought:  

Operating System

  Want cybernetic implants and DNA spliced with a penguin?  Linux is your boy!

  Is having a good looking overlord important?  Like turtlenecks and smug attitudes?  Apple.

  Like playing games, bro?  Perhaps ease of use is important to you?  Windows.

  Web Browser

  Want to end it all in a hurry?  Internet explorer.

  Like being fast and cool?  Chrome.

  Like being not quite as fast but still cool?  Firefox

  Is anonymity important to, whoever you are?  Opera

Web Apps

  Fancy an overlord with ADD?  Get behind twitter.

  Like a overlord that will show you pictures of its ugly kids? facebook is for you.

  Enjoy having ADD and ugly kids in one place?  Try Google+