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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Facebook Friend: You're Doing it Wrong

I have a feeling some people don't understand the term: social networking. I say this because around election time the fur flies and people start posting the dumbest things. Most of the sound bites are taken out of context, or else the little bits of information are twisted to justify the argument.

But here's the thing. No matter what side you're on--no matter how sure you are--I can find a compelling argument for the exact opposite conclusion. (Learned that little trick in debating class. :grin:)

So in effect, these tirades are pointless. The posts come across as spam and it makes the poster look like a six-year old.

Everybody's entitled to an opinion and I usually ignore the vitriolic posts, but one of those Facebook hotheads posted one diatribe too many. After the fifth post on the same day, I clicked on her name and discovered I couldn't even find a nice, friendly post. She was nothing but vinegar.

I unfriended her. Give it a rest, honey. When I go to Facebook, I want to socialize. I don't want to read political propaganda.

But what if I'm wrong? Maybe people DO go there to read the trending political rhetoric. I could be totally out of touch. (Wouldn't be the first time.) So I thought I would ask you guys. Most of you have far more experience on Facebook than I do. What do you like to read when you visit Facebook? Have you ever unfriended somebody because they offended or annoyed you?

Is something fishy going on? If you haven't backed up your blog recently, you might want to do it today. Lately, the spam has been coming faster and meaner than the scorpions around here. And I noticed that a blog I normally follow suddenly showed up on my Reader with a dozen posts about travel--and with someone else's name on each post. I don't know if her blog had been highjacked or if she was the victim of corrupted code.

Makes me nervous when I see signs of a potential blog apocalypse.

If you're on Blogger, go to your Settings, then to the Basic tab, and click: Export Blog. It'll take you to a new screen that says: Download Blog. Click on Download and save the file. 

I try to do this every quarter, but maybe I'll start backing up more often--just in case something nasty is trolling around.

This week on Back to Basics I gave tips on moving, and more ways to recycle small jars and containers.


Clarissa Draper said...

I ignore the political posts on Facebook. If I wanted to talk about politics, I'll write about it and if someone wants to hear what I have to say, they can pay to read my words. As a writer, my posts on Facebook are on writing and reading and supporting other authors. I'm totally with you.

Thanks for the reminder to back up. I'll do that immediately.

LD Masterson said...

Uh oh. I can't back up my Blog. First, I don't have the Export option under Settings>Basic; I found it under Settings>Other. But when I try to download the file I get an error message: IE was not able to open this Internet Site. The reqested site is either unavailable or cannot be found.

I sure hope this isn't a sign of that blog apocalypse.

Re. Facebook - Most of the time I just skim past the political nonsense. But I did unfriend one woman who was constantly tearing down her son (i.e. "useless piece of shi*t") even after he commented, "Hey, I'm right here." I didn't want to be part of that.

Maria Zannini said...

Clarissa: I just wish I understood the purpose of their rants. I can't imagine it's to sway anyone so it must be just to 'hear' themselves talk.

Linda: Ref: tearing down her son
Now, that's just sad. Shame on her. Even if it were true, you just don't do that in public.

Ref: blog
Let me email you in a bit. You need to download another browser.

Angelina Rain said...

I usually just skim over all the political and religious posts on facebook.

What I get a lot is people (with normal pictures) friend me, and as soon as they have like 10 friends, the picture changes into something pornographic and they start sending messages with a porno site link.

Or once, I had this woman friend me, and as soon as I accepted, she posted a pic of herself with underwear only, and she tagged me in it. I constantly have to report/block/unfriend those kinds of people. Now, when accepting a new friend, I really have to check their profile before I say yes.

Angelina Rain said...

I usually just skim over all the political and religious posts on facebook.

What I get a lot is people (with normal pictures) friend me, and as soon as they have like 10 friends, the picture changes into something pornographic and they start sending messages with a porno site link.

Or once, I had this woman friend me, and as soon as I accepted, she posted a pic of herself with underwear only, and she tagged me in it. I constantly have to report/block/unfriend those kinds of people. Now, when accepting a new friend, I really have to check their profile before I say yes.

Maria Zannini said...

Angelina: I learned a handy trick for tags on FB. I checked the option that prevents tagging unless I approve it.

Unfortunately, FB (and Twitter) is hit or miss on whether I get an email alerting me. I wish I understood why that was. Sometimes I get notified and sometimes I'm not.

Nadja Notariani said...

I rarely go on facebook...I should make more of an effort, but I don't. Sigh.

I don't want to read political rhetoric either. I'm there to connect with friends and family who live far off. That's it. If I have something of that nature to say, I'll privately message the person I intend to read it.'re not alone. :} I've encountered a few persons who always have something negative to say. Eventually, we go our separate ways. I don't like all that negativity. It drags me down. I'd much prefer a laugh!

Texanne Kelly said...

I'm on FaceBook and Twitter because the pundits say that you have to be, to build a platform. Some of it I enjoy. I can ignore some of the political stuff, but when it's clear that a poster hates ME (or hates people like me) then I do whatever is necessary to stop seeing that poster. Why drink poison every morning if you don't have to?

Thanks for this post. :)TX

Maria Zannini said...

Nadja: I'm a sucker for funny stories or cute puppies.

Texanne: I usually only have time to visit FB on weekends, so I especially like more light-hearted fare.

Poison upsets my stomach. :o)

Adam Gaylord said...

I used to be one of those people that ranted and raved on Facebook but I've scaled WAY back. It doesn't do any good and it makes you look like a dick.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Thanks for the tip on backing up. Never knew I should do it! So, I guess from Linda's comment, that I should do it on Google Chrome? Once I get home, that is.

Krista D. Ball said...

I'm political. I just am. I have protested, marched, letter written, organized, and volunteered. On my facebook friend's page, I talk about those things. I argue, I debate, and I call my family members bigots when they annoy me :D

One of the things, however, that seems to work for me is that I'm Canadian. I talk about Canadian stuff, so it seems that only the Canadians really get involved.

Sometimes, being in another country really helps :D

Maria Zannini said...

Adam: I'm sure there are forums that cater specifically to rants, but FB is too broad a venue for that. Maybe Google+ would work better since it segregates people by groups.

Stacy: Either Chrome or Firefox. But first make sure you have the latest version of IE. I believe the latest one is IE9. It could be just your version needs updating.

Krista: It's a thin line to walk especially since we're in the public eye as authors. I don't want my political, religious, or sexual preferences to color anyone's perception of me as an author.

Since I don't write political fiction (and what part of politics isn't fiction?) it doesn't make sense for me to bring it up in my author profile.

I try to be careful in what I let the public see. Not because I'm ashamed of it, but because it isn't relevant.

Wayne Assiratti said...

I'm from the UK and over here the general attitude to politics is apathy. Every now and then I'll find someone or other on FB or Twitter posting badly thought out diatribe or poorly chosen soundbites.

I have always thought that there is a very big difference between Americans and British folk when it comes to politics. It has always appeared that Americans care more or at least have an opinion. It is very important to you as a nation. One of my favourite examples is the TV show the West Wing. The fact that it was a serious political drama that ran for seven seasons is testament to the fact that politics mean more to Americans that it does to british people. Of course we do satire very well, but any serious drama about UK politics on our televisions is about as rare as rocking horse poop.

I do agree with you though, Politics is a big issue and shouldn't be taken lightly. It has a time and a place and blogs about creative writing isn't it. More importantly, if you really care that much, maybe, you should have a blog about politics and do your business there. At least you are able to expound on your point of view. Status updates and tweets can't do that for you.

Aside from that, its always a pleasure to read your posts on writing Maria. As a newbie to it, I always find something useful to take away from them and implement in my process.



Southpaw said...

I don't use facebook but if I did I wouldn't want to deal with people rants of that sort- rants about squirrels, now that's a different story.

Dee said...

I absolutely hate the political stuff. I skip it, and if someone gets so relentless with it that I notice, I de-friend or hide them from my feed.

Not that I want to deny them the right to express themselves. Just not in my social space.

I recall de-friending one person who was constantly posting horrific pictures of abused animals. Not that I don't sympathize with the cause, but I just couldn't bear seeing the pictures.

Angela Brown said...

I'm not the best when it comes to Facebook. Honestly, the most I do is send random, positive vibe Bible quotes there...and that's just sending it from my Bible quotes app. Yeah, a bit lazy but it puts something positive in the universe. :-)

I've grown to ignore the political rhetoric. So much negative in the world all on its own. I don't need the vitriol of ignorance in 6 second sound bites. Though I haven't unfriended anyone, I have learned to ignore the e-mails received by a member of a certain online group I'm a part of. Everything she sent was negative and every time I researched it - like I was hoping she had - it came out misconstrued or down right false. So I usually delete without reading if I see her name. Sad really, one day she may actually send something worthwhile and I won't know it.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

Good advice on the blog back-ups. I have no idea how wordpress does it. Hmmm, yet another thing to look into when I have my own computer again. Woe!

I ignore most of Facebook, which I know sounds odd, like, why be friends if I'm not going to read updates, but it just takes up too much life.

Dru said...

Anything with politics, I ignore.

Shelley Munro said...

Like most of you, I ignore politics posts. I don't want to read them since I don't live in the US.

Backing up is a good idea, no matter what sort of blog you have. Wordpress has several backup plug ins that are useful.

Maria Zannini said...

Wayne: Methinks the US "cares" too much. It's not that people aren't entitled to an opinion, it's that they feel entitled to share it with perfect strangers.

Ref: satire
I never thought about that. The British tv shows that do the best over here seem to be satire. Cool.

Ref: writing
Glad those posts are useful. I don't write them often. But if I feel something has helped me, I try to share it when I can.

Maria Zannini said...

Holly: LOL! Yes! Squirrels! I always welcome rants about squirrels, and scorpions, and snakes.

Dee: I have someone who posts stories about abused animals, but no pictures. I get so angry at what people do I am likely to end up in jail one day if I ever catch anyone abusing a defenseless animal.

Hope someone will bail me out. :)


Angela: I don't post a lot either other than the automatic feeds from my blogs. I like to read and post on weekends though when I have more time.

I was wondering why I only saw bible verses from you. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: I prefer FB to Twitter. It's just easier for me to follow.

PS Sorry to hear about your computer. Hope you get yours back soon. :(

Dru: I try to ignore the politics, but people get so in-your-face. It's rude.

Shelley: You mean you guys don't talk about politics down-under? Or maybe Wayne (above) is right. It's only Americans who feel they have to put in their two cents.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I deleted a friend on FB last year for the same exact reason. I don't want to see that kind of stuff so I don't talk about it either. Unless I'm actually following a political blog. Otherwise, I just want to hang and have fun on social networks.

PS. Just backed up. Thx!

Raelyn Barclay said...

I don't want to be hit with politics or religion on SM. Mostly I just skim over those types of postings but if a person seems to be continually overzealous I'll block them. I use three strikes as a rule of thumb.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: I often wonder why people spam their FB thread with rants. I can't imagine this sways anyone other than people who already agree with them.

Raelyn: I blocked someone once for posting too many music videos. Once is a while is great, but several times a day is overkill.

Mike Keyton said...

My facebook page is a mess and I like it that way - much as I like my gardens. I have radicals, Guardian readers, Telegraph Readers, Marxists, libertarian tories, extreme rightwingers and religious fundamentalists all giving their two cents worth. The only thing they have in common is that they are all either family or friends. 'Messages' can be skimmed. They might have something interesting to say next time I look.

But, Maria, thanks for the tip ref blogger. I'll try acting on it today, in painting a large room 'sunburnt terracotta' doesn't get in the way. Pretentious? Moi? a little bit of Tuscany in Wales : )

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Interestingly enough, I follow none of my family on FB. Probably best that way. ;-)

Marianne Arkins said...

I unfriended her. Give it a rest, honey. When I go to Facebook, I want to socialize. I don't want to read political propaganda.

I'm exactly the same. I have very strong political views and I'm quite opinionated (no, really ... I KNOW -- hard to believe, right?), but I don't discuss it on FB. That's not why I'm there.

I don't care if my FB friends feel differently (even though they're wrong *G*), I don't even mind if they discuss it now and then.

I'll let the occasional diatribe pass, but when they come constantly from the same person OR if I see even one full of sheer nastiness, I unfriend. I have no time for that.

And, as always, I'm well behind. Sorry :-(

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: You, opinionated? I'm shocked! LOL.

I don't expect anyone to agree with my opinions. Heck even Greg doesn't always agree with them, but at least we don't trash each other over our differences. That's just rude.

I miss the old days when people didn't get personal about it.