I was rather excited when my cousin and/or his wife (it was a dual account) added me as a friend on Facebook. I am not especially close to them, as we’re ten years apart in age and I’m square in between him and his son, but family is family and I was not not-close to them either, as far as cousins in that branch go.

Then I started getting the messages from them.

Evidently, my cousin and/or his wife has latched on to what appears to me to be a pyramid scheme of sorts. Well, if not a pyramid scheme, then a multi-level marketing program with a flimsy pretext. I like to think that I’m a relatively smart guy and even I had some difficulty with understanding what was being purchased and sold. It seemed like game credits of some sort. Everything about it, including my failure to understand it, was a red flag.

I ignored it, which worked for less than a day before I started getting more and more messages about how great this is. Including a link to some assistant football coach who was talking about it. I learned in subsequent messages that it was my cousin’s wife trying to sell me up, which made sense. It seems much more like the sort of thing that she would get into. My cousin is friendly enough, but not the most social person in the world. She’s very social and while not dumb a little bit on the gullible side sometimes. She forwards emails with some rather crazy (political) theories.

I didn’t watch the video, but I knew that I was going to have to say something. I told them while I appreciate the thought I was not interested. I haven’t heard from them since.

Facebook has become less pleasant as time goes by. I used to like it as a bit of an escape from the Will Truman part of my life, but weirdly enough Will Truman has taken it over. Which is to say that its algorithms so deeply favor my Ordinary Times friends that it feels like I never left. I’m not kidding. Though I only have about 10 OT-related friends on Facebook (out of 150 or so total), nine of the first ten items on my feed are from OT people, and twenty of the first thirty are. I just checked.

And weirdly enough, those that aren’t are people I rarely respond to for the most part. I simply don’t understand where it’s coming from on this. I don’t want to block my OT people because I am interested in what’s going on with them. I’m just not interested solely in them.

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5 Responses to Faceless Book

  1. fillyjonk says:

    Ugh, Facebook!

    I have an account, because I had to, in order to check up on some “emergency preparedness” stuff from my town

    I don’t have a “page” and yet I get daily e-mails telling me “a lot has happened since you last logged on!” and friend requests. I ignore them. I don’t have time for Facebook. And it does seem in a lot of cases (to me at least) that it’s like the lunchroom tables in junior high and I was all too happy to leave junior high behind (I was the kid eating alone at the table off in the dark corner of the lunchroom. Not by choice.)

    I also once dropped a “friend” because I realized I was never “good enough” to get invited over to her house, but as soon as she started selling jewelry through one of those “home party” systems, I was suddenly good enough to be invited. (I found something else to do that evening and told her I was busy, and broke off contact after that). I hate the whole model of “make money at home” or “multilevel marketing” or whatever.

  2. Road Scholar says:

    Your OT friends are also in many cases friends with each other. On a network graph that would show up as a cluster similar to a family. The algorithm, not unreasonably, assumes that you’re more likely to be interested in posts from other members of a family or social group that you’re a part of as opposed to somebody you more randomly friended.

  3. RTod says:

    Guess it’s all relative.

    I have a similar total number of friends to yours, and likely a similar number (maybe even exact same list!) of OT friends. Just checked, and they are 3 of my first ten and 7 of my first 30. Which is still a high per-capita population result, but nowhere near yours.

    Until last month I never went on Facebook. Now I am on several times a day, but it’s all work stuff. I don’t know if that plays into their algorithms or not?

    (Also, I confess that I my brain does on FB what I does on OT: If there is a poster that always seems to post the exact same take on their pet cause/enemy/thang, multiple times a day, then I eventually get to a point where I don’t really “see” their posts when I am skimming through.)

  4. Plinko says:

    There’s an amount of the feed ranking (as I hear) that is based on what you actually click on, like or comment about.
    So, if you tend to use facebook as the portal to read your OT folks’ posts, like them or get into discussions in the comments, but shy away from interacting with the rest of your universe, you’re also telling facebook that those folks are what you’re interested in.
    It can help to ‘like’ a lot of things that fit what you want facebook to show you more of, even if you think it’s a little weird to go and like or comment on a bunch of other people’s photos.

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