Facebook rivals NSA

February 13, 2015

when it comes to intrusiveness ….

Here’s a tip for Facebook:

I am not likely to know someone just because the third cousin of my next door neighbor drove by the sob’s house a week ago Tuesday. You needn’t run that non-stop scroll of people I “might know” down the side of my page. It looks like a national telephone directory. In fact, I sometimes suspect it IS, and that the third cousin of my next door neighbor doesn’t even drive. Please stop. If I DO know any of them, I have probably already decided NOT to “friend”, contact, or give them digital noogies, or HAVE done so only to be summarily blown off. Long lost acquaintances who wish to contact me have numerous options for attempting to do so, and vice versa. Butt out. Stop playing yenta. It’s annoying.

Another tip:

I’m not sure about how Facebook started out, and it’s not an important enough piece of information for me to sacrifice any scratching or yawning time to chase down possible explanations. However, I do have some knowledge and a few opinions about what I have observed since I decided to see what it was all about a few years ago. I found the venue to be annoying from the start, but the amusement factor kept me around long enough to be reminded of that childhood story involving a feisty rabbit and a tar baby. Therefore, I can appreciate the brilliance of the marketing plan, which obviously works quite well if the journalistic borborygmus of various news and feature writers tattling about Mr. Zuckerberg’s finances are any indication.

Nevertheless, those of us who enjoy the interaction facilitated between selected friends and family members may not be particularly amused, impressed, or anything but severely annoyed by the mandatory process of wading through an incessant “opt out” gauntlet on the way to our preferred connections.

I click on the little “x” to make the grey silhouette and empty data set of someone I “might know” disappear, and a new one takes its place. Once I manage to clear the board, and sometimes right in the middle of the process, I get slapped with a multiple choice quizzie regarding my reasons for rejecting my gifts. If I don’t just ignore it and move on without answering, I normally choose “sexually explicit”.

I never play games. I don’t like those games. Facebook provides no options to inform them of that so I can “opt out” and avoid being pummeled on a daily basis with information and invitations I didn’t ask for, am not interested in, and for which the statistical probability of my responding to is zero.

x, x, x, x, x, …………..

One afternoon not long ago, I was “Googling” information about a figure of English nobility from several centuries ago in order to cross-check my assertions in something I was writing about. I made note of what I had learned and then moved on to Facebook to see if any new pictures of my grandson had been posted. In addition to the anticipated pictures and the other usual fare discussed previously, I was provided with a cascade of ads and focused info-blurbs from book sellers, genealogy purveyors, and recommendations for a dozen or so “groups” or pages I should visit. Good grief! It was like I’d been diagnosed as OCD with a Medieval history fixation and Facebook was playing doctor.

“Who the hell asked you?” I mumbled.

I haven’t had anyone read over my shoulder like that since I was caught reading a raunchy magazine stashed in my open notebook during an Elizabethan literature class back in college.

I recall thinking it was fortunate I hadn’t been indulging a blip of curiosity regarding exotic weapons, explosives, or the Arabic language. On second thought, I may just do that this afternoon just for the heck of it and to see what happens. I wonder if I should warn my neighbors first. There are a lot of kids running around out there, and the poor guy across the street always wears black, has flags all over the place, and signs on his house warning about an Armed Veteran residing within. If a chopper shows up and hovers over my yard to deploy a bunch of heavily armed guys in camouflage, I’m afraid he might just go off his nut. On third thought, maybe I should research something a little more benign. On fourth thought, ……


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