Thursday, November 1, 2012

#8: DON'T MAKE ME UNFRIEND YOU!

I got onto Facebook last week and found the following message from www.unfriendapp.com:

                                  "SEE WHO UNFRIENDED YOU!"

My first reaction was: “Who are you?” and then: “How would you know about my friends?”

I followed the link to Unfriendapp’s website and learned I was being tracked (as is everyone else on Facebook).  Every time we log in a scan is run on our friends’ lists and compared to our last log in. Any downward changes are recorded, and we are quickly notified that we’ve been UNFRIENDED!

                               

From UnfriendApp’s hype, you’d think being unfriended was an uplifting event.
                      
                  * Really Works!  100% verified and real.
                  * Over 100,000 users love UnfriendApp!
                  * Unfrienders will be reported within 15 minutes.
                  * The results will SHOCK you!

They’re right about one thing – I am shocked, shocked they are tracking and broadcasting information thought to be private.  I’m also shocked that possibly hurtful information is being released with such gusto.  I’m shocked that Facebook allows Unfriendapp to slither through its bowels collecting data, and most of all I’m shocked because I don’t remember agreeing to release “unfriending” data.   

UnfriendApp isn’t the only snarky company spying on us.  A quick search found others:  www.unfriendfinder.com, www.unfriendlyviewer.com, and www.iddodz.com, though there are probably more.   

Unlike UnfriendApp, Unfriendfinder doesn’t consider unfriending someone a reason for celebration.  It melodramatically labels the Unfriender as “unfaithful” and suggests  Unfriended ones install their “little red counter button” on their menu bar -- to catch the brute (and all others in the future).   

www.idoodz.com has a 99-cent app for your smart phone, which will let you know as soon as you’ve been dumped -- at home or away. They are working on the next generation of their app, which promises to make Unfriending "more public."   

I wonder what they have in mind.  Maybe a Scarlet "U" branded into the Dumpee's forehead...


... or punishment at the pillory for being the victim of an Unfriending.
Of course, Facebook subscribers can do for themselves manually what UnfriendApp et. al. do electronically, but the likelihood of that happening is minimal. Without outside interference, most people would never know they’ve been dumped, and even if they did, they’d probably not bother hand-counting friends each time they logged in. 

Without these electronic ambulance chasers, most       Unfriending events  would -- by default -- become non-events.  

But missed non-events are missed opportunities...so let the fun begin by ferreting out:

          the vulnerable ...

(those who have been down the Facebook tunnel for so long they care more about the quantity of friends than their quality)…

                                                 ... the vindictive....
... and the jealous...

                                         

When I was young, telling secrets (if discovered) resulted in public tauntings, such        as“Tattle tale, tattle tale, stick your head in a garbage pail.” This was not a label anyone wanted.  You were also taught that spying and preying on the defenseless ( = bullying
was unacceptable, and certainly anyone who broke the code didn’t advertise it.  

But the world’s been turned upside down, standing the old rules on their heads.  What was once considered private and respected as such is now public fair game, despite who gets hurt along the way.  This new morality is explained by a deep thinker whose writings I found on www.makeuseof.com:

“It is probably true that people deserve the right to unfriend people in privacy, but turning it into such a secret makes the whole thing seem illegitimate. So what if I unfriended someone? People have the right to use Facebook as they see fit, and if someone is hurt because someone else unfriended him, well, that’s tough….”

That’s the new syllogism for the 21st Century:  PRIVACY = SECRET: SECRET= ILLEGITIMATE; ergo: privacy = illegitimate.   

I only got onto Facebook because I’d written a novel (“Coming of Age…AGAIN”) and the marketing gurus said that social websites were the place to promote it. Supposedly I would make hundreds of new, literate friends who would buy my book and tell others about it.

The first stranger to invite me to be her friend arrived on my P.C. dressed in nothing but a G-string, her breasts so perky I suspected they were silicon implants.  If only she'd been wearing reading glasses, I might have said yes.

I also subscribed to Twitter.  “Follow people who have lots of Followers,” I was advised.  “And send them Zingers.  Zingers are guaranteed to be Retweeted, and Retweets with your name and credits should send you and your novel viral.”

My son, the talented architect Todd Barnett, found me the Zinger: a cross-section of streets in Madison, WI named Margaret and Atwood.  He sent me a photo.

 

I checked out the famous author – Margaret Atwood.  She had  648 followers (640 more than me) so I Followed her and sent the Zinger photo along with my name and author page link on Amazon.  Guess what happened.  

The famous author retweeted the photo all right -- but minus my name and credits.  Hell, she didn’t even have the decency to thank me! (You can see why I’ve taken to whining).

After receipt of my dumping notification from UnfriendApp, I wondered if Twitter also let predator companies scan their data.  A search brought up:  www.who.unfollowed.com, www.friendorfollow.com., www.whounfollowedme.com, , www.justunfollow.com, www.useqwitter.com, www.unfollowers.me, and www,.manageflitter.com.

ManageFlitter’s pitch is more like a pitchfork: 1) Find people who have already UNfollowed you and Unfollow them. (Do you follow that?); 2) Unfollow people who have become inactive (logic escapes me), and 3) Unfollow Tweeters who Twitter too much (overachievers).  
  
THE BOTTOM WHINE: To Follow or not to Follow.  To friend or not to Friend.  Those are the questions.  What are the answers?   
   
                                   Whiningly yours,  Carol




                                              Four friends of a "certain age" prove
                                              that with a mix of moxie, humor, wisdom,
                                              and a weekly mahjongg game, coming of age
                                              can happen more than once.             


,. VQ52M3DTGWHJ

5 comments:

  1. GAWD, how I hate Facebook. If not for the need to self-publicize, I wouldn't have anything to do with it.

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  2. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hostile, hostile! Not you, my dear friend...the whole finding out who is un-friending you. It seems that it might encourage bullying. So easy to do without a real face in front of you. Sad that we've come to this and no, I would never ever get such an app. But we've been being tracked long before Facebook. Social media has only streamlined the process.Great Blog...well written. I'm tweeting and sharing... on Facebook. Yes...A;lways and forever, the Queen of Irony!

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  3. There are things I really hate about social media, and the way it reduces adults to children is one. Apps like these do nothing good at all except to encourage more child-like behavior. Great post. I didn't know these were real apps and figured it was just some sort of hype to get people to click on the ads.

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  4. Wow! I don't want to know if I've been unfriended. And if I unfriend someone, I don't want them banging on my virtual door begging for a reason. I wonder who thinks up these things, and what group of people approve marketing them!

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  5. yes, I'm often fear after shocking, some people unfriended me that I personally know them well. I found no reasons to love Facebook unlike Twitter. Twitter is excellent social media. If you follow any person, that he doesn't has to follow you.

    Facebook makes obviously depressive than IM or Twitter! No kidding! I often have no time for contacting people but I contact my certain friends. I always like talking people IN PERSON over online.

    FB Groups or Pages are very recommended for news feeds, debates or discussions. Instagram and Twitter are good options for fun and less negative for world communication.

    ReplyDelete