Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Pest Control

We found ants in our kitchen. We’ve tried everything to get rid of them. Finally, I set up a Facebook account for the queen ant. If social networking is going to lead to the end of our society, maybe it will take care of theirs, too. I may have gone too far. But there are no longer ants in our kitchen. I think they’re all updating their timelines.

Obviously, she is a party ant.


I Will Rule The World!

You may already know how I feel about Pinterest. And I can help you understand Facebook. I don’t have a cell phone, so I guess I can’t use Instagram. Which of course means that I now really WANT to. But I’ve discovered a new thing that I want make a part of my life. Klout.

Ever since I started on Twitter, I’ve seen mysterious tweets “So-and-so earned +K for pants-zipping (I’m pretty sure, but it might have been for blogging or dog-walking)! ” And I think “Yay for pants-zipping! And potassium!” Imagine my surprise when I discovered that +K has nothing to do with eating bananas, though there might be a category in there somewhere for best banana bread maker. It all has to do with influence. On the internet. Count. Me. In.

I discovered today that not only can a numerical score tell everyone around me (who follows likes klouts on me, or whatever it is you do) how very important I am, I can also get free stuff! Who wouldn’t want that? I can get stuff like this:

Person of Interest SCREEN WIPES! Person of interest here! SO interested! Is that a TV show?

And oh, my gosh!

Who wouldn't need these? Yes, it might slow down the consumption of my food, but they are FREE! And free is awesome!

I looked around, and there are some folks with a lot of Klout.

I want to be as important as these people! And with Klout, I can at least look like I am!

But it does make me a little sad that Lil Twist barely has enough Klout for those plate-toppers. Poor guy! Or girl. I have never heard of him/her, but there they are on Klout! And I am happy to live in a world where Cher packs as much klout as Bill Gates!

Influence is important, and it must be used with great care. How should I influence the masses? Pants-zipping is already taken. What is left for me?

What We Really Need

Yesterday, I complained about Facebook’s new feed. I hate it and have since it was first unveiled for me. The top stories business has driven me insane. If I was willing to read what someone else thought was important, I’d have actually read Bartleby the Scrivener when it was assigned in high school. But I would prefer not to.

I am magic. Today I suddenly have the ability to sort my feed the way I want to. I can opt to have posts appear in order rather than by what Facebook thinks should be important to me. How exciting! A new feature to make things look like the old Facebook. I am sure they only messed with the feeds at all because the developers are too young to remember that fiasco known as New Coke. Too bad. Could have saved some time and money.

In an attempt to keep Facebook from making another mistake and annoying their users, I thought I would post a list of features that would actually be useful. And since I have the ear of Zuckerberg…Zuckerman? No, Zuckerman had the famous pig. Zuckerberg is leading us all to the slaughter enlightenment. Anyway, since he obviously listens to me, I’ll just go ahead and say “You’re welcome.” Soon you may have these shiny new features:

Age Progression/Face Recognition Software: Lost touch with someone you used to hang out with? In preschool? Don’t know their last name? Or any name because they never actually spoke to you in this lifetime, but your eyes met across a crowded playground and they may be your soul mate? Not a problem. New technology would take an uploaded photo and age it for you, giving you an idea of what they may look like now and then match it to the bazillions of photos posted on Facebook. Don’t have a photo? No worries. Scan in that drawing you did in art class. Face Recognition Book will find them.

The 2.0 version will allow you to indicate said person’s likes and dislikes in an effort to make aging more accurate. Loved animals? Software will focus on pictures of people holding dogs in costumes. Liked eating paste? That stuff has a ton of carbs. Software will add 20 pounds. Enjoyed programming their Commodore Vic 20? Sorry. Those folks are most likely too smart to be on Facebook in the first place.

Elizabeth with the beautiful hair in my kindergarten class, I will find you. And see if you got fat and shaved your head. Drawing from wikimedia. I can't draw that well.

Potty-Mouth Censor: Personally, I don’t enjoy seeing posts with a lot of swearing in my news feed. A word or two here or there I can handle, but a stream of profanity is rather boring. With the new potty-mouth censor, there is no longer a need to hide offensive posts. When someone’s status update consists of a paragraph of naughty words, hands will simply reach through the screen and wash their mouths out with soap. And call their mom.

Cautionary Tale Feed: Kids are on Facebook in ever greater numbers these days. Parents are growing more and more concerned with what their children may stumble across. Rather that installing filters, which can be easily bypassed by even a second-grader, why not subscribe your kids to the Cautionary Tale feed? This little gem will sort all the millions of photos of drunk  or otherwise impaired individuals that have been uploaded and post to your child’s feed those that most graphically demonstrate just how stupid drinking can make you.

Dress a Dweeb Technology: Tired of those half-naked photos of your friends appearing in your feed? Dress-a-Dweeb will take care of that for you. When someone is stupid enough to post a pic with their worldly goods hanging out, a file will automatically open offering a selection of outfits with which you may then cover them. For kicks and giggles, hit “post”. They say that living well is the best revenge. That’s wrong. The best revenge is posting pics of your pal wearing a kilt and an “I’m With Stupid” sweatshirt.

Frenemy feed:  The Frenemy feed will post to your feed any picture that makes them look fat, and any status update that makes them look shallow and stupid, allowing you to feel much better about the fact that they just landed a job making six figures while you’re still a struggling sandwich artist.

Again, you’re welcome. And now back to NaNoWriMo. 6000 words and counting.

How You “Like” Them Apples?

Mimes from Wait. If they're mimes, why do they need a mandolin?

In honor of National Cliche Day, I am doing some hating on Facebook. Again. Because I’m too tired to have an affair with my tennis pro and too busy not working on my novel for NaNoWriMo to go to Starbucks for a half-caff pumpkin latte with a whisper of cinnamon.

The new Facebook is, well, interesting. I created a little fan page for my blog. My dream was to have a gazillion people “like” my blog. Because as we know, a “like” on Facebook really means love. And I need to be loved. Nothing says “You’re awesome, and therefore not a waste of space,” like the approval of complete strangers.

So now they’ve changed the format of their page a bit.  And for fan pages, that means nifty little analytics. Instead of counting views or “hits,” now we’re collecting “impressions.” Cool. The problem is that the impression my page is doing looks to be  Marcel Marceau. 

Seriously. The hits on my blog have increased to a satisfying level, but I don’t have Facebook to thank. In the last two week, the site stats on  Wordpress indicate I have gotten exactly one hit from Facebook. That means that twice as many people have found my blog using the search engine terms “nudists” and “peed pants Halloween” and exactly the same number using the term “pooped undies” as have found it by following me on Facebook. Let that sink in for a moment. Or not.

I know that at least some of my followers would read the posts if they could find them.Or at least click the links to shut me up.  Because we are related, and they’d like to avoid uncomfortable confrontations at Thanksgiving. At least the confrontations that don’t pertain to Uncle Bert’s affair with a local TV personality. Some things simply must be talked about. Family is family, after all. And a friend did mention that she hasn’t actually seen a post from me in a couple of weeks. Awesome. I post five days a week.

I know what you’re thinking. “Get a clue, sister. You suck. I hate you.” And that’s possible, especially if you are my actual sister. And you’d be within your rights. Sorry, sis!  But it’s not just happening to me. One of my favorite pages has achieved enviable levels of cyber-stranger-approval, and the owner added a new post a few days ago. But I didn’t find it on Facebook without actually looking for it. A post with 1,800 comments and 11,000 “likes” got buried in my news feed about as quickly as it got posted. Instead, I found it on Twitter. Interesting.

Another beef that I have about Facebook is that it is so hard to find people you actually know in real life. I get suggestions all the time to friend people who went to school with somebody I once met on the bus, but rarely are they someone I really know. And forget searching for them. When I typed in “Elizabeth with the beautiful hair who invited me to her birthday party but I couldn’t go and then she moved away at the end of kindergarten and I never saw her again,” I got no results at all. Not a single one. I got some link to an article about Obama and a profile that appears to belong to a dog. Come on, Facebook. If you can’t help me stay in touch with the people I hold dear, or at least the people I vaguely remember who occur to me while I’m distracting myself instead of writing on my novel, what good are you?

In conclusion, I am concluding. My hate is spent, and I really need to go to the grocery store. Nothing squelches creativity (and self-respect) like a trip to Wal-mart, but if I feed the kids all-purpose flour and cherry pie filling again, they might complain.

And all is not lost for me. I am coming to the conclusion that there are more important things than being “liked” and read on Facebook. There are things that are better indicators of my worth in the world. Like being “followed” on Twitter.


Lost in Translation: Facebook Edition

Needs no translation. Tiny snowman is angry because he is at the mercy of the thermometer. Bummer.

A little guide to the new Facebook. As you know, I am a born interpreter.

Find Friends: People with whom you have much in common and should probably add. They are friends of friends, pets of friends, play an app that you deleted, went to the same school as someone you once met, answered similarly when taking a “Do you like soap?” quiz,  or they, like you, are breathing. See? You are practically twins. Add them, or you will die alone.

Share: Click the button, you selfish pig. Everyone wants to know that you have leveled up/unlocked a treasure/poked a pet. Everyone. Who do you think you are, the Queen of England? Like you’ve got secrets to keep.

“Overall Protection Is Low”: We don’t have enough information about you to completely wreck  your life when we sell it. We only pretend to care about your security question. What we really want is your mobile number. So we can call you on your birthday. We promise not to share it with anyone. Pinky swear. At least not until the next update. And if you could go ahead and provide samples of your hair and blood, that would be just super.

Privacy Settings: This has nothing to do with actual privacy. If it helps, think of it more as a video game. Just like you aren’t growing actual vegetables on Farmville. But it’s fun, right?

Ticker: A running list of every single thing that your friends are doing that you forgot to unsubscribe to. You now have the ability to make fun of your friends because you know how many times they have listened to “You Give Love a Bad Name” today. As important as it is to have friends, you have our permission to unfriend those who admit to listening to anything by Justin Bieber. It’s our one exception.

Like: Ambiguous and sometimes creepy, it’s a great way to let someone know that you have read their post without actually commenting. And it always keeps them guessing! When you see someone “likes” your post that your dog has mange and is undergoing experimental treatment, do they mean “I hate your dog because he poops on my lawn.  Go, mange!” or do they mean “I’m so glad that a brand new treatment is now available?” That’s part of the fun.  You decide! After all, Facebook is about giving you control and enhancing your relationships!

Recent Stories: A bunch of stuff you used to read. We prioritized it for you because deciding what should be important to you is what we do. It’s pretty much the same stuff you’ve already seen in your news feed. It’s basically a reminder that we’re collecting data on everything you do and will either sell it or use it against you in the future. You’re welcome.

Tags: Easy way to invade someone else’s privacy. Have an embarrassing photo of someone? Awesome! Post it and tag ’em. Not only will it go to all of your friends, but it goes to all of theirs as well. And their minister. And maybe their kindergarten teacher. We’re not totally sure.