facebook: the enemy of the people

There’s a global group on Facebook called 1,000,000 AGAINST THE NEW FACEBOOK LAYOUT!  It began life simply enough; a group for those who weren’t happy with having the new Facebook layout imposed upon them.  And it grew quickly.  There are currently about one and a half million members. 

And the problem with having so many members in one group?  They banter with each other.  And the banter becomes aggressive.  And the aggressiveness becomes racist/vulgar/downright nasty.  Some people try to lighten the atmosphere with quirky discussion threads … I hate Dora the Explorer! or with recipes for cake. But others deliberately set out to cause offence and/or arguments. 

Through it all we discover that people around the world are ignorant.  Nobody has an original statement to make.  And despite technology none of us really ‘get’ other countries. 

If it wasn’t for American’s you wouldn’t even have Facebook!  squeals one girl, whilst another chirps in with, You would all be speaking German if it wasn’t for us!

Arguments abound over the state of British teeth, the criminal ancestry of Australian folk, and who spells colour (color) correctly.  Don’t you mean ass? quips someone.  No, damn you! He meant arse.  He’s English and he’s not talking about an mammal related to the horse! 

Don’t you know that in some Asian countries they eat dogs and cats?  Yes, and babies too! (it must be true; I read it on the Internet.)  Pffft.

It’s quite laughable.  The majority of folk had the same purpose for joining the group, yet somehow the group itself has created divisions where there were no divisions to be created.  I do genuinely believe that, despite the media and technology, we are as much at odds with each other as we have ever been (possibly even more). 

Perhaps if the whole world shares in the consumption of a Chill Pill, we can start to live gaily again. 

Now, what do I do about the (sometimes) bully from school who has sent me a Friend Request (and probably only remembers me [if at all] as the girl who looked after his cigarettes going through customs on the way home from France, aged thirteen [because he was too much of a cowardly custard])? 

please God bless those Facebookers who insist on causing global chaos xxx Elsabeth

Is the Internet bad for you?

Matthew Wright inspired this post.  That’s Matthew Wright off the tellybox, not just any old Matthew Wright whom you may have the [mis-]fortune of knowing in Reality.  It was going to be just about blogging, but after typing in the title Is Blogging Bad For You? and subsequently staring at it for two whole days, my brain turned to mush and my fingers could find no reason to go all clickety-click.

Besides, there was something iffy about the whole premise: good ol’ Matthew had asked the question involving the words blogging and bad and had then gone on to discuss sites such as Facebook and MySpace.  But blogging is not social networking. 

Is it? 

That’s a genuine question.  Do we blog because we want to “network”, or do we blog because it’s something to do, or do we blog because we’re all narcissistic and crave attention? 

I have always been a wary Internet user.  In Reality I keep myself to myself, and on here it’s the same.  You know enough about me to keep you at a distance, whilst still knowing enough about me to know everything you need to know about me.  If that makes sense.  My Xanga is my personal space.  It’s like my bedroom … I can do what I want, and say what I want, in privacy.  I am still me, but without all the gumpf that I have to show the outside world when I step outside my front door.  Therefore, you don’t really need to know whereabouts in England I live, or what I look like, or the trivial and tedious details of my everyday life. I don’t need to put my make-up on.

Even on Facebook I don’t give anything away.  Oh, there’s the odd picture, and a rundown of my favourite films, but my year of birth, my hometown and my current job are something that you won’t find. I even go by my maiden name. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

I am still truly shocked and amazed at the folk who still put all their details on the Internet, even when contemporary tellybox shows and media news articles suggest they shouldn’t. 

Case # 1: My BiL – his profile is set to Friends Only, but he still has his address, his full date of birth and his current job, not to mention his email address and mobile phone number, on show.  Even I know that Facebook isn’t 100% secure, and when you collect friends like he does … well. 

Case # 2: Woman at Work – she is not my friend, and I don’t have her as a friend on Facebook.  However, I can see her profile.  I know more about her than she thinks I know, and I know she bigs herself up.  This makes me laugh, and feel ever-so slightly sorry for her.  Whenever I randomly pass her at work I always want to quote something from her profile, but I realise this would be creepy. 

Case # 3: Students’ at Work – they all have Bebo.com accounts.  They have no inkling of staying safe online.  They add friends who they don’t know from Adam, but it’s ok because they’re a friend of a friend of a friend’s cousin’s next-door neighbour’s parrot.   And then they chat to them on MSN and have the sort of conversations that would make granny blush.  They take pictures of themselves that they believe to be arty, but really they’re just tacky soft-porn that would make any pervert happy, and they leave each other comments about school and where they’re going at the weekend.  But it’s cool, innit?  Inabit.

[aside: i know this because occasionally we have (naughtily) let them waste five minutes on bebo and i like to be nosy and keep an eye on what they’re up to]

I love the Internet.  I can’t even remember life before the Internet.  But it can be a Bad Thing if you don’t know how to use it properly.  And the number of people, adults in particular, who reveal their naivety, their gullibility and their stupid-ness is abso-fookin-lutely shocking.

*gasps at the shocking-ness*

please God thank you for making me wise in Internet use xxx Elsabeth 

What is something you feel you can do better than anyone else?

I am the Queen of Doing Stuff on a Sunday Morning.  Seriously.  Most folk like to lie in bed, snuggled up under the bedclothes, maybe sleeping, maybe enjoying a cup of tea whilst watching cartoons, or maybe Doing the Dirty.  Me?  I get up and mow the lawn, weed back and front, put some towels in the wash, put the towels on the washing line, feed the cat, make a cheese & onion quiche, make up some jelly [which will be divine with the ice-cream we don’t have in the freezer], fill the dishwasher, chat to the neighbour [I’m sure she looks out for me, ready to pounce on the pretence that she needs to sweep her totally clear of debris garden path] about how to have a long and happy marriage, make The Blokey a cup of tea and pander to his every whim [what with him being poorly still], make the bed, send a couple of emails and finally enjoy an indulgent shower, followed by smothering myself in chocolate smelling body lotion.  Yummy.

I am also the Queen of Scramble, my new favourite game on Facebook.  Challenge me if you dare. 

Hmmm … Oooh, Queen of Sarcasm.  And Pedantry.  You will never meet a more sarcastic pedant than me. 

And I make a mean Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s the bestest in the world, but please don’t tell my MiL. 

I also worry better than other people, get all huffy-puffy better than other people, sigh better than other people, keep things bottled up better than other people, and my sense of humour is so dry it makes Jack Dee’s humour look moist.

In fact, it seems obvious that I’m just generally better than other people*.  Go me! 

please God bless my superiority xxx Elsabeth

* except for with regards to Maths, which I can’t do – although I did teach myself to play Sudoku and I can now count to ten … 

I just answered this Featured Question, you can answer it too!  WooHoo!

The post with a point.

I changed my name [legally] when I was sixteen.  The Father had bequeathed to me a terrible surname of the kind which just invites rib-taking, and I didn’t want to spend my [maiden] life stuck with it.  What if I was a maiden for ever!? Crikey! 

Changing my name at sixteen meant that I didn’t need to ask The Father for his permission.  Not that he could have denied me really considering he changed his the year before, also changing the name of The Littlest Brother in the process because – heavens! – he might be subjected to rib-taking in school.  Of course, all the hassle could have been avoided if only The Father had changed his name as a young man.  He would have done, allegedly, but he was worried about what my nana [-with the long garden] would say.  The fact that she, by all accounts, was never really in love with my grandad [who died when The Father was a young teenager] might have suggested that she wouldn’t be totally bothered, and would probably have come round in the end.  But no. So my fate was sealed. 

It was a good time to change my name.  I’d just completed my GCSEs at one secondary school and was moving to another to study for A’Levels.  I made lots of new friends who were happy to call me Lizzy rather than <annoying nickname derived from surname>.  Those friends that came with me from one school to the other were quick to forget that I had once had an annoyingly horrid surname.  Life was good.

I’ve always been a tad fickle when it comes to friendship.  I’m not a good friendship keeper.  I do not a good friend make.  I am shite.  I easily get bored, or paranoid, or start to find fault.  As a child/teenager, although I had some exceedingly close friends, they were always spaced out among different groups.  Those groups inter-mingled on occasion, but generally they were separate, and I liked that I could move amongst ‘my’ groups depending on my mood and my needs. But I lost contact with many of them as university and then work [and new friends] took over my life. 

There is a point to this post.

I value my privacy.  Very much.  That’s why you won’t find me mentioning such trivialities as where I live or work.  It’s why I don’t mention the names of friends or family.  It’s why I sometimes even keep people guessing when it comes to my first name. 

It’s why I prefer MySpace to Facebook.  MySpace allows me my privacy.  MySpace is young and flirty.  MySpace is cute and adorable.  Facebook has always appeared staid and dull in comparison.  It’s like a pervy old man attempting to entice with sweets [applications]. 

But in the last week I’ve realised that I can use Facebook in a totally different way to how I use MySpace.  Facebook not only gives me the opportunity to stalk folk, but it also allows me to catch up with past friends. 

Whilst searching for one past friend I chanced, instead, upon her brother.  I only met her brother three times, when I was about fourteen.  He went to boarding school and I fancied the pants off him.  We wrote to each other a couple of times and he sent me a Valentine card, but I was fickle and his sister was a nutcase so contact disappeared and I forgot about him.  At first I just made sure he was who I thought he was.  Asked after his sister.  We messaged a couple of times.  Then I asked him to say hi to his sister for me and I was going to leave it at that.  He then said something along the lines of If you’re who I think you are it was nice chatting to you.  Who do you think I am? I asked him.  Surname was ***** I think, he replied.  Bloody hell, said I.  Some things in your life you just remember well, you’re one of mine, was his response to that. 

Yikes!  And that’s Yikes! in a good way.  It’s nice to know that when I was a mere fourteen years old I made such an impression on a fifteen year old boy [and all we ever did was watch scary films in the dark after his parents had gone to bed!] that eighteen years later [Yikes! (bad Yikes!)] he still remembers me.  Granted, it spooked me a little, but hey!  It’s almost a good spooked. 

So now I like Facebook … just a little bit.  Now I can be a child/teenager again and have separate groups of ‘friends’ to flit between depending upon my mood and needs.  MySpace for flirty, Facebook for stalking and Xanga for hiding the real me [or for being the real me, whichever way you want to look at it]. 

And Tabatha likes me liking it because she now has a profile on it too.  Bless her!

I told you there was a point to this post.

please God bless me for i have sinned xxx Elsabeth

I knew I was clumsy.

Today I am the owner of a rather fetchingly attractive purple toe. 

My toe [the one next to Mr I’m So Big Toe] is so proud of its purple-ness that it has fluffed its chest up to nearly twice its usual size.  Oh yes, my toe is that proud.  It’s trying to be the same colour as the nail varnish that needs touching up.

I wonder if it’ll be so proud when it discovers it’s turned yellow in about three days.

[note to self – ignore feelings of must-do must-do when said feelings involve moving heavy gateposts from one part of the garden to another, lots of darkness and some very gusty wind, especially when the blokey has no idea what you’re doing in your frantic energetic state and therefore has no notion of what to do when you come in from the garden crying like a five-year old … ]

Nearly breaking my toe was a silly end to what was a nice Sunday.  Mumsy came to see me and we went to the cinema and watched Atonement [which is rather fandangly and I insist that you go and see it, but only if you’re girl because it’s not really a boy-film, and it will make you cry quietly].  This was good because she paid and that means that she loves me even though I was a tad bitchy last week. 

I just got a Facebook Friend Request from an old uni friend.  I laughed at the email – a little nervously – before uttering the friendliest of words, P.iss Off!  …  But hey, that makes four Facebook friends now.  Impressive.  Go me!

My brain is a tad iffy at the moment.  I’m finding it decidedly hard to sit still, yet I can’t be arsed to move.  I’m also having difficulty shutting up whilst being extremely quiet, and although I may appear miserable on the outside today I actually feel quite happy inside. 

And with that in mind I think I might toddle off now.

please God bless my purple toe xxx Elsabeth 

Not Really An Edit #1: Ack, fudge, idiot!  The Blokey was ‘doing things’ to my computer last night and now my music isn’t making pretty sounds through my speakers.  Grrr …

Not Really An Edit #2: When I spellcheck my posts Xanga uses an American dictionary [because it’s stupid and doesn’t really understand that I’m not American, even though I keep telling it] and it flagged up idiot as not being a word it recognises.  My question is, are there no idiots in the United States? 

Spider Pig! Spider Pig!

… does whatever a spider pig does!

I shall be singing that all week now [partly because I downloaded it from iTunes].  Yes, we saw The Simpsons Movie at the cinema last night.  It was cool[ish].  Obviously aimed mainly at the American audience, but still cool[ish].  I can usually give or take The Simpsons.  Sometimes it’s quite nice to sit and watch endless repeat after endless repeat, other times less so.  But it made me giggle and it takes an awful lot to make this miserable cow giggle, so …

Absolutely ages ago I joined Facebook.  This was an odd thing for me to do because I like to remain anonymous on the ‘Net and Facebook is more of an in your face, look at me, this is what happened when i stopped being the loser i was at high school type place.  For the last couple of days Facebook has been thoroughly surprised at seeing me log in to my account on more than one occasion.  You see, The Baby Brother found me and he asked to be my friend.  I’m not one to refuse [because I really don’t know how to say no] so I accepted. 

So, I have a [single] friend on Facebook.  Huzzah.

Now what am I supposed to do?  Am I supposed to poke folk?  Isn’t poking folk a tad rude?  I thought about poking my brother-in-law when I found he had a Facebook account but I’m not sure how The Blokey would feel about me poking his brother.  I thought about adding people as friends but isn’t that a bit presumptuous when I may not have seen them for a while?  What if they reject me?!  At least on MySpace and Xanga I can hide behind my screen persona type thing name whatnot.  You know those people who are brash, loud and ever-cheerful, the sort who really couldn’t give a damn about how people perceive them?  Sometimes I wish I was like that …


Who needs networking sites anyway?

I suppose I ought to go and get dressed now, like a grow’d up person.

please God, why did you let them invent the ‘Net … xxx Elsabeth

[I am open to offers … ]