August 15, 2010

Facebook Follies- Poke Me

This is an open letter to the friends, acquaintances, colleagues and general riff-raff who have friended or been friended by me on Facebook. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the amazing magicians who feed the hamsters that keep the internets running we have a stronger connection between us than we might have in the past.

That is a roundabout way of saying that just because you have greater access to me than you might have 20 years ago I am not anymore interested now in you having unlimited contact than I was then. In fact I am probably less tolerant of that incessant tweeting and chirping than I was then when I had no responsibilities other than myself.

So let's establish some ground rules here, shall we. Poking me is obnoxious and generally something that I prefer to leave to those whose pokes I enjoy in a more, festive manner. As a general rule of thumb let's say that you shouldn't poke me with any more frequency than you would telephone me. This is good for the very few people who can call me five or more times a day.

If you are in that class it means that we never run out of things to talk about and or we are in love or related to each other. So, you can feel free to poke me all day long. Just remember that I may return the favor and poke you all night long. Turnabout is fair play, is it not.

The Facebook chat function is a great tool that I happen to like a lot. It allows for quick and easy conversation that is a bit more involved than the poke but not so difficult as to require a telephone call. But like its little brother poke it needs to be used carefully.

Don't buzz me every 20 minutes to say "what's up" or ask what I am doing. And by all means do not ever try to interrogate me about why it takes me so long to respond to you. I am well aware that there is an icon that shows whether we are active or sleeping. The fact that my icon shows that I am active and that this makes you wonder if I am truly busy or ignoring you.

If you have to wonder if I am ignoring you than chances are that I am. Initially I might have been doing so because I was involved in work matters, you know the thing that I do that pays the bill so that I can my ISP so that you have the privilege of poking me ten thousand times.

But it is entirely possible that your incessant poking and need to try and get my attention has pushed me to the point at which I ignore you.  A while back I probably would have unfriended you but knowing how crazy you get I have no interest in getting ten thousand emails asking why I did so.

Instead I'll take advantage of Facebook's custom privacy settings and adjust them so that you have limited access to me. It is actually a nifty trick that I have used more than once.

And let's be clear once and for all. Stop sending me stupid requests to help build you Farm, help your Mafia or Eat at your restaurant. Because if I had my way my mafia would burn your damn farm down, my pirates would plunder your village and the health department would shut down your restaurant.

And with that I bid you all adieu and Happy Facebooking.

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