Facebook’s Rise and Downward Spiral: From an Ordinary Person’s Perspective

I can remember being a part of Facebook back when most people didn’t even know what it was. I was a blogger on AOL and into graphics, new desktop work themes and widgets, and anything and everything that had to do with games, graphics, and enhanced computer experiences. As bloggers we shared all of our findings and someone shared Facebook. I signed up mainly as it seemed to be a overlying “desktop workspace” that you could open up and have widgets – like a to do list, among other little widgets that made me smile. I remember we could add friends to it though and we could “throw things” at each other and that become fun. We threw sheep and Sybil Shepherds and gosh I don’t even know what all.

I remember though that it sent an invite to everyone on my email list without me knowing it. Now I could have hit some button without realizing it but at the time – maybe in my 40’s, not really sure how old I was but some elderly guy at church came up and said “you invited me to something called Book Face or something and I am sorry I don’t know what that is”. I was clueless and said “I did?” lol. I finally figured out it was Facebook and was really embarrassed.

However, Facebook kept evolving those days and rather quickly. I remember sharing my status about 3 or 4 times a day. I was mad my little desktop wonder changed and I could not keep my to do list on there – it went away. It was the coolest to do list too. Eventually it became an app and our cell phones changed and we were all thrilled to have friends in our pockets and purses. We connected up with people from our past and it became quite addictive. It kept evolving and I remember with each update it would get better and better. I loved all the changes eventually while others despised it. In my opinion change has to occur to keep up with the times. So I got that and tried to embrace whatever change came. They grew so big and quite fast and furious.

Sure there were other ways people were connected back in the day – AOL, My Space, gaming, chat rooms – I’m sure you can remember others. But there was something about Facebook that allowed you to really connect as yourself to others everywhere and share your lives with each other. And that was great! For a while.

I can remember controversies starting up – mainly over the Robertson’s. Honestly, as I sit here and type, I can’t even remember what the controversy was about. I just remember the Robertson’s being “the thing” one day and then people were split over something that happened or occurred or was said. I just remember the controversy on Facebook. You either were for or against the Robertson’s and full on Duck Dynasty Wars began from there. People were throwing flying ducks everywhere.

Then people began venting on Facebook, including me. I vented about anything that went wrong. We told each other what to avoid, and why, and we kept life in check for a while as we shared everything that happened to us, good or bad.

Then came the cat Memes and other Memes, the funny sayings, and so forth. Then came groups and chat and all that. All that went on for some time and we began to share family memories, our goals, our dreams, our meals. I think I put pictures of nearly all my meals for about 3 years, lol. Then we could check in where we went and that was cool. Then we could like all our favorite businesses. But we had so many people sharing so many things that a lot got lost in the shuffle. But we could share articles and news and that helped a lot of us out, well for a while.

Then something happened and the algorithm changed. I began to see less and less of people are more of the people that I saw in daily life already. Somehow it stopped being as much fun when that happened. Our Facebook world minimized itself again. You could share a link and no one would see it as Facebook changed it to where it would get buried in the shuffle. It became apparent to me as a user that what I shared was being seen less and less. In other words, I became less important (in my own head) in my Facebook world, and was no longer useful as a person.

Then all the politics started. I have never seen such division and just avoided the news and Facebook altogether for the most part, until elections were over. I was so tired of it all. I will never forget Facebook slapping my own hand when I jokingly said “hey all you guys remember that the election is tomorrow – not today” to the opposite party – trying to make some laughter out of the situation. It was only a joke. It was obviously a joke but I was given a Facebook slap (a notification that if I abused their policy I’d be removed). Since then much of what I shared got a minimal response.

Then all the racism started. Back when Black lives mattered but none of the rest of us did (lol), I made a spiritual comment about how God loves ALL of US and was met with such criticism and lashings from masses including my Christian friends – that it was shocking. I wasn’t saying Black Lives didn’t matter, but that we ALL did. But you’d have thought I was Hitler with a southern hairdo on that particular day. I felt shunned, and was verbally executed by friends and even lost a few, over a simple misunderstanding. My intentions were only good, but good is not popular in today’s world, you see.

Then Facebook began to be in lots of lawsuits and technology began changing and the use of internet and fake news was being questioned and even questioning over election sways.

Facebook got to a point where it was an icon for controversy. Keep in mind this is how I saw Facebook from my perspective. I may be getting things out of order and I don’t necessarily know all the details and the why’s and how’s. I just know what my experience was.

I am a blogger and it is my daily “go to”, I do YouTube videos. I share my life on there. I’d love to be able to share those things on Facebook but it gets buried and not noticed. The algorithm doesn’t like my links, mention of YouTube, and some key words seem to get buried, like God, Christian, etc.

Then the pandemic happened and it was a whole NEW world of things you could not mention because it could be fake news. Certain key words again would now show. And many people reported photos being removed and posts being removed. It seemed we were losing our speech rights and that became scary to me and began opening my eyes. I agree filthy language and disrespect should be able to kick someone out, but we could do that on our own by blocking people. So that should have been ok. People give wrong directions and inaccurate forecasts and information all day long to each other outside of Facebook whether they mean to or not. Shall we go around with muzzles in case we should be misinformed? I think not.

To me, I was already connected to family and friends, so I kept it for that reason. I enjoyed using Instagram though as it was fun doing stories and sharing epic photos – epic in my terms that is. I even do Tic Toc as it is fun to watch interesting and funny videos made by others. I could do that on Facebook too I think but it’s in a different place on there and maybe not as organized and doesn’t call my attention to it. I always just got caught up in the feed. I never liked that Facebook tried to copy the other sites, but what should Facebook do to reinvent itself? Or is it too late.

Maybe they realize that and have created the whole Meta thing. I don’t know much about that yet or these virtual worlds that are being created. I guess at 59 I’m just an old fart of a woman and what do I know? However the older folks are many! So it would be wise to have a spot for us.

What Would Facebook Look Like if It Were to Bring More Value to Me?

  1. It would be more fun. What does that mean? Something I enjoy going into, that brings me joy, makes me laugh, and makes me connect in fun ways with others.
  2. Needs to look visually different, allow more of my own creative flair, more colors, designs, and ways to personalize your experience, whether it be on a desktop, iPad, or cell.
  3. Allow spaces to let people know what you are into, what your goals are, your favorite websites, etc. Maybe a status or section that will stay up a while you still share other things on the other section.
  4. Maybe have a virtual bulletin board – pics that stay a while, projects working on and such.
  5. Better visual links so you don’t have to go all over the place looking for what you need. And make them inviting and stand out.
  6. I loved the rolling ticker of what people were doing and sharing.
  7. I loved seeing who all was on line.
  8. Ability to decorate your wall and allow more expressive ways to show who you are and what you stand for.
  9. Get rid of all those damn algorithms and just let life be
  10. Work out that advertising problem you have. Don’t give up on that! There’s a way to do it just find the right way.
  11. You might need to change the name Facebook (more literally) not just a META but a cute catchy something else that looks and feels different. You will peek the interest and gain a lot of folk back.

That’s all I have today. We’ve had an ice storm – ish – enough to keep me home this morning and if I’m unpacking then I’m staying all day. I’m not unpacking, packing, unpacking twice in one day. So over an out as it’s a work day.

What is your experience with Facebook as it is today? Do you have any advice or changes you would love to see?

Foggy Mornings, Big Brother Listening, and Necessary Blog Upgrades

Good morning here! Sipping coffee and finally getting some blog time. We find ourselves sitting on a Wednesday already. The week has been fast yet I do find myself asking if it’s Friday yet. It is so doggone hard to get anything done during the week. Just work, eat, sleep or try to sleep and get up rinse and repeat.

So the early mornings this week have been foggy and full of deer. The deer make me smile so long as they are not meeting my front bumper. Yesterday morning was almost a bit frightening as it was pretty dense in some places. It actually started to clear up some here.

Payroll went well. I am a bit worried about getting quarter end done without having to work weekends. I have to take Mom for her eye appointment today. So I’ll leave at mid day to go home and get her in Mount Juliet and then get her to Hendersonville. She also has another medical situation that has crept up and if not in control we’ll be going to an urgent care this evening or tomorrow. It is what it is. What can you do? But I’ll be glad when quarter end is done so I won’t have to worry about THAT anyway. I will probably work later in the next two weeks to try and avoid working on the weekend. I usually get the Transport information way late and that makes me have to rush during that last week, and/or have to work weekends. Or not and get in trouble later, lol. It depends. I may not have a choice if we have things going on with Mom. And there usually is. So….I have prayed about it and it will be what it will be and I will do what I can for the company and likely will put family first as it should be and what remains after that, simply does. I can’t worry about this every day. I’ll just do my best and it will be what it will be. But I’ll be honest. When I leave here at 7 and hardly leave my desk. I’m ready to leave at 4 and I usually don’t leave until 4:30. That is 9.5 hours and then 45 min commute which is 1.5 daily. The traffic is up and also I’m going the back way most days because the interstate is getting dangerous. People are even being shot at, as if these Nashville drivers were not bad enough. ::sigh:: My point is that any hours worked beyond 4:30 my brain is mush at that point.

They are Listening. But Who are They?

Define they. I’m not sure. Some Alexa or Apple employee or some third party ad partner gone astray and crossing boundaries? But take note of this:

So we are sitting at the dinner table and Mom says “hey you remember that guy that you gave a ride to, when a bunch of you went to see your friend in the hospital?” and she mentioned the guys name. Let’s call him David Longbutt, (That’s not his name but lol, might as well make it fun). So….Mom said the guys father (Mr. Longbutt, Sr) had called and blessed Mom and Dad out because I let his son ride with me and I was only 16 (at the time) and didn’t have his permission to ride with me.

First of all, I did not even remember giving him a ride to the hospital. I remember giving him a ride home from church once. And I had to laugh because I was thinking as Mom told me this – what a goofball, you don’t punish the other person who is being nice to give a ride, you punish your own child for not following your parenting directions – if directions were even given. I’m surprised I wasn’t arrested for kidnapping, the way Mom made it sound. Anyway, aside from all that and our discussion at the table, guess who I got a friend request from the next day?

You guessed it. “David Longbutt”. Now how the hell heck did that happen? What is the irony of that? I did not have my phone with me, but I had my Apple Watch on. Alexa may have been within ear shot but two rooms away, so not sure. The room could have been bugged by neighbors, employers, FBI, lol. As the sunroom’s back handle door was compromised once and put on backwards. We never figured that out although I have my suspicions. I seriously doubt that Mom or George would have created an alias and done it to mess with me but who knows? Anyone of these options are suspect. lol lol lol.

So the Facebook account appeared to be a cloned account of David Longbutt (not the real name) as the cloned account used pics of the real person’s account. Unless the real person created another account for himself suddenly just to befriend me, but is this not weird. He also sent friend requests to several of my friends, some of who accepted. I deleted before I thought to get their names to warn them. I thought Facebook would take care of it, but no they refused to delete the account. It’s up to them if they want to keep fake accounts, but I guess they did not do their research. But anyway, I deleted him. I also stayed up half the night last night from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. (awake anyway) to try and secure my Facebook account. Although I doubt the “hearing” of the person’s name that triggered said friendship request was a Facebook issue. I still decided to tighten my account. I got rid of friends (about 40 of them) that I thought really had no business being on my friend list. I’m ok with acquaintances that had been nice to me during periods of my life for a time, even people I’ve met on a whim that we hit it off and I could tell they were ok. But there are some that I just didn’t have that much of a bond with that I felt were there for spy purposes or for their own personal interest. Some I just didn’t know very well but we were part of the same wellness group and no longer interact and didn’t really ever remember interacting to tell you the truth. Those were deleted. I kept those that inspire me, challenge me, interact with me on some level though.

Anyway, not sure what happened but yesterday I was thinking about banning Alexa, taking off my watch, hiding my phone – I mean sheesh. I guess I’ll do some study of how to protect ourselves more. And try to understand how to do that w/o being inconvenienced. I’m ok with them looking at my activity and sending me ads that apply to me. I’ve found that helpful actually. I’d rather see ads for things I’m interested in. But getting a friend request from a fake account from someone over 30 years ago I’ve not spoke of until last night, is just bizarre and apparent and obvious that either someone in that room (George or Mom) or either someone listening on some device, sent that request. Again, I am not accusing anyone, I’m just like the police and listing all the possibilities. And what would the goal be? And my friend list is hidden to only friends. So it would have to be someone that could see my friend list. Hmmmm.

Blog Upgrades Ahead

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I am highly dismayed that I’m at 96% media (photos and videos space) storage with WordPress. I have a personal premium account but my space is about to run out. It’s going to be around $200 to keep on blogging here and I’ll have to upgrade to a business account. Sure I get all kinds of perks with it. Not sure if I’ll use all of it but the storage vastly – I mean vastly increased. I’ll probably die before it runs out, but the cost is annual. I’m guessing around $300 to $400 annually. I suppose it’s worth it because it is something I love doing.

The other option is to start over with a new blog, and if I did that I’d probably have to start with a new VLOG too and YouTube. I don’t really want to do that. I also already have subscribers and it’s so hard to even get a few in these first few years of vlogging. I’m kinda fond of the Less Hustle More Coffee vibe. It’s so me. Let’s not rush here but sip and have coffee – has been my whole meaning of life. Well not really but it’s always there in the back of my mind as I rush off and try to meet everyone’s agenda including my own.

So as of now, I’ve made the decision I will do it when it’s time. I get credit for what I’ve spent already this year on this blog, that is why I’m not sure how much it will be when it renews. I will have to look at some other things though. My hobbies and online internet expenses are adding up. I’m paying some bucks for online services and storage and for digital graphics and animations, music that doesn’t violate copyright issues, etc.- also Apple iTunes, Audible, YouTube Buddy, Apple storage, and so it goes. I also pay for my domain to have the name on it’s own instead of a WordPress location.

Now maybe someday I can switch to another internet company like GoDaddy or some of the others, but I’m pretty happy with this set up for the most part. So I need to let George know that when the time comes (soon), I will have to pay or not blog and I know which one I’m choosing. I could delete media (photos) but what fun is that and when people read the past blogs, which is often as I get likes here and there as it gets attention on the internet some – according to title or subject. So I guess I will just keep going. There is a WordPress seminar in Nashville and I’d love to attend but I guess I’ll have to wait until I retire, lol.

I have it on my list for 2022 to sit and map out my goals with this blog and with the vlog. I want to redefine – or narrow down a few things before I try to grow it any further. I will determine what is in, and what is out, as far as my goals and what I want to accomplish. I think it’s something you have to look at every year. This year has been more of a “test” year of “can I do this?” and “what can I do” and now I think it’s more of “what do I want to do?”

So anyway, I’ve blogged on enough. Need to get going and get to work and get as much done as I can. I leave today to take Mom to the eye doc for her eye injection and then tomorrow will take her for the other appointment unless it is worse today. If so we’ll have to go after the eye appt.

And only two weeks away for seeing her house inside and also the closing 2.5 weeks away. The truck to move has been scheduled by George!

New Year, New Habits

The new chair is calling! Starting some new habits. I had decided to read the Bible backwards this year. Meaning that I will start with Revelations and work backwards. So the first thing each morning is setting in the chair, in my spa robe, after my shower, writing a prayer in my journal and reading a couple of chapters. Seems to set the direction proper for the day. Then from there I will do a blog if I have chosen it is to be a blog day.

Another new habit is going to the grocery store on Monday nights for the weekly grocery needs and bringing Monday night’s dinner home. I told George last week when we went it was really nice to do it that way. We didn’t have to interrupt our weekend and we would meet at home and head out and get what we needed together and we would pick up rotisserie chicken, already cooked for our dinner that night, a salad kit, and some sort of quick side – maybe a microwavable veggie or a quick can a beans on the stove. Both Publix and Kroger have roasted chickens. Not sure about Walmart, but we will throw Walmart into our rotations. I look forward to the rotisserie chicken. It’s so tender and good for us.

The next new habit is our eating better and making healthier choices. Having George on board really makes a difference. It’s hard to eat healthy if your spouse is not interested. So when I was mentioning possible potato salad at the deli last night, he was silent except to say “you can get what you want”. Sometimes that is our way of saying no not for me but you get whatever. So I quickly realized my mistake and said we could eat something else healthier. So perhaps we can help each other make better decisions. Will I stay away from potato salad forever? No way, but healthy food can be just as appetizing if we find a meal we like and create new habits and apply an 80/20 rule of eating healthy versus splurging.

I also tried to pick dressings that were not filled with canola oil. I picked avacado oil types and we will try that. I’m not sure what the healthier dressings are other than olive oil ones homemade. What types do you buy that taste good? I bought a bottle for work and home. They are pricier but if it keeps you from gaining weight, it’s worth it.

I’m also back on the morning shakes again with the company I use. Just really trying to get back in the habit of that. Not only did they help me lose weight before, but they put the nutrients into my body. I’ve had quite a bit of inflammation and pain this week from weeks of overeating, eating bad things, eating fast food and being spotty with the vitamins as we have been so busy and off our routines. The impact of the shakes are pretty immediate. The thing is they are good. I just have a problem having a cold breakfast in the winter! But on those mornings I just have to have eggs I will have that. But everyday may not be good to have eggs due to the cholesterol factor. Peoples bodies are different.

Here’s one of my daily calendar pics this week. I think I do pretty good at creating my own paradise. lol Always looking for ways to “make my world better”.

Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain

This week I’ve had extreme heel and ankle pain. It started coming back from Texas. I think it’s also because I had over a week of not wearing my crocs. I have to have crocs when I’m running around the house on my feet. They support my plantar fasciitis. I had completely recovered wearing the crocs and have kept it up thru the years. But just a week of not wearing them has completely ruined that. In reading up on it, it can take 6 to 18 months to get it back right where it’s not hurting every time you get up in the morning or get up from sitting. This time the ache has been so bad that it radiates inward to the bone. So I’m having to make sure I have on my crocs and I guess it’s just going to hurt for a while. Then my right arm hurts too when we have to much sugar and I don’t get enough nutrients. It’s like a warning bell!

So I think the shake and eating right will help all that too.

I really want to start having some more tea. I may invest in a kettle again. Our microwave is well – just stupid. It doesn’t work appropriately. We need a new one. I suppose it would be silly to get a kettle though if we need a new microwave anyway. It only takes 1.5 to 2 minutes to heat up a cup of water to throw a tea bag in. Our microwave buttons don’t do what they are supposed to. You have to keep hitting random buttons to make it work. And it won’t quit beeping once it starts until you go over and hit random buttons. For now we are dealing with it. George bought it. Not sure if it has a warranty. Not sure he has the receipt or whatever. I’m sure it’s probably just expired. But I think it’s about time for another one. If not though, I’ll be getting a kettle for tea so I can avoid having to “fight” with the microwave when I need a cup of hot water. Yeah I could boil water on the stove, but the kettle would be cuter. lol. No worries. This is not important right now. But the thought of putting a kettle on brings a cozy thought.

Speaking of cozy. Roger was sleeping good. He sleeps good sometimes in the evenings when he realizes his pack is there. He really must miss us during the day if it is a day we are both gone.

Technology Woes and Updates

Well this morning my email with AOL is not wanting to send. It says my “server” is not working. I’m getting mail but can’t send. I’m rolling my eyes right now. I hate it when things start to go wrong and you don’t have time to deal with it. I’ll have to fight that battle when I get home I guess. Maybe it’s just a faulty email address but that is not the message I’m getting. The first thing to do is REBOOT and then see!

I’m waiting til the next weekend to order my back up drive. Then when it comes in I’ll download Big Sur and then see what else I need to do. A little nervous about all that but it’s been enough time that I think most everything I use will work. But that remains to be seen!

Itching to work on the next movie but I want to get the back up drive and update first. Then I will need to order another one just to house my iMovie and iMovie files on so they won’t be on my iMac and slow it down. This is a process and one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. When I asked Santa for it, I thought I’d be getting it for Christmas. George thought it wasn’t an exciting gift I think. But I feel bad spending the $$ for it all. We did reason with ourselves last night though. We normally are very active, going to concerts, out to eat constantly, shopping and such and we mostly are at home now and so naturally we channel that energy and $$ toward whatever we are doing here. So I’ll go ahead and get these things accomplished and get it OFF my very long list! That all starts this weekend. Gotta love progress. I sure do.

The Big Sur update takes more space/memory so I think it’s important to go ahead and make these changes. And apple provides security updates so I want the most secure. So I’ll be working on all that soon!

Ya’ll have a big day! It’s payroll day for me. And taxes and year end processing will be on the back burner for about a day and a half until I get the payroll and after payroll stuff done. Then I’ll have half of Wed, and two very long days out of Thurs and Friday to focus on getting it done. If I have to I can work Saturday but honestly I don’t think I’ll have to. I mean if anything had to be paid in on a Saturday it would post late anyway as banks are not open. I will be mean cuss if I have to work Saturday. So lets all hope not! I don’t prefer to be a mean cuss, but if I don’t get my rest and rejuvy, get my laundry done, my house in order, and work on personal things I need to work on then we ALL have to deal with the consequences! And it ain’t perty to deal with me when I’m off my schedule! lol It is what it is. That is something about me that is likely not to change!