Reward/Brownie Points of Contention

It’s about time I snapped out of my utopian love affair with my new city of residence for a while, because as much as I’m not sick of it, you might be, so I figured it’s time for a good rant.  Haven’t had one of those in almost two months, which means we’re at least a month and 3 1/2 weeks overdue.

Come, children, let’s shift our crosshairs to Facebook and its affiliated games.  How coincidentally timely, since the day after tomorrow marks my Facebook account’s 1-year anniversary (although I’ll be–where else?–D-F’king-W and thus I won’t get to conjure up any posts that day).

Facebook and Zynga, to name a couple, have not had a good PR month…or year.  Their secret’s out about their scammy advertisers and their privacy-breaching antics (behind peoples’ backs and without their knowledge, no less), not to mention the perpetuation of things like ID theft, viruses, and another spam outlet.  One could reasonably argue that a couple of these items are inevitable and perhaps impossible to prevent.

But some of these things, Facebook allowed, encouraged, or downright instigated themselves, and this is not cool.  It doesn’t sit with with me, and apparently I’m not alone.

Let’s start with Facebook itself.  It’s cludgy.  It’s slow.  They could give two shits about your privacy (but they don’t).  But what the hell; after all, none of us care about privacy, right?  I mean, that’s what the founder actually told the press a few months back.  And he’s right–I mean, houses don’t even come with curtains anymo–oh wait, they do?  Still?  People still want privacy?  Dude, that is so 2006, but what-evar.

Being able to vote an ad up or down is cool, but sometimes ads you voted down resurface later.  The “Get an MS in Biotechnology ad” that I voted down on the grounds that it was offensive to me (it actually is, because I don’t think we need to be playing Goddess, but that’s another post for another time) actually resurfaced after a time.  You would think that with all the data they’re storing on your hard drive that they would be able to keep track of things like that.

And spam. Madre de dios, it’s starting to become an unattended, un-babysat Yahoo newsgroup circa 2003.  I’m starting to get messages in my personal inbox from people who are not even on my list with no text in the body but a simple TinyUrl for a YouTube clip.  Dude, I don’t know who the f*ck you are or what the f*ck you’re trying to send me.  For all I know it’s some sick jackhole getting his rocks off by drowning hamsters or something.  And Facebook groups I’m not even a frigging member of send me announcements of events happening in frigging Kansas.  I’ve only been to Kansas twice, and both times were for weekend seminar classes, and trust me, if I had any say in the location, it would not have been held in Kansas.  As Constitutional Party as I am, and as much as I like political Tea Parties, I’m not coming to yours.  I’m Texan, so I barely have any reason to leave the state.

Now let’s turn to page Bash-the-games.  I play three of them.  Last week it was just two, which means (for the math whizzes) that I recently started playing a new one.  I know it seems a little off to be bitching about games when I’m only adding more to my list, but hey, it’s my blog.

However, two of them in particular (Mafia Wars and Sorority Life) are more-than-slightly-annoying on multiple levels.  First off, NO, I’m not going to pester my entire Friends List with invites to join my mafia or sorority.  There are Facebook groups devoted to the bashing of these game requests, and many of my friends (and myself) have joined them, basically indicating that they don’t wish to receive invites.  I can’t blame them.  Facebook does indeed pester its users for every little thing (“So-and-so answered a question about you!  Click here to see what they said”, “So-and-so sent you a heart using iHeart!  Click here to send one back”, “So-and-so fought you in Lame-fantasy-game-you’ve-never-played!  Click here to fight back!”)  See what I mean?  And the onus is on you, the user, to turn all that shit off.  Facebook–and its games–nag worse than a hormonal woman (I should know).

The nagging doesn’t stop there.  When you actually start playing the games (I couldn’t resist some, and I don’t regret signing up to play them), you can’t do a job in Mafia Wars or organize an event in Sorority Life without stupid pop-up windows coming up telling you to send gifts to friends or recruit fellow sisters to join your house.  Or a lost puppy or cute guy on the sidewalk.  Or an extra goodie in your shopping bag.  It’s not like I don’t want to share gifts/extras/goodies/loot with friends, but the constant hassling to do so gets a little old.  Just let me play the damn game already.  I’ll give stuff to my friends and recruit fellow members if/when I’m damn good and ready.



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