About Face – AlphaInventions is Better for Voyeurs – Update

I decided to remove the invitation on my blog to join me on FaceBook…. There is something very unsettling about this alternative community. It’s a bit like the pod people in “Invasion of the of Body Snatchers” – a whole bunch of people that you interacted over the course of your life that you discover all know each other and have been talking about you and you never knew. Well that’s how it first feels.

I joined FaceBook last week and was horrified to discover pictures and comments about me that I never knew existed. I found myself drawn to ‘bookies’  photo albums and peeking at who they knew. You know that feeling at parties where you make an effort to introduce people and they turn round and tell you that they already know each other? ‘Great’ you say, and then you instantly wonder why they never mentioned it before. FaceBook is hell for paranoids.

Luckily, everything, so far were posts from real friends. But then I realized that letting anyone join you on FaceBook was a commitment. Sometimes you don’t want the world to see pictures of  you drunk in a bar in Tokyo singing karaoke, or dressed up as member of KISS, or worse! And what about rejecting, removing or DEFACING people from your FaceBook. You might as well tell them that they are losers. We can’t be friends with everyone we know and we certainly can’t be friends with people we don’t know. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet?” Sorry Mister Rogers but that is just not normal.

So Facebook is for me and friends only.. people that I have really met. 

AlphaInventions.com, on the other hand, allows me to exorcise my voyeuristic urge  – it’s an automatic dim sum from the blogosphere that randomly exposes those who wish to be visited. Somehow, that does not feel pervy or intrusive. And bloggers, as we all know, we want people to come and see our worlds.

So what do you feel about FaceBook?

UPDATE: and if YOU think I am being paranoid then check this out

23 Comments

Filed under General Thoughts

23 responses to “About Face – AlphaInventions is Better for Voyeurs – Update

  1. I absolutely agree with you – my personal Facebook profile has left me having to actually reject friend requests from people that I genuinely like…but would not really want to see private photos of me.

    But I think you might be missing a trick with Facebook. You could get someone to set you up a ‘page’ which people can become fans of, rather than friends. (Or create a personal profile and make it completely private, then create the page yourself) Crucially, you can pick and choose what you allow your fans to post. I know because I run my sister’s page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meghann-Wilhoite/40457258872

    And just so it doesn’t seem like shameless promotion for her, check out Brian Cox’s page which might be a better example: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Brian-Cox/27126241397

    For the internet overall, I find that I keep my internet life separate from personal. A couple of times it has crossed over but generally they don’t mix. I’d feel even more paranoid if I were in a public position like yourself – you’re not alone on this!

  2. brucehood

    Heh Katie…. that sounds much better.. I am still running to keep up with everything…

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I went through a period on MySpace (which I don’t really use any more) where I allowed anyone even remotely connected to writing to add me as a “friend”. The idea was to create some kind of writing community but, ultimately, it became pointless and tedious. Just too many “friends” for it to be viable — or enjoyable.

    With Facebook I am much more selective. I don’t only add people I know, however; instead I choose to follow people who are doing something that interests me. Yes, I have old schoolfriends etc on there, too, and even relatives, but it all works quite well nonetheless.

    I also tend to remove anyone who doesn’t post regularly or contribute in some way. Oh, And I find it helps to make a mental distinction between friends and “friends”.

  4. womaninblack

    I write in a professional capacity (which I am sure you have clocked from my utter brilliance and awesomeness) and when I foolishly started a MySpace entry under my real name, I was swamped by 367 Friend requests in a few days.

    I took myself down immediately, like a one-woman wrestling match.

    I am on Facebook, but under one of my pseudonyms. It’s like having a really organised multiple personality disorder. More to the point, it allows me to spy on others while remaining hidden myself. Mwah ha ha.

  5. I needed a good laugh tonight and I found it here. My, my how I do like a good sense of humor…especially “dry”humor!

    I totally understand what you are saying. I was encouraged to sign up by friends. I guess I’ll keep it open for now, but I don’t “talk” on there about what is going on in my life. I simply refuse to tell people what I am doing and thinking every minute of the day. Some things are best left unsaid, and it amazes me what people share! I actually find it somewhat sad. It reminds me of junior high, and why would I want to experience that again?

    I did reconnect from a long ago friend, and that was very nice. So I guess for now, I will remain on Facebook, but quietly so. What would you expect from a hermit anyway? 🙂

  6. Very thoughtful. The trick is knowing when you want to “leave the curtains open” on the web so that people can see you. Like anything, it’s about balance and knowing where and when to use all this great technology.

  7. I love it – I’ve been able to chase up my nephews and nieces fom afar when they’ve been online and should be studying!! My daughter won’t use it though :sob: quel suprise! LOL

    The wonders of the internet!

  8. tothewire

    Love this post! My favorite line here :

    You might as well tell them that they are losers. We can’t be friends with everyone we know and we certainly can’t be friends with people we don’t know. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet?” Sorry Mister Rogers but that is just not normal.

    LOVE IT!

  9. Oh dear…FACEBOOK; the alternative to social skills for kids of all ages.

    I opened a FB account last year at the request of a couple of ex-colleagues. Other than opening the account, and signing these two chaps up as ‘friends’, I’ve done two thirds of the square root of sweet FA with it. No pictures, no profile, no inane comments about ‘Nobbly is sat on his arris in front of the computer again’, nothing….

    The trouble is, I’ve been bombarded with ‘friend’ requests from all sorts of folk who have now picked up on the existence of this account. Sure, I know all of them, but do I like all of them? Do I want to be in regular contact with all of them, and do I want them to be my online friends, buddies and best pals…. do I bollocks.

    If I wish to keep in touch with people electronically, or let them see photos of me, I’ll email the buggers. That way I’m in control.

    In fact, I’m just off to delete my FB account…. thanks for the kick up the arse!

  10. i’ve never had a fb account or ms.figured it would just be a pain in my ass.

    great post made me chuckle!we use alphainventions,and love em!

  11. Oh, and Bruce….

    Re: alphainventions: Is that “exorcise your voyeuristic urge”, or “exercise your voyeuristic urge”?

    The difference between an O and an E could be the difference between a pat on the back or an old flasher’s mac!

  12. brucehood

    Don’t get me on the difference between “O” and “E”!!!

    aplink… I think you are in the minority here!

  13. Hey, I’ve got to be grateful for Facebook because my whole family and loads of friends are still in the U.S. or travel a lot. It would be a huge pain in my ass to have to email photos and news selectively to everyone (inevitably creating a minefield of ‘why did so and so get these pictures and not me?’). This way everything is seen by everyone I know at the same time, thus preventing huge amounts of grousing.

    I guess it just depends if you’ve got a globally scattered base of friends/family. I can’t imagine not having it, personally. But I don’t friend anyone I’m not close to, either.

    Now Myspace is definitely a waste of time. Nothing but advertising and spamming – deleted mine months after opening it. FB adverts are very ignorable.

    Look into that FB fan page idea, Bruce – I’d like to show you support on there, even if I don’t want you to see what a berk I am on my personal profile🙂

  14. brucehood

    Hi Katie, Maybe I will do this if I ever generate the fan base enjoyed by Brian! In the meantime there is lots of trivial stuff on the author tracker site that HarperOne set up for me… one concern is that it does make me look like one of their religious writers (there is even an inspiration for the day which looks like someone praying!).. come to think of it. ….I was an odd choice of author for this publisher.

  15. brucehood

    Hi Andrew… looking at your blog, I would definitely not say you are in the minority with those stats! Prodigy rule!

  16. poietes

    Two things (I think): Two of my friends (as in real friends) started Facebook accounts and wanted to friend me, which I thought was a bit superfluous. I mean, we were already friends in the real world. Why on earth did we need to be friends in yet another virtual world?

    But as usual, I digress . . .

    I went to Facebook thinking, “No problem, I’ll set up a page like my MySpace page, maybe even replicate it, and I’ll be done.” Oh no, kemosabe. Facebook is the uber community. Friending, denying, clicks, lies, gossip. Corporate hookups. Egads, it was going to be high school all over again, and I just did not have the stamina to recreate my disdainful, intellectual artistic/love me/hate me personality all over again. I think that my page has my name on it, and that’s as far as I got.

    In the beginning of MySpace, I set up a fairly dark page to reflect the fairly dark side of my personality, but mostly so that I could step onto my son’s page occasionally to peruse his latest info; i.e., I wanted to spy on him. Then, for a while, before I started my blog, I enjoyed playing with the format. Then I forgot I had the damned thing. I put up a notice at the beginning of the year that I will be taking down my page at the end of February for the few friends who do contact me through MySpace.

    Where was I going with this? Oh yes. MySpace is more fun, easier to control, less like a cocktail party to which you were not invited and then show up wearing last year’s dress.

    FaceBook is name-appropriate. People want face time with you in the same way that they did in the 90’s, but this is their way of hounding you now.

    I like the people on MySpace better because for the most part, they are rockers and stoners and old friends from school. The people on FaceBook, for the most part (must have caveats) are wannabes who will claim to be laughing with you when they are really laughing near you. There is a difference.

    My, how I do tend to go on and on when we get together. But at least neither of us were discussing anything caprine related. Ta.

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    I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or dows iit give the impression like a few of the responses
    look like they are coming from brain dead people?😛 And,
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