Following bad advice and the crowd I created an account on Facebook.
I’m not a good match for it and when the company began rolling out its new TimeLine format I thought a bit and decided not to cooperate.
TimeLine is built on the idea that you actually want to have one — a serial accounting of your posts, who you ‘friended,” and everything else you chose to “share.” And it wants it all in a gated community, immune to search, the exact opposite of this domain and everything I’ve put into cyberspace for the last twenty years.
So to make TimeLine useless, as far as my account and anyone viewing it is concerned, new material is deleted every couple days, sometimes sooner.
This had made a profile in which there are serial posts up until TimeLine was announced. And then an increasing gap, punctuated by a couple music videos I want to remain on one page of scroll, and whatever I have posted to Facebook in the last couple days.
By doing this your Facebook existence is mapped only in the present, or whatever slice of it you wish to present. All status changes and activities are immediately hidden. And if you wanted to see something posted last week, if it wasn’t one of my YouTube things, you can’t. You have to come here. Period. And if you don’t know how to do that because your primary cyberspace experience is Facebook, you won’t be able to do it. Which is fine with me.
There are some advantages to this, foremost — if you pursue it — being that you don’t have to worry about something from your past annoying someone you’d rather not stir up. Once in the habit, it automatically cleans up embarrassments or those things that don’t age well.
And face it, much of anyone’s day to day life is ephemeral. It doesn’t need preserving for the benefit of Facebook’s corporate clients.
The very idea of any value existing in a years long TimeLines of hundreds of thousands of Facebook captioned picture spammers masquerading as human beings should be enough to reduce you to tetany.
Mark Zuckerberg’s motto is to help make the world more connected and open. For 99.8 percent of all people that’s rubbish. They don’t need to become more open or connected. The human condition is not elevated by Facebook. There is no magical transmutation from lead into gold. There is no benefit to ‘liking” American businesses so Facebook can show you and those in your friends list what crap you buy and what movies you may have seen. You will not be handed career opportunities because you had a Facebook wall on which you came off as “passionate” in your interests. Corporate America is not combing Facebook to find new talent to hire, new opportunities to extend. And it’s not taking note of your ardent brown-nosing when you comment on a business’s or magazine’s wall posts.
On the other hand a nice Facebook page can ruin your life quite easily.
Take ex-Marine Gary Stein, who got the equivalent of a bad conduct discharge for a common sin — being a churl in public about the President. Unless he has a million dollar book deal in the offing, his Facebook page in trade now probably seems like a very bad deal. (Paradoxically, using my approach to Facebook, Gary Stein might have disappeared the content that got him booted before superiors saw it. But then all those anonymous armed forces Tea Party ninnies who flocked to his page to egg him on might not have thought it so great.)
General Motors figured all this out, or at least some of it. The company came to the conclusion there was no benefit to Facebook advertising.
My take has always been that, primarily, only morons click on Google AdSense links, and by extension, Facebook advertising. Those who do click may be doing so only out of curiosity, often to see just how awful whatever’s being shilled actually is.
And what benefit could any of that be to a big company like GM which puts things on network television everyday?
Once the dust has cleared on the IPO. Facebook’s market value will, absurdly, probably be higher than GM’s. GM employs hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Facebook employs something over three thousand.
If you had any self-respect and intelligence and you were a manager at General Motors, you wouldn’t want to have anything to do with the cult of Facebook.
Yesterday, while house-sitting for a friend, I read the LA Times’ frontpage piece on lavish spending in the Bay Area as run up to Facebook’s IPO.
There’s Uber, which provides young tech titans with on-demand limousine service at the touch of a smartphone app. Exec provides freelance go-fers to fetch dry cleaning and run other errands.
Then there’s Lux Delux, a start-up run by Andy Hsieh, brother of Tony Hsieh, founder of online shoe retailer Zappos. The invitation-only travel service books getaways to Las Vegas, providing VIP perks such as tables at the hottest restaurants, rock-star access at shows and penthouse suites at hip hotels.
Snooki and the Situation would do well to watch their well-tanned backs. “Silicon Valley,” a new reality show planned for the Bravo network, is gunning for “Jersey Shore.” Its executive producer is Randi Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister.
“We’re the best thing happening in America,” said one tech entrepreneur, who asked to remain anonymous so he could speak candidly. Celebrities “might be more famous, but this is where the true value is being created.”
Today’s most hilarious line comes courtesy of some nerd named Alexander Heffner t the Christian Science Monitor blog, the publication that used to actually be a real newspaper (no link):
Mark Zuckerberg has the potential to rekindle confidence in the markets and to engage everyday Americans in the kind of economic growth that has been limited to only a handful of individuals in recent years.
Kinda like the confidence inspiring Facebook co-founder who renounced his citizenship to get out from under US taxation.
Heffner apparently also believes Facebook has freed Syria and that it’s solved the problem of scarcity in organ donation, all in a couple weeks.
What’s next for Zuckerberg? Perhaps he’ll make the lame see, the blind talk.
An old Pennsy Dutch folk song would seem apt here.
On Facebook suck — from the archives.