Tag Archives: Facebook

Deliverables R Us

Ah, Facebook. Relational crucible of the 21st century.

freak out

freak out

Have you read about Julia Angwin, the woman who’s unfriending all of her friends on Facebook? She’s an accomplished journalist, author, and privacy expert who figured out what we all knew already: social media affords very little privacy. She’s created a micro-movement of readers who are kicking their Facebook friends to the curb. Really.

Then I read a post from a woman who disabled her account because she felt her time on Facebook was an indulgent, unhealthy grasp for the approval of others. Now tell us something we don’t know.

Of course who can forget evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar’s assertion that human beings cannot cognitively maintain more than 150 meaningful relationships? As if the nuances of friendship, emotion, and memory are static, quantifiable commodities. Your friend quota is capped at 150—and not one more! Dunbar isn’t on Facebook, by the way.

I’ve been on Facebook for 26 months. Usually it’s fun and silly, not to be taken too seriously. It’s a good place to keep in touch with people and share what I write. As with all things internet, if it’s private, you don’t post it.

Change is the only constant on the social network. 

You’ll remember my unhappiness with the bait-and-switch maneuver played out on Facebook fan pages this past fall. Well, just last week, I stumbled upon the mother lode. A dumping ground in my Facebook Messages called the “Other” box. Comes with a pay-to-stalk offer.

Theoretically, I assume everyone on Facebook has an “Other” box. You can check next time you’re on Facebook. Click on your Messages tab. To the right of the word “Inbox,” you should see it. “Other.” Is it there? Are messages in it? Mine was populated with freaky messages from strange men I don’t know who wanted to be my “friend.”

Here’s how it works: let’s say someone wants to send you a message on Facebook, but they’re not your Facebook friend. No problem. Rather than sending you a friend request, Facebook allows them to send you a message anyway—to your “Other” box.


change is the only constant, photo credit: celeste343

Now if that person who you don’t know wants to send you a message but doesn’t want it to go to the no-man’s land of the “Other” box, Facebook offers a salacious solution. For $1 Facebook will bypass the “Other” box and deliver their message directly into your “Inbox.” So, along with kind, harmless messages from your Aunt Sally, your kindergarten BFF, and your child’s piano teacher, you may see messages from strangers who paid $1 to stalk for access to you.

A single dollar. One hundred pennies. Small change for perverts, stalkers, and bullies bent on terrorizing the common folk.

Facebook, what are you thinking?!

I’m making a lot of assumptions here. But Facebook, in grand Facebook fashion, insists on making adjustments, tweaks, and monumental changes without much consideration for their users, so assumptions are all I have. My husband made the wisest assumption of all.

“Aimee, Facebook doesn’t see us as users or customers,” he said. “For Facebook, we’re deliverables.”

He’s smart, that guy. But he rarely follows my status updates. Figures he knows what’s going on with me already. So at lunch this past Sunday, I’m explaining the “Other” box to him and my son and how there are some people Mom doesn’t want to befriend.

“Here’s what the people in my ‘Other’ box are like,” I said, summoning my scariest, most gravelly voice. “‘Hey! I wanna be your friend!‘ And I’m like, ‘Hey! I don’t even know you!‘”

My son and my husband laughed at my theatrics in the middle of the Chinese restaurant. We role-played, taking turns being the scary “Other” people with the funny voices and the unsuspecting deliverables left to fend them off.

The bill and fortune cookies came too soon. Our table erupted as I read mine.

fortune cookie

The time is right to make new friends.

Hey, Facebook, ever hear of MySpace?

Some friends play at friendship but a true friend sticks closer than one’s nearest kin. Proverbs 18:24 NRSV

The Stranger by Billy Joel.

Do you use social networks like Facebook? How do you protect yourself?

photo credit: celeste343 via photopin cc


Filed under family & friends, humor

Reader’s Choice ’12: Dear Mr. Zuckerberg

Brooke Clay is having the time of her life.

Brooke Clay

Brooke Clay

Brooke is the travel writer and social media manager for a hopping site called Canvasing Chickasaw Country. That’s Chickasaw as in Oklahoma. And that’s hopping as in more than 22,500 followers on Facebook alone.

Then last week, Brooke got engaged to her Dreamboat in New York’s Central Park.

This may explain Brooke’s selection. It involves someone who can relate to her situation. He’s young and smart, he recently got married, and he commands the largest social media network in the world.

Brooke’s Reader’s Choice is:

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, creative commons license

click to read Dear Mr. Zuckerberg (photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, creative commons license)

readers choice


Filed under blogging, humor, writing & reading

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg

This post was featured on Project Underblog on October 29, 2012.

Rumor has it you’ve changed Facebook again. It’s your company. You can do as you please. What you may not realize is that your latest alterations have the blogosphere all a-Twitter.

Mark Zuckerberg by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, creative commons

Mark Zuckerberg by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid, creative commons license

We blogger types write our little hearts out day after day. We work hard for our fans on Facebook. Oh, I know you have one billion people using Facebook now, so my page’s 254 likes may not mean much to you.

But to me they mean the world.

Many of us lowly bloggers have noticed a significant drop in the number of fans who actually see our posts in their News Feed since your recent changes. We’re scrambling to figure out how to manage. Do we ask fans to add our pages to Facebook Interest Lists? Do we pay to promote our posts? Do we step up our presence on Google+?

Mark,—may I call you Mark?—you may be a visionary like Steve Jobs. A person no one really understands. You may see a future the rest of us can’t quite grasp. More power to you, son.

We stood by you through the Timeline, the Top Stories, the Ticker deal in the sidebar. We survived and learned to thrive. We watched as your social media empire evolved. But there’s something you need to remember.

We make you look good. 

Yes, Mark. Yes, we do. When we invest our energy to promote our content on Facebook and build likes for our pages, we add power to your platform.

On behalf of all the little (and big) blogs, causes, businesses, bands, and others who’ve created Facebook pages for fans, could you give us a break? Keep things fun, simple, and uncomplicated. I like Facebook, I really do. It’s intuitive. More personal than Twitter. More connective than Google+. I want to stick with you, but you must stay true to the mission.

Help us easily connect with our people. 

Now Mark, I know the whole stock thing hasn’t worked out so well for you, but give it time. Trust me. It’s cyclical. It’ll come around. We’re in a recession, in case you haven’t heard.

Wait it out, son. Cut us some slack, and we’ll do the same for you. We’ll give you time to do that crazy coding thing you do. Just make the magic happen, and let the good times roll again on Facebook.



PS: The Social Network may be an unauthorized account of your story, but I loved it all the same.

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me. Psalm 54:4 NIV

Better Be Good to Me by the one in a billion Tina Turner.

Anything you’d like to say to Mr. Zuckerberg now that we hypothetically have his attention?


Filed under blogging, humor, writing & reading

Thanks a Ton

Wow. This week our Facebook friends reached 160 (161 if I count myself).

thanks a ton, image by Graphique de France, click to see more & shop

To celebrate, the Facebook page got the new timeline format and a URL without all the gobbledygook numbers at the end.

Our readers are the best! Thanks a ton and have a whale of a weekend.

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Philippians 1:3 NLT 

Lovely Day by Bill Withers. Bonus cover by Maroon 5. Wonderful.

Meet Graphique de France

Graphique de France creates the most deliciously charming stationery and gifts like the whale notecards featured in this post. Their tag “classic. chic. trendsetting.” is spot-on. Click to visit their Graphique Boutique.

Sail the seas of life with us!
Follow on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

Pin It

Disclaimer: I’m still not being compensated in any way to promote any company including Graphique de France. I simply love their stationery.


Filed under blogging

Exponential Gratitude

It’s Sunday, and I’m taking the Sabbath off with the fam. Normally wouldn’t post, but figured a note of gratitude would be in keeping with the Spirit of the day.

autumn clematis in the alley

Thank you, Chicago Public Library, for reposting Confessions of a Bibliophile on your Facebook and Twitter feeds this past week. The traffic generated boosted this post into the top 12 for this site (see the list in the right sidebar).

Likewise, when folks shared The Tale of Two Heifers last week, or empathetic parents shared Club MOB, or fed-up citizens shared How the Government Can Save $3.14 Million This Year, those posts secured spots in the top 12.

And who could forget when the agricultural community embraced Milk Wars? It was number one until WordPress featured I Like My Bike on Freshly Pressed.

In fact, every post on the top 12 list has one thing in common: each was shared with others by readers who liked what they read here.

This will come as no surprise to the social media savvy. But to those of us who are still learning the ropes, the exponential power of social media is astounding. The term viral is apt.

Like something you see? Share it with others who might like it too. That’s how the community grows.

Speaking of community, heartfelt thanks goes out to Southern Guilford, spread now from coast to coast. Your response to Indian Summer makes me doubly homesick. I’m grateful to have grown up where I did when I did.

So thank you, readers, whoever and wherever you are for reading, commenting and sharing. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I do.

And most importantly, thank you, God, for Your many blessings to us all, in spite of our failings, each and every day.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend. See you back here soon.

Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all His benefits—
Who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
Who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5 NIV

Thank You, Boyz II Men. Man, these guys can sing.


Filed under blogging

Team Steven

me & Steven Curtis Chapman

Standing in line last week to board a plane to Nashville. Gee, I thought to myself. That voice sounds familiar.

Turned around to see none other than Steven Curtis Chapman. We were on the same flight!

Might not have recognized him except for his voice. I’d heard his voice in an interview on Joy FM earlier that morning and a thousand times before. Added up, I’ve been listening to this man sing for 20 years.

The line was moving fast and soon he was out of reach. I’ll look for him on the plane, I thought.

That didn’t happen either because I found a front row seat. I happily spent the short flight sitting between a man who slept the entire time and a lovely 84-year-old woman who recounted to me her adventures traveling the world with her late husband. She may get a post of her own.

But before the plane took off, I updated my Facebook status: Steven Curtis Chapman is on my flight to Nashville!

When we deplaned an hour later, I figured I’d lost my chance to speak to him. Then I turned on my iPhone to check messages. A dozen excited Facebook comments popped up on my status along with a groundswell of likes.

Oh, dear. I vowed if I saw him again I would speak to him. I had to. For the team. And I got my chance in baggage claim. Yes, he carries his own luggage.

The businesswoman in me firmly shook his hand while the fan in me gushed and giggled. He was so gracious, so unpretentious, so normal.

Who among us cannot relate to the story of his songs and the story of his life? Love. Grace. Salvation. Adoption. Triumph. Tragedy. Grief. Mercy. Renewal.

(1990) Tomorrow morning if you wake up and the sun does not appear, I will be here.

(1992) Go on and say what you need to say while it’s still called today.

(1996) But when it all comes down, you know it all comes down to the walk.

(1999) So sink or swim I’m diving in.

(2004) You spoke and made the sun rise to light up the very first day.

(2008) It’s all Yours, God. Yours, God. Everything is Yours.

(2009) Out of these ashes, beauty will rise.

(2011) Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you.

on 2nd ave north

Keep singing, Mr. Chapman. The team’s listening and loving every word.

He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3 NLT

Hmm, what video to link up here. You choose: Dive or Do Everything or both. How’s that for interactive?

St. Louis area readers may like to know Steven Curtis Chapman will be singing in our city on October 13th. He will be joined by special guests Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson. At time of publication only a few tickets remained. Get thee to joyfmonline.org quick.


Filed under faith

Welcome to the Wild West

image used with permission from Dan Dreyfus, dreyfusphoto.com

Life on the blog is life on the wild frontier. Bring your bravado. There’s no established etiquette, no paved roads, and often no rules.

How many posts per week? One, two, seven? How long should they be? There are no rules.

Should every post be announced on Facebook or is that annoying to your friends? What about your friends who only know about a post if you announce it? Should you ask them to subscribe? There are no rules.

What about RSS feeds? You can’t see them. How do you know you can trust them?

What about a Facebook page for your blog? Rihanna’s page has more than 42 million likes. What’s the harm in suggesting your kemosabes like yours? What good is it if you never reach 42 million? There are no rules.

Should you tweet? What qualifies me, a lone ranger, to have a Twitter account? What qualifies me to have a blog? There are no rules.

Speaking of lone ranger, should you join a blogging network? Seems helpful to form alliances with fellow cowpokes, but this desperado is right fond of her freedom. Will a network support or hinder it? There are no rules.

image used with permission from Winsdown Farms, winsdown.com

What if someone knowingly borrows your ideas or words without a link back, credit or notification? Should you challenge the outlaw to a shootout at sundown? Hope they ride off into the sunset never to copycat again? There are no rules.

What about photos? WordPress suggests using your own pictures or grabbing photos off the net and crediting sources. Copyright, anyone?

What about excerpts or ideas from other writers like Hope Edelman, Hara Estroff Marano, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, or Erica Jong? Is it okay if you credit and notify them? These authors didn’t seem to mind when I did it. They sent me kind emails, not cease and desist orders.

What about YouTube, that roving band of gunslingers wearing 36 black hats at least? Should you wait for the lawyers to draw lines in the sand?

And what comes of all this? Is blogging really a job if you don’t get paid? Is the next step to write a book? A screenplay? Secure a sponsor? Wrangle a doggie? Settle down in some quiet little town and forget about everything?

We drive on into the unknown for love of the great wide open. For breathtaking sunsets on the edge of civilization. There’s a lot to learn. Some of it we make up as we go. Have to because the landscape itself is in a state of flux.

image used with permission from Dan Dreyfus, dreyfusphoto.com

So sidle up to the saloon and raise a toast. To the west, young woman, as far as this horse will take you.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 NIV

Happy trails, pardners. Before you go, check out Don’t Fence Me In by David Byrne of Talking Heads. You may find yourself humming it all weekend long.

Special thanks to my friend Kari for use of the photos of her beautiful horses.

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Filed under blogging