The pre-requisites for this article are Let's Get Started, and Introduction to Facebook 101. If you have not read these articles, please do so by clicking on the links before proceeding to the following article. You don't HAVE to, I suppose. But don't blame me if you don't get what I'm talking about or don't find any of it funny because you chose to not follow my instructions of reading the above first. I'm just sayin'! If you have already read the pre-requisites, then my apologies for making you read this paragraph. There's always one or two keeping the whole class back, isn't there?
Let's move on. The "others" will have to catch up.
Now that you have been on Facebook for a week (which is 3 years in facebook time), it’s time to get more acquainted with the other entertainment that fb has to offer other than stalking. Let's face it, you've already looked up all your ex-boyfriends/girlfriends and now you're wondering "what else is there to do?" Right? I'm going to tell you about some of the things I have found on Fb.
For the purposes of this exercise, I'm making the assumption that you are still on facebook and haven't gotten frustrated with the whole thing and deleted your account. If you have and you are turning to my blog because you miss me and my wit on Facebook, there is no comparison. First of all, you're putting too much pressure on me to be funny on my blog. On fb, I can have a whole slew of one-liners because others are always providing me with such great material. If you're a friend of mine, then you know this already. But I can't have a whole blog of just one-liners just for you. (Or can I? Hmm, we'll see.) Although I have to say, unlike fb, I do enjoy this one-sided conversation we are having, where I type and all you can do is read. Especially nice that you can't hijack my blog like you did with my status updates on fb. Hmm. Maybe you should stay off fb for a while. Yeah, maybe this will work out just fine for us.
Nah, get back on Facebook. You're missing so much!
Anyway, for those of you that have hung in there and didn't do something as drastic as deleting your account, thanks for hanging in there with us. Facebook appreciates it and I do too. But please know it's time to increase your fb skills to the next level. You don't want to be left behind like the "others", do you? I didn't think so. So let's begin.
More Advanced Acronyms and Language
In my Introduction to Facebook 101, I covered many acronyms, and hopefully by now you have used one or two of them. Here are some more that I had taken note of since the last time I posted:
ROTFLMAO = Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off. Unlike the "thumbs up" which people don't actually do, the rolling on the floor DOES actually have to happen. Don't be afraid to get right down there on the floor. Nobody can see you. This acronym is used when, and only when, someone has said something so brilliantly funny that it makes you laugh for more than a minute. It's not a snicker. It's a full OMG (learned in Introduction 101 if you were paying attention). It's SO hilarious, your laughter makes other people in your household wonder what you're laughing at, causing them to have jealousy over a computer screen. Using the ROTFLMAO is sacred. It is not to be used lightly. It is the utmost in the whole I-can't-see-you-so-I-need-to-type-letters-to-indicate-that-was-funny category. Use it sparingly and people will know that you really found something funny. Use it too much, and people won't have a frame of reference to know when you thought something was really funny. Oh I suppose you could type TWSFIAPMP? (That Was So Funny I Almost Peed My Pants), but trust me folks, nobody is going to know what you're talking about if you type that, so just stick with me on this and you'll be fine.
Some people, not me of course, but some people have found the need to reduce the use of expletives but find it so hard to cut the habit completely. That's where the “curse word filler” comes in. I liken this to a heroin addict using methadone just to get by. There is a list of choices to use and no matter which one you use, WE all know what you REALLY meant to say. Here are the substitutes:
Freakin' (please don't say "freaking". It makes you sound like an annoyed scholar and it loses its edge. Definitely have to leave the /g/ off for the whole substitution of the real word effect. Or is it affect? I always eff that one up.)
Imaginary Worlds on FB
I have very little knowledge of this genre. But this I do know. People have totally lost touch with reality and really feel the need to participate in the imaginary cyber life that it offers. I've witnessed status updates cursing fb out if people can't get to "water their cyber plants", can't “feed their pig", can't "get a bullet to shoot their mafia friend" and God forbid they don't "clean their fish tanks for a week" causing it to get all green and slimy with algae because of their negligence. These are games fb offers to suck you in. It’s all just one big conspiracy to get us all hooked so that when they want to start charging us a fee for fb, we can't possibly let our plants, fish or pigs die, or let our mafia friends down. Mark my words, Folks. Better slaughter the pig now, hit the mob boss, rip the plants up, and put the aquarium out at the next Yard Sale. (Some of you already have your credit cards out, ready to pay fb for this entertainment, don't you. Yeah, me too.)
Then there are the cyber gifts. Good heavens, the gifts! I find that people on fb are extremely generous with sending flowers, beads, smiles, LOVE, you name it. What the heck. It's FREE! In real life, when was the last time your friends sent you a real diamond in the mail for no reason? I'd venture to guess never! But on fb, there's a plenitude of free gifts to send, and send they do!
I think fb has missed the boat on this a little though. To make it more real life, don't you think they should have a link that says "Return gift for cash"?
Then there's the pressure of having to reciprocate the gift-giving. If you don't send a gift back, you run the risk of showing your friend that the friendship is purely one-sided; the scales are tipped; they care more about you than you of them. And God help you if your mutual friends see that you sent someone a gift and you didn't send them one! Drama ensues and before you know it, you're wishing for the real world back where nobody got you any gifts!
In summary, your friends are cheap bastids who expect you to fall for the cyber gift. Just keep that in mind for the next time someone sends you some bogus box of chocolates that you can't actually eat but can only stare at on the screen. It's bordering on sadistic. And really, with friends like that, who needs enemies, right? Am I right?
(And we wonder why the economy is down. Everyone is buying "pretend" gifts for each other and not spending money in real stores!)
Posting Comments on Status Updates
For some people, making comments is as easy as just typing whatever comes in their mind. Some people always know the exact right things to say. (I'm not one of those people. We hate those people.) For other people though, it's like being in a classroom and being called on to answer a question. They know the answer, they just get flustered. They type, hit post, and then say, why did I type that? Sometimes it seems that a person isn't exactly paying attention to the discussion taking place within the posted comments. So out of nowhere they make a comment that doesn't correlate to your update. This is called “hijacking” the post. It's not their fault that they can't stay on topic. Let's face it. These people in real life can't stay on topic so why would we think they can on a computer. HELLO?
Anyway, sometimes it is necessary to delete comments for various reasons. I've deleted my own comments at times. I type what I want to say, hit post, and then for some reason, I reread it myself when it gets out there for everyone to see, and somehow through cyberspace it changed and took on a totally different meaning. Not in the way I had intended for it to come across at all.
I’m not going to lie to ya' folks. What happens next sucks!
At the moment that I realize I shouldn't have hit send/post, immediate panic ensues. I frantically try to "recall" the message. No wait, I can’t do that. That only works in email; I try to "cut" it out by selecting the text and right clicking. Nope, not an option. It's posted there and not moving. Tick tock, tick tock. More people are reading it and I don't know how they're taking it. FRIG!!!! The blood pressure rises and my face turns red. How do I get that blessed thing off there?!? SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!!!!! I'M GOING TO HAVE TO CANCEL THIS ACCOUNT AND START ANOTHER ACCOUNT WITH NEW FRIENDS. HOW DO I DELETE THAT COMMENT. HELLLLLLLPPPPPPP!
Now folks, if this is all happening to you while you’re on a laptop or PC, this is very easy to fix. It takes only a minute or two to delete it. Therefore the only one(s) that will see the ridiculous comment you made are the friends that read their notifications instantaneously (and you know who they are!). For those folks, it's too late. They read it and all you can do is accept that they are now judging you and you need to beg for forgiveness. The damage is done. Can’t unring the bell. They will probably end up deleting you. But that was coming anyway, wasn't it? Weren't you sick of their crap anyway? I say, good riddance!
(God, I miss them)
Anyway, deleting comments on a laptop or PC. You simply go to the idiotic/ inappropriate/uncalled for/rude/obnoxious/whimpy/too revealing comment you made, and simply click on the link that says "delete". Had you not panicked, you would have seen it there right under your comment. I know, that’s way too simple, isn’t it? I will say this, you will never be so happy to see that word “delete”. Then, to waste more time for a few more friends to read your unwanted comment, fb asks you, "Do you really want to delete this comment?" The sweat is pouring down your forehead into your eyes till you can't see. You scream at your computer "#$#&* YES!" and hit confirm, praying that the system doesn't crash at that very moment to leave you wondering if the comment was removed. (Yeah, I've had some experience in this area. And I know for a fact some of you have too. Btw, I’m an instantaneous notification reader and…I forgive you.)
Now on the Blackberry platform, that's a WHOLE different story!! (Iphone might be the same but I don't know. You folks are on your own.) When you make a comment from your blackberry, which 9 out of 10 times I am, it is way more complicated when you send something that you want to rescind. First of all, the chances of wanting to rescind a comment you sent increases because 1) you're typing with your thumbs so there are always a typo or two. 2) You're viewing everything on a screen that is half the size of a credit card. So if you type a lot, you can't see the whole comment at once. I'm not making excuses (well, yes I am) but sometimes, errors are made. Barring these few instances of misdemeanor type offenses which are forgivable, there are more offensive type comments that clearly you wouldn’t say to a person but felt the courage to type it and then immediately regretted it after hitting post/send. These offenses are mostly due to the handheld device owner not thinking through well enough the impact the comment will have on others. After typing everything with your thumbs, which is a skill unto itself, here’s the sharp stick in the eye. On the Blackberry (BB), there IS no feature that allows you to delete a comment. So once you post it, it's out there Baby!!! So the lesson in this kids is, make sure that if you're going to say the most stupid thing in your life, make sure you do it from your laptop and NOT your blackberry. Otherwise, you will be finding yourself racing home to your computer, leaving work early if necessary, to delete your "OMG I'm surely going to lose friends over this one" comment. (Also note: Typing comments that you want to delete will cost you $$$. Inevitably, out of sheer frustration, you will end up throwing your blackberry, and damaging it. So please folks. Read your comments 10x before hitting post/send if you have to, to make sure it's what you want to say. Would hate to see some of you go through withdrawals while waiting for a new device from Verizon. Not pretty.)
RIM/Blackberry/Verizon/Facebook needs to address the lack of the delete feature in their next upgrade. I may have to write a letter. For someone like me who 1) exhibits an error in judgment nearly every day with what I type to people and 2) makes the amount of typo mistakes as I do, purely because of the amount of typing I do, I NEED A QUICK WAY TO DELETE!
At this juncture, I’d like to give props to those of you using fb from regular cell phones. You are THE most committed. I couldn't do it. Anyone that has to hit a key 3 times just to get a letter /c/ is working 3x harder than the rest of us. So let's give those folks a break. Let's send them a gift of a cyber blackberry, shall we? My treat.
Deleting Chat Comments Not An Option
Having "Chats" on fb are not forgiving either when it comes to saying stupid things. There is no delete feature in a chat so be careful what you type. Once you type and hit send, it's out there. Definitely can't take those comments back. Need an example? OK. Hmm, which blunder should I use. Too many to choose from really. Ok, here's one. I had made arrangements to chat with a friend at a certain time, but this friend typically was late or didn't show up. I waited, but it was starting to appear that they were going to be late again, but they were available to chat so I was free to type whatever I wanted. I was bored waiting so I started typing comments to entertain myself, and thought that when they do show up, they'll read it and laugh. Comments that I THOUGHT were funny. Comments like, "Did I ever tell you I hate being stood up?", a few minutes later "Did I ever tell you I have dropped people off fb for less?" Funny, right? Nope, not to the person who was late who read it and was immediately enraged by it. I never would have guessed that the person wouldn't know I was kidding, but with all of this newfangled communication-by-typing, there is no tone. So I guess one never knows if someone is serious or not. The response I got to my chat comments was that I needed help and all this person's friends that read my comments (unbeknownst to me) think I'm a certifiable whack job. True? Maybe. But warranted to point out in a chat because I typed a few comments that I thought would be funny? Not really. Guess I should have put in a few LOLs, huh? Not to worry. This wasn't the first time this person got all over me for something I typed that I was kidding about, so it was for the best that I deleted this friend off fb. Life is too short to have to explain everything you type. But I will say that if you are going to type to others in the chats offered by fb, that you chat with someone that somewhat understands you. Too much room for error and miscommunication. And no deleting feature once you hit send makes it nearly impossible that you won't offend someone at some point. Don't say I didn't warn you.
At one point or another, someone will send you a note. Some of the notes I have received are like filling out an application on Match.com. They ask you all kinds of questions pertaining to yourself and it seems all of them start with "I'm sending you this note to find out all your private stuff, but not in a creepy way." That cracks me up.
Notes like these are generally like surveys. Normally they clearly give you directions at the top of the note instructing you on what to do. But for some reason, people totally ignore those directions and start answering the questions in the comments. I can't explain that. I've had friends think that I have created the note itself. I haven't. It came to me from someone else and I simply followed the instructions given. You'd be surprised how many people don't get that.
I’m here to dispel any myths about these types of survey notes. This comes down to a very simple process for those of us in the 21st century. If you receive a note survey from someone, here are the steps:
1) Click on the link to the note.
2) Read the note entirely to see your friend's answers to the questions in the note.
3) Once done (here comes the hard part) CUT AND PASTE, PEOPLE, CUT AND PASTE into a NEW note and then replace your friends answers with your own.
Then you can tag people to send it to. Listen, I don't have time to explain EVERYTHING to you people so you're going to have to find some things out for yourselves. But here's a hint - type the names of the people you want to send the note to in the "Tag people in this note" box. I don't know why or how the word tag came into play. Is it a reference to "Tag, you're it"? Don't know. Maybe someone else can research that.
Creating your own note is also useful when you find that the character limit in a status update is insufficient. A note is more appropriate for a story or anything that is lengthy and you can tag people there as well. Please note that a note about notes is not note-worthy for fb notes. LOLOLOLOLOL! (REALLY funny but not a ROTFLMAO. Certainly people who type this to indicate laughter aren’t really Laughing Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud! So I don't know what to tell you on that one. I guess just be complimented that they thought something was funny.)
My Kaneclusion for this week is that when one is asked to type their response to a given situation, whether it is funny, sad, debatable, or so on, mistakes can happen. Even when you’re face to face with someone, one can misspeak. We expect our elected officials to be skilled orators, and even as trained as they are, they make mistakes when expressing views and comments. So let’s give our friends a break when something they type doesn’t come across as well as they would have liked. In fb world, let’s make a concerted effort to give the benefit of the doubt to our friends. But if they continue to disrupt posts with their lack of judgment, feel free to say “eff the freakin' bastids!”
I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family - US President George W. Bush (January 27, 2000 in New Hampshire)
Disclaimer: I am not a fb instructor, nor do I claim to know everything there is to know about fb. This blog is not intended for those without a sense of humor. It is also not directed at ANYONE. So please don't take it personally if you have done these things. Or did not do these things, as it were. It's all in good fun. ;-)