Recently I was forced onto Facebook under my own name by my company, which wants its employees to have social media profiles. For about three years or so, I’d been on FB under a fake name, mostly just to stay in touch with my far-flung girlfriends who are generally like-minded about most things.

But now, I’ve been forced to accept as friends people who are mere professional colleagues, for the most part. And I am starting to hate many of them.

Who knew that polite federal employee who has always been helpful to me was a Glenn Beck fan who frequently posts links to that jackass’s show on his wall? He’s now been hidden from my newsfeed, but even so, sometimes I can’t help but go and look, and the comments of support on his wall from right-wing lunatics who believe the Tea Party people are the way of the future have honestly caused my blood to boil. The things these people believe are frightening, erroneous and fucked up. I must refrain, however, from taking them on because I am now representing my company. (more…)

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I’ve been saying for a while now that I hate Twitter.  Well, I don’t “hate” it per se, but I definitely dislike it and I haven’t taken to it, despite my friends tweetspeaking me outside of Twitter (#youknowwhoyouare).  I use it for BCP as a means of web survival only, it’s apparently necessary.  Last weekend I was rolling along under the inspiring effects of some long lost e (but only for a little while ‘cuz that shit was old and crumbly as fuck) and it came to me; Why I Eschew The Twitter.

It’s just not my bag, not my thing.  Twitter is like a 24 lane highway in Texas with everyone madly dashing about, crashing into each other and calling it ‘networking’.  Does anyone need to know that you just bought a pound of pork from the Jewish deli and someone looked at your hangnail funny at the counter or that you hate the infinite loops of FoxPro?  I mean, does this actually affect anyone’s life in a meaningful way?  Nope, sure doesn’t.  The never ending stream of consciousness updates are just so assholishly narcissistic.  I COULDN’T GIVE HALF A SHIT WHAT IS RUNNING THROUGH YOUR PEA BRAIN RIGHTTHISSECOND.

Enter Facebook.  Now, believe me, my intent is not to promote Facebook here, but I prefer to update myself to the virtual universe by hanging on the corner just a sidestep from Twitter Grand Prix.  Facebook Ave is just around the corner from the Twitter traffic flow and it’s quieter, it’s relaxed and most of the time you don’t have to worry about stepping in dog shit.  This may be the one time when Facebook and all it’s slow loading, non notification sending, daily wonk qualities actually come in handy.  It just takes longer to update your Facebook status, more of those precious seconds we have no patience with, which means I hear a lot less chatter and that’s the way I like it.  Like being at a party or bar where it’s 1000 decibels too loud to talk, it’s always a tremendous relief when you find a quieter spot, take a breath and look forward to getting to know the person you have struck up a convo with.  I’m like Jughead, just chillin’ in my hammock, happy to chat for a spell and trade stories or just watch you and the Reggie’s of the world drift by.  Viva la Facebook.  But keep it quiet, yeah?

xkcd_typewriter

The other day I was thinking about technology and its many advances and applications, specifically how fucking difficult it is to explain something like “the internet” to my parents.  Seriously, stop and think for a minute about what words you would use to describe the internet to someone who continually mashes the input button on the remote instead of the channel button, thereby switching the actual TV set channel to 4 (instead of 3) and then shouts about what “a piece of shit” the whole thing is.  Or what about the person who never, ever checks the voicemail on their cell phone, preferring to ask me every time, “How does the phone know what time the mail comes?  That little envelope is back again.”

There is no denying that the mere thought of my parents booting up to go online terrifies me.  I installed mega virus protection on their PC – they never ran the scans or updates.  I configured spam and malware filters in their email program – they never click anywhere but the Inbox.  I set them up with a printer/scanner/copier – they print EVERYTHING they pull up online.  And then bitch to me about the need to replace the paper and ink.  I created a painfully simple file share on their desktop – I got roped into an hour long discussion of, “But, why wouldn’t I just print it and put it in my filing cabinet?”

And this is progress, people.  A couple of years ago I was trying to teach them how to use a MOUSE.  But I digress.  My point is more about the things we lose as a part of societal culture, with the increase in Web 2.0.  Here are some that immediately came to mind; (more…)

 

So it’s a long weekend up here in Canada, and long weekends mean camping to many of us — not to me, I can assure you — even though it can still be seriously cold at this time of year if you go much north of Toronto.

But my 18-year-old daughter and her girlfriends are going anyway, just as I did with my friends on May Two-Four, as we call it (the weekend that falls closest to May 24th, which was Queen Victoria’s birthday, which we still celebrate up here with firecrackers and public drunkenness).

So because one of my daughter’s friends thinks my Facebook pseudonym and headshot are so funny, she is on my friends list. So I got a little notification the other day saying “Sally has joined the group We’re Going to Party Hard at Six Mile Lake This Weekend” in my news feed.

I shouldn’t have looked, I know. But I did. And stupidly, I looked AFTER the minivan had already left the station. And oh dear. Totally open, public group, and they’re arranging on the wall who’s going to get the booze, the weed and the hallucinogens. My daughter was simply asked to provide fruit and cookies, fortunately, but dear sweet Tessa who lives down the street and is an honour student who’s been accepted into the most prestigious university in the country assures the girls that she’s got a line on shrooms. I quote: “It’s going to be AWESOME to trip on shrooms while staring at the Milky Way and the Northern Lights, bitchez!!!” (more…)