Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Facebook Messages

An important update follows the article.

Facebook Messages


Facebook has been sending out notifications they are eliminating the message format from their program. They seem genuinely excited about a new app that they want me to install on all of my devices, replacing the current system of “private” conversation between account holders. I fail to share their enthusiasm. There are already several methods of communicating with my friends privately in place. Not the least of which, of course, being the phone. 

A highlight of their new system is people who are not “friends” can still contact one another. I do recall a database which provided that service to the average user. It was called a phone book. But I digress.

I decided to do fb a favor and delete all the messages stored in my account. Once I accessed the database, I found conversations dating back to 2009. Yes, five year old messages.

[sarcasm]To my surprise, no “Select All” option existed[/sarcasm]. Instead, I would be made to go through each individual line of each individual conversation and select “Delete”. Individually.
Since this is the manner Facebook utilizes for every single one of its account holders, I understand their need to create a new database format. The more obvious reason for creating a new messaging system however, would be to extend yet another advertising tendril into my social life. By “my social life” of course, I mean, all of ours (Google already has us pretty well wrapped up in that department). Therefore, it is my decision to decline the “new app”.

Should anyone need to contact me (in private), then they should know the half dozen means by which to do so. I'm afraid the new Facebook messaging app will not be one of them.


Since posting this article, new information has come to my attention. I chose not to accept the app sight unseen, so I did not reach the point of their “Terms and Conditions”. Fortunately Sam Fiorella, of Huff Post blog, did that for us. If you are one of the 1,000,000,000 who have downloaded this app, here's what you've agreed to:

·         Messenger can make a phone call without your “intervention”
·         Messenger can record your phone calls without your “intervention”
·         Messenger can read your contact list without your “intervention”
·         Messenger can send a text message without your “intervention”
·         Messenger can read your text messages without your “intervention”
·         Messenger can read your personal profile and send it to others without your “intervention”
·         Messenger can obtain other accounts you have set up on your phone without your “intervention”

You can read Sam Fiorella”s article here: The Insidiousness of Facebook Messenger's Mobile App Terms of Service. But, personally, had I downloaded Messenger, I delete it first, before doing anything else.

That is, if you're allowed to.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A New Truism

Stock Photo

I was telling my husband about an experience I had with a fellow Publix shopper today, and he said, "Isn't it amazing how easily offended offensive people can get?"

Let me share the full story with you …

I went to my local supermarket, Publix, yesterday. I needed to find a birthday card for my daughter-in-law, and pick up a few groceries. It was around four in the afternoon, and I had an hour to kill, so I was in no hurry.

I’d picked up three of the five items on my list when I came to the greeting cards. The aisle was empty, so I had them all to myself. Locating the appropriate section, I began perusing. After looking at two or three of them a woman, trailed by two boys and one girl, approached the same section. None of the four acknowledged my presence, even though the woman reached for the card right in front of me. I stepped back, as the children began racing one another down the otherwise empty expanse of card-lined walkway. I did a quick sidestep to avoid a collision with one of the children, who did not offer any form of apology.

When two other women arrived, blocking the aisle with their carts, I decided to leave the area and go get the last item on my list. I would return to the cards afterward. These people would surely be done and gone by then.

No such luck. When I returned everyone still remained in the exact spot as when I left. I decided one of the cards I’d picked earlier would suffice. I reached the area only to be blocked by the girl-child. I tapped the young lady on the shoulder. She whipped her head toward me in shock, and I said, “Excuse me, I need to reach right in front of you.”

You would think the world stopped spinning. Before the little girl could respond, the woman grabbed her by the shoulders and swung the child around behind her. The expression on her face spoke of rage. Pure and simple rage. She shoved the little girl forward, away from me, and glanced over her shoulder to shoot me a final, indignant glower. Then, she huffed, actually huffed, and stormed away with the two boys trailing.

All I could do was shake my head, watching them disappear around the corner.

Later, as I was telling my husband about the encounter, he said, "Isn't it amazing how easily offended offensive people can get?"

A new truism is born…