Tag Archives: social media

Social media’s TMI generator

First, quickly: Damn, Facebook is teh awesome: The things people will say when they don’t realize the company’s privacy settings require constant monitoring like the water run-off that’s eating at your foundation. [That link picks a different potentially revealing search term each time you hit it. My god there are some brilliant ones … “cheated” … “skipped work”… and “my vibrator,” naturally. ]

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Not related, but sort of related…

It’s the same every time: Whenever the newest Next Big Social Media Thing comes around, I hear about it first in passing references on a tech blog or through a Twitter-addict who claims to be a social media expert with expertise we just cannot live without. Then it pops up in a random mainstream media or pop culture context. Eventually, I click around to find out more so that I can “know” about it for my job.

Sometimes they fade away, sometimes they stick around. Always, I find them to be of little use to my born-a-52-year-old-man needs.

But I need to know, because the people we try to reach in my job use these things. (It is really weird to understand social media more than the older people in my office, yet be less inclined to personally use the new media than they are. “I heard this from Allysa Milano’s Twitter,” I’ve been told a time or two by a woman who remembers Eisenhower.)

My problem isn’t some anti-technology stance; rather, it’s my contentment: I’m curious, I want to learn stuff and try new things, I want to explore this fine world, but I’m pretty damn content with the existing avenues to doing so. Those existing routes do not require a service fee, a plan upgrade, or 300 more virtual friends.

Witness Foursquare (oh wait, I’m sorry: It’s “foursquare” — it must be lowercased even at the beginning of sentences, ’cause that’s cuter. even n 2010 lol.):

What is foursquare?

foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things.

Oh god-no-run! Run!

All your lives are belong to us

It’s probably hypocritical that I would reject the old empire (Microsoft), embrace the new empire (Google) and keep a hockey stick’s distance from the burgeoning empire (Facebook), but I’ve never been anything if not annoyingly particular with my passions and dislikes.

There is just too much about how Facebook works and integrates that rubs me the wrong way. To keep abreast of how it functions and to keep a toe in, I have a rather impersonal account for my hockey site. From the “friends” and interests that’s garnered, I can appreciate how the network is a beastly force. But stuff like this on a rather simple but important question is what keeps me leery about switching my online “life” over to it:

In a perfect world, you could contact Facebook and ask them for a definitive answer on this, but we’re talking about Facebook here. I find it ironic that while every other company/brand on the planet is bending over backward to engage with consumers and provide support across multiple platforms, Facebook, the biggest social media player of all, is infamous for its lack of responsiveness and/or customer support.

So much about FB’s product advances and terms and policy changes over the years just leave me the impression that it was founded by a college student who’s still just kind of winging it. (Wait…)

Anyway, that post at Ragan’s and the comments that follow it pretty well encapsulated all the reasons I have for steering clear of a user interface I can’t stand, not to mention awkward encounters with names of the past and colleagues of the present I’d prefer to avoid (on this medium).

It’s probably true that there’s no such thing as privacy anymore in this world. But you can still choose whether or not you want to answer the phone.