Tag Archives: facebook

Yearbook Pet Peeves, the Internet and PC

12-30-2013 11-00-31 AMOne of my favorite things to do as a child was to browse through my mother’s high school yearbooks. I remember looking at the photos of the teenagers, reading the blurbs under each photo and anticipating my own high school years.

In at least one of the yearbooks the students were asked their pet peeves and they were listed under their photos along with their academic and extracurricular highlights and ambitions. I focused on these pet peeves of the Elgin High School students in the early 1950s.

Because I was on a sort of quest to become perfect I made a list of them in a notebook to make sure I did not ever do whatever these students found annoying. The only two I remember were: “Wearing pink with red” and “The song, ‘June is Busting out All Over’”.  I vowed to never be caught wearing pink and red at the same time or ever singing the song “June is Busting out All Over”.

The others were similar – simple things that teenagers of the time just didn’t like. Nothing mean about them – just something fun for the yearbook. I however, took it to heart. I never did become perfect, and probably threw out the list because I realized it was silly, however you’ll still never hear me sing “June is Busting Out All Over” or wearing pink and red at the same time.

12-30-2013 11-04-16 AMFast forward several decades. Now, instead of my mother’s yearbooks, I like to browse the Internet. I usually start with Facebook – the yearbook of the world – and read what people are doing and what they are thinking – some of which are pet peeves. Sometimes people post links to lists of what might be considered pet peeves.

I no longer keep a list of what I should be doing or should not be doing to make my fellow man happy, but I do take a lot of things to heart, just as I did with the pet peeves from the 1950s. If a Huffington Post contributor suggests I not comment that the weather is wonderful where I am when someone posts a photo of a thermometer reading below 0 degrees F, I’ll try to not do that. If I know that one of my Facebook friends hates it when I cross post from Twitter to Facebook, I’ll stop. If my brother doesn’t like my political views, I’ll either stop posting them or not include him in the group of people by whom the post is seen.

In addition to simple pet peeves, there are also the PC kind. These are more dangerous to ignore. For instance is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? No matter what you say you are bound to insult someone. I used the term “Christmas Tree” in a post a week or so prior to Christmas and someone responded, “What’s Up?” which made absolutely no sense to me in the context of my post. I worried that he might be Jewish and be insulted that I said Christmas Tree instead of Holiday Tree when talking about a decorated evergreen in a public place. Once, on a private forum, someone said that using the prefix “uber” to mean “very much” was disrespectful because it was used in Nazi Germany. I don’t ever use “uber” because of that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written an innocent response to a Facebook post and ended up deleting it because I was afraid it would somehow be taken the wrong way. One of my greatest concerns is hurting feelings or annoying someone.

I could go on and on but I am sure someone, somewhere has a pet peeve about long blog posts with too many examples. I think you get the picture and I need to realize that you can’t please everyone all of the time and be it pet peeves from the 1950s or opinions of Internet entities or Facebook friends – I should just relax and not worry so much. Or should I worry more? It certainly gives my time on Facebook a different flavor. What do you do in these situations?

An Un Post

I find it kind of amusing and a little upsetting that the tiny prefix “un” has become a common threat or even a weapon these days in social media venues.

On Twitter, when someone “follows” you it is usually a good thing. It usually means that they find what you have to say of interest. Sometimes people unfollow you too — most of the time you don’t notice it. Sometimes you notice it and wonder why they did unfollow you, but it really isn’t usually a big deal. Some people, however, think that they are so important that they can threaten to unfollow others in order to change the followee’s behavior. (Please note that neither of the people below follow me nor do I follow either of them. I searched for “unfollow” on twitter.)

Bitchh I will unfollow the shit out of u, keep dickin !
Twitter unfollow threat
Who the fuck cares about a damn justin beiber birthday. If people keep posting that shit ima unfollow you.
Twitter unfollow threat

Then there is Facebook. On Facebook people “friend” you. Often it is because they actually know you in real life or online. Sometimes it is because they admire you. Occasionally they might even be stalking you. I’ve not seen “unfollow” used as a threat much on Facebook, but the threat is sometimes implied. Here’s one that is more of a stern warning than a threat.

The next blues band from who-knows-where that sends me an invitation through the message inbox, instead of the invitation feature, is going to get "unfriended." Sorry, folks, I'm not going to attend your show 1,000 miles from here. I didn't sign up for FB to be spammed with ads.
Facebook unfriend warning

Finally, the last and possibly meanest “un” threat is “uninstall”. I’ve only seen this in the comments of my phone’s “market”. I have an android based cell phone and the android market is full of useful and not so useful applications — most of them free of charge. Anyone can create an app for an android phone and upload it to the market. People download it via their phone and sometimes rate and/or comment on their experience with the app.  Sometimes people say things like, “Great app!”. Sometimes they say, “Useful app, but it needs such-and-such.”. And sometimes they say, “This app is a waste. Uninstall!”. Sometimes it is probably a waste or doesn’t work properly, but tossing in the word uninstall is like salt on a wound. It is not only unnecessary it is there to hurt someone who gave them something for free in the first place.

I don’t like this trend at all. Our language and our society need more positives and fewer negatives. It seems that the more avenues that are opening for people to communicate with each other, the more ways some people are finding to hurt each other.

I have issues: Part 4 — Fear of Annoying People

I hate to be a bother. I hate to annoy people. I get worked up about possibly saying the wrong thing to someone at a party and worry about it the next day, and beyond. I don’t know how normal this is. I don’t normally talk about it, but I know it is the root of a few of my character flaws, like why I usually wait for people to call me, rarely initiate things with friends and why I dislike asking for help of any kind. I don’t want to bother them if they are in the middle of something. I don’t want to annoy them with my request. I don’t run my air conditioner if I don’t absolutely have to because a neighbor complained that it was loud — I wouldn’t want to bother her in her quietly air conditioned house. I just want to live my life and not be a bother to anyone.

Until the past couple of years this issue only manifested itself in real life, but lately I’ve been more conscious of feeling this way about my online interactions. For instance, when I first became active in Facebook I had all sorts of things streaming on my “wall”. I had my twitter feed and my friendfeed sent to my Facebook wall. I also allowed whatever app I was using on Facebook to be sent to my wall. These notices were then sent to my Facebook friends’ newsfeeds and I annoyed at least one person enough that he deleted me from his friends. When I asked him about it he suggested I join twitter if I wanted to update my status as often as I seemed to be updating it. I explained that it was twitter that was doing it.

Anyway, after that I tried to limit what was posted to my wall. I made a few mistakes, but seemed to be doing fine. Lately, however, a number of people are posting status reports that they are annoyed by other people’s wall posts. Of course (another of my issues is thinking that I’m to blame for everything) I assumed they were talking about my wall posts. Was my app/external site usage being seen by my followers and I didn’t know it? I searched the settings and double checked that what I was doing on Facebook was not annoying anyone. Not bothering them.

And then there is this blog. The theme or the plugins or the widgets is causing problems with commenting and viewing. I’ve spent entire days troubleshooting and have not found an answer.

This is one issue that is not going to be fixed by writing a post about it. I expect that I’ll have this issue until the day I die. I imagine it is part of a larger issue.

So if I annoy you in real life or on Facebook or on Twitter or on my blog, please accept my apologies. I really don’t do it on purpose.

A Facebook New Year’s Eve

Last night, while Indigo Bunting was Burning Sugartown and Deloney was talking to Glen and Fay was dodging fireworks and Helen was thinking about hair and penguins I was discovering Facebook.

Now, let it be known, I signed up on Facebook only a few months after it opened its doors to non-students. I’d wondered about this private space for young folks ever since I heard about it through college students I knew.  I was not impressed when I first signed up. My daughter took pity on me and became my friend so my profile didn’t pathetically proclaim “Dona Patrick has no friends”. So I poked around. And poked Clare. And she poked me back. And I poked her. Booorrrinnnng.

Then I got some other friends — my son (who later unfriended me), and some friends I knew online for years. They sent me gifts like growing things and I sent them things like growing things. I logged on occassionally, but it just didn’t hold my interest. I was tired of poking and of strange friend requests and of growing gifts. I even got into the zombie thing. <shakes head>

A few nights ago, after a couple of too many glasses of wine I showed Facebook to my mom and I left drunken comments and messages — one to someone I thought I knew but who was someone else with that same name.

So — last night I thought I’d try again. After all, my kids spend a lot of time on Facebook — there must be some attraction. First of all, the interface has changed. It is cleaner than it was before. I’ve learned to use the ignore button a lot. I’m ignoring gifts — you always have to add something to your Facebook in order to view them anyway.  I’ve also started to ignore friend suggestions because when I tried to befriend someone whose name I knew she flat out rejected me! Ouch….

I did find my best friend from junior high and part of high school. She’s not gotten back yet though. 25% chance that she’ll reject me too. I also found my husband’s distant cousin who I met at his mom’s funeral. She accepted my friendship. Most of the folks that are my friends (45!) are from Brainstorms, but that’s ok. I’ve been there for almost 10 years and I know some of these people better than I know my neighbors I’ve lived near for the same amount of time.

Then I had a chat with a friend from Brainstorms, which was nice. I used to chat a lot, but have not done it recently.

All-in-all, for a New Years Eve, it was very low key and I was in bed by 11 pm.  I doubt it would have been more lively if Dean had been home. As previously mentioned, we don’t really do New Year’s Eve. No, it wasn’t the parties I envisioned as a child or teen. It would have been more fun to have burned sugarcubes or watched fireworks or even chatted with that old friend from high school. But it was what it was, and I have found a new obession, but at least it is something I can share (afar) with my kids.