Monday, January 3, 2011

The Facebook 'electronic tagging' experience

In spite of the fact that I hardly ever use Facebook, it's just managed to get right on my nerves.  Last night I received a friend suggestion from someone, and without thinking too much about it I pressed 'confirm', as I've done many times before.  But I then received a stern message informing me that I was no longer allowed to send friend requests, because too many of the ones I'd sent before hadn't been accepted.  I was also piously reminded that Facebook is a place for networking with people you already know, not for pestering strangers (or words to that effect).

Now, it's quite true that two or three months back I sent out a reasonably large batch of friend requests, many to people I'm only vaguely connected to - so unsurprisingly only a minority accepted.  (Not one of them was a total stranger, though.)  Why would I do a thing like that?  Well, I think it might just have something to do with Facebook constantly haranguing me to hand over my email details so they could find friends for me.  So it seems that if you simply do what you're endlessly prompted to do, you get the online equivalent of an 'electronic tagging' for your troubles.  More bizarre still, they then continue nagging you with friend suggestions by email, even though you're banned from agreeing to them!

One thing that has really irritated me about Facebook from the start is the stubborn adherence to the fiction that it's strictly for real-life friends only, when everyone knows perfectly well that the majority of users probably have at least one or two friends (and maybe a great many) that they've never actually met.  A website whose rules are totally at odds with the way most people want to use it must be going wrong somewhere.


Thanks to anyone who voted for me in Political Betting's Poster of the Year poll for 2010 - the voting closed yesterday, and I finished 17th, up from 27th last year (not that I'm keeping track or anything).  Incidentally, if Ezio's around, you might be interested to know that Seth O Logue is labouring under the misapprehension that you're a Cornish sex memoirist in disguise!


  1. Sincerest congratulations on your rise from 27th to 17th, a richly deserved accolade for a superb political commentary, wittily, accurately and regularly opening issues of importance for discussion.

    I’m chuffed for you James.

    (oh yeah, and Facebook is a pain in the proverbial...)


  2. His Excellency, President Ezio Auditore of the Florentine RepublicJanuary 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    LOL, on what basis could I ever be mistaken for such a mental, lying, right-wing nutter?

    The people of Florence are naturally up in arms at this, James. Seth finds himself more unpopular in Florence than Iain 'WTF' Gray is in Montenegro!

    I should say of course, that it gave me tremendous pleasure to register on there under some stupid name and nominate you for the idea if the post got through or not though!

  3. Thanks very much for your kind words, Tris, and thanks for the nomination, Ezio! It was a kind of backhanded compliment from Seth - he reckoned you're such an "accomplished wordsmith" that you couldn't possibly be anyone other than Mr. Sean Thomas. Evidently he's overlooking decades of Booker Prize winners...