Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Facing Up To Facebook


Over 2,500 years ago a slave named Aesop said that "Familiarity Breeds Contempt", but it also breeds contentment.
Humans need attention and they will create inventive ways to get it.

We all love to see familiar faces but when it comes to analyzing human behavior, nothing is ever simple.

I know that many of you are on Facebook.
I was.

Until reality reared it's ugly head and I realised that;

A: I am too much of a smartass, misanthropic, contrarian, k'vetcher to be tolerated in facebook ,
B: I'm too stupid to simultaneously manage a Blog and facebook, but most importantly..
C: how totally UNCOOL and downright EMBARRASSING it was for my wife and kids to have me in the same corner of the Interwebs!

Well it took longer than I thought, but familiarity has bred a backlash to Facebook and Friendster.

Sarcastic smartasses can retaliate to all of the NICETIES in the parody sites like Snubster, Enemybook, and Hatebook.
I would have called it Your Face & My Assbook.

The malicious malcontents who created these sites did so to combat what they say is nothing more than a phoney-baloney glorified e-mailing activity that turned so-called friendship into an uber-competitive race to accumulate acquaintances in cyberspace.

So, instead of collecting oodles of 'pseudo' irrelevant friends from the past and sending everyone that you ever knew or heard of winks, pokes, goofy gifts, and those mindnumbingly tedious apps, these mean spirited (boo hiss) alternative sites allow members to place people on 'Dead To Me' lists like THIS.

That is soooo COOL..
I mean mean!

FFS You don't see Bloggers stockpiling oodles of 'fake' Blogmates on gargantuan Blogrolls or sending each other self aggrandizing Awards for being brilliant do you..

Then it occured to me that NICE people, like the rest of my family, should have a NICE place to use on the Internets.

There are plenty of stalwart pessimists and miscreant sociopaths out here ranting about how frickin awful and stupid everything is.
OK I'll admit that there are NICE Bloggers too and they are all on my Blogroll.

So I say that the NICE people deserve a little corner of Cyberspace too.

Here comes the mandatory anthropology segment:

Humans are still hardwired to congregate in small groups of familiar faces. For most of our evolutionary journey we existed in clans where, like the bar in CHEERS, everybody knew your name.

This is why modern humans are are using technology to cluster into manageable byte-sized groups. Our developmentally arrested brains are hopelessly lost in cities surrounded by a sea of unfamiliar faces.

We crave the recogniton of peers.
Familiarity breeds both contempt and contentment!
It makes us feel more secure to be recognised.

Whether you do it on Facebook, Snubster, Blogger, or Your Face & My Assbook doesn't really matter.

As long as you're gettin' some form of acknowledgement you can pacify the panicky little Here I Am program in your brain.


  1. ((cough))





  2. "This is why modern humans are are using technology to cluster into manageable byte-sized groups."

    *snif* that was BEAUTIFUL, man!
    seriously, I'm impressed. that was succinct as hell.

    yeah, I opted out of facebook too. too much like gradeschool.

  3. ...ok so i just backread because i have been REMISS and A TARD (and busier than shit lately) and i've got to say, you're pithier than a whole sack full of pithy things lately, Coppens. carry on!

  4. If you keep this up I'll have to give you a Golden Bog Award.

    Ditto for Nations.

    They don't grow on trees, you know.

    Next thing you know, everyone will want one.


  5. I joined facebook once, at the insistence of a friend. The whole thing was way too annoying and way too high school-ish for me. Besides, I had no time for it and no interest in it. And I couldn't understand why old high school mates (with whom I had had no contact since 1988) were adding me to their lists but not communicating with me. The whole thing was just strange.

  6. I love Facebook. I love being told "Emily is now your friend"; particularly after I thought we'd been friends for about ten years. I love that feeling of finally being adequate: "Yes, I have friends now!!! All these people I've known for so long finally like me!!!" I love the way I can track down people I no longer have anything to say to. I love having 25 friends, all listed neatly with their pictures in case I've forgotten what they look like (although Kristie's picture is of a sunset, I have a sneaking suspicion she doesn't look like that).

    Tell me, HE, when Thingie said "familiary breeds contempt", was there some context or subject we should know about, to assist us in understanding? Because in general, I disagree with the saying as it stands. It would mean that I should feel contempt for my family, my husband, Melbourne, you, and my stomach. Instead, I appreciate and value all of these things. I feel far more contempt for people I've never met or spoken to, and about whom I know very little: celebrities, newsreaders, fat people, the guy on my train who wears a pinstripe suit that looks like pyjamas.

    Incidentally, there was a study done recently which apparently showed that people who blog feel more socially connected and happier than non-bloggers. I knew it wasn't just a pointless addiction...

  7. Facebook Schmacebook. I'm keeping my profile and my 88 friends (yeah, I'm THAT popular) because it's the contrarian thing to do. There's always one in any society, eh no?

  8. There's nothing wrong with high school. Over here in the mother country we call it secondary school, because the idea of getting high in school is not in keeping with the aspirations of our educators.
    Yes, I agree that we only have a small number of friends.

    But I have so many admirers.

  9. My children signed me up on Facebook...so now I get messages from THEIR friends (well non of mine have accounts!) because they think it's *cute* when I show up on their walls. Or whatever ya call it.

    /walks off mumbling under my breath

  10. Anonymous6:41 p.m.

    Facebook, Facebook. You know, I'd've lost contact with so many 'friends' from back home if it weren't for Facebook. Can you imagine?...the peace... the serenity...

    When I was introduced to Facebook, it was still a proper 'networking' site - ie. you could only join if you were part of a participating network, usually a business or University. They checked your authenticity using email addresses. There was a sense of exclusivity about it, made pleasant by the fact that I was on the Inside. University students fall in love with Facebook during Fresher's week, when they discover the ancient art of Facebook-stalking - the strategic targeting of a new acquaintance whose name you have forgotten, whose face you have forgotten, or whose existence you have forgotten. Many a real-life friendship has been established either directly or indirectly through the use of Facebook-stalking. And this stalking was perfectly innocent, because only those people already 'in the club', as it were, could view your page, thus rendering the stalk useless for random perverts. Those were the days.

    Now any old hoodlum can get an account and treat the place like MySpace: fill their 'friends' list with random perverts, 'poke' me, ask me to be their internet bride in Anglo-turkish - you know the deal. I could just about cope with this until the introduction of applications. Now everyone's carefully regimented profile pages are miles long & take hours to load. My (former) friends insist upon inviting me to 'texas holdem' tournaments, 'friend-compare'(because I'm incapable of doing that myself), and 'Vampires vs Werewolf' competitions. I do not want to decide whether I am a vampire or a werewolf. I feel it makes very little difference, in the grand scheme of things that is Facebook. I have adopted three amusing quotations, a pet dragon made of paper called Regie, and the ability to throw sheep at my loved ones. That is all I require.

  11. I've recently signed up with Facebook too at the urging of a good friend. And prior to blogging, I also had a Friendster account.

    And I see the appeal to some people. I also appreciate the fact that it put me in touch with very good high school friends who have moved to other countries. But between blogging, work, and the kids, I find I have very little time left to engage in the pokes, vampires/werewolves, gifts, etc.

    To each his own, I guess. i visit my account every once in a while but I much prefer visiting blogs and interacting in the blogosphere.

  12. I've never done Facebook, never will!

    I call it Assbook!


  13. Come here ya need a hug!

    Now don't let the nasty facebook bother you anymore.......

    Ah yes friends you don't know...but can trust.......

    Something vicious about being nice aye?

  14. "We crave the recogniton of peers. Familiarity breeds contempt and contentment! It makes us feel more secure to be recognised"

    Well, I love my job because I work everywhere in the hospital I work at and I love it because, well, not just because I love being a nurse, but that everyone is always happy to see me there. Familiarity with someone who knows what they have to do on a shift and will get the job done is security for them and pleasure for me. So yes, I am content when I am at work :)

  15. Oh, I can't be doing with Facebook because it seems a bit too grounded in the "real" world. I can't hide my identity there! With blogging, you can feel as though you're a satellite out there in space. Or summat.

    It is nice to connect with other people through blogging, but then again, if there's a disagreement with someone it somehow seems a lot worse than it would do in real life. I mean, I got a tetchy response to a comment I sent a few weeks ago on another blog, and I'm still smarting from it! Perhaps I need to be a bit more thick skinned.

  16. A-HA!
    Talk about a good old fashioned OUTTING eh?

    I'll be back later.

  17. Dead-to-me lists excellent idea, but to really snub someone you have to forget even their name!

  18. Llewtrah,
    Your powers of observation are far beyond the norm.
    You are absolutely right but you must remember that "others' are not as perceptive and therefore must be bludgeoned by the obvious.

  19. dude- i had no idea stuff like hatebook and snubster and such existed... how mean can people get!!!?!?


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