Facebook Frenemy

Note re: my recent anti-Facebook rant. Maybe the people at the FTC read all of the same Sci-Fi Lit.

In the news today—On the verge of going public to investors in an IPO, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg concedes “a bunch of mistakes,” but no wrongdoing in a case brought by The Federal Trade Commission, according to news reports. Facebook promises better privacy protections, many of which have been promised before . . . . . . The FTC, which is set to audit Facebook every other year, might just say it best:

  • In December 2009, Facebook changed its site so certain information that users may have designated as private — such as their Friends list — was made public. Facebook didn’t warn users.
  • Facebook claimed it certified the security of participating “Verified Apps.” It didn’t.
  • Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. It did.
  • Facebook claimed that when users deactivated their accounts, their photos and videos would be inaccessible. But Facebook allowed access anyway.

Maybe the FTC settlement over these allegations and others, as well as the lure of the IPO $billions, will change Facebook’s m.o.. But, you know, when I’ve got a friend who constantly breaks promises, I usually do the logical thing. I defriend them.

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Why I Don’t Facebook . . .

I look around and see all the blank stares and slack jaws. Even my son, as he watched my husband gazing at the screen (not actually facebooking; just very briefly lost in cyberspace): “Daddy! Your face is locked on the computer!”

I know there are LOTS of social opportunities and LOL moments. Yet I can barely keep up with all of the social connections and obligations I have now. Besides, I like to actually Laugh Out Loud.

Then there’s the privacy worries and stalker-ready freakiness of Facebook that sets off all the Science Fiction alarm bells from all those stories I read as a teen. Facebook is just too Centrally Controlled for my liking, way too Big Bro.(f  that!). And, what’s even creepier—nearly everyone I know saying I just HAVE TO get a facebook page. I. JUST. HAVE. TO.

“Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” anyone?’ So yea, I am afraid. Very afraid.

And, I know, I know — in most cases it’s all just innocuous fun and such. But the Facebook FaceLock simply seems too much like a soul suck for me.

Universal Spirit

A few days ago, I found a Halloween music CD I ‘d overlooked for the actual holiday, but decided to play it for my kids anyway. (Anything novel to fill after-school time). It actually had lots of cool TV series ditties like the theme song from “The Addams Family” and “Scooby-Do.” My son, 6, really got a kick out of the “Casper, The Friendly Ghost” song, playing it over and over.  I told him about the show and said I watched reruns as a kid.

He paused for a second and said: “That’s probably the first Halloween movie put to the universe!”

Enough said.

Green Meanies

So, I’ve been a little under-the-weather lately, and some things have just fallen by the wayside. Like “Waste-Free Wednesdays” at my daughter’s elementary school.

On Wednesdays, we are supposed to pack lunches that create No Trash — no plastic baggies, no wrappers, not even paper napkins. I’m usually happy to oblige and have even purchased those cool, Bento-box-like cubes from Old Navy that have compartments for snacks and a snap-able sandwich zone. (The only trade off with these is that the non-Ziploc-bagged items often get stale by lunchtime–as my husband quipped, “Ah, the taste of political correctness.” And, well, we still have to throw away the snack wrappers at home).

Well, my daughter came home the other day. “Mom, you know Wednesdays are waste-free . . .  . . but that’s okay,” she said, sympathetic to my plight. “So then, I got to go up on stage and show off my plastic baggie as an example of ‘waste,’ and they videotaped me for a video they’re making about waste . . . ”

Great. All of my green-guilt-prompted scurrying around most weeks to find food or snacks without wrappers (Which I do despise, btw, especially the unrecyclable Capri Sun astro juice packs) has gone unnoticed, and my slip-up moment has been immortalized forever next to my daughter’s proudly beaming face.

Thanks bunches. And, well . . .  what a waste of my non-too-available energy.