Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I’ve been on FaceBook for almost two months now. I went there largely because of the strong recommendation of a friend I trust. He’s a convert to FB.

I am not.

I found FB to be bewildering at first but I quickly learned how to navigate the pages and to post my status updates. It was nice to be able to have “tag lines” that are more verbose than the single line in my Instant Messenger program. Plus I reconnected with friends that I haven’t seen since high school, and I was able to get David Lockes e-mails and even started an e-mail dialog with him. (FYI: David Locke is a local sports caster on 1320 KFAN)

I quickly discovered a number of FB games too. There was Mafia Wars, Pirates, Word Paths and others. In fact LOTS of others. In fact I had to quit looking for games there were so many.

I quit playing all the FB games about two weeks ago. They suffer from some common design flaws that I could no longer tolerate after the newness of the games themselves wore off.

My biggest complaint with the games I summarized in a comment on the Rabid Paladins site. I’ll repeat my comment on games here, but I recommend reading his blog for the full context. I have spell checked the version below but other wise I stated:

That is an excellent description of why I quit playing the FB games cold

1) I'm penalized for not playing every
day. The "encouragement" to play every day is that you loose abilities or
opportunities by not logging in to each game you signed up for every day.
That is the complete opposite of a casual game. Casual gaming doesn't
actually have requirements like that.

2) The PvP aspects of
people who play to game the system. I have refused multiple friend invites
from people I didn't know who just wanted to add me to their mafia or other
game. I am not on FB for that and I refuse to "friend" complete
strangers. This personal decision leaves me in an untenable position in
any PvP game - I am unable to amass a large enough crew to even complete some
tasks much less to defend myself against someone with 500 pseudo-friends.
The aggravation was much stronger than the fun I was having.

I went
into those games hoping for Trade Wars from the old BBS days but instead I got
PvP wack-a-mole.

No Thanks.

The other thing I can’t take any more on FB is the HUGE number of web quizzes. I have admitted to being a sucker for them – but FB has done the equivalent of poisoning the town water supply by making it so simple for anyone to create a quiz. The quizzes I used to take had many questions and clever results with often funny or at least amusing quotes. The FB quizzes are short, simple and often non-sensible. I’ve taken more quizzes on FB than ever before and more often than not I don’t publish the results on my home page because I thought it ended up stupid. Not just that I didn’t like the result of what color my aura was (for example) – but that I thought it was completely wrong without the faintest trace of anything resembling me.

The only thing I’ve kept from FB over the last several weeks then, is my home page. I do like that method of keeping in touch with people and being aware of what is going on with friends and family. I can read or ignore the home page depending on how social I am feeling. It’s social contact with an off switch I guess.

FB isn’t the end all be all that it is hyped up to be. I’m not going to delete my account but I’m happy to have cut my FB time way back from where I was a few weeks ago and I haven’t regretted the time spent doing other things in the least.
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