Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Social Media and Its Discontents

Hard freeze dead ahead. The first taste of the coming months, which always feature all the winter details: the icy crunch underfoot, the wind blast in the face, the snowflakes and icy rain and slush. But also the indoor sensations -- the whoosh of the furnace, the dim gray morning light in the bedroom, the trappings of Christmas.

I just checked my Facebook page for the first time in about two weeks, and it seems that no rogue programs are trying to link to dirty pictures there. "Over the past couple of days, many users have complained about finding links on their Facebook pages taking them to images depicting jarring violence and graphic pornography," the WSJ noted. "Although the way the latest spam messages spread isn't new, their content is more shocking than the typical scam enticing a free iPod shuffle."

Dang. I never get interesting spam. I'm mostly done with Facebook for now, anyway. It's refusing to repost BTST in my Notes section, which was its main job as far as I was concerned.

But it's possible for the site to waste your time even if you don't visit it. I put "Facebook" into the Google search box and the autocomplete suggested mostly innocuous words like banners, mobile, timeline, status, full site, emoticons, login home page, symbols, quotes. But when I put "Facebook is," autofill suggested is down, issues, is evil, is like jail, is stupid, isnt working, is not working, is like prison, is for losers, is bad. Even better, I then tried "Facebook wants" and got my phone number, you to pay, to be a tastemaker, to change, a phone number, money, photo id, your unborn child, to buy instagram, your kids.

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