On the latest Facebook redesign

I switched to the new Facebook profile now rather than wait for them to do it for me one day. I hate Facebook more with each new upgrade. All the new Facebook does is make me more acutely aware of how I can’t figure out anything by which I’m happy to define myself. I am not my job. I am not my four years at college. I am not where I grew up. Or, at least, I don’t want to be defined by these quick-and-easy biographical factoids.

Also, I’ve untagged myself from all Facebook pictures. I don’t wish to be tagged anymore. I certainly don’t want the last five photos of myself strewn across my profile. Strewn? In fact, I don’t think I’ll keep most of the pictures I’ve got of myself on there.

I don’t mind telling you anything and everything on this blog. (I guess I do mind; I’m battling with myself all the time about what ought to go here). The thing about this blog is that it’s on my own website, and that I don’t even use my name. If this isn’t your first time on this site, you probably know my name. But it’s different hiding behind a moniker somehow. The Facebook page is under my name, and there are certain attributes you are supposed to share with everyone to form the portrait of who you are. Maybe that’s it; that’s what I hate. I prefer the open-ended essay to the guided Q and A.

No, I don’t just prefer the open-ended nature of a blog. I despise how a site like Facebook seeks to define me by a tidy set of questions and a row of pictures.

I look at the new Facebook, and I feel like Facebook is encouraging me to be a narcissist. Look at me! Look at everything about me! Frankly, a lot of times, I really can’t stand me, and Facebook doesn’t seem to get that. Perhaps today, I just want my name and my picture and brief statement that says, “That’s it.”

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Alas, most people I know communicate via this hideous tool, so if I am to remain even the slightest bit of a social being, I need to use it.

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You know what it is? Facebook amplifies your life…and they probably would love that as slogan. It’s wonderful if things are going pretty well for you…you can share how well everything is going, and you can marinate in it, and everyone you know can join you… But if things are not going so well…well, it’s not exactly amplified…Facebook pages rarely turn into portraits of doom and gloom…there’s the facade of a happy person with good stuff going on…look–pets, job, good college, smiling in all these pictures, all sorts of amusing interests… It’s just not an accurate representation of life…for ME…it’s not. My Facebook profile seems like it belongs to someone else. It’s not the same person who hates getting out of bed every morning and hates going to sleep because he dreads that next morning.

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Have you ever seen a Facebook page that just screamed out to you,

I hate getting out of bed every morning, and I hate going to sleep every night, because I dread tomorrow.

Of course not. Nobody would “friend” such a person. Nobody with 847 friends says shit like that.

No, I don’t need or want 847 friends. But I certainly don’t have 179 or whatever Facebook says I’ve got. Yes, I know I have friends. At the moment, I’m just saying…

…I have no conclusion. I forgot what my original point was. I’ve just been typing…and it’s been mostly garbage…and I don’t care…see…I don’t need to worry about “what not to say on Facebook” or that I’m being one of the “10 types of friends on Facebook that annoy you”…I should get some sleep…

Turbo

I’ve fallen into this trap of feeling like posts here need to be meaningful, and spontaneous thoughts and sharing should be relegated to Facebook. Also, posting to Facebook is quicker and easier. But I’ve got the blog. I pay for web hosting. And I know I worry way too much about what I toss up on this site, particularly when there are times when I post intensely personal stuff not seeming to be worried in the least.

Important to me in the moment = Worth putting in here

Time to see what I’ve starred in Google Reader recently and what I’ve posted to FB that deserves a place here.

UPDATE10:32 PM – I see all of the assorted political items I wanted to share, but now I’m indifferent.

I’m starting a new job in a few weeks. That should be excited, and I should write about that…but it’s not so exciting. I’m still entrenched in my current job, and I don’t want to write about that, because there’s a lot of negativity beneath the surface that doesn’t need to come out right now. And I’m not feeling so great about not really getting a break in between these two significant chapters in my life. I desperately need a break. I’m not getting one. Frankly, I can’t afford one.

I still have plenty to say about dialysis, but I don’t want to say it, because it’s really just more of the same. Dialysis continues to suck, and it will continue to suck until I get a transplant, which is still a long, long way away.

Back to politics, again…I don’t think anyone much cares what I have to say about politics. I don’t DO anything politically, so I’m just a guy complaining. I’m a guy complaining who will vote and that’s it; my action should probably be more proportionate with my anger.

I’m back on an online dating site. I could write about that. Or not. Online dating sites are daily rejection subscriptions. Then again, that’s pretty much how life is, too.

So this post is picking up steam now…stream-of-consciousness now…tuning into the type of post where I am saying and will say things I’ll have wished I censored.

And right after I say that, my thinking hits a wall.

Facebook’s Pandora’s Box

This topic warrants a lengthy treatment, but I’m whipping it up at 1:30AM on my keyboard-impaired Lenovo-warehouse-purchased Lenovo SL410, obtained about three weeks ago.

I would like to discuss an evil of Facebook. Facebook suggests you friend a person from your distant past. You have lots of mutual friends since you both attended the same high school, middle school, and elementary school together. You go way back. You remember that he was one of your best friends back in the third grade. He skyrocketing to the head of the cool kids between fourth and twelfth, my high school’s very own Zack Morris–popular, smart, handsome, charismatic. Despite that, I don’t think he ever really became a standard dick. I had some contact with him as the ill-defined geek always on the periphery of various cliques. There was no ill will. We were probably still friends, just not great friends.

I never saw him again after high school graduation. Facebook can tell me that, while he moved far away from his best guy friends, he stayed in touch enough that they’ve at least reunited in the recent past. The summer after my freshman year at college, I severed the long, constant, but weathered chain that had bonded me to an entire group of guys, most of whom I had known for a dozen years. I hung up a phone, and I never looked back.

I cannot imagine I’d have ever fit into that group, heading into our twenties. I questioned whether I ought to have been on the periphery of that group in my teens.

But there are so many what-ifs Those make me numb. I know I shouldn’t care, but most of them would surely look down on this life that I lead in 2010. No, it’s not what they think.

I was class salutatory. For three minutes in late June 1993, I loved everyone in my graduating class, and they loved me. I had all the potential in the world.

And then I failed…and I failed…and I failed…and I failed…and I failed…and I failed…and I failed…and I failed…and I failed… (Each of those corresponds to a time; I’ll spare the annoyed readers from the details.)

Now…my high school’s Zack Morris…while he was cool, mischievous, smart, and good-looking, I think he was a fairly decent guy. My little bit of research concludes that, over last 17 years, he’s grown into a brilliant, savvy, business genius who helps a small business that brings joy to the masses thrive while saving the planet at the same time. He appears to be enjoying life, and he better friggin be for the point of my post.

My point…I can’t imagine that I’d ever be like Zack Morris. That’s just not who I am. (No, I am neither Screech nor Slater in this analogy.) I happened to have all of this potential all those years ago, and I am almost completely certainty that it’s all gone. And I will never do anything worthwhile with my life that my 17-year-old self, a guy who had never even heard of Toastie, would’ve been proud to know was in the cards.


Bonus pet pic

Interwebs collide

I’ll be quite honest. I had no intention of expanding promotion of my blog over Facebook this past weekend. I’ve always been very sensitive about disclosing my blog to people, because I have not been so sensitive about the contents that wind up in my blog. People may have stumbled upon my blog through one means or another, like my Flickr profile or Twitter account, but I was not comfortable thrusting my blog contents upon most of my Facebook friends. It’s awkward for coworkers or new friends or long-ago friends to see you in varying shades of despair, frustration, anger, and gloom. I presume it is awkward for them; I know it is awkward for me. So it was not my intention to simply syndicate my blog to all who see me on Facebook.

My machinations backfired. A friend wanted a link I had written about, that had failed to appear in my “imported note”, where I had been using Facebook’s import-blog-to-notes feature. I often noticed that this feature would not cleanly bring over posts. So I went with this app called NetworkedBlogs. I realized that my security settings didn’t take effect.

I’m not going to put the genie back into the bottle. To anyone who is feeling awkward for reading more than you wanted to know about me, I’m sorry. To anyone who might take it personally, that you couldn’t previously read some of these things, I’m sorry. At the end of the day, I care a lot about what others think of me, and my blog, for the most part, paints an unflattering portrait. What’s done is done.

Sunday miscellany

So…this weekend…watched a lot of Walter Cronkite death coverage, in which it was obvious that the standards of TV journalism have eroded significantly since Cronkite signed off back in 1981.

I watched a lot of the British Open, hoping Tom Watson would pull off a miraculous feat only to see if come up achingly short.

I decided I didn’t like Stewart Cink simply because he has 500,000 Twitter followers. Several on-air referred to him as “one of the good guys” out there, but it just seems like anyone who is not The President, The Pope, or Someone Curing Cancer (let alone someone who hadn’t won a tournament until today) doesn’t warrant 500,000 “followers”.

It’s strange, because I think I discovered Twitter rather earlier, but it kinda made me queasy early on for many reasons, and then I’ve barely been on it over the past year or so, and it’s exploded in relevance.

I have found, particularly, with politicians and newspeople, that Twitterers embarrass themselves more often than they impress. I expect athletes and celebrities to make asses of themselves, because they’re not famous for their minds and communication skills.

Anyway…this weekend, I also got sucked into Mafia Wars on Facebook. Like many internet fads, I think I’ll probably be over it rather quickly. I have a feeling that the friend who recruited me was starting to feel limited by the size of his “Mafia family” (number of Facebook friends playing Mafia Wars), and that I’ll run into the same problem soon enough. For the longest time, I never thought I’d wade into one of the Facebook time-wasters that I see on other people’s profiles, but I did it this week. And I get it…