I can remember circa 1994 when I attended a party and the three of us who had email isolated ourselves from the culturally deprived mob and discussed email. We exchanged email addresses. I went home and exchanged emails and never again communicated with either of the two party-goers.
Fast forward to 2009. A twenty-something friend of mine insists that I join Facebook. She actually opened the account for me and added a few of her friends to my list. Then as now, I did not grasp many advantages to maintaining a Facebook account. It was like email in the mid-90's. I have Facebook. You have Facebook. Now what?
I did not seek out friends but a lot of people found me. To Facebook's credit, I did reconnect to some old friends and that made the entire experience worthwhile. But mostly I was Facebook friends with distant relatives who could not remember meeting me, ex-coworkers whom I had never been very close to, and friends of friends who wanted to expand their Facebook audience.
Not sure what to do with FB, I started submitting bogus status assessments. I claimed to be painting a snow shovel I had stolen off my neighbor's porch. I claimed to call a woman to report that her adult son's trash contained beer bottles and to later report that his cable bill included charges for dirty movies. I claimed to dognap poodles in hopes of collecting a reward. I claimed to spy on my neighbors with binoculars and to secretly record AA meetings.
I did have some fun with FB. I was amused to find out that some of my FB friends discussed me in private to determine if I was pulling their Facebook legs. I created a small town nuisance character who was fun to play. Some of my real life friends played along with me. I would post that I had kidnapped a pooch in hopes of collecting a reward and John would then post that he was looking for his dog.
After two or three months of merriment I had to put FB aside, in part to devote more time to this blog. Fast forward to 2011. I have a product to sell and I have bought into the idea that one needs Facebook and Twitter to sell it. My FB account had now filled up with real family and real friends. I never hit up friends and family for sales. Never. So I opened a new FB account and a new Twitter account specifically for selling merchandise.
My time constraints being what they are, I decided to employ a social network expert to spread the word for me. I employed a contractor from Pakistan on Odesk. If you have not visited Odesk, please do so. You can employ people to do your online errands for you as well as recruit web developers, networking specialists, cartoonists. As long as the dollar holds up, common Americans can staff huge offshore work forces.
My social network specialist worked hard for me. For whatever reason, most of my FB friends on my new account would turn out to be professional hypnotists. He added his friends and his family. We both added friends from the industry of my previously mentioned product. My specialist tweeted twice/day and added followers.
The good news was that we had established a large social network. The bad news was that we did not move any product. I am sorry to say that I had to let my contractor go and last summer I awarded him a generous severance package. He would later write me a kind email thanking me for my generosity and he would inquire about my health, knowing I had undergone surgery last July. I was pleased to hear from him and should I ever do Odesk again, I would gladly rehire him.
Fast forward to today. I have not checked the other FB account in about two months but I am informed that my dormant account "likes" Barack Obama. I was livid. I had changed the password before letting my contractor go. I am the only person in the world who can use that account. Or so I thought.
Facebook is to social networking what the Chicago Machine is to politics. If a Cook County resident dies or simply stays home, he or she votes Democratic. I guess if one leaves their Facebook account dormant, they "like" Barack Obama.
Obama is the sleaziest politician in American History. If you can hear me Spiro, you are no longer the worst of the worst. The distinguishing characteristic of Obama is that he corrupts everything he touches. The news media. Social media. The Democratic Party. The Department of Justice. This bad apple has ruined a truckload of barrels. Rotten. Rotten. Rotten.
Having recently moved and still scrambling to find lost objects and to re-organize my new home as I face down Frankenstorm, Facebook is low priority. But be forewarned. Obama can only win by cheating and we would be fools to think he won't pull out every trick from his Chicago repertoire. Facebook today. America tomorrow?