Posts Tagged: facebook

Aug 16

Those Pretty Girls Who Want Your Friendship on Facebook

Nothing better demonstrates the male tendency to noticeably lose IQ points when even slightly sexually aroused than the prevalence of fake Facebook accounts displaying pictures of pretty, sexy girls; accounts which invariably have many “friendings” and post-likes from some very sad males. As a person with a common male first name, I get several of these “friend requests” a week. The latest one is from “Christine Malcolm”. It’s typical of the majority: the pretty girl, with exposed shoulders, cleavage, lots of lipstick, doe-like melting gaze, appears as the profile picture, and same or similar pic accompanying first the only post. This latest one’s statement with the post is “Uhhhh….” Not kidding. This statement got several likes from men who remarked on her sylphic beauty, called her baby, and so on. Other such accounts have names like “Melody Johnson” or “Meredith Christismith”. Sometimes the girls in the photos are taking off their tops but haven’t quite got them off.

Occasionally the false-account composers toss in a more appealing line with the post like, “So lonely”. Sometimes the poster, who is a spammer or con artist fishing for suckers, will remember to put a few memes in, like, “I Love The World But Does It Love Me?” Or “I Just Like to Go For It, And See How Far It Goes” with a picture of a leaping leopard on it…

Pressed for time–the spammers have to send out an enormous number of these every day–they’ll screw up the name. It’ll say “Betty John” or “Susan Eric” or “Eric Susan” or “Stein Emily”. If they’re in certain foreign places they really are not certain which name should go where. Salivating men, of all ages, blindly accept the invitation and, if they’re really slick, the guys send smiling pics and say clever things like, “Where do you live?”

Sep 15

Facebook and the Mentally Ill

Every so often, one of my facebook friends will reveal themselves to be mentally ill–I don’t unfriend them unless they’re revealing it inadvertently, and they’re severely paranoiac. (If they cop to it, then I’m fine with it). And as you see by the linked article I wrote I regard psychological problems as, essentially, part of life for pretty much everyone, to greater and lesser degrees. And yes, Lincoln and other respected people may have been to some extent manic/depressive…

Here’s a bit from the latest delusional fb friend: “Hi John… As you can see on my timeline I’ve been gamed by a woman who was given private information about since 2006 and was told “protect and enhance life” and “fight for love”. I have already died nearly 5 times as a result of these nazi mind control experiments I have been subjected to for 10 years. They just had to try and entrap me one more time to bury the evidence. I’m losing it. I’ve been struggling just to survive for years and I do not understand the constant attempts to set me up and control my thoughts… At least bear witness to the already atrocious behavior I’ve been subjected to for YEARS with plenty of proof and evidence.”

And so on. That was a message. I had to unfriend that guy but I don’t want to block him because, at least for now, I’m talking to him via fb message to see if I can get him to be a little more objective, maybe see a doctor. I suspect he has been on meds, and went off them. Well, most psyche meds are pretty *bad*…it’s just that, for some people, it’s *even worse* to go without them. They tend to act out in malls etc, frightening people and thus being arrested–and then getting arrested leads them to say, “See! They WERE out to get me!”

There are new scientific leads on schizophrenia and related paranoiac conditions…so the problematic meds might soon become outdated. I hope so. They have lots of side effects and can be over used in institutions. A close relative of mine working as an aid in a mental hospital has seen them used in a really oppressive way in hospitals–people dosed into mental oblivion. Antipsychotic drugs, too, are sometimes prescribed to some people needlessly. “That child is misbehaving and wild…he must be psychotic!” Whereas he’s just a kid going through a phase… so it’s a complex problem.

Aug 11

Facebook Versus Blogging–a Facebook Expatriot Explains

After a long damn time on Facebook, and having accumulated some 3100 Facebook friends (and some real friends, there), I closed the account on August 2. My primary reason had to do with family issues–and if not for that issue I’d still be on it–but I was also concerned about time-suck. Facebook had a way of keeping me there–and keeping me coming back after leaving there in the course of the day. I often lost track of time entirely.

Why? How’d that happen?

Facebook is responsive, especially after you’ve accumulated a good many facebook friends. I have disdained instant messages as far too distracting (they also get one involved in conversations that, after all, are often not terribly interesting) –but facebook can provide the instant message frisson without the downside of instant messages; one can get responses to posts and comments quite quickly. This responsiveness pushes the “enjoy getting attention” button in the human brain; that button gets pressed, eventually, even if it takes awhile to get a response. The brain says, I like the sensation. Stay there. Return there.

Compare it to meeting people in person. The downside of getting acknowledgement from people in person is that you feel a bit more social pressure to be entertaining, to be cordial, hospitable, and to linger. That’s a small price to pay for what is, actually, a healthier interaction than the online sort. But it’s a price we may prefer not to pay anyway. We’re more comfortable with Facebook because it’s relatively low-pressure, socially speaking. (Yes, Some people, who identify with it obsessively, eg socially vulnerable teenagers, have been known to contemplate suicide because of negative Facebook interaction, but most people aren’t identified with it to that point.) We socialize without much downside. We can jump off a thread, or off fb entirely, without anyone thinking we’ve rudely turned our backs. We can “hide” people from our newsfeed; we can “unfriend” more easily than we can with people we see in person.

But I don’t miss that part. What I miss is the responsiveness of Facebook. When I posted to more than 3000 people, at least some of them were online, some of those saw my post, and some of those were inclined to respond. Especially as I loved to create posts that prompted response. I tried to be insightful, to offer something useful, or at least intriguing, instead of “I just blew my nose”, and it paid off. It wasn’t merely that they responded–it’s that they responded with their perspectives, and with intelligence. They sometimes corrected me–which I like, if it’s done civilly; they elaborated on what I’d said; they disagreed in interesting ways; they helped build on the idea, the question, the humor. As this was something accessible to me at any time of the day and late into the night, one felt less alone. Facebook conviviality is something of an illusion, but it’s appealing. And there were many good contacts, good information sources, that came through Facebook.

Of course, I’d often link to an article I found interesting, and it was also often the case that people would respond to it, based on the article’s headline and the quick posting remark by me, without having read the article. That was frustrating, and it lays bare one of Facebook’s many flaws–the flaw that one finds even more in chatrooms, in instant messaging, on Twitter (so I infer–I’ve never been there), in most emails, the flaw that’s built into the internet…superficiality. Haste. A reinforcement of attention-deficit–even a creation of attention deficit where it hadn’t existed before. People on the internet are often (not always) like surfers talking as they’re catching waves. They can only shout a few words as they pass.

Blogs, now, are in decline, supposedly. But they’re still around and they do offer a chance to post at more length, which means posting with more thoughtfulness. Of course, since they’re on the internet, the more thoughtful the blog, the less likely it’ll be read by a lot of people. (I wonder how many readers have read this far in this piece.)

The blog counter for the John Shirley Blog shows a lot of visits, and even more “hits” to this site. Quite a lot of both; many thousands. But comments are few. It’s not as easy or as intuitive to comment here as on Facebook. Facebook in a way is one big comment form, and it’s a multidimensional, hypertextual one. A blog *tends* to be fairly one sided. People naturally find that less appealing.

The downside of my focusing on this blog, after Facebook, is a feeling that here I’m talking to myself; that I’m shouting into the void. But I know you’re out there. The blog counter says so.

On Facebook, I’d know you were out there more directly.

Here, it’s mostly just me and the blog counter. It has nothing to say to me, but statistics. It’s not such good company.