2010.03.10 Facebook: work of the Devil (or someone even more evil)

BY RICH FOLEY

I might be in a minority here, but I’ve grown to hate the internet social networking site Facebook. I’d probably feel the same way about all of them, but except for a brief fling with Twitter, that’s all I’m really familiar with.

I quickly gave up Twitter when I started getting numerous e-mails, all informing me that someone I had never heard of before was now following me. It appeared that most, if not all of them, had some agenda or other they hoped to broadcast to my followers. Citing “unusual activity,” Twitter itself deleted most of these, but I soon decided if I wanted my friends to know something, I could call or e-mail them directly, cutting out the middleman.

Facebook, on the other hand, seemed like a better option. I liked the idea of being able to search for people I’ve lost contact with and connect with them and current friends, all in one spot. It quickly turned out to be too good to be true.

I made the mistake of approving a college acquaintance as a friend and almost immediately grew tired of having to see every bit of boring information she could post. First each day, a report of what she had for breakfast and her ruminations about what to do after that. Mid-morning brought an update on her activities and what she was considering eating for lunch.

About two p.m., she’d report on her lunch and any afternoon plans. Around 4:30, it would be time for her to share her options for an evening meal. At 6:30 or 7:00, the after-dinner report and her thoughts on whether or not to take an evening stroll. If yes, she’d be sure to update afterwards with a tally of how far she walked. Any news from her friends or other family members I’ve never heard of would get their own bulletin.

Since I don’t get on-line every day, sometimes I’d find 20 or 30 messages from her when I signed into Facebook. Someone else that she suggested as a friend bombarded me nearly as much with those cute little cyber “gifts” and flowers and constant requests that I take some quiz or other. Between the two of them, I was reluctant to add anymore “friends.” Luckily, a real friend who knows the ins and outs of Facebook told me how I could de-friend them in return for adding him.

Another thing that bothers me is that Facebook is constantly encouraging you to reconnect with lost friends, but I’m finding out that some are better off lost. I recently made friend requests with two people I knew quite well in the late 1990s, only to have both claim they didn’t remember me. I don’t know about you, but I get uncomfortable trying to explain who I am to people that I remember extremely well. How do you answer that question? I did to the best of my ability, only to have both claim my further clarification didn’t help, either. That’s part of the reason why I only have eight Facebook friends.

At least that way, I’m only receiving a daily horoscope for one person, rather than dozens. Should I care what a friend’s horoscope says when I don’t even read my own? And why would I click to see my horoscope when I know that Facebook would then send it on to all my friends, none of whom could possibly care?

And then what do you do when good friends you’d never dream of dropping from your list get hooked on a ridiculous cyber time-waster that includes you receiving constant updates on their latest pretend exploits. Yes, I’m talking about FarmVille.

You just received a yellow ribbon for being such a good fake farmer? Yawn. And now you’ve received a red one, too? How not exciting that is to me. But wait—now you need help fertilizing your non-existent crops? Shouldn’t a yellow and red ribbon-winning cyber farmer be able to do this himself? I suppose I could forward you some manure in the form of your previous FarmVille updates. Would that help?

All this makes me wonder: Just who is behind Facebook, anyway? It occurs to me that the usual types of folks famous for bothering you at home aren’t as common as they used to be. Do you suppose Facebook is operated by an unholy trinity made up of the the Tupperware Company, Amway salespeople and Schwan’s delivery drivers, now bent on hounding us by computer? Maybe with a few magazine salespeople and cookie-pushing Girl Scouts thrown into the mix? I’m just asking: Who is the real Old McDonald behind FarmVille?

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    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
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    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.