Tag Archives: Facebook

The Other Inbox

You log in and log off multiple times a day, which doesn’t even count how many times you check your phone when you’re waiting for something in reality to happen or go away.  You check so often that you have honed your skimming skills, knowing when to gloss over stupid things that were “shared” to spread questionable or obvious information, photos of sick kids farming for likes, and yet another Grumpy Cat pic.  (OK, you look at some of the Grumpy Cat pics.)

But somehow you hadn’t realized the other inbox until that co-worker made a joke about it.  Plenty of messages came in and got read; some replied to, some ignored.  Some conversations left.  But that extra inbox hadn’t occurred to you.  Actually, you tell yourself, maybe you had seen it, and just assumed it was a spam folder.  Or did you tell yourself that because you like to think you know how all this stuff works?  Anyway, you chuckled at the joke, and waited until you got back to your desk to look.

A lot of it was actually spam.  Bands you didn’t really know, events you hadn’t agreed to attend. All easily and quickly deleted.  But there was also a series of messages from him.  They didn’t even merge together into a single thread, since you had never replied.  So you had to click through each of them, a series of notes that fill in holes of conversations you hadn’t taken part in.  From the first message all the way to the one from last week, you read all of them.  

You went through them again before logging out and switching back to a work window.  Even on the way home, you thought about whether to reply.  The other inbox offered a clear explanation, a reason.  A chance.

Rules For Tagging

Hi, Facebook “friends” –

Listen, I appreciate that you had a good time hanging out with me. But before you share our good time with the rest of Facebook, I have to let you know about my Rules For Tagging.

I’m really not very photogenic. I am not putting myself down here. I think I’m getting foxier the older I get. But I don’t photograph well. The pictures on my profile? VERY CAREFULLY SELECTED. So before you tag me, here are The Rules:

1) Chin. There should only be one. If there is more than one, DO NOT TAG ME.
2) Neck. There should be no sign of a wattle. If there is, DO NOT TAG ME.
3) Blemishes. If it’s a zit day (and yes, I am here to tell you that a woman in her forties still gets ’em), any and all zits must be removed via a reliable photo editor or I have the right to refuse having my likeness captured. Now, I cannot do much about my age spots, so I must either approve the lighting or insist upon the aforementioned photo editor. If you cannot or will not compromise here, DO NOT TAG ME.
4) Jowls. If you see them, DO NOT TAG ME. If you don’t know what they look like, bless your little heart. DO NOT TAG ME.
5) Hair. If my hair is jacked, DO NOT TAG ME.
6) Below the neck. If my upper arms resemble hoagie rolls, DO NOT TAG ME. If my funbags appear to be sad, forlorn, and/or resting somewhere BELOW my navel, DO NOT TAG ME. If my ass looks as though it would be better represented with the image of Yosemite Sam saying “Back Off,” DO NOT TAG ME.

In short, if the photo you want to tag meets one (or more) of the above criteria, DO NOT TAG ME. And if you DO tag me, I have the right to UNTAG myself.

Vain? Perhaps. But I like to believe I have SOME control over my Facebook presence.

Happy Tagging.

“Like” And Share If You Agree

Listen, I’m not a fan of cancer, of mental
illness. Yes, I think that little girl who’s
lost her hair is incandescently beautiful
in her struggle. To assume that because

I’m not going to copy and paste this
to my wall is somehow indicative of
apathy, of callousness, is – well – silly.
I’m here to keep in touch with my

friends from Betsy Carpenter’s
class at Emerson, circa 1994.
I’m here to promote my band,
to check in on my cousin’s boy,

the one who unabashedly
wears dresses and beams
in every picture like Mr.
America. So stop with

the percentages – the 3% who are
your REAL friends because they’ve
reposted, this alleged 97% I’m part
of, because I have not. I mean – can

we not share what is important without
these qualifiers and caveats? I imagine
us sitting, in real time, somewhere over
coffee, and you saying how much you hate

cancer, hate mental illness, and then asking
me to parrot this back to you, as 3% of your
REAL friends have done so. I don’t. So you
get your coffee to go and leave me at the table.

Top Ten “Top 10” Lists of 2011

  • 10. Top 10 Underreported Stories of the Year I think this is an interesting Top 10 list idea to tackle, because “underreported” — aka not popular, not top — indicates that these stories are anything but Top 10. So I commend Time for making an intrinsically hypocritical Top 10 list that is actually surprisingly informative and insightful.
  • 9. Top 10 Ways to Make People Believe You Are Not Drunk. Also known as “Top 10 Ways to Ineffectually Attempt to Mask All Signs of Alcoholism,” this list tries really hard to insist that no one will ever notice, despite the fact that its overall recommendation for hiding the effects of alcohol is just to sit there and do nothing for the entire night (which in turn kind of defeats the purpose of social drinking).
  • 8. Top 10 Sweatiest Movies. It’s about time someone compiled a list like this. I commend author Kate Witteman for her gall in even making this pitch to her editor. It’s an absurd concept that actually hooks on to our collective cultural curiosity.
  • 7. 2011 Top 10 Movies for Grownups. This one makes the list strictly because it was compiled by the AARP. And let’s face it, that’s funny. It’s not even that all of these movies focus on characters over 60 years old; they’re just “movies for grownups,” which is an incredibly absurd and ridiculously vague criterium. Even Hugo and We Bought a Zoo make the list.
    Bonus: 2011 Top 10 Albums for Grownups, a list that is much more in line with “Stuff Only Mom and Dad Like.”
  • 6. Top 10 Secretly Badass Animals. I’d never seen a Mantis Shrimp before I saw this list, let alone heard of one, but I can say with great confidence that my quality of life has vastly improved now that I have. Also, wombats. Who doesn’t love a wombat? Neither wom, nor bat, yet somehow, still incredibly — and, apparently, badass.
  • 5. Top 10 Topical Sesame Street Characters. The fact there have been enough topical Sesame Street characters to justify the creation of Top 10 list of said characters is proof alone that despite all threats of economic collapse and nuclear fallout, the future is inherently a good thing, and we’re all going to be okay in the end.
  • 4. Top 10 Short-Lived Celebrity Marriages. Obviously topped off by the whole Kardashian fiasco, this list is especially notable because it is indicative of the world in which we live. Future historians would be well served to examine this list to gain a better understanding of our celebrity-obsessed culture in which there have actually been enough short-lived publicity stunt marriages to garner such a list. And yet gay marriage is still such a hot-button topic…
  • 3.Top 10 Memes. Another impressive cultural indicator. The irony here, of course, is that “Arbitrary Year-End Top 10 Lists” did not make the list of Top 10 Memes. In an even greater tragedy, neither did Admiral Ackbar.
  • 2. Facebook’s Top Status Trends in the US. Another major hallmark by which Future Historians will judge our lives. What really gets me is that despite the fact that I pride myself as being someone whose finger remains on the pulse of Internet trends, I have no idea what “lms” or “tbh” means, even though they were apparently the most popular Facebook status trends of the year. (mumble mumble god damn kids mumble mumble off my lawn)
  • 1. Google Zeitgeist 2011 Top 10 Google Searches. A worldwide ranking of our most popular Google searches, this is a prime cut cross section of our modern culture. Hell, it’s even hard to be disappointed that Rebecca Black tops off the list. But I’m especially impressed that the non-existent iPhone 5 made the top 10. What does it say about our culture when fictional science (science fiction?) permeates the heights of our news and obsessions? I’ll leave that one to the Future Historians.

  • Honorable Mention: Top 10 People Not Running for President, because neither Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich is included.

    “Friend Request Sent”

    (thanks to Lisa Carver)

    Facebook tells me
    that there are no more posts to show.
    Your wall is empty; like an abandoned
    house, there is no proof that anyone
    has been there, liked something,
    shared a kitten video.

    I want to
    somehow break in,
    rearrange the settings,
    make it appear as though
    you’re still here among us.

    Because as long as your profile is here,
    I can believe that you are.
    I can believe that you’ve just taken
    a break from the internet
    without having made a dramatic announcement about doing so.

    But the dead don’t have
    Words With Friends.

    Walt Whitman’s Facebook Page

    I sing the song of social networking.
    I give you my farmlands, my isle vast with riches,
    my mafia more precious than money.
    Behold! I will post that I like it on the staircase,
    the desk, the floor next to the bed;
    I will leave you puzzled, bewildered, enraged, perhaps turned on.
    You will not know what I mean.

    The game is over; yet for me never over:
    For me it remains a memory and meaning wondrous mystical.
    The jubilant cry from the flowering thorn to the flowerless willow,
    “like, like, like.”
    I, Walt Whitman, approve of your status update.

    O Facebook! O Virtual city!
    Land of delight, fertility, promise, and cut-and-pasted platitudes!
    When I beheld thee my soul was enthrall’d, and danced a spiritual watusi.
    O, gloria! Triumph! Yawp! Hosannah! LOL!


    9-ish a.m. – I arrive at work
    and the first thing I do is check Facebook,
    where I’m having a “respectful” argument
    about the “Ground Zero Mosque.” On Twitter,
    Tila Tequila’s accused an ex-boyfriend
    of nearly choking her to death.  Google

    News has nothing about it. But Google
    Images shows Tequila hard at work
    at being naked. And what ex-boyfriend?
    Isn’t she gay? Meanwhile, back on Facebook,
    I’ve posted a quote from Ebert’s Twitter
    page about Mt. Rushmore. My argument

    being – just for the sake of argument –
    WE defaced the Sioux’s “sacred space.” Google
    it if you don’t believe me. My Twitter
    following has plunged. I guess I don’t work
    as hard to make “friends” as I do on Facebook.
    I mean, I’ve even got some ex-boyfriends

    on my Friends List, even the ex-boyfriend
    who dumped me on my birthday. No argument –
    he gave me a card first. It’s okay. Facebook
    is one big happy family. But Google
    is great for schadenfreude at work.
    I wish more people I know had Twitter

    pages. Because I have found that Twitter
    is just like middle school, where ex-boyfriends
    get blocked by ex-girlfriends, and everyone works
    really hard to be clever, and some arguments
    take up your whole feed. It’s better than Google
    if you’re keeping track of who’s dead. Facebook

    is good for that, too. Speaking of Facebook,
    someone who unfollowed me on Twitter
    is still my friend there. Weird. Time to Google
    for mean girls from high school and ex-boyfriends.
    Are they fat? I make a good argument
    for restricting internet at work.

    By work’s end, I’m satisfied that at least on Facebook,
    I’ve won the argument. I gained two followers on Twitter,
    and found one fat ex-boyfriend, with many thanks to Google.