If It Ain’t Blog, Don’t Fix It

I had no intention of writing a new blog entry this week, for a few reasons.

Firstly, nothing particularly blog-worthy has happened in my life – until yesterday. Ok, Isaac has been as ‘interesting’ (read: batshit crazy) as ever, but his brief comedic moments lend themselves far better to short posts on my Facebook page, rather than a full blog entry.

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Secondly, WordPress (for reasons I will come to shortly), is now dogshit.

Finally, I am quite enjoying sharing blog posts from the past, for all my new 2020 followers to enjoy, and I have plenty of festive-themed entries to choose from over the next few weeks. Still, it’s only the start of December, so there’s plenty of time until the big day, and perhaps I’ll share one a day for an entire week instead.

Whenever I plan to write a new blog entry, I always prefer my material (or, at least, the original idea/event) to occur early in the week, so I have plenty of time to jot down my thoughts, then spend my lunchbreak/evening on the Thursday making any final adjustments, before publication the following day. Sadly, for reasons which will become clear in a second, today’s entry is based on something that only happened yesterday, and I have therefore had very little time to write it. 

Nevertheless, write it I shall, and if this means I have to forego some of my pre-flight checks to get it ready in time (a little like NASA, when they launch that space probe in The Martian), then so be it. I’ll just have to hope that what follows doesn’t similarly explode in a ball of flames.

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Today, I would like to discuss companies trying to make things better – but achieving quite the opposite.

I understand why devices like mobile phones, laptops and games consoles need to move with the times (although, I’m not sure new releases are required quite so frequently, when they add little to their predecessors), and I particularly enjoy developments in the motoring world, where my desire to save the planet is only superseded by my love of a quirky cup holder, but sometimes, just sometimes, things work perfectly fine as they are and you should leave them the fuck alone.

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This happened recently with WordPress, who ‘upgraded’ the platform I use for this blog, and in doing so made it almost completely unworkable. For example, I can no longer write my entries without each paragraph being placed into ‘blocks’ (no, me neither), and this means I am unable to leave a line between certain paragraphs, inserting images is damn-near impossible, and the ‘justified’ paragraph option has been removed altogether, so I can only now select ‘align left’, ‘centred’, or ‘align right’ (when no one in their right mind would write an entire blog entry adopting anything but the former). I don’t want to align left, I want my entry to look neat, because I’m a perfectionist, and now the right hand side looks all scruffy. Ok, this might seem minor to most people, but my point is this – why fucking get rid of it at all? What does that achieve?

Put it this way: before computers and typewriters existed, if someone wanted to write an article (that’s what we used to call blogs back in the day, kids) they would usually write their words down on a piece of paper. It was basic, but it worked fine. What WordPress have done recently, however, is the equivalent of making that person write upside-down, with gloves on, and their hands tied behind their back – claiming this improves their experience.

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It’s utter madness.

The worst part is, having contacted WordPress’ tech support (which appears to be manned solely by people who failed their McDonalds entrance exam) they have suggested I can return to the old, i.e. better, version if I want to, but I would need to install a special plugin and that requires an upgrade to their Business Plan… at a cost of £235 a year. That’s not progress, that’s fucking blackmail.

“But I want to write my article the correct way up, without any gloves on, please?”

“Why would you want to do that?! Surely this is better?”

“No, it makes it much harder and gives me a headache.”

“Right, fine, whatevs. We’ll turn you the right way again, untie your hands, and take the gloves off if you really want, but it’ll cost you.”

So, as a result, I am currently planning to reach blog entry #250 (today’s is #244) and then call it a day, purely because I don’t think I can continue writing on a site which makes it so damn difficult.

Then, yesterday, Facebook followed suit and upgraded my ‘Confessions of Middle-Raged Dad’ page (without being asked), which has resulted in it being much harder to use, and, in my opinion, not as aesthetically pleasing.

Facebook have been trying to do this for months, but until yesterday I always had the option to revert to the old version for 48 hours, which at least meant I could do so before each ‘Ye Olde Cock & Balls’ pub night, thereby avoiding any additional stress when things don’t work as planned. I was ok with that.

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Yesterday, however, that option was removed – I assume permanently – so I am now stuck with the new version of my page, and to say I don’t like it would be something of an understatement.

Admittedly, I am the sort of person who doesn’t like learning new things from scratch, which I understand is my issue rather than Facebook’s, but I genuinely don’t see how they have made my page any better with this latest upgrade. Plus, while WordPress have obviously fucked things up deliberately, to force people into paying money to make things right again (detestable though that may be), Facebook is, and apparently always will be, free – so what’s the point? Why piss people like me off by making things infinitely worse?

Let me explain what has altered – since you may not have noticed just yet – and you can then decide for yourselves. In the interests of balance, I will deal with the new features I see as positive, as well as the (many) negatives. Let’s start with the former, so you can have the good news first.

The ‘insights’ part of my page has seemingly become more in-depth, so I can now throw all sorts of interesting stats at you, such as:

  1. Only 16.70% of my followers are men, while 83.30% are women (no surprise there, just look at me). However, since that adds up to 100%, it means I apparently have no appeal whatsoever with the non-binary community. 
  2. Of my 30,000+ followers, 28,400 are in the United Kingdom, followed by just 342 in Ireland, 253 in Australia, and 155 in the United States. Which means, since that totals a little over 29,000 people, there are around 1,000 followers from ‘other countries’, each of which must have fewer than 155 followers to feature lower than the US, and I therefore appear to have reached more than a dozen countries across the globe. How exciting.
  3. As far as the UK is concerned, after London and Manchester, my biggest following is in Glasgow. How ye daein? Gled tae meet ye, ye wee stoaters. A wannae winch the lorra yae (don’t blame me, blame Google).
  4. My key demographic is the 35-44 age bracket, followed by 45-54 and then 25-34. Understandable, since my page is mostly about adult humour and parenting, but what did shock me is that I have a small number of fans in the 13-17 bracket. Not sure what they gain from my page, to be honest, as I very rarely discuss puberty, TikTok, or ‘how to be a sulky little bitch’, but it’s good to have them on board anyway. 

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So, yes, the insights/stats part of my page is admittedly rather interesting, and…. erm…. yeah, that’s where the good news ends, I’m afraid. Now for the bad stuff:

  1. I can no longer invite people to like my page. By that, I mean I have lost the option to click ‘invite’ if someone who does not already follow me reacts to a post, and even if I still had that feature, they could no longer ‘like’ my page anyway. Sadly, Facebook deemed ‘liking’ a page surplus to requirements, so all you can now do is ‘follow’ it instead. Call me old-fashioned, but I quite enjoyed having people ‘like’ me. It seemed more enthusiastic than merely ‘following’ me, just in case I posted something of interest.
  2. While I could never respond to every comment on my page (at least, not since my fanbase rocketed in March), I always tried to whenever possible. My view is that, if someone has taken the time and effort to comment, it’s courteous to at least acknowledge them – even if their opinion is bollocks. Now, though, it seems Facebook is filtering my notifications, so I only receive the ones deemed to be of interest to me, as if Facebook’s algorithms know the first fucking thing about what I like (which they don’t, if the adverts I receive are anything to go by). So, apologies if you comment on my page, particularly with a question, and I don’t reply – I’m not being rude, it’s just that Facebook has deemed you unworthy of my attention.
  3. The ‘search’ function has remained, which I frequently use to look back at old posts when I need to refer to (or copy) something, but I can only now search for ‘old’ material after the update was forced upon me – in other words, anything posted since yesterday morning. Great.
  4. The main reason for wanting to revert back to the old Facebook during my pub quizzes, was because the new version makes it very difficult to post picture comments to my page, so while I can still upload photos to a main post, if I want to start a picture round and then upload the images into the comments below, I have to follow a number of complicated steps to do so. Again, how is that progress?
  5. Another new feature, is that Facebook now tells me precisely how many people have got bored of me and unfollowed my page in the last 28 days. Gee, thanks. Any chance you could also find out how many of those people referred to me as ‘unfunny’ and/or ‘ugly’ as well, just to really give my confidence a kick in the nuts?
  6. Last, but by no means least, my new page has cropped the cover image when viewed on a mobile phone, so that only my (admittedly large) nose is viewable on the left hand side, and the ‘Midlife Crisis Ahead’ sign now reads ‘MII CI A’. Even worse, my profile picture has been moved over it, so that the very top of the page now reads: ‘Confessions of a Middle-Raged Wanker’.

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That’s. Just. Ace.

I’ll keep tinkering away, to try and restore some sense of normality as soon as possible, because I would hate anyone to get so frustrated they leave (presumably uttering something about me being unfunny and ugly as they go), but you might need to bear with me. 

Oh, and I’ll be sending daily feedback to Facebook as well, using phrases such as ‘fucking pointless’ and ‘why couldn’t you leave things the way they were, you total gobshites?’

Thanks for reading x

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Bunch of Busybloggies

I love Facebook. Most of the time.

However, I also despise Facebook, some of the time.

Let me explain.

I love Facebook, because it keeps me in touch with my family, friends and the world at large. It informs me if my favourite bands have a new album coming out, or are due to go on tour. It allows me to peruse funny videos of people hurting themselves, and laugh at comedic memes, restoring my faith that there are others out there who share my twisted sense of humour.

I also have my very own page, a little corner of the vast expanse that is the internet, where I can be myself. Where I am able to laugh about my children, while at the same time venting my spleen (I honestly never knew my spleen had so much vent in it). Plus, because of Facebook – and some ‘cockney bellend’ called Joe – my fanbase has multiplied more than tenfold since March.

Finally, thanks to Facebook (albeit prompted by the horrible situation the world currently finds itself in), I now have my own ‘virtual’ pub, where I can meet up with people I have never known in real life, listen to music, and take part in one of my favourite pastimes – a pub quiz.

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However, increasingly of late, I also detest Facebook. It bombards me with adverts for things I have never wanted, and will never want. It reminds me that some people are stupid, bigoted and downright racist, and they are not the tiny minority I once thought (or hoped) them to be. It reminds me that the nation, and, indeed, the planet, has never been more divided.

Thankfully, the benefits to Facebook still outweigh the various disadvantages (otherwise, I would consider deleting my account) and, since this is meant to be a lighthearted blog, lets focus on the positives for now.

For every bigot or racist, there are countless more fighting for change and unity. For every moron ignoring lockdown to meet up with their mates, or squeeze onto an already crowded beach, there is a group waiting to berate them publicly for their stupidity. And, for every ludicrous decision made by the likes of Johnson, Trump and the sycophantic fucknuggets behind each of them, there is a comedic genius waiting with a meme to ridicule everyone concerned. It may not solve the problem, but it reminds me there are like-minded people out there who are just as exasperated as me. That gives me hope.

So, while today’s blog entry is all about one particular aspect of Facebook, and how much it riles me on a daily basis, I am going to strive to find the humour in there to share with you all, and hopefully raise a smile on this fifteenth Friday of lockdown.

This week’s entry is all about that seemingly endless source of (often unintentional) comedy: the local Facebook group.

I am a member of three of these groups myself, and, without naming them, two are for the town in which I live, while the third is for the village where I grew up – and now commute to work every day (well, at least I did until lockdown was initiated).

You may belong to one (or more) local groups yourself, for your own particular town or village, and no doubt you will come across the same idiots that I do on a daily basis, namely:

  1. The person who cannot spell to save their life, and who appears to have typed each and every post using only their feet (I am not being ‘thickist’ here, but it really is basic stuff at times)
  2. The person who asks a pointless question, such as how long the queue is at a particular shop, despite the fact queues invariably alter as time passes, so the original poster will never get an accurate answer.
  3. Finally, the person who posts one of the ten most asked questions in local groups up and down the country, apparently oblivious to how much it gets on the tits of easily-irked middle-raged people like me.

If you are unsure what I am referring to with that last point, the chances are you may be guilty of it yourself. However, just in case, and so you can avoid falling into the trap, I have carried out literally seconds of extensive research, and have determined that 95% of all posts on local Facebook groups fall into ten distinct categories – and every single one of them gets firmly up my bottom hole (metaphorically speaking).

So, having collated and analysed them, I have decided I will upload alternative piss-take versions over the coming weeks, and there is not a damn thing anyone out there can do to stop me (well, assuming I don’t get banned from said groups for being too acerbic, and as long as the wife will let me).

Anyway, in no particular order, the ten categories of local Facebook Group post (with my alternative versions underneath) are as follows:

#1 – ‘I’ve lost my cat’ / ‘I’ve found this dog’

The frequency with which local pet owners lose their animals is, quite frankly, appalling.

My version: ‘Has anyone seen this cat? Oh, he’s not mine, but just LOOK AT HIS FACE!’ or ‘I’ve just found this dog. I’m not sure who he belongs to, but I kinda like him, so he’s mine now.’

(nauseating reference to ‘fur baby’ optional)

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#2 – ‘What’s the best Chinese / Indian?’

I see this posted on a daily basis.

My version: ‘What’s the best Chinese? I know someone asked yesterday, and the day before that, and every day for the previous year, but I just wondered if anyone’s opinions had changed in the last 24 hours? Plus, I can’t be arsed scrolling back through the seventeen posts about missing cats since yesterday.’

Alternatively: ‘What’s the best Indian? I was thinking maybe Mahatma Ghandi?’

#3 – ‘Any jobs going?’

Oh, sure, that makes you sound employable.

My version: ‘Any job’s goin round ere? I no know won rely adverts on here, but will do anything. Am hard working so long as u dont mind Iv tiped this with me fourhed am able to start in too weeks. Carnt start before as its two nice out lol.’

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#4 – ‘Parents. Do you know where your teenager is tonight?…’

They then proceed to rant about the latest bit of anti-social behaviour they have encountered around town, often with no proof whatsoever that it was actually caused by teenagers.

My version: ‘Parents. Do you know where your teenagers are tonight? If not, there’s a good chance they’re locked in my garage, because I spotted some rubbish outside McDonalds earlier and decided it must have been dropped by teenagers – so I’m now driving around bundling any teenagers I can find into my van.’

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#5 – ‘I’m getting sick of picking up other people’s dog poo.’

I’m not surprised. It’s hardly the most wholesome hobby.

My version: ‘Just found some dog shit on the pavement again. The next dog owner I see letting their pet crap in the street without picking it up, is going to find me wandering over, collecting the offending turd myself, and then ramming it up their fucking nose, mmkay?’

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#6 – ‘Sorry if this isn’t allowed but…..’

They then go on to write something which almost always contravenes the site rules, gets promptly deleted, only for them to post again later the same day bitching about their original message being taken down, and demanding an explanation from ‘admin’.)

My version: ‘Sorry if this isn’t allowed but….. aren’t boobies ace?’

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#7 – ‘I hope the person who left this rubbish by the side of the road is happy. Fly tipping is illegal. It makes me sick.’

This is almost always accompanied by a photo of a kitchen appliance in a hedge.

My version: ‘I hope the person who left this rubbish by the side of the road is pleased with themselves. I lugged the microwave all the way home on my bike, and it doesn’t even fucking work, so I threw it in a hedge.’

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#8 – ‘Here are some pictures I took of a sunset / lightning storm / some flowers.’

Whoop-dee-fucking-do.

My version: ‘Look at these photos I took of this evening’s lightning storm. You probably saw it for yourselves, and if not I’m sure you’ve seen lightning before, but I crave your attention and want you to worship me for successfully operating a camera.’

I will then upload a photo I have clearly taken from Google, for example:

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#9 – ‘To the person who hit my car outside Waitrose this afternoon. I will give you until the end of the day to own up before I will be contacting the police.’

The first response to this post is always either: (1) ‘Aw no hun that’s awful. U ok?’; (2) ‘Scum’; or (3) ‘Have you asked Waitrose if they have CCTV?’

My version: ‘Some fuckbag hit my car outside Waitrose today. I was going to post a threat giving them until tomorrow to own up, but not only has that never worked in the history of Facebook, the Police would do bugger all about it anyway. Oh, and on the basis Waitrose didn’t have CCTV when someone’s car got hit yesterday, or for any of the previous daily accidents in their car park, don’t bother asking if I’ve checked.

#10 – ‘Does anyone know [insert name]? I’ve received this letter/parcel for them.’

This post is always accompanied by a photo of a package where the sender has omitted 80% of the vital information needed for it to reach the recipient, and the postie has evidently given up and pushed it through the first remotely similar letterbox.

My version: ‘Does anyone know [insert name]? I’ve received a parcel for them, and it looks really interesting, so I’m going to open it and keep the contents. If you know them, tell them ‘tough shit’ from me.

Alternatively: ‘Does anyone know [insert name of someone you don’t like]? I’ve received a giant parcel from Ann Summers which is addressed to them, and the contents are vibrating like fucking crazy, so I don’t know whether to open it or not?

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That should keep me entertained for a few weeks at least.

Thanks for reading x

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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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