Monday, March 09, 2009

In Which Stephen Wanders from Blogger Wood into Facebook Meadow, and is Trampled by a Herd of Digital Heffalumps

"Steve! It's about time you got onto FB! I was just thinking of you today and thinking that I should see if you are on!"

Alas, I have finally given in and joined Facebook, in a moment of weakness Sunday night. My three children are on Facebook. My son-in-law is on Facebook. My brother is on Facebook. My wife is on Facebook. And a lot of my blogging friends are too, including the individual who sent me the above message. A few hours later that same individual announced she would be giving up Facebook for the rest of Lent.

When I filled in my profile, I noticed that Facebook had a memory for recent movies or books, but not necessarily for anything unusual, eccentric, or more than a few years old. Under "Favorite Movies," it recognized the relatively recent "Quiz Show," but not the classic Hitchcock film, "The 39 Steps." No recognition for Incredible String Band fans. Oddly enough, Facebook did recognize classical composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams.

My high school, University High School in Iowa City, was unknown to Facebook. It did close in 1972, but I'm sure there are many U-High graduates on Facebook.

Almost as soon as I set up the account and made some friend requests, the friends started coming in. It's nice to be popular, but I was, well, overwhelmed, or at least whelmed.

And then I'm poked, tagged, and hugged. I'm not really sure what any of them mean, but one hug almost crashed my computer. I accepted a digital hug from one person, and tried to return it. But when I tried to send the hug, a pop-up ad for Domino's Pizza blocked it. There was no way to confirm the hug or to get rid of the Domino's ad, at least not that I could see. I gave up.

Now that I think about it, what nearly crashed my computer was not the hug, but attempting to make a friend request. When I made the request, I got another pop-up--this from the dreaded Capcha monster, which was speaking German at me. Honest, Capcha wanted me to type in "Mittag 18." When I typed it in, I got an error message. I clicked on "OK" and then got more Capcha pop-ups, but with no words to type in. From that point my computer was frozen. I had to restart the computer.

My Facebook page is under my full name, Stephen Crews Wylder. I'd be happy to have any of my readers here as friends. It just may take a while for me to confirm the requests.


Lisa said...

I finally decided to ignore most requests that involve me having to "accept" things from people. I trust the well meaning senders will forgive me -- it seems those are the only things that ever cause me any problems.

Other than that, I've found Facebook to be a pretty good experience and I have been amazed by how many very old friends I've reconnected with. Enjoy!

Charles Gramlich said...

So far I've avoided face book. Man there is too much social networking available these days.

Olivia said...

You really need to block browser popups! Firefox and Google Chrome are the best, really.

steve on the slow train said...

Lisa--Good advice.

Charles--I've avoided it as long as I could. But with the rest of my family on Facebook, I needed to join.

Olivia--I'm sure you're right. When I move from my temporary apartment to a larger one that my wife can live in, too, I'll look into it. Part of the problem is that I'm on dial-up here in Bloomington. I'll switch to DSL once I move.

Elizabeth said...

Ahhh--Facebook. Welcome to it. I, too, ignore all pokes, gifts, and other weird things, including questionnaires. Initially, one is addicted (to the games, checking status updates, etc.) but that wears off and it's just a great place to "keep up," read some interesting articles that one might not ordinarily catch and watch some crazy videos. Have fun!

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I got off FB for the rest of Lent-- it took up too much time. When I go back I will get on once a week.

I was getting friend requests from people I didn't knwo and that bugged me.

steve on the slow train said...

Tea--I really wasn't complaining about you-it was just an interesting juxtaposition.