Monday, December 17, 2007

Franzy is ... out.

I'm quitting Facebook.

I've had enough. It was one of the quicker internet crazes I've seen whoosh by, but the difference was that this one hooked me in a bit. The attractive bit was the ease of interface and the instant rush of popularity when another person invited you to be their 'friend'.
'Okay. Fine,' I said. 'I'll be your 'friend'. No problem.' And that was it. Spend a bored five minutes at work filling in your details and suddenly, a week later I had replied to a few dozen 'friend requests' from people I already knew, and was already friends with, to be 'friends'. I resolved never to send out a friend request, however. Just to see how long it took before people got sick of including me in their cyberworld. It never really stopped, because other bored people at work took to scrolling through their friends' friends to see if they were friends with, knew, had met, knew of or just plain liked the look of any of the hundreds of people that were grouping together online.
But it wasn't just being 'friends' (which entailed nothing more than being another number on someone else's personal page - ie. 'I've got 238 friends now!). There are also thousands of other little games, add-ons and personalisers that you could link and share and play with, all designed to strengthen your ties with your 'friends': scrabble, movie quizzes, daily quotes and personal photos in which you could place a name-tag on your 'friends' or have a tag placed upon you to identify yourself in a blurry photo of a party from three years ago. All of these things serve to elevate the size of the numbers on your page. All of them quantifiers. But not of anything more than more than how much time you spend on Facebook. Someone who has 300 Facebook 'friends' isn't any more or less fabulous than someone who has 10, they just spend more time sending friend invites.
Facebook also emails you when someone does something to your profile. Anything. When you have been sent a 'gift' (a picture of a gift), had a funny picture or movie posted (by someone else) at the top of your message board, been compared to someone else in a computerised version of those 'would you rather' games. People even send you emails through Facebook, even though they have your email. Things that stopped being fashionable to send by email five years ago (spam warnings, naughty pictures, "send this and get the answer to the question" riddles) are suddenly back in our inboxes because Facebook doesn't let you choose who to send it to, but who not to. The default setting for that less-than-hilarious photo of the fat chick in angel wings is "Send All".
I won't even begin to discuss the lax privacy policies that permeate most of Facebook's third party applications. The default setting for every game that you play and photo that you send is "Everyone Can See What I'm Doing At All Times, Especially Advertisers Who Now Have A Direct Way Of Contacting Me Through Facebook".

None of that sounds particularly attractive, does it?

So I'm out. Fortunately there is a 'Deactivate Account' button hidden in the profile settings and the moment I have finished posting this blog, I'm skipping on over there and freeing myself of an opportunity to waste more time I don't have on things I don't care about. I believe the common term for bowing out of Facebook is the rather drastic 'Facebook Suicide' and I've heard it mentioned a few times, especially in the last few weeks. These are people who quietly and with dignity chose to end their commitment to FunWall, SuperWall, Quote of the Day, Phototagging, Friendwheel, Eggs and Aquarium and move onto the higher plane of real life.

I was inspired by Shippy, whose blog I've just learned about after he came to my birthday (photos soon) and bragged to me about his new surf-ski. I'm not sure cutting down on internet network sites and an increase in physical activity are directly related, but I'm sure that one is healthy and the other isn't.

The Jimmythins Style is up and running! Dig his cool movies!

The Blob Attacks!


The Blob Attacks: The Soldiers Fight Back


GTH - Jono is champion for this post. River gets an honourable mention (but no points!) for her further than diligent research on the 'Gedenke' header.


  1. Aha! The toy soldiers! So much more fun than facebook........
    The header; celebration time.
    End of thesis; book published; birthday; facebook suicide?

  2. Or possibly just any old Saturday night?

  3. Fair enough Franzy and I was one who added you as a friend because I've only signed on to Facebook this week. Sorry about that!

    However I'm going to deactivate it too - blogs are much more interesting than 'which Spice Girl are you?'

  4. I've realised that GTH has simply turned into a desperate clutching at visual clues - thrown back at You by the fastest responder. So I'm quitting GTH.


    I'll NEVER QUIT!

    I would like to submit my well thought out, dignified and well articulated guess (some may even describe it as "WORTHY").

    Is the header perhaps "yourself in a blurry photo of a party from three years ago"?

    I must say Samuel: your normal standards of difficulty and intrigue are slipping...

    …or perhaps it is the Egg-Nogg; my arrogance; or both?

    You be the judge...

    (PS: Merry Xmas, Happy NY and hope I catch you when I am temporarily back in The "Heaps Good").

  5. Guilty! (desperate clutcher of visual clues)

  6. I'm still on bookface. Like to stay in touch, it makes it easier to do so.

    I'd prefer facebook homicide ... guess someone's password, send their account to the grave ...

    (now -1 friend)


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32