Mark Zuckerblog

Dear Mr Zuckerberg

Can I call you Mark? Actually, there’s no way of you responding to that right now, so I’m going to call you Mark until you tell me otherwise.

I don’t suppose you’ll get around to replying to this for a few days, as you’re probably busy rolling around (naked?) in your piles of cash. Hey, no judgement from me, as that’s exactly what I would do if I had your money. I mean, maybe not at the moment, as I have a bit of a jippy tummy, and I’d hate to risk a fart on my ‘cash bed’ – but I guess with these new plastic notes, at least they can survive a good hardy wash.

Sorry, went off on a tangent there for a moment.

The reason I’m contacting you, is because you strike me as the sort of chap who always strives to make his products better, and as a Facebook user for more than ten years, I think I’m pretty well qualified to say what’s currently wrong with it (well, apart from the millions of dickhead members, who drive me to the very brink of jabbing myself in the eye with a rusty screwdriver each day).

Anyway, I thought I’d set out my suggestions for improving Facebook, and you can let me know what you think. There’s no pressure for you to take any of them on board, but a few of these niggles of mine are starting to escalate into something of a white-hot fury, and if I were to ‘go postal’ as a result, I’d hate for you to end up with blood on your hands.

Emojis

Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I am generally a good-natured chap, who rarely gets angry; but emojis do tend to give me a nervous twitch (which sometimes escalates into an overwhelming urge to cause physical pain, when they are used excessively or incorrectly).

Frankly, I don’t see the point of using a crappy little cartoon character to express one’s emotions, when actual words will do just fine. Admittedly, I don’t understand a lot of youth culture in general – I’m not even entirely sure what a ‘Millennial’ is (other than to say it is someone younger than me, who I almost certainly detest) – but emojis are in the same category as skinny jeans, Love Island and the word ‘lol’. I refer to this as my ‘can fuck right off category’.

The only emoji I can even tolerate is the ‘winking face’ emoji (I call him ‘Mr Winky’, but that has been known to cause some confusion when referring to my penis by the same name), albeit only because he allows you to get away with being a total git to someone. For example, sending them a text saying ‘I hate you and want you to die’ might be construed as offensive, or even threatening; but stick Mr Winky in the end (excuse the unfortunate choice of phrase), and it’s nothing more than a jovial quip. No one can get mad when Mr Winky is around.

Then, a month or so ago (as I know you are aware) the emoji world took a turn for the even worse, with the introduction of 157 new ones – because, apparently, the youth of today are too bone-idol to actually type the word ‘peacock’ or ‘swan’. Seriously, look at this selection of utter pointlessness:

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I can’t imagine for one second that the multi-racial pensioners of the world were angry about being under-represented by emojis, or that ladies with alopecia had taken to the streets with placards to protest for more ‘bald women emojis’. And when was the last time a simple ‘poo’ emoji wasn’t sufficient, and you felt the need to tell someone that the poo in question was a sad poo? Poo DOESN’T HAVE FUCKING EMOTION. It’s poo.

Anyway, since it looks as though emojis are here for a while, might I suggest the introduction of a few more the next time yourself and the other social media moguls of the world get together to make the universe a slightly more stupid place?

My preferred choices would be a ‘bullshit’ emoji (for when you want to question the validity of someone’s status or comment); and a ‘U ok hun?’ emoji – because if I see one more person actually type that phrase, I will hunt them down like a wild dog, and then go after their family.

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Wait, is that Messi?

Vaguebookers

Vaguebookers have been a problem on Facebook for as long as I can remember. I cannot stand someone deliberately updating their status, or posting a comment, with something attention-seeking like ‘you should know better than to mess with me, you know who you are’, or ‘wondering why I bother’. If you want sympathy, or to get a reaction, then just tell us – or, better still, send a text or e-mail to someone who may actually give a shit. Don’t hint at your problem, and then hope we’ll all come running with the now-standard ‘aw, u ok hon’?

I’m not sure if you are able to design a ‘vaguebooker block’ of some description, to automatically prevent this from happening; but if not I am willing to offer my services to police Facebook day and night, and take whatever action I deem necessary towards any culprits. Sure, people will get hurt, but it’s a small price to pay for the good of society.

Unfriending Notification

I think it would be nice to know when someone has ‘unfriended’ you on Facebook, because that way you can scowl at them when you invariably bump into them in the street a few days later. Imagine my horror, when I was recently saw someone I know in town, and smiled at them, only to discover the little fucker had unfriended me at some point. I had to register them for all sorts of unwanted and embarrassing junk mail (and dodgy websites) before I got over the betrayal, and that kind of shit takes time, Mark.

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Video locator

It’s really annoying, when you watch a funny – or otherwise fascinating – video on social media, but when you come to tell everyone about it in the pub, or at work, you can’t remember which friend shared or commented on it.

I think, if you have watched a video on Facebook more than once, it should be stored somewhere on your profile for later use, or until you decide you no longer need it. Surely, with today’s face recognition software, you could get everyone’s phones, tablets and laptops to recognise when they have enjoyed a video, and save it to their profile accordingly? Ok, you’d need to find a way to eliminate any ‘mucky’ videos they may have enjoyed in the same time period, but you’re a social media billionaire, Zuckers, you figure it out.

Time-saving software

By the same token, would it be possible to design a method of informing Facebook users how likely they are to enjoy a video or article, based on their obvious sense of humour, and what they enjoy, before they click through thirty pages of crap and adverts to get to the bit advertised on their news feed?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have wasted half an hour of my constantly-dwindling life span clicking through page after page of rubbish, only to be hugely disappointed by what I was promised in the first place. Just give us a rating out of 10, with 0 being ‘I really wouldn’t bother, this is shit’, and 10 being ‘no, you absolutely need to read/watch this, it will change your life and/or you will laugh your bollocks off’.

Can’t be that hard, surely?

TimeHop

I quite like the appeal of Facebook telling me what I did on any particular day in years gone by; but could you possibly tweak it a bit so that it only reminds me of the good stuff, and doesn’t make me feel so fucking old? Just knock a few years off the date, it’s easy.

I refuse to accept that our last holiday abroad was in 2015 (it feels like last week), or that it will be three years this December since I saw Def Leppard live in Manchester. Most people who go to see Def Leppard don’t have three years left, and that kind of realisation is pretty depressing.

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Invisibility

I appreciate that, whilst you are one of the richest people on the planet, you cannot actually bestow super powers on people in real life; however what about a system whereby you can become invisible on Facebook, and comment on posts and threads under a randomly-generated pseudonym (and profile picture) so that nobody knows it’s you?

For example, I belong to a Facebook group called ‘What’s Going On – Sandbach’, and there is not a day goes by when I don’t want to destroy some moron, who either wants a job (usually ‘any’ job) but cannot spell basic words properly; is looking for a builder/plumber/decorator, even though someone else asked the same damn question the day before (and the day before that, and the day before that); or who has lost their cat AGAIN, for the fourth time this week.

I can’t leave the group, as there is occasionally one useful piece of local information every six months or so, and if I’m honest I find the morons quite entertaining in a perverted way, but I’d love to be able to tell them what I really think of their stupid bastard cat, without the repercussions of their meathead boyfriend paying me a visit and beating the living shit out of me.

Ah, I think I’ve just worked out what the ‘sad poo’ emoji is for.

Anyway, that’s enough from me, Mark. As I said at the outset, no rush to respond, so long as it’s within the week, and you can show that you have introduced at least one of my suggestions.

Take care, and thanks for reading

The Middle-Raged Dad x

P.S. – oh, any chance you could sign a few thousand people up to my blog without them noticing?

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Hot Blog, Jumping Frog, Albuquerque

Rather disappointingly, this entry is not about delicious processed-meat snacks, bouncy amphibians, a city in New Mexico or, indeed, the band Prefab Sprout. The above title has, I confess, absolutely no relevance to what follows. Sorry.

This entry is about Facebook.

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Whilst I must confess to loving Facebook in the main, it also irritates the hell out of me at times. And by ‘irritates’, I don’t mean ‘slightly irks’ either; I mean ‘makes me want to scratch my own eyes out’. Oh, and by ‘at times’, I also mean ‘more and more frequently by the day’.

In fact, there are now so many things that wind me up about the use of Facebook, that I’ve decided to come up with a list of my worst ten.

Please don’t think that, if you are guilty of any of these crimes against my sanity, I dislike you, or you irritate me personally, as that is not the case at all. You are one person in a vast sea of others doing precisely the same thing, which makes me the minority, and me who has the problem. This list is not an attack on you, it is an explanation of how short my fuse is (not a euphemism, ladies) and how easily annoyed I am as I grow older.

That said, if you’re guilty of all ten, let’s just say our days of Facebook friendship may be limited….

1. ‘Liking’ things

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Immediately, I feel I should explain myself. The option to ‘like’ stuff on Facebook is fine per se, and it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to be annoyed by this, whilst simultaneously getting a warm glow inside every time someone likes something that I myself have posted. But it’s when someone either likes EVERYTHING on Facebook or, worse, uses the option inappropriately, that it really gets under my skin.

For example, it’s nice to like someone’s status, comment or photo. But when you like every comment they’ve ever made, or every single photo from their album ‘Faliraki 2013’, it slightly devalues your gesture.

And then there is ‘liking’ stuff inappropriately, e.g.:

John Smith  – My dog died today. I’m devastated.

                                            – Joe Bloggs likes this

Doesn’t come across well, does it? I know people will argue that, in this example, they are merely acknowledging the status, perhaps even showing sympathy in their own moronic way, but those people should try using actual real-life words to express their remorse, and should also look up the word ‘like’ in a dictionary. You know, that big book propping up the coffee table in the corner

2. OMG, LMFAO, YOLO etc.

Oh. Dear. Lord. (Or, ODL I guess). I can just about tolerate ‘LOL’, after years of being worn down by its usage, to the point that I have become numb to its usage – and, in the same way, I don’t mind accepting the odd lol on something I have personally posted (I like it when people find me funny and laugh at me, unless it’s because I’m naked or have otherwise embarrassed myself), but the increasing number of variants – LMAO, ROFL, ROFLMAO, LOLZ – make me want to cry and throw myself into the nearest Lolcano.

Then there are the others. OMG (or the latest, arguably worse, additions – omigoodness or omigosh), YOLO and XOXO to name just three in a vast sea of irritation. Please stop it. Now.

3. Groups with bad spelling/grammar or stupid names

A cursory glance whilst writing this, has already yielded two results in Sandbach alone – “Whats on in Sandbach” and “Sandbach Photo’s – Past and Present” (and, if you can’t work out what is wrong with those, we should avoid each other for a while); but it’s more the groups with ridiculous (and often overly-long) names, that really anger me.

My current favourite (and by ‘favourite’, I do of course mean the group that makes me most likely to murder) is “Your Body Is Not Ruined, You’re a Goddamn Tigress Who Earned Her Stripes”. Now, I agree with the sentiment behind this phrase, and at least they know how to use ‘your/you’re’ correctly, but not only is it a stupid way of saying it, and therefore a stupid sounding group, but if someone shares one of their comments or photos, it look ridiculous:

Josephine Bloggs shared Your Body Is Not Ruined, You’re a Goddamn Tigress Who Earned Her Stripes’s photo.

Urgh. I was just sick in my mouth.

By the same token, any group using the word “Mommy” or “Mom” (Americans, I’m mostly looking in your direction here), tends to have a silly name, and that’s aside from the fact it should be spelled “Mum”. For example:

Josephine Bloggs liked Watch out Mommy hasn’t had her meds again lol!!!’s status update.

I’m angry now just typing this. I need a lie down.

4. Hashtags

You might think that Facebook should get a bit of a reprieve here, as the blame for hashtagging should lie squarely at Twitter’s door, but since I don’t really use/get Twitter, it’s Facebook where I mostly encounter this abomination. Also, hashtags kind of make sense on Twitter, even if I don’t personally like them, whereas on Facebook they just look stupid.

I can see why hashtagging is used, and I’m not so old that I don’t understand what it means for something to trend (yes, I do appreciate that even typing that makes me seem really old), but it’s pointless hashtagging that has no relevance to anything, and specifically over-hashtagging, that I have an issue with. Let me give some examples:

Enjoying my birthday #drinks #vodka

Why? Just, why? Is #drinks going to start trending just because you’re out on the lash? Or did we need that extra explanation that you were actually drinking, in case we assumed you’d just gone out for the night, on your birthday, to walk around town in your stilettos and perhaps pop into the library? Are Vodka sales depleting? No. Fuck off.

Enjoying my birthday #drinks #friends #vodka #clubbing #hammered

That’s just taking the piss now.

Then, lastly, there are the hashtags that have no relevance or meaning to anyone:

Enjoying my birthday #can’tbelieveifelldownstairs #sickonmyshoes #shouldhavewornunderwear

What can you possibly hope to achieve from that, other than confirming everyone’s suspicion that you’re a drunken slapper? Exactly.

5. Using ‘2’ instead of ‘To’ and ‘4’ instead of ‘For’

I hate text speak anyway, but it should be restricted to ‘text’ messaging (the clue is in the name, muppets):

John Smith – Looking 4ward 2 going out 2nite. Need 2 find sumwher gud 2 go 4 kebab after lmao!!!!

No further explanation necessary. How busy is your life, that you needed to save 0.2 of a second by not typing the actual word.

6. ‘Vaguebooking’

In other words, fishing for attention, sympathy or someone to take an interest in your life, by means of a deliberately vague status, e.g.:

John Smith – I’m so sad

Joe Bloggs – Can’t believe that just happened!

Josephine Bloggs – Bitch messed with the wrong person this time.

Either tell us all about it, so we can make our own assessment of whether we care or not (and I can almost certainly guarantee it’s the latter), or don’t bother putting it on Facebook, and send someone who you think may care a message instead.

7. People who engage with vaguebookers

Self-explanatory really. Don’t humour them, don’t encourage them, and for the love of God, don’t respond with the standard “Aw, u ok hun?”

It makes me want to gouge my own eyes out with a rusty spoon.

8. ‘Quirky’ Facebook nicknames

I don’t mean women (or men) who get married, or anyone who changes their real name for that matter, but rather people who decide to change their names (regularly) to daft things like David ‘BigWilly’ Jones. If you’ve had to call yourself that then, no, it really isn’t. If you must make it clear to everyone that you believe you are well-endowed (when it is blatantly clear to us all that you are not), buy a BMW. You know the rule, BMW = Massive Cock.

9. Over-elaborate emojis

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Again, I understand why these are popular, and I appreciate their usefulness to an extent – quite often, a timely ‘winky face’ ensures the recipient knows your possibly-misconstrued comment is a joke, or meant to be tongue-in-cheek – but there are now so many of them, especially on Facebook, that it’s getting ridiculous.

Even worse, is when a status is followed by bloody loads of them: 5 hearts, 6 wine glasses, 4 champagne flutes, 7 smiley faces and 3 ‘thumbs up’, are not required to emphasise that you are enjoying a night on the town with the girls. Shame there isn’t an emoji for throwing up in your handbag whilst mascara runs down your face.

10. People who use FB to publicly send someone a message

If you can’t remember what time you’re meant to be going to someone’s house later that evening, here’s a handy hint: Send them a text, or maybe give them a call.

If you must, and I mean absolutely MUST use Facebook to communicate with them, there is a very useful personal messaging service you can use.

Under no circumstances, do you ever need to post “Hey, what time are we coming round later?” on their timeline. You do know we can all see that, and don’t give a flying horseshit, right?

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Ok, so I’ve possibly alienated a lot of people here, but it needed saying. Again, this is not an attack on anyone personally, as I’m sure I am in the minority, so, at the risk of using a cheesy cliché, it’s not you, it’s me. Unless, of course, you agree with most (or perhaps all) of the above, and they annoy you too, in which case we really should hang out more. Let’s grab a beer sometime (then post about it on Facebook, with loads of emojis so everyone can rofl at, and like, our post).

That probably won’t happen though. The problem is invariably mine, and I’ll have to learn to be more tolerant. But, please, next time you do use one of the above, and especially if you are planning on using a few at the same time, take a second to think of my fragile mental state and reconsider. Ok?

#it’sreallyfuckingirritating #imayturnuponyourdoorstepwithaknife

Winky face.

 

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