Facebook: Why it gets boring and those fighting the dull

Tom Nash Facebook Drawing No.2When it was new Facebook opened up a never-before-seen (apart from MySpace, Friends Reunited, Bebo and various others), gossip-laden world of forgotten school and university mates, former colleagues and long out-of-touch family members.

You could approach it like Pokemon and add everyone you ever stood next to, you could catch up with folk you lost touch with and you could draw offensive pictures on your mates’ ‘walls’ that questioned their sexuality. All fun and new.

Skip ahead eight years, past numerous shitstorm-causing updates, a company floatation and a tidal wave of corporate accounts… Where’s all the fun gone?
Continue reading

Facebook: Chain message special

Facebook by Tom NashI thought I’d drained Facebook for everything it was worth on this blog. In my mind, every feasible behaviour had been documented and ridiculed…

How wrong I was. Only last week, the format of the site changed, causing fuck-tons of people to start whining about this free-to-use, voluntary piece of social media like the slight tweak to the newsfeed was tantamount to a personal violation. There was so much moaning that it even started trending on Twitter. First world problems, eh?

So this post will celebrate the people that fall for those ‘copy-and-paste’ this if ________’ stauses…

Most of the time it’s the same few people doing it, but they can be categorised in the following ways:
Continue reading

UK Riots: Thoughts from a Croydon boy

The London riots by Tom NashSo a week has passed since, to quote the immortal Martin Lawrence, ‘the shit got real’ in various areas of London, Birmingham, Manchester and some other cities I don’t care about enough to look up.

Many more eloquent and learned people than myself have shared their thoughts on what caused this spectacular series of events in the days that followed… and David Starkey too, so I’m not about to offer my theories on the whole affair. Instead, here are a couple of observations on the reactions to the disorder:

Social networking tools are the new Gangsta Rap
AAHHH!! A new thing the establishment doesn’t fully understand.


At first it was down to Facebook. Then we all realised that the people who were using that to organise looting were too thick to implement the security settings on their account and were therefore easy to trace and laugh at.

So blame then moved to Twitter, but those of us that actually use it and don’t get needlessly defensive whenever the site is mentioned soon stepped in to explain that it is just spambots, celebrities, aspiring writers and people who have transcended Facebook status updates that use Twitter and anyways; that shit’s more public than Facebook, just ask Paul Chambers.

Then someone in the news media heard about BBM (that means Blackberry Messenger, Grandpa) and got confused enough to get scared. Ladies and gentleman, our ‘fall-guy’.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was Gangsta Rap-influenced young people that friendly middle-class white people were instructed to fear. While young people are still terrifying, it is only occasionally that Hip Hop is considered scary nowadays so we top up our fear with other things that will herald the apocalypse… like video games and hooded sweatshirts.

Extreme behaviour wasn’t restricted to the streets
As I grew up in Croydon, plenty of people on my ‘friend list’ on Facebook are also from the town. Last week, as the BBC News Channel broadcast live pictures of Reeves Corner burning (and I’m sure those images were in no way influential in anyone’s decisions to go robbing, by the way. Absolutely certain they didn’t exacerbate the situation even a little bit.), the statuses started.

From the obligatory ‘Just saw you on the telly’ message from friends in as yet unsmashed towns to people sharing their outrage and disbelief, all emotions and ideological perspectives were soon covered.

However, disturbingly enough, the status that appeared more than anything was ‘they’ll regret burning down the chicken shop when it’s lunchtime tomorrow’ and variants of. In fact, before long, there were so many racist statuses popping up on my newsfeed that Facebook even started lumping all the racists together in a useful bundle for easy avoidance.

Yes, stealing is wrong. Yes, of course attacking people is abhorrent, nobody is saying otherwise. But your persistent casual racism? Just as emblematic of the issues facing twenty-first century Britain as every second of footage recorded last week…

http://thewritetomnash.co.uk

Facebook: Schoolmates on your friend list

Facebook by Tom NashIn a post I wrote in November 2010 about people you are obligated to have on your Facebook friend list, I detailed ‘The past schoolmate’. This entry focused on bullies and those they bullied, without even acknowledging the myriad of relationships, social groups and class issues that went hand-in-hand with everyday school life in the UK’s state-run comprehensives.

This post should rectify that oversight.

So, here’s a wider selection of people from high school that you may have on your Facebook friend list:


The cool kids
During your schooldays, you would’ve given anything to be them. Somehow they managed to make rocking school uniform look good and they got attention from girls/boys that you could only dream about. Now look at them; no career path to speak of, still going to the same clubs they were going to at eighteen and constant updates on their depressing relationships through barely literate statuses.

I actually encountered a ‘cool kid’ I went to school with a little while back who was pulling the classic ‘I need twenty-p for a phone call’ crack-head routine at the bus stop I was at…

Still want to swap places?

The hot girls
When you were a hormone-riddled adolescent, these ladies were the most lusted after females in the school, other than the obligatory foxy student teacher that they didn’t let near the 5th years (that’s Year 11 to you youngbloods). Before the creation of Facebook, seeing how these girls turned out was the only reason to go to a school reunion. Now there is no reason- you can see just how orange, leathery and aged they look these days from the comfort of your own home.

The fat kids
Unless they were already unnaturally aggressive in their early teens, this person was the butt of many a joke throughout school. Being stabbed in the arm with a pair of compasses to find out if they ‘bleed gravy’ was a weekly, if not daily occurrence and generally they had life made very difficult for them, usually by The cool kids. Chances are they ain’t fat no mo’! If they are male, then since school they appear to have been living in the gym, probably doing so for that chance encounter with those who gave them so much shit years before. If female, there is a possibility that they have since blossomed into…

The late bloomers
Maybe they wore the unmistakable fragrance of urine, maybe they had to deal with acne outbreaks or unsightly body hair, maybe they were just a bit odd looking, having not quite grown into their teeth or something, so they were therefore never considered as a potential humping partner throughout your schooldays. That’s all changed. Now they look good and both you and they know it. If they are male, they will take great pleasure in working their way through the ladies that were once unattainable. If they are female they will take great pleasure in rejecting all the fellas that wouldn’t look at them twice ‘back in the day.’

The nerds
Still quiet in the background, these were the kids who weren’t necessarily good looking and didn’t shine during P.E. lessons but passed every test or exam and got all their work in on time. Well, they’ve kept up this work ethic and have been steadily climbing up the career ladder for years now.

Friend requests from The cool kids are usually accepted for their pure entertainment value. Games like:

  • Guess who thought procreating would be a good idea?
  • How many kids???
  • Are you allowed to use Facebook in prison?
  • How many sunbeds a week does it take to look ancient by your mid-twenties? That many

are staple favourites and can played daily, as there is apparently no limit to the personal information that people you haven’t seen for upwards of ten years are willing to share…

And long may it continue.

More Facebook posts:

Facebook: Status updaters we all know
Facebook: More familiar behaviour
Facebook: Obligation friends
Facebook: Even more familiar behaviour

Facebook: Even more familiar behaviour

Facebook by Tom NashI love my Facebook news feed. A simple scroll down the page a couple of times a day can provide endless material for blog posts and stories. It is amazing what personal information people are willing to provide borderline strangers.

Today’s feed was particularly inspiring, so here are a few more habits at least one person on your friend list has:

The threat-maker
‘I’m closing my account today/on [day/date], if you want to stay in touch then message me your phone number or email address.’


This person takes attention-seeking to the extreme. Obviously, they never close their account. What probably happens is that instead of the deluge of messages they expect to hit their inbox (heh), nobody sends them anything (makes sense- everyone who gives a fuck probably has their number already) and they just hope that no-one notices that they are full of shit. We have.

The loser
[Whoever] is playing [generic flash game]. Click here to join the fun.
translation:
[Whoever] is unemployed or has a REALLY depressing life.

The far too open (or The TMI to ‘da kidz’)
This is almost always someone you went to school with. Arguably, they are a melodramatic Ronseal updater. You haven’t actually spoken to this person in 5-10 years (commenting on statuses doesn’t count) but you know:

  • where they live
  • where they work
  • when & where they go on holiday
  • where they go on nights out
  • what they buy at the supermarket
  • what they eat most days
  • who they still see from ‘back in the day’
  • how bad their taste in music (still) is
  • if they have trouble sleeping
  • what days they have access to their kid(s)
  • how much of a dick their baby daddy/mamma is

It is hard to judge whether they are deluded enough to believe that anyone really cares or the updates are simply an indiction of just how lonely they are… Either way, it’s painful to read. Thank fuck for that ‘hide’ function, eh? Eh??

The subliminal
‘Someone’ might be a little pissed off with ‘some people’ who might possibly ‘need to sort themselves out’. However, rather than tell ‘them’ directly, ‘this person’ will tell you and everyone else on their friend list… It can be quite fun working out who they’re on about though (hint: it tends to be the mother or father of their child).

The oblivious
This is the person that writes obviously double-entrendre packed status updates or comments but fails to realise it. Quite often it’ll be something as simple as ‘fucking traffic’ that they write or they’ll label a photo album ‘My pussy’ and stock it with pictures of a cat. However they do it, the potential for misunderstandings/comedy is endless.

More posts in this category:

Facebook: Status updaters we all know
Facebook: More familiar behaviour
Facebook: Obligation friends
Facebook: Schoolmates on your friend list

http://thewritetomnash.co.uk

The internet: Who’s likely to comment

The Internet by Tom NashAh the interwebs: giving pussies the ability to say things to people anonymously that they would never have the balls to say in real life since 1991.

Comment boxes/forums are a staple of most blogs and websites, this one included. Here’s a selection of some of the people you’ll find leaving their thoughts:

The critic
Did you know that if you have a computer with a connection to the internet, you automatically become a qualified music, film, TV and literary critic? You didn’t? That’s because it’s not true. Doesn’t stop people trying though…

The pointless
Similar to The Ronseal Facebook status updater, this person feels the need to inform the world that they enjoyed that Youtube video. That’s all. Nothing useful, informative or insightful, just that they ‘lol’d’. These are probably the same people that text in their opinions to current affairs programme (that’s the news, fucko). Remember, just because there is a comment box, it doesn’t mean you have to say something.

The troll (previously known as The shit-stirrer)
Got nothing to do? Fancy a giggle? Log on to the forums of your football team’s local rival or a Twilight/Justin Beiber fan site and say that they’re shit. Actually, just say it in the comment section under a Youtube video of anything subjective. Congratulations, you are a troll.

 See those passionate responses? They’re from:

The supporter
Whether you are reading the comments under a Youtube video (arguably more entertaining/depressing than any video on there), checking out responses to a question on Yahoo Answers or browsing a forum, if someone’s been trolling, you will find a post by this commenter. Usually littered with spelling mistakes and missed words, they take the bait every time and post enthusiastic essays on why {insert generic pop star name here} is the greatest thing in the universe. They never realise that the best tactic is to not rise to it and IGNORE THEM.

ThE aLtErNaTe CaPiTaLiSeR
fUcK kNoWs WhY pEoPlE dO iT- iT tAkEs An AgE tO wRiTe, LoOks RiDiCuLoUs AnD iS qUiTe DiFfIcUlT tO rEaD. sOmEtHiNg OnLy A bElL-eNd WoUld Do.

http://thewritetomnash.co.uk

Teenagers: Lost rites of passage (Part One)

Lost Rites of Teenagers by Tom NashIn this ‘digital’ age, it is easy to get swept up in the rate at which society is adapting to, and becoming reliant on new technologies. What people are slow to notice are the certain character defining events in a young person’s life that this new technology makes void. Here are a few examples:

Ringing landlines
Now everyone’s got a mobile phone, the only reason to have a phone line in the house is so you can access the internet which, along with the introduction of instant messaging has changed the face of teenage interaction forever. Long gone are the days when the only way to contact the object of your adolescent desire was to ring their house and run the gauntlet of speaking to their family members.
Every now and then you’d get off lightly and the person you wanted to speak to would answer, saving any embarrassment or awkwardness, but more often than not, it would be a parent that picked up. Now I can’t speak on how this experience was for girls, but as most of you know, can remember or are currently experiencing, teenage boys aren’t as smooth and calculated as they like to think they are. No matter what you planned to say if her dad answered, when presented with the reality, it was impossible to stop the voice in your head reminding you that you wanted to hump this man’s daughter and he fucking knew it. Scary.
If you could get through those conversations without making a twat of yourself, you were laughing. Next time you rang they’d normally invite you over for dinner. If they didn’t…
What’s the equivalent these days? Saying hello when one of their folks walk into the background of a Skype conversation? They’re getting off too easy, I tells ya!
Knocking for people
Again thanks to mobile phones, as well as social networking and tabloid media-fuelled fear of paedophiles, everything is prearranged these days. Before mobiles, if you wanted to get a group together to loiter menacingly outside some shops or go to the park to drink shit cider and 20/20 but couldn’t get hold of certain people on the phone, you had to go to their house/flat to get them.
If you wanted to speak to the person you fancied but didn’t have their phone number, you would recruit a friend to join you for moral support and go knock for them. Again, you would run the gauntlet of family member awkwardness, but it’d always be a hell of a lot worse for them, especially if the family already knew your name. Then you’d spend the next few hours standing on their doorstep doing exactly the same as teenagers do now on Aim, Facebook, MSN, Skype and the rest; talk a lot about fuck all. But you’d do it in person. With vowels.
Keep their lives private
I realise this has been covered in a previous post but it needs reiterating.
If Facebook had existed when I was between the ages of twelve and eighteen the last thing I would’ve done is add my parents to my friend list. They know what you’re up to, they just don’t want to admit it, so why let them know explicitly by giving them access to your social life? Why hasten their disappointment in you? Can any good at all come from your mother having access to photos of you vomiting in a nightclub toilet? Or that one of you passed out on the floor with a penis drawn on your forehead?
There was once a time when your mum wouldn’t find out that you smoked weed until that time you were too stoned to hide it properly and she found it in your drawer while she was on one of her routine snoops around your room. You must’ve been stoned when you accepted the friend request too because now you’ve also given her the power to cyber-snoop! Now all she needs to do is look at what you’ve ‘liked’ on Facebook, wait till you post a ‘…was so baked last night’ status update or see you tagged in a photo with a spliff in your hand. Why do it to yourself?
That’s enough for now. Or click here for Part Two
http://thewritetomnash.co.uk

Facebook: Obligation friends

Facebook by Tom NashWe’ve all got them. Those people on your friend list that you are obligated to keep there. They may constantly spout inane nonsense, you may hate them but until they remove you or close their account, on that list of ‘friends’ they will remain. Thank Christ for that ‘hide’ button, eh? Here’s a few examples:

The ex
Once you were the overly sentimental couple but those days are over. Now they exist on your list to either reassure you that you did the best thing or to feed your bitterness and resentment toward them and the entire relationship. Depending on how it ended of course.
Continue reading

Facebook: More familiar behaviour

Facebook by Tom Nash

The fun doesn’t stop with status updates! Here are a few more traits you may find recognisable:

The ‘fun’ nickname instead of real name
If you are in your twenties or older and still either refer to yourself on Facebook by the ‘cute’ nickname you conjured up for yourself or by your forename and middle name, excluding all existence of your surname- GROW UP!
The comment box lurker
You’ve just posted something. Within a minute someone’s commented. This is the person who thinks that the updates on their newsfeed are directed to them personally and therefore must be responded to personally. Every one of them. Do not engage them, it’ll only encourage the behaviour. They’ll soon learn.


The fuck-ton of photos uploader
Wow, so during all the fun and lack of sleep you managed to reel off shit-loads of photos? That’s right, nothing says ‘we enjoyed ourselves’ like photographic evidence! Call me a cynic but surely, if THAT much fun was going on, you’d forget you had the camera/camera on your phone… wouldn’t you?

This person can also double up as:


The rubbish photo uploader
Most people select the choice few shots to upload from whatever activity they were documenting. Not this person. Shit blurry picture at wonky angle? That’ll do! Everyone got evil looking red eyes? Fuck it- ain’t got time to click the ‘remove red-eye’ button on the picture viewer. Half the lens covered by a finger? It matters not. If they took the photo, it’s being shared. How else will the rest of us tell how fun the evening was?

The ridiculous abbreviator
Ths prsn is so bsy tht only essntial vwls r inclded in thr wllpsts nd cmmnts to sav tme. Or worse than that they only drop one letter from a solitary randm word.

The incessant ‘liker’
This person ‘likes’ EVERYTHING: local businesses, websites, bands, actors, sayings (what. the. fuck?), reactionary tabloid fear-mongering… An example I’ve seen recently is someone ‘liking’ the English Defence League and ‘cuddles with the one you love’ in the same evening (Yeah- conflicted much?!).

The overly sentimental couple
We all have at least one in our friend list. If you’re thinking ‘I don’t!’ and you’re in a relationship; it’s you. One of them tells the other they love them. The other replies the same. Then they do it again. And again. And again… See, these folk tend to forget that the unfortunate souls that happen to be friends with both of them see the ‘cute’ exchanges appear in their newsfeeds. Scientists have actually found a direct correlation between overly sentimental wall posts and the increase in diabetes cases throughout the world*. So please, on behalf of everyone’s blood-sugar levels; next time you feel the burning desire to declare your love to your better half, just send them a text, eh?
*not necessarily true.

The birthday message
‘Hi Babes, Happy Birthday! lol 😉 xx’ which can be translated as: ‘I just logged on, noticed on my homepage that it’s your birthday and thought I would send you a banal, generic birthday greeting… lol 😉 xx

However, worse than this is the loser that replies to each and every birthday message they receive. You people know who you are!

The excessive LOLer

Find something your mate’s posted mildly amusing? Let them know with a LOL! Something mildly (or not at all- doesn’t matter) amusing happen to you? Make your friends aware with a LOL at the beginning/end of every sentence!
LOL should never ever be used. By anyone. Ever. No three letters can identify a moron quicker. It is the Comic Sans of statements. Why is it never used in response to anything genuinely funny?
Don’t get me started on ROFL. At least PMSL could potentially happen… Biologically… Although it should be PML, seeing as myself is one word… lol

More posts in this category:
http://thewritetomnash.co.uk

Facebook: Status updaters we all know

Facebook by Tom NashNow I know that pretty much everyone’s done something similar to this by now but frankly, I couldn’t give a shit…

So without further waffle here is a list of the different types of status updates and updaters one might find on the popular (trans.= evil) social networking website ‘Facebook’ and what they really mean.

The ‘look how busy and fulfilling my life is’
This status update usually starts with ‘just got back from…’ or ‘had a great time at…’ and will probably contain a declaration of how tired they are as a result of what a fantastic time was had by all concerned.

Not to accuse the updater of exaggerating or to doubt just how much fun that festival/holiday/day-trip/weekend away/day at work was, but it is possible for the reader to deduce that rather than being an innocent declaration of enjoyment, this status is a statement. There is someone on that person’s friend list that the update is aimed at.
‘I don’t need you, look; I’m getting on just fine on my own!’
Note that you never see a ‘is sitting in a darkened room crying’ update from these people… Which, to be fair, probably happens just as often as the ‘fun’.


The Ronseal

Does exactly what it says… You know. So this will be such imaginative updates as ‘is going bed’ or ‘just got home from work.’ This person wants to write something deep and meaningful but lacks the capacity to do so. These are the same people who will inform you that they are ‘going to the pub’ in the evening, then hit you with the shocking revelation the next day that (gasp) they are hungover. Really? No shit…

The Philosopher
This thoughtful person shares pearls of wisdom, not necessarily their own (don’t worry- sources are always referenced), that are designed to inspire and enlighten those who read them, maybe even provide a helpful mantra to get you through the day… Yeah, thanks for that.

The song lyric transcriber
‘Hey guys, check out how much this artist ‘gets’ me! They say what I want to say, but better than I could say it!’ In fact, this post simply shows the person who posted it has no imagination… None at all. And if there’s spelling mistakes; no understanding of google searches or copy and paste either.

The hack (More commonly known as ‘The frape’)
Uh-oh. Someone left their account logged on with their real life friends around! If you’re male, this generally means that you will announce your new found homosexuality and a catalogue of sexually transmitted infections to the world. If you are female you will declare your love for oral sex or your appreciation of the practice of fisting. If your friends are really cruel, they will edit your profile too, changing your sexual orientation, interests and political views. And the language. And your profile photo. And if you’re in a relationship, end that. Or even close your account… Just remember to log out, yeah?

The declaration of love
You know, the interesting thing about being in a relationship is… no-one else cares! If we want to know how it’s going we’ll ask, if we don’t ask- shut up- not interested. Everyone has that mate that drones on and on and on and on about their other half and how great they are. It’s bad enough in person- that’s why you stopped ringing them or inviting them on nights out. But now you’ve got to suffer their insecurities online while they reassure themselves that ‘they just had the best weekend ever with the best boyfriend ever! lol xxx’ Right. Who exactly are you trying to convince?

The message to a child
Example: ‘…is wishing her baby boy a happy first birthday. Love you hunny! xxx’
What. Is. The. Point? Does your child have an account? Should I expect to see a response from Junior saying “Cheers Mum and thanks for popping me out! lol 😉 xx’
Just say something like ‘I can’t believe my kid’s already a year old, doesn’t time fly’ or some other worn out cliche, don’t use your child as cover for your attention seeking- it’s not nice for the kid or the people who have to read your saccharin soaked bullshit.

The attention-seeker
Usually says something like ‘…is feeling really low’ or ‘..is hurting so bad right now.’ or whatever. They’re not really. A more accurate update would be ‘…is lonely. Pay attention to me.’ Unfortunately some sucker always takes the bait and responds with a variant of ‘…what’s up hun?’ ROOKIE MISTAKE. Before enquiring, check their previous statuses. If you see a theme, let them wallow. Simple.
Want more reasons to hate social networking? Check out Lamebook or Failbook for a giggle or to lament the end of society as we know it.
More posts in this category:
http://thewritetomnash.co.uk