Jan 282013

Social Media SpyDid you ever take real close notice of how Facebook seems to know everything about you? It knows what you do, what you like, what you purchase, where you go and a whole lot of other stuff. Pretty soon, it’s going to know when you take a bathroom break! Facebook is watching you.

Most of us sorta kinda know this and we tolerate it. You can’t do internet business these days without Facebook and it is THE best way to keep up with friends and family. It provides a service. . . a valuable one. And, therefore, I guess, Zuck and company feel they can pry into everything in our lives in return. It’s one of those necessary evils of the modern age.

This morning, however, I noticed something new in Facebook’s observant ways. When I went to say Happy Birthday to the names that came up on the right side of the page, there was the standard window to type your greeting in, but there was also something else. Actually, I had noticed the line about, “Do you want to send Poindexter a gift?” before. I’m like, “Yeah, if I want to send him a gift, I’ll do it myself. Bite me.”

But today there was an added attraction. I got a list of Poindexter’s likes! Under the box was the “Do you want to send Poindexter a gift” routine and then. . . a list of what Poindexter likes! In this case, my Poindexter likes Starbucks, 1-800-Flowers and I forget what else.

So busybody me decided to click on the Starbucks link to see what it did. It took me to a page to purchase a $5 Starbucks gift card for Poindexter. A couple of clicks and VOILA. . . instant birthday gift! Now I can see where this could come in handy, especially if someone was close to you and you forgot their birthday. It says “I care,” a little bit more than just writing “Happy Birthday” on their wall does. But still. . .

People that I would spend money on a gift for, well, I know what they like. I don’t need to be told. When I thought about it for more than a few seconds, it felt creepy. I love being reminded of birthdays and it takes maybe 5 seconds to write “Happy Birthday” in that box and brighten someone’s day. But now Facebook is trying to make me spend money and then telling me what to spend it on. This could make Old Busted Hotness mighty paranoid if they keep it up!

What gets to me is how they seem to be watching us outside of Facebook, too. I’ve had things pop up on my sidebars that I’ve looked at on Amazon and a few other mass market retailers. Are they connected? If so, wouldn’t it be nice to let us know? Does Facebook have tracking cookies that follow us all over the net? It’s one thing to shadow us on Facebook, but other places?

I know that Facebook is one big advertising ploy to bring advertisers to it by providing them with a humongous potential customer base, but come on, Zuck. . . you’re seriously starting to creep me out. If I sign on one day and hear “Twilight Zone” music, Old Busted Hotness is gonna really freak out big time! I can guarantee you it won’t be pretty.

Jan 212013

Facebook ClockOld Busted Hotness lives out in Lower Cowpie Heaven. Things here don’t quite work the way they do in regular civilization, especially power and internet connections. We have Wifi, but it’s not too steady.However, in trying to make do, I’ve put up with a flaky internet connection for quite some time. Just one of those things.

Well, I decided I was tired of this particular “thing” the other day when I kept losing my connection and couldn’t work. I was out of internet service for hours at a time. Finally, hubby was able to hard wire me in to the internet connection. Big difference!

So what does this have to do with Facebook being at time waster? A lot.  During those hours of down time, I picked up my Kindle and read. I read. . . oh, let’s see. . . two novels and and a handful of business advice books. I haven’t read anything serious in a long time. Why? I’ve been inhabiting the land of Facebook.

Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, provided you have the time. If you don’t have to meet deadlines and your house is spotless, kids fed and you’re stuck with just you, time on your hands and a cat on your lap, Facebook is a great way of keeping in touch, engaging with friends, playing games, you name it. I can hear you now. . . “But Old Busted Hotness, you work on Facebook. What’s the problem?”

Weeeeeeeeel, the problem is that in the seconds that I’m not writing articles and/or in my Facebook writers’ groups, my almost senior citizen mind starts to wander. Facebook is colorful. Over 600 of my friends live there. People post interesting links. People post great photos. I will be working along, really kicking tushy and takin’ names and.  .  . SQUIRREL! Next thing I know it’s 20 minutes later and I’m behind myself once again. Do that a few times a day (or more than a few) and you start to get way, way, WAY behind.

Now I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t even play games. I just looked. But with Facebook, that’s all you have to do. Those pretty colors, engaging pictures, intriguing links and fun stuff from your friends just scroll on by. I mean, hey, how can I NOT look? I really do try, but. . . I’m human and the powers that be know that all too well.  Damn you, Zuck!

I really can’t afford to waste time on Facebook except for posting my articles and taking a brief glance (is there such a thing?) at my news feed and private messages every once in awhile. So knowing this and being a responsible adult (ahmmmmm), why do I get stuck every time I hit that Facebook tab up in the corner of Chrome? I’m not lazy, but I am curious. . . very curious. And you know what they say about that. SIGH

So if any of you have a cure for my Facebook time wasting problem, please leave a comment down below. I need to use Facebook to further my writing career; I just don’t need to waste time on Facebook, especially those interesting links, engaging photos, fun friend stuff and. . . SQUIRREL!




Jan 172013

Click here to unsubscribeYou know you’ve done it, too. In a moment of whatever, you’ve clicked on that “subscribe” button on some site, be it to get points or a free report or any number of things. And before you know it, you have 500 emails in your inbox every morning. Well, I have six or seven email boxes so when you do the math. . . let’s just say it was starting to get to me. And I hardly even looked at half of them.

I decided to clean up my act, so to speak. I started with ones I don’t even look at, just hit the delete key as I’m scanning down the list. Then I figured I’d move on to those I look at occasionally, bookmarking the home site in case I really do want to see something. Then I figured would come the hard part, culling through the ones I do read and seeing which ones needed to be in my inbox.

But lo and behold. . . before I even got close to Curtain No. 2 above, I was hit with all kinds of. . . errr. . . stuff. You usually scan to the bottom of the email and see something like, “For easy unsubscribe, click here.” Easy, my arse! I was assaulted with forms, for the most part. Put in your email address, scan down to make sure you still receive any emails you do want, tell us why you want to go. . . WHOA! What happened to easy unsubscribe?

To be perfectly honest, there were a few. . . a very few that you clicked a button and you got an unsubscribe notice along with a thank you. There were also a few that you just had to put in your email address and then you got the same thing. These were okay.

But some of the others were just way over the top! On one, they asked me for all my personal information and it said that I couldn’t be unsubscribed without it. Guess who I’ll keep deleting? Another one wanted to know exactly what I didn’t like about their email in very specific terms. And the best one yet wanted my phone number so they could call me and “discuss my unsubscribe request.” Discuss this!

On many of them, I was furious. I figured I could just go on deleting them, but for some of the really “out there” ones, I found a contact address and gave ‘em what for. Suffice it to say I have now been unsubscribed.

The point, though, is that I shouldn’t have had to do any of that that. I changed my mind. I know you don’t want to lose a subscriber, but don’t ask me my entire life’s history or cry about my leaving. This is the internet, folks. Online business means people come and people go. If you say “unsubscribe by clicking here,” that’s exactly what I want to happen when I “click here.” Please don’t give me an argument.

In the future, there will be no more subscribing on a whim. I will at least peruse the offering and the web site to see if it’s a subject I want for the rest of my life. Why? Because it may turn into the damn “Hotel California,” ya know. . . you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. UGH!

Jan 072013

Party girl phoneOld Busted Hotness just came back from a quick weekend in Atlantic City. Now I’ve been there many times, but this is the first time I have been on the inside of a club since way back in the middle ages. Yep, that’s right. The old gal went to a night club for young’uns (gasp, horror, shock!) Why? I had an interview right outside the club and then my PR guy asked me if I wanted to go in. I squared my shoulders and said, “Sure, why not?”

The music hit me like a sonic boom the moment the door swung open. It was dark with lights flashing and boy, oh  boy, was it crowded with sweet young things looking for a date. Once I got used to the volume, the band wasn’t too bad. As I was scoping out the outfits (or lack of them), I noticed a new fashion accessory on almost all of the ladies. No, it wasn’t a scarf or a certain type of shoes or jewelry. It was. . . .a cell phone!

Now I know everybody has a cell phone in today’s world. I have one. Mine is even a smart phone, which is probably a waste on me. But there was a difference. My phone was in my purse. Every young person in the club had their phone in their hand. Well, that’s not exactly true. Some of them had them in their bra. They must have. Nobody’s boobs are shaped like that! I can understand why. It’s hard when you have one hand wrapped around a guy and the other wrapped around a drink. And you just can’t put that phone in your purse. You might miss something!

As I watched in utter amazement, I stared at young people attempting to establish relationships in this highly-charged atmosphere while talking to one person and texting another. I know multi-tasking is a plus and women are better at it than men, but.. . . can’t anybody spell r-u-d-e anymore?

The wild part of this game was that nobody seemed to mind. Relationships were being established, short or long term unknown, friendships were being made, dancing was being done, drinks were being consumed and, all the while, the phones never stopped. It truly boggled my mind!

In today’s crazy world your phone is very important. I get that. I use mine more than I ever thought I would. But how can you gaze lovingly into someone else’s eyes while you’re texting? The answer is you can’t. You can’t truly pay attention to someone else while you’re hitting those keys at the speed of light and checking for your next most-important-in-the-world message.

I walked out shaking my head, phone still securely tucked in my purse. Maybe it’s sour grapes on my part because nobody called or messaged me the whole time. Or maybe it’s just that Old Busted Hotness has lived too long. I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable talking to one person while texting another. Actually, I doubt I’ll ever have the manual dexterity combined with the number of brain cells necessary to do it! I guess the younger generation has a different genetic makeup. They must have a phone gene that some of us well over the age of consent are missing.

How, then, are we to play the Game of Phones? Or maybe a better question is. . . do we even want to?