September 29, 2014

Don't Invite Me to Ello; I'm Happy Right Here on Facebook.

The second coming is apparently upon us. Or at least in terms of social media

In case you haven't heard, the internet has been going nuts the past few days celebrating the "anti-Facebook," which we all have evidently been waiting for as enthusiastically as we've been waiting for the anti-Bieber.

Except that we haven't. Or at least not me.

After first hearing about the new, invite-only social media uprising that is Ello, I did a little research to figure out what the hype was about. Did someone finally make Wonkavision work? Does the site have someone who can explain an IRA?

Sadly, the answer is neither. From what I've gathered, Ello's two main draws are that it is ad-free and that it can be used anonymously. 

And I am not impressed.

I don't care that Ello is ad-free.

Although I'll agree that no ads are better than ads, I'm sort of scratching my head wondering what's the big deal here?

I've heard people complain that Facebook's devious plot to sell our "personal data" so that advertisers can bombard us with eerily relevant toaster ads is "creepy." And I agree, but so are old peoples' dentures. The good thing about both though, is that they are easily ignored.

Other people are accusing Facebook's clever info-gathering ploys as being unethical. And maybe I should be in that boat, enraged that Facebook is manipulating my poor cookies for their capitalistic schemes. But I guess what I am doing online is so boring, I really don't care if Facebook knows I just spent 45 minutes looking at kitchen appliances.

Actually, I'm just wondering why advertisers think I'd want to see a toaster on Facebook if I just bought one on Amazon.

I do care that Ello allows you to use stage names... because how can I passively stalk an alias?

Until this Ello uproar, I never considered that people may be using aliases on Facebook for personal security. Even though I can't imagine using my Facebook app in a life-threatening situation, I guess they get a pass.

But everyone else? I'm with Mark: use your real names.

You see, the only reason I use Facebook is because I can observe family, friends, and the kid from my 7th grade math class with minimal effort; all I need to do is type "Johnny LongDivision" in my search bar, and can instantly monitor his last vacation to Key West.

But according to rumor, Ello doesn't have a functioning search tool. And even if it did, Johnny LongDivision might instead be going by Fraction Frank and then how will I find him? I'll never know whether Johnny went with the 15 or the 30 SPF.

But seriously, maybe my online life is just not scandalous enough for me to appreciate the value of an anonymous profile. But then again, if you're doing something on the internet that you don't want associated with your real name... maybe the thing you're doing is the problem.

Old people are taking over Facebook...

... Which is why I love it. Now days, everyone and their mom (and the company that makes their mom's dentures) are on Facebook. But instead of finding it annoying, I think it's amazing. I can find and connect with essentially anyone in the world because we're all right here, in this light blue box, right next to the toaster I just bought on Amazon.

Basically, I'd be much more excited about an anti-Bieber.