Quitting Facebook – Accessing Messenger without FB

I’ve just discovered something that’s a legitimate way to ONLY access Messenger without actually being on Facebook.

Yes, indeed!

Facebook separated messages from the rest of its mobile app last summer, and Wednesday it did the same for laptop and desktop computers with the release of Messenger.com. Now you can access your Facebook messages on the Web without getting getting distracted by your News Feed and the rest of Facebook. It should prove a productivity boost for anyone who uses Facebook Messenger increasingly as a supplement to email or IM. (source: CNET.com)

In fewer words:

Go to http://www.messenger.com and log onto your FB-account.

W00t! :D

Quitting Facebook – Day 5: Logging on

I logged on this morning… noticed a couple of George Takei posts at the top of my feed… a picture of Easter eggs… then logged off. In other words, my level of interest was pretty much zero.

I think, personally, that Facebook is a place where you go to get addicted to attention or addicted to certain people. Because you see them every day and find them funny or clever or whatever, the road to feeling like you have something in common is about as long as a garden path. It’s like meeting someone on a dating site. You have a lot in common when you’re screen to screen, then you meet and realise a) you have nothing in common, really and b) their personality in real life is actually a little unpleasant.

Why? Easy. Online you can edit yourself. Most people do it, others don’t. With the latter, at least what you see is what you get. With people who moderate themselves to the extent that they manage to hide what/who they really are, it’s trickier to know who you’re dealing with. There are several people that I enjoy having lively discussions with online that I actually think are prats/unpleasant in real life. So I stick to dealing with them online, where I can just walk away from the computer instead of throwing things at them.

Walking away from Facebook certainly gives you perspective on certain people. Not having them in-your-face on a daily basis makes you realise who’s valuable and who’s expendable. Being totally honest… if I stopped being on the FB Messenger, there are – perhaps – 12 people that I’d miss exchanging messages with on a(n almost) daily basis. These are valuable people. The rest of my “Friends” list? Expendable. Other people I simply communicate with on email and SMS/Viber and that’s enough.

What’s true of everyone on my list is that I don’t have a need to follow their every word, share or like on Facebook.

Quitting Facebook – Day 4: Over it?

I’m already used to not going on Facebook to check “what’s going on”. I’m just rather enjoying the private conversations I’m having with people via messenger and couldn’t care less about everything else that’s going on.

That didn’t take long!

I went to see “Fast&Furious 7″ yesterday and I wanted to say something about how moving the ending was, as a tribute to Paul Walker. Then I thought, “Who do I know who’s actually interested in this?” I could think of one. So I told him. You know, like we used to in the old days. Direct our messages to people who are actually interested, rather than throw it into a great, big nothing and hope for a few “Likes”.

I’ve never been one for collecting “Likes” anyway. I could, I’m sure, write stuff on my wall that would get a lot of people involved by being provocative or by posting pictures of myself dressed in dental floss – but I’m just not that bothered about getting confirmation that people “Like” me. I’ve often wished there was an “Unlike” button, especially when it comes to links to the latest moronic stunt by people like Westboro Baptist Church.

Another thing I never understood was the need to collect thousands of people. I have felt like I’ve had trouble keeping up with 60 people, so I can’t imagine what the news feed of someone with 6000 friends look like. It must look like a chat room with new things being posted, literally, every 20 seconds. Is it a way to feel popular? I ask because I don’t know, but I can imagine this is a part of it. I remember MySpace was a place where you just hunted for new “friends” just to say you had umpteen thousand people on your profile. That was, if anything, even more exhausting.

Huh, I wonder if I still have a MySpace profile… ;)

One day I abandoned MySpace and never looked back. It was long before I signed up to Facebook, which I didn’t do until others had been on it for years. I was just happy to keep in touch with people on MSN – which is kind of what I’m doing now, by accessing my FB Messenger via Digsby. It’s actually incredibly calming to not have to be on Facebook at all.

I don’t miss it. Hallelujah :D

Quitting Facebook – Day 3: Boredom?

Right, so I went all day yesterday without being on it at all. I’m still using Digsby as a desktop app for the instant messages and it’s OK. It doesn’t load any messages that weren’t exchanged on this particular device, so if messages come in without the computer being on, they don’t show up. Luckily I have the ordinary FB messenger app on my phone, so I’ll never miss out on private contact.

Last night I found myself feeling a bit… I guess… restless and bored. This would, before, be the moment where I’d go on Facebook and be restless and bored there. Now I had to go to websites to actually seek out the entertainment for myself. So I found YouTube (you know, without someone posting a link and me just lazily clicking it) and started rummaging around. I made some new discoveries and some re-discoveries:

  • Dwayne Johnson is hilarious
  • Nostalgia: Beauty and the Beast from 1987
  • “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” is still funny as fuck
  • Dwayne Johnson is also kinda hot
  • Saturday Night Live is still fun (“Who the hell are you?” “I’m Bambi!”)
  • Elvis kissing girls by the stage. Damn, he really did have something!
  • Charlie Chaplin as “The Great Dictator” – that speech
  • You can go into some really dark places if you keep clicking

Then I watched a thriller called “The Forgotten” rather than sit online all evening.

I still don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. There are some people whose posts I enjoy, but now I just talk to them in private instead. At least now I choose what I want to see, rather than someone else choosing it for me.

I think Facebook just makes you lazy. Then you get hooked on the laziness of having everything delivered.

Even when it’s crap.

Social Media Sigh

Katie:

This pretty much sums it up.

Originally posted on boy with a hat:

Social media painting Painting copyright Pawel Kuczynsk

Google is too fast

Email too slow

Facebook too crowded

Twitter too short

YouTube too much fun

Google+ too much Google

LinkedIn too professional

Flickr too photographic

Instagram too much photo food

Blogging too cool,

In other words,

Social media is a bit too social.

View original 30 more words

Quitting Facebook – Day 2: Stereotypes

Right. Day 2.

Full disclosure: As I’m the moderator for an event page, I had to do one post to the wall yesterday, but I solemnly swear that I didn’t even look at my feed or check any of the notifications. Nothing. I went in, found the event, posted and logged out. It felt strangely liberating.

To today’s topic: the stereotypes that rummage around FB.

1. WELCOME TO MY PERFECT LIFE

These are the people who will spill everything that makes their lives perfect: my perfect husband, my perfect children, my perfect food, my perfect job, my perfect bus ride, my perfect lunch, my perfect shopping trip, my perfect life… You get the idea. This category collects friends, and are likely to have anywhere between 500 and 5000 of their, err, closest friends on their list. And I don’t believe them.

2. WELCOME TO MY CRAPPY LIFE

These are the people who object to the previous group and will therefore swear to be honest about everything in their lives: my crappy husband, my crappy children, my crappy food, my crappy job, my crappy bus ride, my crappy lunch, my crappy shopping trip, my crappy life… These are also the people who will post things like, “I’m so upset today…”, get 45 positive responses and a lot of “what it is, tell us!” messages – only to post this an hour later: “I don’t want to discuss it on Facebook…” Pet… hate…

3. THE LURKERS

These are the people who just sit back and watch the madness happen. They’ll post something every now and then, respond to statuses that are interesting and generally roll their eyes at the other two groups – or put them on “don’t show in newsfeed”. This group is likely to have less than 100 friends (read: people they actually know), are likely to have a handful of people who see everything and a larger chunk who’ll see only chosen activity.

4. THE “KIM KARDASHIAN”

You know the type. She’ll either be of a certain size or of a certain intellect.

The Big Girl: What I find is that the “like” pages are flooding with women who are a few sizes bigger than what society now deems sexy, so they get on FB and post pictures of themselves wearing (or not wearing) clothes that shows off… everything and proclaim just how proud they are of their real bodies. They’ll have 4290 followers who’ll agree with her – either women of similar size or that breed of men who are into the larger ladies. She’ll call herself something like “Carmen Delish” or “Big Beautiful Barbra”.

The Dumb Bimbo: She’ll look like the archetype that society now considers “hot” – and she typically doesn’t have much going on upstairs. She has the big, fake tits, the slim waist, the duck lips, the stiff botox face, the hair extensions… and she’s got an attitude, doesn’t care what anyone thinks and is damn proud of it too. She typically doesn’t have much going on upstairs. Including her plastic surgery and fillers. She’ll post pictures of herself wearing something that resembles dental floss, usually in a mirror with a phone pointing at her arse. Basically, Kim Kardashian. Unlikely to have a job apart from blogging about their make-up or latest fashion accessory.

Both of these women give the impression that all they are is their body. This is all they have to offer. I don’t care what they say their reasons are, they’re there to get attention from men. And judging by the number of men among my FB friends who click “like” on their pictures, it clearly works. Cause, obviously, this shit shows up in my news feed.

CONCLUSION

Most of the time it’s a fucking human zoo.

Quitting Facebook – Day 1

Right. I haven’t been on Facebook since last night. I also removed the FB-app from my phone and noticed that a chill actually went down my spine. I’ve kept the messenger, in order to stay in touch with people in private, and I’m already communicating more with them rather than wasting time going through my FB news feed.

When I wake up I usually go through what’s happened since last night. I didn’t this morning – and I didn’t miss it. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on something huge – but I realise that this may change.

What I did research a bit yesterday is something that’s been playing on my mind for quite a while. Why some people show up in chat as being “active 1 min ago” – for the longest time. Even when they’re asleep or nowhere near their phone or FB app/s. It got to the point where paranoia kicked in over people who seemingly “were” online but ignored messages that had been sent them. Were I being ignored? Had I done something wrong? Were they talking to someone else and just ignoring the fact that I’d sent them a message? What puzzled me was that the “active 1 min ago” would never bring anything else with it, like like/comment activity or posting by these individuals.

So I did some research and found this thread:
On FB Messenger, what does the timestamp and ‘Active’ mean in New Message?

It literally goes on… and on… and on… about how it’s broken up marriages and relationships and friendships and everything in between. The general consensis seems to be that “the timestamp is irrelevant”. People have tested this theory in various ways and found that this is most likely right. I was logged out of FB yesterday, I didn’t have the app on my phone, my phone was in sleep mode – then I emailed a friend and asked how I “looked” on FB. It showed as “active” – when I clearly wasn’t. This thread is over a year old and yet nothing’s been done about it.

Perhaps FB wants us to think we’re being ignored in order to create drama? ;)

Addicted to Facebook?

If I was to ask myself this question, I’m pretty sure the answer would be “yes”.

Or am I just, simply, bored and using FB as a pastime?

If I’m addicted, what am I addicted to?

The updates?
Hardly. I have perhaps 60 people on my FB and most of the time I just feel like I’m intruding on people’s lives by reading everything they post. On one hand I don’t want to miss out, but on another hand I simply don’t give a shit about 95% of the stuff that’s going on in my timeline. Most of my time I spent clicking onto links posted by George Takei and taking it further into cyberspace from there. The net result is that I sit on my arse for most of the evening, scrolling through shit and caching up with people on messages.

Which brings me to…

The people?
I wouldn’t say “addicted to”, but I have a handful of people that I like to keep in touch with, usually, on a daily basis. Perhaps 4 or 5, at most. I remember having a bunch of people on the old MSN messenger. This app would just run in the background while I did other stuff. If I wanted to know anything about people’s lives, I’d… you know… ask. Those were the days…?

So what now?
I’ve just now downloaded an app that allows me to access my messenger contacts without actually being on FB itself. (It’s called Digsby, if anyone’s interested.) So from now on I’m going to attempt staying off FB. There, I said it. I’m going to stay off… Facebook.

I’ll document, sincerely, how many times I crack on a daily basis and how (if at all) life feels different without it. It may not affect my online (or offline) life at all – but I suspect it might.

Wish me luck ;)

So I watched “Fifty Shades of Grey”…

fiftyI’d like to point out that I didn’t go to the cinema to watch it, I found it online in a moment of boredom.

Now, I remember when I read the first, what, 150 pages of the book on a train. The first chunk reminded me of stuff I used to read when I was 14 where the girl was innocent and the boy was hot and persuasive. There’d be kissing and eventually something that resembled sex.

Now, to the film. There will be spoilers.

I can’t get away from the fact that the dialogue in the film is as atrocious as it is in the book. I’m also quite amused by the actor playing Christian Grey, cause I find him about as hot as a glacier. Neither of the actors can really be blamed, as they’ve only got what they’ve got to work with, but the overall acting and delivering of (the crappy) lines was overall faaaaaaairly wooden.

Initial Impression

As I was saying, in the beginning it’s kind of… teenage romance sweet. She’s beyond untouched and he’s (supposed to be) a hot, charming, rich, successful, experienced blah blah guy. I didn’t even think much of it when he showed up at her work place in another state at first. Or that he picked her up when she was drunk and put her in his bed, rather than converse with the room mate to find her address and get her home. Instead, he sends his brother to get off with the room mate so that she won’t think anything of her friend getting taken away by a stranger. When Ana says “nice knowing you”, he breaks into her flat to convince her to stay. But he did bring wine so that makes it OK, right? Oh, and he sells her car without her permission.

Then there’s the infamous, “Are you going to make love to me now?” / “I don’t make love. I fuck. Hard!” exchange (that actually made me laugh), before he actually does something that resembles “love making” and then sleeps in the same bed as her. That’s something he’s only done twice in his life, btw, and both times were with her (first was when she was unconsciously drunk). Obviously, this makes her feel special. She’s already seen the red room of torture by now, and is trying to figure out whether she wants to be a part of it or not. Then his mother shows up. That’s the adoptive mother, mind, not the crack whore who died when he was four.

Hold on a minute…

If none of the other signs so far have cried “mentally unstable man”, then the meeting with his adoptive parents is a wake-up-call. She says she’s going to Georgia to see her mother. He loses his shit and takes her into the garden. She asks if he’s pissed off. He confirms and wants to know why she didn’t tell him. She says she’s allowed to make her own decisions, which makes him raise his hand to slap her. He controls himself, then says, “You’re mine, all mine, do you understand?!” Wow. Really?

Then he shows up – in yet another state – when she meets her mother. Unannounced. Stalking, much? Obsessive, much?

It all explodes in a final scene where she’s pissed off that he’s being distant and he’s pissed off cause she’s a normal human being. He says he has a darkness inside of him and that makes him want to punish her. Or something to that effect. She asks if he wants to punish her then and there. Again, he confirms. She says he should show her how bad it could get. So he strips her, bends her over a table and demands her to count the lashes he serves her with a thick leather belt.

…am I being groomed?

It didn’t take long for me to realise that both she – and I – were being groomed by this “charming man” throughout the film. At times he manages to be… sweet. And he’s worried about her, right, so he makes sure she’s looked after and makes all her decisions for her, buys her a computer so he can be in touch with her all the time, he sells her car and replaces it with a new one without her knowledge, he shows up unannounced because he just can’t stay away from her, he’s breaking his own rules because she’s all he wants, he says he’s becoming a changed man – all because of her.

To be completely honest, by the end of the film I felt uncomfortable. Not because it’s about sex – because it’s not, really. What I don’t understand is how this has been branded as BDSM, when in reality it’s plain abuse – masked as BDSM. He doesn’t beat her because it turns him on, he beats her because of “the darkness inside” and – to quote him – because he’s “fifty shades of fucked up”. I’m preeeetty sure the basis for a healthy BDSM relationship is trust, mutual consent, mutual pleasure and levelheadedness. This guy is one step away from being locked up. He’s only really still wandering around because he’s able to fool people into thinking he’s Mr Cool – when in reality he’s pretty much a mentally disturbed abuser who could be given at least a handful of diagnoses.

Wrong genre, surely…?

If this film had a different, darker background music, was branded “thriller” and ended with him getting a bullet between his eyes, it would have made more sense. It reminds me a little of “The Resident” where Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a mentally disturbed fella who’s obsessed with his tenant, Hilary Swank. He and Christian Grey are very much alike in the way their minds work – but the difference is that “The Resident” is an honest thriller with a very different ending.

Instead, “Fifty Shades…” came out on Valentine’s Day. The day we’re supposed to celebrate romance.

What worries me a little is that teenagers will watch “Fifty Shades of Grey” and think this is acceptable behaviour from a man. The author has already said in interviews she gets emails from girls who thank her for sexually liberating them. Don’t get me wrong, being sexually liberated is all good and well, but not when it comes with a partner who beats them because he can’t control himself. That’s not BDSM. That’s plain abuse.