How to Save Links on Facebook For Later (and Find Them Again)

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There are two types of people on Facebook: people who see a whole bunch of things in their feeds that they love and want to come back to later, so they share all of them… and people who are scrolling along, noticing that one of their friends has shared 12 Tasty videos in a row.

To be clear, I’m not share-shaming. I’m too heavy of a Facebook user to do that. But there is a seriously underutilized Facebook feature that I want to talk about that allows you to save all the links, videos, pictures, events, cat memes, etc., that your heart desires without putting 40 new posts into your followers’ feeds at once by going on a share-spree. This feature is a little bit hidden, but gives you the ability to bookmark items within Facebook (not just links, but virtually anything on FB – videos, pictures, events, etc.).

I know there are people who only share so much because they want to be able to find that stuff later (I know this because when they share, the write stuff like “saving this to come back to it” and “sharing so I can find this later”). Hopefully knowing about this feature will help you to never again spend 20 minutes scrolling through your feed trying to find that recipe or article you shared three weeks ago.

And best of all, this feature is as easy to use on the mobile app as it is on the desktop version of Facebook. You can save items from your friends as well as from public pages.  Continue reading

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A 100% Super Serious Open Letter to Facebook

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

I have been an avid user of your site since 2005 when my college friends and I joked about how Facebook should really be called StalkerNet. I’ve mumbled and groaned with the best of them about changes you have made to the site in the past, but with this new set of changes, it is clear that I find in you a like mind.

While I can’t say that I’m surprised at all that you read all of our minds in taking the StalkerNet concept to the next level, I am a bit surprised that my thoughts aren’t automatically showing up in my Facebook feed already. This is America in 2011, is it not? After all, if my thoughts and all details of my life including likes, preferences, and what I’m doing at every second of the day can automatically show up in several locations on Facebook (including places where people I may not want to see that information can access it), I can finally stop interacting with people in person. In fact, I won’t even need to talk to them at all — not in person, on the phone, through email, IM, or any other medium! Actual social interaction is so painful for awkward people like me. But why am I telling you that? I know you understand!

I write this letter to propose a change to Facebook that will help make all of that a possibility. This will have to be rolled out over time, so your developers won’t need to rush in any way. Take your time and really perfect this.

Assuming we all survive the apocalypses of October 21, 2011 (you know, the make-up date for the May 21, 2011 Apocalypse That Wasn’t) and December 21, 2012, you will need to begin rolling out this first piece of technology immediately. December 22, 2012 kind of immediately. What it is, is a neurobiological-ish chip that is implanted behind the ear of every newborn baby. This Facebook Chip comes automatically linked to a profile page for that child that is activated upon implantation.

Continue reading

When Social Media Becomes Internet Bullying

Maybe you’ve noticed a lot of your Facebook friends advertising their Formspring accounts lately, especially if you’re friends with high school or college students. By my [completely unresearched] estimation, they seem to be the largest demographic. If you haven’t heard of Formspring and don’t know what it’s all about, suffice it to say that it’s a social media forum through which people ask each other questions. If you’d like a more thorough description of its services, feel free to check it out.

In an age where we have so many different resources available to ask people questions, I’m not totally sure why a service like this is even necessary. If you want to know what your friend’s favorite movie is, why not just ask in person? Ask on Facebook. Ask on Twitter. Ask on AIM. Pick up the phone and call or text. This seems to be billed as a “getting-to-know-you” kind of service, allowing people to ask questions in order to, well, get to know someone better. In that respect, it seems like Internet speed-dating. Remember back in the ’90s when everyone warned us not to meet up in “real life” with anyone we met in AOL chat rooms? Then all of a sudden online dating services started encouraging us to do just that. Did people suddenly become much more honest and trustworthy? Doubtful. But I digress. Formspring also advertises this site as a way for people to ask questions of their favorite authors and celebrities (something that many of them already do on Twitter. I see public figures advertising their Twitter accounts all the time. I’ve yet to see one advertise a Formspring). Continue reading

High School Reunion? No, Thanks. I’m on Facebook.

About a month ago, I met up with a few high school friends I hadn’t really seen since that time. They were a grade ahead of me and had just gone to their ten-year reunion. I asked them how it was and the general description they gave was that it was just like high school. As I listened to their accounts, it reminded me of sitting in the cafeteria. Every group was at its own table. People who weren’t friends didn’t talk to each other. No one ever went mingling around to different tables unless an extension of a group of friends was there. I wasn’t really surprised to hear that people stuck to their high school cliques.

Then I started thinking about my own impending reunion. I’m sure that in the next six months or so, some sort of Facebook group will crop up telling me that I have to join or I’m not invited.

Once upon a time, high school reunions had formal invitations. They were a place to come home and get back together with old friends one had lost track of over the years. It was a time to be nosey and find out who was making the most money, who got fat, who got bald, who married way above or below their social caste. It was a time to meet people’s spouses, hear about divorces, see pictures of former classmates’ kids and, unless you were one of the nosiest, pretend to give a crap. Continue reading

The Internet Giveth, and the Internet Taketh Away

There’s something ironic about the fact that I have such conflicted opinions of social media and electronic communication when it is by and large the way I most often communicate. It always makes me think of the Wally Lamb novel She’s Come Undone. If you haven’t read the book, let me first recommend it (or anything Wally Lamb has written, really) before saying that I won’t ruin it for you by giving too many details. Suffice it to say that in the novel, the main character’s life goes into a tailspin after she receives her first television and her life completely changes (and not really for the better).

I was in 8th grade, awkward, shy, socially backwards, and probably with ugly shoes, when my family got its first computer and AOL account. Going into chat rooms changed the way I communicated with people. With the safety of being behind a screen, it was more difficult for people to hurt me, and I had a much easier time letting my true personality show – my sense of humor and my compassionate side, particularly. (However, for those who think Internet bullying is a relatively new concept, I can attest to the fact that it existed in the mid-to-late 90s. Some of the same people who said mean things to me at school found me online and said mean things there, too. Kids are sharks.)

It wasn’t long before I went from chatting with friends and total strangers to talking to people I didn’t know well at my school. This was a cop-out in some ways and good in others. I would never have talked to these people at school, nor would they have likely talked to me, without the buffer of a chat window. However, when it was time to meet face-to-face with classmates (I never met strangers for obvious reasons), I knew that they would think it odd if I didn’t act in accordance with who they knew me to be: my “online personality” – the person I actually was, as opposed to the person who couldn’t figure out how to be herself around others. This forced me to come out of my shell, and by the time high school was over, I was still shy, awkward, and socially backwards (still am, really), but not nearly to the degree I had been (and I have a far cooler shoe collection). Continue reading

5 Facebook Habits That Annoy Me

No, I couldn’t come up with a more clever title. It’s hot. My brain is lagging hours – maybe days – behind my body.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that those of us for whom Facebook is an integral part of life are all guilty of some kind of obnoxious and/or annoying Facebook behavior. That’s totally to be expected. I will be the first person to admit that, especially when I’m bored, I update my status way too often, and usually not with anything close to revelatory. In an attempt to justify my own less-than-ideal habit by pointing out that it could be worse, I’ve come up with the 5 Facebook habits that most irritate me, and why. This is not in any way meant to offend any of my friends (although it would appear that it’s mostly just randoms, mostly in California, who are reading my blog, anyway). Then again, when you consider that most of the people a person is friends with on Facebook aren’t really that person’s good friends…. well, I’ll get to that. Continue reading