Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Facebook Messenger Is Moving

I don't know how this happened but July has turned into Facebook Month on my blog.  Weird.  But anyway....

Those of you who use Facebook mobile may have noticed a rather annoying message when you tap the Message section.

Who the F is Marissa?!
Yeah, if you're like me you probably just ignored that message and when on with your day.  Turns out they announced they would do this since way back in April.  Just so you know now, if you want to keep using Facebook Messenger prepare to get a separate app.  It just so happens that NOW they're rolling out the change.

Now you're probably thinking why would they even considering making a whole separate app just for messaging when it works so neatly with the main app.  The reason is that Facebook wants to branch out Messenger.  How much of an improvement is a standalone app going to be?  Take a look at the product description:
Instantly reach the people in your life—for free. Messenger is just like texting, but you don't have to pay for every message (it works with your data plan).
Not just for Facebook friends: Message people in your phone book and just enter a phone number to add a new contact.
Group chats: Create groups for the people you message most. Name them, set group photos and keep them all in one place.
Photos and videos: Shoot videos and snap selfies or other photos right from the app and send them with one tap.
Chat heads: Keep the conversation going while you use other apps.
Free calls: Talk as long as you want, even with people in other countries. (Calls are free over Wi-Fi. Otherwise, standard data charges apply.)
Even more ways to message:
Bring your conversations to life with stickers.
Preview your gallery photos and videos without leaving the conversation--then choose the perfect ones to send.
Record voice messages when you have more to say.
Extra features:
Know when people have seen your messages.
Forward messages or photos to people who weren't in the conversation.
Search for people and groups to quickly get back to them.
Turn on location to let people know when you're nearby.
See who's available on Messenger and who's active on Facebook.
Create shortcuts to get to any conversation right from your home screen.
Turn off notifications when you're working, sleeping or just need a break.
Stay logged in so you never miss a message.
Hmm, I see Facebook is looking to muscle in on a couple of other apps I already use like Text+ and Skype.  Also, don't forget Facebook recently acquired WhatsApp so expect that to be integrated as well.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blocking Facebook Game Requests: 2014 Edition

Would you believe it's been a whole year since I've tackled this?  Believe it or not this is the one post to my blog that I share and gets shared the most. Well, like I said the first time Facebook changes stuff all the time and the process has changed slightly.  So let's walk through how to do it these days.

As far as I know you can only block game requests on the browser version of Facebook (i.e. Internet Explore, Firefox, Chrome, etc.).  Meaning you have to do it on a PC, Mac or Linux computer.  Mobile versions, you probably won't see the request at all so no biggie.

Step 1:

On your main feed, look over to your left and look for this dialog:
Of course this is from my Profile.  The section you're looking for is Games Feed.  Click on it.

Step 2:

You'll be presented with all the most recent game posts that showed up on your wall.  It should look like this:

Now next to each instance there's a little arrow pointing down.  It's a little hard to see.  Click on it once and you'll get some options.  Most of them you don't want to use.  "I don't want to see this" simply removes those posts from your news feed (just THOSE posts).  "This is Spam" reports your friend and I'm pretty sure you don't want that either.  "Unfollow *friend name*" means you won't see any more posts from your friend at all.  The option you want is "Hide all from *game name*".  Not only does it  hide all the game requests from your one friend, should any more friends start playing you won't see their requests either.

So as you can see, Facebook made this process slightly easier but also kinda dangerous.  Here's an alternate method that might be a bit safer.

Step #1
On your main feed, look over to your left and look for this dialog:
Looks familiar eh?  This time choose Games instead.

Step #2
You'll end up here:
Look at the top for Activity and click on that.

Step #3:

 Here you'll get a list of all the requests that were personally sent to you as well as who sent them.  If you want to block the game just click on the X right next to the Accept button.  It automatically hides the request and gives you the option to block the game completely.

That's it for the updated version of this.  Keep in mind that most people who play games on Facebook really have very little control of what is shared from the game.  When they sign up to play, those games get access to their friend list.  So if you get a request, don't flip out.  Just block 'em and move along.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The 10 Things I'm Tired of Seeing on Facebook

Yes folks, that is my actual "Joined Facebook" placard.  Hard to believe it's already been 5 years since I jumped on this crazy train.  It seems like only yesterday I asked someone what Facebook is and if I should join.

I'm not gonna lie, being a Facebook member has been a rewarding experience.  I get to keep up with my friends and family and they get to bear witness to my awesome adventures.  But there are days I log in and you can hear the sound I make when my face hits my palm from clear across the room.

All of you in Facebook-land who are probably reading this because my blog updates on my wall, I want you to know in advance (as sort of a disclaimer) that I love you guys.  I like to think we're friends for a reason.  But some of the stuff you guys post just has me like...ENOUGH!

So yeah, you didn't come here for this rant.  You came here for the OTHER rant.  So let us commence the list of the 10 things I'm tired of seeing on Facebook.

1.  People bitching about game requests

I think we've all see someone posting about game requests at some point.  There used to be a time when Facebook was a huge social hub for online games.  You don't see it as much now but there are people who still love them some Facebook games.  The reason this bugs me is if you're complaining about getting requests for games there's a 75% chance it's because at some point you actually opened the game.  That's all it takes for you to be added to your friend's list of people who also play the game.  So they innocently assume you're into what they're into and they'll fire away requests at you.  The other 25%, that's people actually being annoying and inviting you to play.  Still, the BIGGEST reason this bugs me is that it's sooo easy to just block a game one time and you'll never see any feedback from it EVER AGAIN.  It's like 2 or 3 mouseclicks!  My point: stop whining and take action.

2.  Wrongheaded partisan blog posts passed off as real news

I've learned a long time ago that people can get really heated on Facebook when it comes to politics.  I actually used to write a lot about politics until I got tired of dealing with knuckleheads who can't disagree without being disagreeable.  These days I read over political posts, I might chime in for a sec and maybe I might like a couple comments but on my own wall nuh-uh.  Hey, this is America.  If you hate Obama and love posting all the negative news stories about him go right ahead.  But for the sake of sweet baby Jesus could you at least share REAL NEWS.  Blog posts are opinion...and everybody has one.  There's no fact-checking on blog posts.  Blog posts are immune from actual journalistic standards.  Try this as a test:  You really like that blog post?  Do a Google search for whatever the post is about.  If you can't find at least one credible news source with the same topic, it's probably BS.

3.  Satire passed off as real news

This one has taken on a life of its own recently.  I think at least once a day I see a post where someone is all distressed of complete works of fiction (and I'm not talking about Twilight fans).  The Onion, The Daily Currant, World News Daily, they're all satire sites but they do a really good job of fooling people into thinking their stories are real.  So much so that even real news outlets get fooled.

4.  Hoaxes (especially really old hoaxes)

Here's a brief list of things that you might of saw or read that actually didn't happen:  Nobody can pop popcorn using just their cell phones, Bill Gates will not give you money for sharing a photo and neither will Southwest Airlines give you tickets for sharing theirs, the minimum drinking age is not being moved to 25, you cannot summon the police by entering your ATM PIN backwards and your friends are not stranded in a foreign country where they need you to wire them money.  Do some research before you share something that seems too outlandish to be true.

5.  The obligatory "Share This If..." posts


6. TV/Movie Spoilers

If you watch a show and at miss it, if at least 10 of your friends watch the same show just don't log on to Facebook until you seen the show.  There will be spoilers.  People WILL live blog what their watching.  This is why I got a Hulu account.  If only they could get Walking Dead on Hulu.  Then my life would be perfect. :)

7. My friends in flame wars over stupid shit

Really, you're better than that.

8.  Those games where you have to post something stupid if you comment or like a friend's post

These games are stupid and disingenuous to your friends. Any of these look familiar: 1) Damn diarrhea 2)Just used my boobs to get out of a speeding ticket. 3)Anyone have a tampon. I'm out. 4) How do you get rid of foot fungus. 5)Why is nobody around when l am horny? 6) No toilet paper, goodbye socks. 7)Someone offered me a job as a prostitute but l' m hesitant. 8)l think l'm in love with someone what should l do? 9)l've decided to stop wearing underwear. 10)l still love my ex. 11) l really don't know how to tell anyone and l'm sick of hiding it l'm gay. 12) Guess it was 2 good 2 be true l'm pregnant. 13)Just won $7000 on a scratchy. 14)l've just found out l've been cheated on for the past 5 months.

Stop.  Just stop.  I tried to play along one, but it was just too stupid to keep the charade up.  Oh and you're not doing a damn thing for Breast Cancer Awareness by playing this game.  Don't delude yourself.

9. Babies

I don't know if I'm just noticing it more or we're in the middle of the next baby boom but I swear I see a new baby in my timeline every day.  I'm very happy for you and your family though.  I'm just being crotchety at this point.

10.  People who post long lists about things they're tired of seeing on Facebook

.....I'm pretty sure I must be the first.  Right? :D