We go online and find the world at our fingertips. Friends we haven’t seen in years we’re suddenly chatting with as if we had never parted, new friends we’ve not met in person at all that we suddenly have deep feelings for emerge from the ether of the massive Internet. Social Networks help in this, yet with the various Networks, they also hinder as well.
For the first few years I knew about MySpace all I ever heard about it was how these kids were going on there and how predators looking for kids would take advantage of this so I figured if it was something geared for kids I didn’t want to be there needing a more mature site to find peers. But then I found out all these businesses are doing it and when I was trying to find a way to generate a buzz about what I was working on with Beyond the Charts I was told by a friend I should set up a MySpace account. So I did. And I got sent Friend requests, was suggested Friends and eventually I started making Friend requests myself. It took a little getting used to, but I discovered I liked MySpace and what I could do with it.
Then a person who I met on MySpace and who mentored me for a few months to help me launch the Beyond the Charts website told me I needed to get on other Social Networks like Facebook and Twitter. Because of my time on MySpace I had heard about these, but with Twitter I thought it was something to do with the phone. I found out they had a website to access. So I joined Twitter. After doing that for a while, I joined Facebook. All I wanted to do was set up a page for my Beyond the Charts business. I got the Fan page set up, but whenever I logged in again, I found out that Facebook was FORCING me to create a personal account. So I wound up using my personal account more than my Fan page because more people were responding to that. At first when I got on, Facebook was so different than MySpace and Twitter, it really took some getting used to, but around December of last year I really started getting into it and finding my way around and eventually my log ons to MySpace grew more and more infrequent.
In time, I discovered that Facebook actually has a limit on the amount of Friends you can have. Can you believe it? You can only have 5,000 friends on there. MySpace doesn’t limit you. Indeed, on MySpace I’ve seen some celebrities with over a million Friends. Obviously they can’t be all real “Friends” as I doubt the celebrity really cares about anything but the numbers and a select few strangers that may grab their attention, yet the limit for Facebook isn’t found at MySpace. I suppose Facebook figures you can only be Friends with so many people. Yet on the Fan pages, you can have as many “Fans” as you can get. I like the Fan page concept for businesses and celebrities, but why force people to create a Fan page for themselves just because they are getting too many Friends than the people at Facebook think you should have? Nevertheless, Facebook suggests Friends to you all the time that you have never met and don’t particularly care for. I suppose they want you to fill up that quota mighty fast, eh?
So then one day not too long ago I was chatting with someone, and I had a few chat sessions going, and all of a sudden I was blocked from chat with a warning I didn’t think to copy and paste at the time. It told me that basically I was engaging in behavior that some might consider abusive or annoying. Can you believe that? I’m chatting with a few friends and someone’s going to find that “annoying”? I mean, like who the hell is going to know about it? And if they find it annoying, then who cares? I won’t chat with them then. Total lunacy. After a couple of days I decided to try chatting again (I had been told this block could last for a few minutes up to a few days), and I was able to chat again when I tried. Okay, fine. I’ll watch how many chat sessions I have going on at the same time from now on. Stupid Facebook.
And of course, it doesn’t help that they keep changing things on there all the time forcing you to get used to some new tweak they want to add that causes confusion.
Now, yesterday, I was on Facebook and I discovered a person’s page because a Friend had commented on it. I saw the last name and the location and wondered if they were related to someone I knew. Turns out it was the son of that person I knew. So I sent a Friend request to both. From the dad I found a few more people I knew and sent requests to them as well. Then a couple of them had a plethora of people I knew (as one was the pastor to a church I attended for a couple of years), and so I just took the time to see about adding the people I knew that they knew too. Then all of a sudden, I get this message:
(- I took the time to copy and paste this time! 😉 -)
“Block! You are engaging in behavior that may be considered annoying or abusive by other users.
You have been blocked from adding friends because you repeatedly misused this feature. This block will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When you are allowed to reuse this feature, please proceed with caution. Further misuse may result in your account being permanently disabled. For further information, please visit our FAQ page.”
Okay, so like the whole main point of these social networks is so you can stay connected and get reconnected with Friends and Family, right? I know they’ve turned into something else through the use of them, but that’s the point, right? So why is it that one of the most popular ones out there is so brain dead in the corporate department that they first have to limit the number of people you can be connected to, and then on top of that decide that if you come upon some people that just happen to know a lot of people you know that when you start adding Friends, something must be wrong?
Total lunacy! This is first a company started in the United States of America where we are supposed to have Freedom to begin with, and second it’s the Internet where pretty much anything can happen (whether you like it or not), and this company Facebook wants to try to control its users like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union’s KGB?
Here I am just coming out of my shell over the last year in regards to Social Networking online, and this company is more for regress and keeping folks from moving forward than it is for progress and helping people connect with others?
I’m going to see just how long this Block lasts and I’m going to keep trying to get in touch with someone at Facebook, meantime, my use of Facebook is about to go down considerably I think. I may just have to go back to MySpace more often where there are no limits on the amount of Friends you can have and where one night when I discovered a Friend that knew some Friends who knew some Friends, I wasn’t limited on adding them there or told I was “blocked” for some sort of suspicious abuse.
Facebook has shown its Face all right. Totalitarianism.
I’ll have to see how long I remain on Facebook at this point.