Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Boy, do I battle with Facebook

My friend Hilton, who just up and left the country one day (I haven’t yet worked out why, but I think I was because he wanted to cycle from Oxford to Cambridge), took the precipitate step of inviting me onto Facebook, and my confidence has never recovered.

I posted a silly pic and some basic details, assuming Facebook to be something like one of those dating ones that some of us joined when the Internet was fresh and new – you know the thing: post a snapshot of yourself 10 years and 10kg out of date, make up some fascinating facts, watch with detached merriment while 65-year-old men living in Goa offer to marry you, and never go there again.

If only I’d known. There isn’t a day that goes by now that someone doesn’t offer to be my friend (who are these people?), prod or poke me, send me a round of tequilas (like I need one), Super Wall me (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds painful), or otherwise stymie me with mysterious technology. I’ve become so allergic to the Fear that is Facebook that I now automatically delete all emails from them – I just can’t bear to see how much I don’t have a clue about.

Today, several months after I last visited my home page, I decided (not without some trepidation) to log in and see what was happening there.

Aiyeeee! Requests, demands, invitations, gifts, offers and all other notions of terrifying things had mounted up, and all I could do was run down the list, pressing the ‘ignore’ button and hoping that I didn’t inadvertently offend anyone.

Then a really annoying thing happened. A pop-up appeared on my screen (despite, may I add, the fact that my ruinously expensive and daily updated virus software apparently blocks pop-ups). It read, ‘Do you want to miss your chance to live and work in the US?’ Following this request were three buttons: ‘YES’, ‘NO’ and ‘ASK ME LATER’.

At last! I thought: something I really do understand, and really do know the answer to.

Without a moment’s hesitation or self-doubt, I moved my mouse to ‘YES’ and gave it a good, hard, confident click.

It didn’t disappear. To the contrary, another pop-up appeared. ‘Are you sure?’ it asked me, and again offered me the options of ‘YES’, ‘NO’ and ‘ASK ME LATER’.

‘Jumpin’ jiminy,’ I muttered under my breath, and pressed ‘YES’ again. (Look, I’m about as clueless about Facebook as it’s possible to be, but I do know that I don’t want to go and live and work in the US, okay?)

But the pop-up was not to be stopped. ANOTHER one jumped onto my screen. ‘Before you make your final decision,’ it told me, ‘think about…’ (What about Y-E-S did it not understand?)

I said another thing, quite a bit ruder than the jiminy one, and pressed my EXIT key, thus severing my link with the irritating pop-up and Facebook.

Probably forever.

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1 comment:

Juno said...

Yes, Facebook is bloody annoying. Then again, I've just reconnected with three old friends, all of whom 'found' me on Facebook, and how lovely it is to hear from them!