Tag Archives: facebook

Gobo Fraggle ends child abuse, a nation rejoices

Hey, kids! Come over here and let Gobo tell you about the Whig Contract With America

GateHouse — Let me preface this by saying that despite what you might suspect in about four minutes, I oppose child abuse. Very much so, actually.

But because I’m also against this weird new Facebook-born style of quasi-activism-that’s-actually-just-neediness-and-nostalgia, I’m also declaring my opposition to witty image-oriented viral movements as well. You know, not as much, but still.

Still, having now been on Facebook through four solid years and one talky movie, I’m convinced it’s most effective at the following:

  1. Compelling people to smilingly hand over a profusion of personal data, ensuring that everyone from space satellites to John Boehner to the 12 clones of Mark Zuckerberg that have been hatched to date (LOOK IT UP) can accumulate Assange-loads of information about your shopping, income and drinking habits, mostly drinking. True fact, just this afternoon Facebook encouraged me to install a New Profile feature, one designed to paint a more complete picture of who I am, rank my friends like NCAA tournament seeds and tell you my work and travel habits, so you know exactly when to steal my TV.
  2. Delivering the news that you’re hoping, once again, for a win by the NFL franchise nearest your house.
  3. Identifying your neediest friends, who can be spotted by frequency of posts or liveliness of tax-oriented rants.
  4. ‪Making blatant, desperate calls for help through status updates, so that friends may be obliged to comment supportively. For this reason, the last time a friend did this, my comment read, “That sucks, I bet it’s infected, and you probably deserved it.”‬ People really like my friendship.

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Famous Celebrities: Please tweet with less ferocity

rainn_wilson2GateHouse — I’ve been on Twitter for a few weeks now, and I’m liking it pretty well except that Rainn Wilson WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE.

Rainn Wilson of course plays Dwight on “The Office,” and he exists as @rainnwilson in Twitterland and is one of a growing number of celebrity Twitterers, which is a word that you can say a thousand times while still never sounding like a grownup. Twitter, of course, is the Web service on which you post updates of 140 characters or less that has been christened the MOST IMPORTANT WEB SERVICE EVER, so you might as well delete your stupid loser Facebook or Digg or whatever, to say nothing of you consumer-mall juiceboxes still on MySpace, if that’s even still on.

The point of Twitter is to celebrate and rejoice in the short attention span, so, hypothetically, if you’ve been born with relentless ADD tendencies and can’t get your mind focused on so much as writing a lousy humor column without your itchy right hand drifting, literally outside your control, over to the IM window, or God forbid the unholy hellbutton that lets you log in to Facebook, it will probably kill you in days.

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The kids talk all crazy these days, but whatevs

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PICTURED: T.I., who can get you whatever you like, especially if you would like a huge chain.

GateHouse —  In my actual job I am surrounded frequently by children, and by “children” I mean “people who are younger than me,” a group that includes everyone in their twenties and has for years. These children I enjoy having around, because they keep me informed about things that are youthful and trendy, such as:

  • The appeal of a mysterious celebrity named “T.I.” (Evidently, he can get them whatever they like);
  • What to do when I am Facebook Friended by someone I do not particularly like (do nothing, apparently they can’t tell, unless they count their friend totals, which is pathetic);
  • And why anyone in the world would be remotely interested in “Grey’s Anatomy,” a show populated by mopey 43-year-olds whose life lessons are learned exclusively to the sounds of the world’s wussiest music.

We have a symbiotic relationship, the children and me: They are amused at a distance by my gray hair and young child, whom I believe they regard as a bizarre window into a mysterious Future World they think isn’t coming nearly as fast as it is. I, in turn, am energized by their lifeforce, which I sort of draw off of like some sort of parasitic vampire. An old, gray vampire, who can sing “Hot Chocolate” from “The Polar Express” on demand.

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Facebook By Numbers, or, Don’t you judge me, or my e-mails

GateHouse – As the sixth-oldest person on Earth to participate in social networking sites, what bothers me most about sites like Facebook is not the level of access they offer to my personal information. Nor is it how they make it so I constantly and accidentally learn absurdly minor details about my Friends’ days (“Abby is having a muffin — a banana muffin“). Nor is it the insanely constant flood of requests to add third-party applications of questionable value (to all my Friends, I beg you to listen to me: I AM NOT ADDING SCRABULOUS. LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE.)

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Facebook friends: Like real friends, only way better

Island Packet — Everyone’s on the Facebook, the kids are on the Facebook, the media keeps obsessing about the Facebook, parents are all like worried and whatever about the Facebook. So I got invited to the Facebook, and I accepted, and now I’m on the Facebook. Am I saying that right? The Facebook? I’m not exactly sure how people talk on the Interwebs anymore.

Within a few minutes after securing my page, here’s what I learned about the Facebook:

1. I am literally the third-oldest person on the Internet.

2. When selecting a profile picture, you’re required to crop yourself out of a shot of no fewer than 12 people; it’s preferable if they’re all yelling.

3. No, really, I’m like 10 years older than everyone else on here. The only people remotely close to my age on Facebook are the stalkers.

Facebook is much like the MySpace, the 2006 edition of Gravest Threat To Our Fragile Youth (previous winners included Alice Cooper, Harry Potter and the rap music), though it has much less of a reliance on pink balloon fonts and unreadable backgrounds. Also, MySpace is open to everyone, especially those who think they’re in a band, but you have to be invited into Facebook, which helps limit membership to a select few thousand billion.

Facebook involves creating an online version of yourself, though in a social networking sort of way, not a creepy “Tron” sort of way. To properly employ its benefits, you need first to make a profile and post a picture; I’m not a big fan of putting my picture on the Intertubes, so I generally post one of a celebrity to whom I bear a resemblance, like Tyrese.

But more importantly, you require Friends, and it turns out that if you’re looking for Online Friends, your Real World Friends are a good place to start. I began by searching for my buddy Justin, who I know has a Facebook page because I sit near him and eavesdrop on his phone calls.

In Facebook, searching the name of someone turns up 400 matches, so after clicking through 25 pages of Fall Out Boy lookalikes I found the right Justin, whom I then “added” as a Friend. The next day, I saw Justin at work.

Me: “Dude, I added you as a Friend!”

Justin: “Yeah, I saw that. I confirmed you as a Friend.”

Me: “Affirmative. Now we are Friends.”

(45 seconds of awkward silence)

So now I have a Friend with whom I can post and chat and paint and Intermail, which is good, because he sits over six feet away. (At least Justin “accepted” me, not like my buddy Dean, who has not, and to whom I’m no longer talking).

The average number of friends other Facebookers have seems to be around in the hundreds; one Friend on my list has an awe-inspiring 450 alone. By comparison, if you added up everyone I met in my life, counted their parents, multiplied the sum several times, did something with the hypotenuse and factored in everyone who’s ever been in the Wu-Tang Clan, you might, maybe, break like 150.

This is my problem, though: that Facebook takes what used to be a shapeless process — making friends — and pours math into it, meaning that you can very easily, with a few mental calculations, compute how many friends you don’t have, particularly when compared with all the other popular people. I went to high school. Already done it.

So I think I’m going to get rid of the Facebook; I already have a blog that no one visits, and I can’t help but feel like I’m taking up valuable Netterweb space. There’s only so much of that in the world, after all, and I don’t want to be the only one using it for something recreational.


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