Thursday, February 3, 2011
Here are the points we will be covering today in Facebook 101. Feel free to take notes. Everything will be on the test.
1. To Facebook or Not to Facebook. I go back and forth on this one myself. I swing between enjoying staying connected with friends and family… even those who live far away… and feeling that small-town sting of everyone knowing my business. I waffle between hoping no one notices me and wishing someone would write something nice on my wall. I try to weigh the value of social networking as a way to promote my music, vs. the time-consuming nature of Facebook. It is really a love (like)/hate thing for me. If you love Facebook so much that you can’t seem to go an hour of the day without checking it, then please skip to #10 and follow the directions there.
2. Friends. If you think your kids are excited to be your Facebook friends, they are probably not. If in fact you believe that anyone is truly excited to see your friend request, they are probably not. If you think that being someone’s Facebook friend means that you are close in real life, you are probably not. If you think that Facebook is real life, please skip ahead to #10 and follow the directions carefully.
3. Posting Etiquette. Type your post into the box that says “Write Something” or if you wish to post to your own wall, in the “What’s On Your Mind?” box. Now, before, clicking on “Share,” read your post carefully. Have you mentioned bodily functions of any kind? Did you reveal the medical status of one or more family members? Did you write how relieved you are to finally be rid of a detested spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or fiancée? Does your post detail feelings of love or physical longing for another Facebook user, regardless of marital status? OKAY. Before you hit that SHARE button, look at your Friends list. Does your friends list include your husband? Wife? Children? Parents? Siblings? People from work? Boyfriend or girlfriend? Fiancee? Church associates? School friends? Childhood sweethearts? Yes, I thought so. Now, STOP what you are doing, look me in the eyes and listen carefully to what I am telling you: ALL OF THESE PEOPLE will be able to read the post you have just written. ALL OF THEM. It will show up on their news feeds and in some cases on their profiles. Do you understand what I am telling you? Good. If you find what I am telling you to be in some way incomprehensible, then please for the love of all that is holy, immediately skip to #10 and follow the directions included there.
4. Photos. Facebook allows you to post photos. They don’t really know what photos you are posting, so it is really up to you. But inappropriate or offensive photos can be reported, and will be removed by the Facebook gods. If your buddy gets really drunk and you think it would be funny to post photos of him less than fully dressed, I will report you. Particularly if you are a close friend or family member. If you believe that there is nothing in this world more beautiful than childbirth, please feel free to make yourself a scrapbook. If you post childbirth photos that include (but are not limited to) any body parts normally hidden in a public setting, internal organs such as a placenta or any other female reproductive organs, or excessive amounts of blood that came from incisions or female parts, I will report you. You should thank me. If for some reason this seems unfair to you, please refer to #10 and follow the directions.
5. Profile pictures. I know you think you know what I am going to say here… truth in reporting and all that… put up a photo that really looks like you… nothing from before 1980, etc. etc. You would be wrong. I actually prefer to look at appealing profile pictures. So put your best foot forward. Maybe literally… if your most attractive feature is your feet, then let’s see that pedicure. If you looked better in 1970, bring it on. Photoshop if you must. Please refer to Awkward Family Photos and if your photo resembles any of the photos there, please skip to #10 and follow the directions there.
6. Privacy. As part of our class time today, please proceed to the Privacy Settings section of your Account info. Now jack them up to maximum. You will thank me for this. No more friend requests from someone named Yasmine who is “interested in other women” and whose profile pic is her… well, you get the picture. Yasmine, if you are reading this, please proceed to #10 and follow the directions found there.
7. Quizzes. You know who you are: Stop taking quizzes. You are wasting your life away. The Facebook gods do not really know how tall you are going to be, or how many children you will have, or which Twilight character you most resembled in a previous life. These are designed to rob you of your time and your dignity. If you have plenty of the former, and none of the latter, then just start watching daytime TV or tip cows or really anything else besides taking these inane and often sexually inappropriate quizzes. If you really can’t stop yourself, I understand. Please proceed immediately to #10 and follow the directions there.
8. Farmville. Yoville, Mafia Wars, etc. STOP, look into my eyes, and listen to what I am telling you. These things are not real. You have lost your grip on reality. You are dehydrated, your kids are wandering around in three-day-old diapers and your house looks like a set from Hoarders. There is no 12-step program for this. With all the compassion I can muster, I am telling you: Skip to #10 and follow the directions. If this does not immediately solve your problem, then reach behind the computer, and unplug it from the wall. Take a deep breath. Look around you. Do you know where you are? Deep breaths.
9. Homework. Your homework today is to go home and watch “The Social Network.” If, after watching it, you think that Mark Zuckerberg was a nice young man who invented Facebook so you could keep in touch with your kids... then you missed the point entirely, and you should now proceed to #10 and follow the directions. (Disclaimer: The Social Network is rated PG-13 and to the best of my recollection had girls dancing in their underwear and drug use and an occasional swear word so I am not recommending it to anyone of a tender age or sensibilities or anyone remotely Mormon that might think I am a bad person for even suggesting it. Thank you for your understanding.)
10. To deactivate your Facebook, select “Deactivate” under Account Settings. Do this now.
Thank you for your kind attention during class today. I hope it has been fun and informative. If you still Facebook, then be so kind as to click on this button and go “Like” my Archangel Records” page. I am in desperate need of the validation that I get from having fans. And if you want to send me a friend request, please feel free. I am shockingly undiscriminating.
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