Friday, June 14, 2013

Even More Things I Wish Would Disappear From Facebook

I've seen a significant decline in grumpy cat meme posts since writing my first facebook entry.  Actually, I see less of all the stuff I complained about in that one.  I suppose everyone else was just as sick of that crap as I was, and maybe they all started calling people out for their behavior or (I hope) just linking to the blog to let them know that an ornery blogger disapproves.  I've also noticed less of the annoyances mentioned in the second article, though there's still lots of people claiming to be bored despite having internet access.  Read something, jackass!

I wrote those two posts quite a while back, and since then I've started working afternoons/nights in a warehouse.  Also, the weather is nice approximately once every two weeks.  So, I've been on facebook a lot less than I used to be, and therefore I haven't thought much about doing another one of these articles.  But the time has come, because when I have been on facebook recently I've noticed bogus trends such as...

1.  Lousy Memes

Not everyone has the same sense of humor, so it's completely understandable if you post a meme that you think is hilarious, but I find it to be nonhilarious.  It happens.  And not everyone is inspired by the same picture of a sunset.  There's lots of different pictures of a sunset out there, and each of us is inspired in unique ways by certain pictures of a sunset.  I'm not talking about memes that don't do anything for me in the ways of laughs or inspiration or whatever.  I'm talking about memes that look like they were designed by a seven-year-old kid who just figured out how to use MS Paint.

Even if I agree with the sentiment displayed in the meme you post, I'll either scroll right past it or perhaps even sneer at it if contains misspellings, bad grammar, and/or pictures that are poorly cropped or not cropped at all.  Furthermore, if the meme makes use of awful fonts, way too many fonts, or a font that makes no sense within the context of the meme, I will not 'like' it.

Here's a perfect example.  I was browsing my way through my feed one day when I happened upon a post that asked me to 'like' if I support the troops.  I did not click 'like'.  Don't get me wrong, although I don't agree with the ways the people in charge handle our military actions, and I certainly don't believe these actions have made us any safer, I still support the troops.  The members of our military are men and women who spend months or years away from their families to do jobs that most people wouldn't or couldn't do (myself included), and I respect the hell out of them for that.  But this particular meme was the worst of the worst.  Its text was something like "If your grateful for the job Our Troops are doing, hit 'Like'."  Alright, internet, there's 'your' and there's 'you're'.  Learn the difference, please.  And 'Our Troops' shouldn't be capitalized like that.  This text, which was insultingly typed in Comic Sans font, was slapped over a picture that looked like it was an actual physical photograph of some soldiers uploaded from a scanner with none of the huge amount of white space around the picture cropped out.  Blecch!

Maybe that makes me an asshole for not clicking 'like'.  So be it.  I'd rather be an asshole than an idiot that "supports" the troops with Comic Sans.  The troops deserve better than Comic Sans.

Speaking of 'likes', I'm also getting tired of...

2.  Pictures of People Holding 'Like' Signs

The first time I saw one of these it seemed like a creative and genuinely likable idea.  It was a picture of a young girl holding a sign which said that she had cancer and she was hoping to get 1,000 or 10,000 (some number that ends in 'thousand') likes in support of her battle against the disease.  Of course I clicked 'like', because nothing makes a person feel better than "helping" somebody by not actually doing anything.  I did figure, though, that this could actually help the girl; positive thinking can be helpful when a person is sick, so maybe, just maybe, if this girl received that many 'likes' it would be good for her to know that so many people were cheering her on.

That was the first time.  The next few times I saw pictures of people holding 'like' signs it was for similar reasons.  But now it's hit that point where people are just doing it because it's a thing now.  The other day I saw an old man in my feed.  He was holding a sign that said something akin to "I turn 93 today.  How many likes can I get?"  Alright, guy, I'll tell you about at least one 'like' that you won't be receiving.  Why should I 'like' that?  Living to be 93 might seem impressive, but it may just boil down to getting lucky in the genetic lottery.  Or it could mean that he's on 26 different drugs that are keeping him alive.  That's not impressive.

Perhaps I would have clicked 'like' if his sign said something more along the lines of "I turn 93 today, and I still wipe my own ass.  How many likes can I get for still wiping my own ass?"  I may have even gone so far as to share that, because that can at least be admired.  Honestly, I don't want to live to be 93 if I can't wipe my own ass.  I agree wholeheartedly with Harry Nilsson, who sang "I'd rather be dead than wet my bed."

Just like with any other original idea, this one quickly became polluted, diluted, and easy to ignore.  Sorry people with legitimate problems or causes, but this is a facebook thing now, so it no longer has any meaning.

Speaking of facebook (I'm the king of segues, I know), the third item on my list isn't about the stupid shit people do on the social network, but rather something the social network itself is subjecting us to...

3.  Advertisements That Look Like Status Updates

Yeah, facebook is free to use and (according to the login page) always will be.  I appreciate that.  I understand that they have to make money somehow, and the only way to really do that is through advertising.  I get it.  And I never minded the ads that lined the sides of the page when I was scrolling.  Sometimes I'd even click on one if I found it interesting enough.  But this happens now:  I log in to facebook and I see your smiling face (or a picture of a dog or a car, because you have a picture of a dog or a car instead of your face for some reason) at the top of my feed.  I start to read, thinking that you've posted something funny or heartfelt or at least moderately interesting.  Wrong!  It's an advertisement for a corporation.  They're using your image to promote their product, and I'm willing to bet you don't get paid a dime for it.  Right?  Yeah, I know I'm right.

From what I've seen, I think it works like this:  If you like a corporation's page, the corporation will use that to advertise through you by putting small text mentioning that you 'like' them and then putting an ad where normally a status update would go.  When I signed in this morning the first thing at the top of my feed was what looked like a friend's update but was really an ad trying to get me to eat McDonald's new habanero ranch bacon or whatever burger.  No thanks, McDonald's.  The regular diarrhea I get from your food is enough for me.  I don't need fire diarrhea (fiarrhea?) on top of that.

If it was just one ad like this it wouldn't be so bad, but sometimes the first post in my feed is a fake-status-update ad, and then the third post is another one.  By the time I've scrolled to the bottom I realize that at least a quarter (if not more) of the "updates" in my feed were actually advertisements from corporations that already make insane amounts of money.  I'm sure as soon as they can figure out how to beam ads directly into our brains we'll be waking up thinking about the new quadruple bacon-blasted sweet 'n' spicy deluxe burger.  Stop respecting your body!  Try one today!  I'm pretty sure that the word 'quadruple' popping up on so many fast food menus is one of the reasons so many Americans have quadruple chins these days.

Before I stray from my original thought and start ranting about fast food some more, I'll bring it back to just the concept of advertising.  I have no problem with advertising.  In fact, I'm probably going to start running some ads on my various internet pages and videos to make some extra cash to buy diapers and cute little shoes with, but I have a problem with the ads-disguised-as-my-friends'-thoughts style of advertisements.  For one thing, if you have a decent product to promote, just do it with a regular ad, and if I'm interested I'll check it out.  You don't have to try to fool me into reading it.  Also, I don't think it's right for a corporation to use somebody's image to promote itself and not give the person any compensation.  If they're using your facebook pic to plug clothes, "food", beer, etc. then you should be getting royalties whenever somebody clicks on the ad to learn more.  But we live in a country that's owned by corporations, so I guess I'm pipe-dreaming.

Facebook is a great tool for staying in touch with people and getting my blog (and other projects) some exposure.  It's also a great way to waste time and procrastinate on getting stuff done around the house.  But the more nonsensical garbage like the preceding three items I see, the more I'm glad that I have less time to spend on facebook nowadays.

Alright, the blog is finished for today.  I'm gonna grab a quadruple cheesy fried onion and bacon butter ranchero suplex burger and enjoy the sunny weather.

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