Go To Hell Aunty Acid

I despise the incredibly lame Aunty Acid cartoons. My hatred has reached the point that I am writing a blog post about it. It’s been on my Hate List for some time, but I feel the need to take it a step further and reemphasize my point.

First off, I don’t understand the difference between Aunty Acid on Facebook and those old Maxine greeting cards. In my mind, they are the same person. The characters are suspiciously similar. I suppose that Maxine is supposed to be a slightly older person, but who cares. They are both dumb.

Aunty Acid is half-witted cartoon character that propagates through Facebook. The themes and captions of the cartoons are incredibly lame and downright not amusing. Only old people would find any humor in it. That said, I know a few young people who take pleasure in sharing these stupid cartoons on their timelines. One friend of mine even has the audacity to post this crap on Instagram! The horror! I find that offensive on multiple levels. If we weren’t close friends, I would delete him.

I scold my friends who share this trash. They are well aware of how much I hate it. Keep in mind that we are talking about 30-year-olds. You would think they were 90 by sharing this garbage. I think less of anyone who finds any amusement in these awful cartoons.

I have had it up to here with seeing this bullshit. I can’t take it anymore. Someone needs to write a browser plugin that removes this garbage from the Internet. I do not ever want to see another Aunty Acid cartoon again. Ever!

I’m going to add a picture to this post, as an example, so you can see what I am talking about. But believe me, it pains me greatly to post such trash on my blog.

Aunty Acid can go to hell. Whoever makes a living drawing this shit needs to find a new line of work.

Aunty Acid

Google Ads and Rampant Fanboyism

Let me preface this post by saying that I am both a happy Google user and a happy Facebook user. I’m not writing this post to pick sides. I think Google is a great company and I am a satisfied user of their many services. That said, I feel the need to share my observations of crackpot Google+ users that I have seen time and time again.

This week, Google edited their Terms of Service and have plans to launch new product-endorsement ads incorporating photos, comments and names of its users. Facebook rolled out the same thing not long ago, but in typical Facebook form, they made every effort to keep it quiet from its users. I do not want to participate in this new form of advertising on either platform, and I have edited my settings to disable it on both sites.

I find it hilarious the amount of Google fanboyism that exists on Google+. I like G+, but a disproportionate number of posts that I see there are about G+ vs Facebook. It never ends. If the posts are not about that comparison directly, just wait because every comment thread is almost guaranteed to quickly turn into it. It’s reached the point of absurdity and I can’t take it anymore.

A user can write an innocent post about kittens, and within a day, someone will come along and comment completely out of nowhere that “Facebook sucks.” I’ve even seen users post graphs and statistics that claim that Google+ has more users than any social network on the planet. That is absolutely and completely untrue. Yet, their crazy users actually post these falsehoods in the hope that any day now, it may actually be true. I have also read countless times where a user comments that, “Nobody uses Facebook.” Oh, really? Over a billion people use Facebook, including nearly every person that I know. Get your heads out of your asses.

Google+ users take every opportunity to bash Facebook at every turn. I’m not defending Facebook and their repeated privacy offenses, but it is hilarious to see the comments on the many Google+ articles about news of this new Google advertising usage. Google+ users are actually writing that this is an awesome feature and are wowed by how cool it is. Give me a break! When Facebook makes any change to its Terms of Service, Google+ users embark on a Facebook bashing rampage. However, when Google takes nearly the same action, their users praise it as a great feature. Come on!

Below are some actual quotes that I have copied/pasted from comments on various Google+ posts that broke news about this new product-endorsement ad usage:

“Google did it right.”
“I would really like this feature.”
“Not so bad if you’re looking to get circled.”
“I’ve elected to keep this option on.”
“I’m totally okay with the new terms.”
“This is a problem…how?”
“This can be very powerful.”
“Better than Facebook.”
“I’m ready for a Google world!”

I rest my case.

Craig’s Guide to Profile Pictures

I think that too many Internet users are careless about the content and quality of their profile picture. It’s an issue that drives me crazy. It has for years. Let me lay it all out for you.

It doesn’t matter which social network or online service you are using, selecting a good profile picture to represent yourself is very important. It’s the one picture that the people you interact with will see every day. For someone that does not already know you, this is the first image they will see of you.

As I write this, I’m thinking of a social network along the lines of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, or Google+. Twitter is slightly different because it’s filled with a lot of parody accounts and people aren’t expected to post under their true identity. It’s not uncommon to see a lot of inanimate objects as profile pictures there. Therefore, I’ll exclude that from my decree of what a profile picture should contain because anything goes in the land of Twitter.

Content

Let me take a moment to explain what a profile picture should be. A profile picture is a picture of you, and you only. Not your spouse, not your kid, and not your pet. It should be a picture with a single human being in it, and that human can only be you. Not a picture of you amongst a group of five people, or you posing with your best friend, or anyone else for that matter. Just you! The instant that you post a profile picture with your significant other, you have effectively jumped the shark.

In fact, I am friends with a couple that individually use the exact same profile picture of the two of them. Such behavior is not only gag inducing, but when either of them writes a post or a comment, it becomes a little confusing as to who wrote what I’m reading. Everyone should unfollow them until they are able to make better decisions for themselves.

I’ll mention some examples of ridiculous things that I’ve seen used as actual profile pictures. For one, a full comic strip. Yes, someone I know on Facebook used an actual four-pane comic strip as their single profile picture. I couldn’t even tell what I was looking at until I blew it up full-screen, let alone be able to read it. What would possess someone to think that this would be a good idea? Sheer lunacy.

If you use a generic profile picture such as a flower or a butterfly, the message you are sending is that you are unhappy with your appearance and have something to hide. Your friends can already see all of your other pictures, so you can go ahead and stop doing this.

I do not participate in any call to change my profile picture to show support for something. That is something I will not do. I don’t care how serious or unserious the cause is. A few times in the past, I’ve seen a trend in the month of May where some dope will put out a call on Facebook for everyone to change their profile picture to a picture of their mom for Mothers Day. What? Get real. Only a moron would do something like that.

This brings me to the worst type of profile picture of them all. Pardon me, expectant mothers, but using a sonogram photo is the absolute worst thing you can post as your profile picture. Completely unacceptable! When I read your posts, I want to see a picture of your face next to them. Not a blurred, black and white, two-dimensional x-ray of an underdeveloped baby that looks more like an unfinished balloon animal stuffed in a pillowcase. Stop this right now.

Size

Your profile picture must be a perfect square. It needs to be the same number of pixels tall as it is wide. Please use photo editing software on your computer to create this exact square image before attempting to upload it to the social network. Do not use an existing photo that you uploaded eighteen months ago and attempt to crop out other people by using the shoddy online profile photo cropping tool. This ends up looking careless and sloppy.

When it comes to pixel count, do not attempt to use a picture that is a tiny 100 or 200 pixels. That image size may look acceptable in a comments section, but when someone pulls up your profile picture to see an expanded view, the result is a jagged, pixelated mess.

Disclaimer

I need to toss in a disclaimer about my own profile picture. Every year, around October 30, I’ve been in the habit of changing my Facebook profile picture to the Halloween mask of Michael Myers. This is a clear violation of rule #1. However, it’s fun and witty. I only have it up for about two days, and I think it amuses people. It’s festive and I’ll allow it. Is that hypocritical of me? Yep.

I’m sure that the condescending tone of this blog post isn’t going to win friends or influence people, but I had to make it understood how I feel about the business of profile pictures. In my experience, people really need to get their act together.

I’m willing to go so far as to say that if I were in charge of my own social network, a.k.a. “Craigbook,” I would make it my policy to choose everyone’s profile picture for them. A pop-up box would appear that says, “I don’t trust your decision-making skills. I’ll choose from your existing photos one that I think is best for you.” Of course, no one would want to be a part of a service like that, but it sure would make for a pleasant online utopia, at least in my eyes.

PS — The domain “Craigbook” is not available. Believe me, I already checked.

Disliking the Likes of Facebook

Two months ago, I posted a rant about Facebook broadcasting our Likes. The behavior I was complaining about at that time has morphed into something even more annoying. There is a new trend on Facebook that has gotten on my nerves. It is the practice of people posting a picture and captioning it with, “Like if you remember this,” or “Like if you agree.”

Some of these photos are as stupid as a black and white picture of Beaver and Wally Cleaver that says, “Like if you remember them.” And sure enough, the mindless sheep of Facebook users reach over and click that Like button, which only spreads the photo on to more people. I’ve seen a lot of pictures from old TV shows, like the Addams Family and the Munsters. Another common theme is discontinued items from the past, like those little plastic circles that you used to put in the center of a 45-RPM record that held it snugly on the record player. The list goes on and on.

More recently, this annoying trend has expanded into a guilt trip. Last week I saw a picture of a badly burned soldier that said, “Like if you respect him.” If you don’t click that you like it, you’re made to feel that you do not respect him. So, naturally, most people click that Like button, which sends the picture on to their friends. Sure, people need to be made aware of these realities. Certainly everyone greatly respects that man. I just don’t want to be manipulated by this Like ecosystem.

I’ve even seen a picture of a dog that had fallen through the ice on a frozen lake that says, “Like if you would rescue him. Ignore if you wouldn’t.” Give me a break. I don’t care what someone puts in the caption of a picture, I will not click the Like button for any reason whatsoever. I will not be guilt tripped into spreading this madness. I see this as a modern day version of email chain letters and spam.

I don’t know how long this has been going on. It has been made more prominent in recent months after Facebook flipped some switch that began showing photos in your news feed that your friends have liked. This change in website behavior is what has given birth to this annoying picture liking/sharing movement. Personally, I wish they hadn’t made this change. I believe that if a user hasn’t explicitly chosen to share a photo with their friends, then it shouldn’t be displayed. I don’t want to see photos that people have liked.

I especially don’t want for others to see the photos that I like. I have become reluctant to click to Like pictures because I don’t want my friends to be shown the picture that I’m looking at. I don’t approve of Facebook publicizing my likes. It should be a private matter.

Bottom line: I will never click Like on a picture that instructs me to. Period. If only my friends all felt the same way, then maybe we could stop this crap in its tracks.

Do Not Sync Your Contacts With Facebook

Recently, without informing anyone, Facebook changed everyones’ email address on their profiles to [username]@facebook.com. It seems that they did this to get their users to communicate within their Messenger platform.

It is now being reported that some users who have synced their personal address books with Facebook have found their personal contacts’ email addresses changed to @facebook.com too. I don’t know if these reports are valid, nor how widespread they are.

I suggest to everyone that you should never sync your personal address book with Facebook for any reason. I can’t believe that anyone would do that in the first place, but apparently some people have. You have been warned.

I would also like to add that Apple adding Facebook integration into the core of the upcoming iOS6 could prove troubling as well, for this very type of situation. Time will tell, but I’d be cautious about integrating Facebook too tightly with other areas of your personal computing space.

Facebook, Stop Broadcasting Our Likes

Facebook “likes” are getting too noisy. I don’t need to see pictures that my friends have liked clogging up my news feed. I don’t care to see them. It makes me no longer want to bother looking at Facebook on my phone. Lately, I have to scroll through two or three screens worth of this garbage to get to an actual self-written status update. I remember when that was all that Facebook was. Those were the days.

When I launch Facebook, I only want to see a string of status updates, especially if I’m using my phone. I do enjoy seeing photos that my friends have posted, but I don’t want to be forced to endure a stream of pictures that people just happen to have clicked that they liked.

I will argue that the majority of these “liked” pictures are pretty stupid. It’s usually some nonsense posted by Someecards, Trueecards, lolsotrue, and other such accounts. I have to ask — Why do people subscribe to these things? I am rarely amused by them. I chuckle from time to time, but I certainly wouldn’t subscribe to these accounts, let alone click to like their individual photos. I can understand someone following these types of accounts on Twitter, but not Facebook. That isn’t what Facebook should be used for.

I want a setting to turn this behavior off. On the Facebook website, there is a ticker in the right sidebar that tells you the things that your friends are liking and commenting on. I don’t have a problem with that because I’m not being annoyed with any of the content. I want these pictures out of my news feed, and especially off of the mobile Facebook app.

The fact that Facebook insists on showing their users liked content has caused me think twice before I click that I like something. I’ve become conscious of that fact that the picture that I’m liking could be inserted into my friends news feeds for them to see. It wouldn’t be something scandalous, so I shouldn’t care, but I prefer to have full control over every single thing that is broadcast from my account for others to see.

Facebook Friendship Auto Elimination

I have come up with a terrific idea for a new Facebook feature — friendship auto elimination. We all have Facebook friends that we never interact with. I have a few on my list. These are people that I met at a party and have never seen again, or someone who is a friend of a friend and I ended up adding them as my friend too. Let’s face it, some of these people can be removed.

Let me explain how I envision this auto elimination concept should work. The friend that has gone the longest amount of time without interacting with you will automatically have their friendship revoked. This action will occur on a revolving basis. Users can choose between a weekly or monthly elimination schedule, depending on how aggressive they want to be about managing their friends. After it is enabled, you would get an email alert telling you that person X is going to be eliminated this week (or month), and would encourage you to send them a message or poke them to keep the friendship alive. If no action is taken, that person is automatically removed at the end of the period.

I think I’ve stumbled upon a brilliant idea, but in reality, Facebook would never implement such a feature. They want their users to stay as connected as possible. It wouldn’t be in their interest to remove friends on your behalf. But all too often I skim my friends list to find names and faces that haven’t interacted with me in ages. In my opinion, if six months pass and I don’t get a single “like” or comment from someone, they are ripe for deletion.

Of course, my auto elimination concept should be optional. I know a lot of people who let their friends list balloon to enormous proportions. I suppose that having large numbers of anonymous friends makes some people feel good about themselves. I’m not among them. I keep my Facebook friends tight and tidy. I usually try to maintain my family, along with actual close friends. People that have my phone number, for instance. I don’t need so-called “friends” that I haven’t seen in a decade and have no bearing on my life whatsoever. This is why I love the concept of auto elimination. Since this will probably never exist, I’ll keep deleting people the old-fashioned way.

Let me add that, despite what I just said, I don’t go around deleting people left and right. I’ve deleted friends in haste and later regretted it. The auto elimination tool can also serve to nudge you to reconnect with old friends, not just remove them.

Rabbit Rabbit Facebook Fan Page

To make a long story short, “rabbit rabbit” is a phrase you’re supposed to say on the first of every month for good luck. I’ve written about this in the past, but the topic needs revisiting.

Some time ago, my friend Chad created a Facebook fan page called “Rabbit Rabbit.” He generously made me an administrator of the page. In the early days the fan page only had a dozen fans. We are now up to nearly 100 fans. I would like to see that number rise to 1000 and beyond. This week I created a permanent username for the page so that it now has its own direct URL on Facebook. I’m hoping that by giving the page it’s own unique URL that it will start to appear on search engines and elsewhere. The address is: facebook.com/rabbitrabbitpage

Any Facebook user who is a fan of the page is allowed to make posts to the wall and even post pictures! That said, I monitor this very closely. Last week a user posted a spam advertisement for a website selling rabbit food. I believe that spam showed up on the news feeds of everyone who is a fan of the page. Let me be clear that I will not tolerate junk posts to our page, and I will bring the hammer down on anybody who does. So behave yourselves!

It’s also worth noting that there is a page on Wikipedia that explains the origins of Rabbit Rabbit. It’s an interesting read, but Chad and I had nothing to do its creation or content.