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Archive for November, 2011

Caught Is Available In Print!!!!

Friday, November 18th, 2011


Caught is available now in a gorgeous print version! Click HERE TO BUY THE BOOK.

Email me for a $3.00 discount code! Yay!!!

Soon, be on the look out for Cinderolda in print!!! Whoo-hooo!

Facebook Follies

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I’m trying to write this column, but I keep stopping to check out my Facebook page. This is one of the many problems with Facebook. It can easily become an addiction. Luckily, I recently found out I’m not addicted when I went on vacation and didn’t crack my laptop once. I had my computer with me in case I wanted to check Facebook, but I didn’t. Hmmm, that sounds like an addiction, doesn’t it? Great. Now I’m in denial. And I have Facebook to blame.

If you aren’t on Facebook, then you must be a Yak herder in Outer Mongolia who happens to be in the one spot left on the planet that doesn’t have cell reception. Or you’re smart. Or technologically challenged. Or a combination of all three. While there are Facebook resisters out there, most people I know have succumbed and now understand the sinking-in-quicksand feeling when you’re getting sucked whole into the world of Facebook.

There are many valid reasons to be on the social networking site. All of these valid reasons are lies. Or at the very least, self-delusions. Most people go on Facebook with great intentions. They are going to promote their business. Then they see a Farmville post from a good friend who sent them a virtual cow as a gift. Five hours later, they look up at the clock and realize they forgot to pick up the kids from school. And they didn’t post anything about their hair salon. And then they feel stupid. Really stupid. This is when the Facebook Lies begin. “Mom, where were you?” “Sorry, honey, I was working on the computer and got lost in my new promotion.” You can’t tell anyone the truth. Or they’ll think you’re a moron. Even though they’re probably guilty of the exact same thing.

While Facebook has connected me with old friends and younger family members—many people I missed dearly—there are many downsides to the interactive message board other than the massive time sink. Like when you find out that your friends had a party and didn’t invite you. Not only didn’t they invite you, they took pictures and posted them. Or a friend posts photos of you from college wearing a risqué dominatrix costume from a Halloween party you’d rather forget. Or that guy who beat you up in high school friends you and since he is connected to all your other classmates you feel obligated to friend him even though you hate him and can’t believe it when the guy has the balls to post a Happy Birthday message on your wall. Or you invite an old theater friend to be your Facebook Friend and he declines your request. Then you watch in real time as the jerk friends every other one of your theater buddies but you. Not that any of the above instances happened to me. By the way, I don’t like you either, Jeff.

Other perils of Facebook include: Faced-Book, when you post something humiliating after drinking too much. Two-Faced-Book, when your friend cancels a date with you and then posts about what a great time they had with someone else that same night. Red-Faced-Book, when you meant to send a private message regarding something sensitive to one friend and accidentally sent it to everyone. Face-Off-Book, when your right-wing nutjob friends and your left-wing nutjob friends hijack one of your innocuous posts about the government and turn it into a verbal WWF match.

Another Dark Side to Facebook—aside from its creepy practice of vacuuming all your personal information and selling it to faceless corporations who want to exploit you—is the continual changes to its interface. Nearly every time I visit the site, there is some new feature that confuses me. This week Facebook announced that they will be making giant, fundamental changes to their site, changes that “should only take users two months to adapt”. Yes, two months. The interface will supposedly become an ever-changing “scrapbook”. Where everywhere the users go and everything we do and post and read and eat and listen to will be broadcast to all our friends in real time. I don’t know about you but that idea FRIGHTENS me.

At the press conference, a perky, pre-pubescent Facebook developer reported that nowadays everyone is used to living transparent lives with no privacy. That we’ve all become very comfortable with everyone knowing what we’re doing at all times. I don’t know who their research team is, but they are INSANE. Janet Periat just checked in at Costco so this is a great time to burglarize her house. Janet Periat just bought four pounds of candy at Safeway, which proves she lied about being on a diet. Janet Periat just threw her computer across the room because she can’t figure out Facebook’s new changes.

How many people want their bosses to know that they are attending a ball game instead of lying in bed with the flu? How many people want everyone to know they just got a colonoscopy? Or that they attended a Barry Manilow concert? Okay, maybe the colonoscopy is fine, but no one could live down the Barry Manilow thing.

What my friends and I need is OldBook. Where the interface is simple, private, and stays static, like Google (not Google+ which is another bastion of confusion). A site we can learn to use in seconds. Where we can enjoy our friends’ cute cat pictures, see what they ate for lunch, and be jealous of their recent trip to Hawaii. And not be made to feel stupid because yet one more modern tool has become too complicated to use.

But here’s my biggest beef with Facebook: they’ve got us all complaining over a free service. So technically, we can’t whine. They’ve hooked us on their Internet crack and made us look like total ingrates at the same time. I hate them. And I’m never visiting their stupid site again—oh, look, my friend’s cat had kittens!

©2011, Janet Periat

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