Aardvark Art Glass

The thing about facebook
April 13, 2009, 10:09 am
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog | Tags: ,

This is kind of funny. The other day on WPR there was a reporter-gal talking about Facebook. She’d been on it for a year or so. One of the things she said that was interesting to me was that Facebook’s format was such that there was “no room” for sarcasm on it. I kind of believe that and I kind of don’t. Here’s my take on it: The more personal information you share, the more friends are recommended to you. The more friends you have the less likely it is that you know them. The less well you know your friends, the less likely it is that you will engage in sarcasm. Because you really need to know people and they really need to know you for sarcasm to work.  

So I’m talking to Don about this and he made the trillion dollar point that sarcasm does not further Facebook’s goal of knowing as much about you as they possibly can, no matter how banal that information is, so they can target you with ads. Indeed, any information you type in that isn’t personal is just stuff they have to sift through. And isn’t that interesting? I never thought about it like that.

Ever since I had that conversation with Don I’ve taken this perverse delight every time I post something sarcastic on Facebook. I was taking delight in it before but now there’s an extra layer of enjoyment because I’m consciously trying to ruin something. Case in point: the other day I was having a conversation with Deanne Chase about making “Pie Day” an actual holiday. At one point the subject shifted to vacuuming and I mentioned that I never vacuum my floors because I’m afraid of the sound the vacuum makes. That wasn’t sarcasm, really, that was just a lie. But as I typed it I laughed and laughed wondering if there wasn’t a demographic for 41 year old white ladies who were afraid of the vacuum. Do you see how much fun this is for me now? I think what we say on there matters to someone. I want to mislead them and waste their time.

(The truth about the vacuum, by the way, is that I vacuum the floor at the studio extremely infrequently because I imagine that the sound of the vacuum bothers my hedgehog and my iguana. Since I’m not psychic I don’t really know if it bothers them or not. Also, I’m lazy. See? I reward you with the personal info when you bother to read the blog. )

I do love Facebook though. I’m in contact with two people I haven’t seen in years, I can message locals about Bob Foster weekends and I can contact almost any lampworker and get a reply within hours. Also, Today’s Fortune finally has a home where people see it and like it, or not. So Facebook is a good tool for that. It’s also kind of a game.


5 Comments so far
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Comment by Miriam

🙂 Right back at ya! You are an excellent example of a local that I can reach easily thru the miracle of Facebook. You can unsubscribe to the Bob Foster invites any time.

By the way, we’re having another one this Friday the 17th. Foster’s schedule got switched around. Woot!

Comment by cathylybarger

Cathy – I cannot read your blog at work. I I have this tendency to spit coffee through my nose while reading it. Also, I work in a small, really, really quiet office. Having to stifle laughter also makes me want to laugh more. I’m just a helpless little giggly mass that can barely breathe. I really don’t know what my colleagues think of me. Let me know what comes of your adventures in fooling Facebook! (And, yes, I can understand the temptation of the banana and hammer.)

Comment by Jenn

Hey Jenn
I really, really appreciate your comment. This blog is not widely read at all but I suspect that the 18 or so people who do read it really like it, and that works for me. I like writing it–I often laugh my ass off while writing. Fortunately there aren’t any other humans in my studio so I don’t have to worry about anyone judging my solitary fits. I’d probably be locked up by now if there were.
It concerns me that not everyone was tempted by the banana and the hammer. Sometimes my inability to read people worries me. At least you get me. Thanks for writing!

Comment by cathylybarger

Well, you have 11 more readers than Reitman and Miller have listeners…(yes, used to live in Waukesha). I’d say you’r doing pretty good.

Regarding laughing and writing: I amuse myself constantly. In fact, I’ll laugh randomly (well, it seems random to other people), but it’s makes perfect sense since it fits in with the conversation going on inside my head. (TMI?)

And I like your plan of fooling Facebook. My mom actually got a telemarketer to hang up on HER using the same principle.

Comment by Jenn

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