General Etiquette > Techno-quette

New Facebook Feature I'm Not Crazy About


I'm sure most people on FB see those alerts in the top right hand corner telling you that one of your friends is having a birthday. You can click on the announcement to type a message in to them. Used to be that was the end of it. This morning, once I typed in the message, I got a prompt saying "Becky likes Jimmy Buffet. Send her a CD! Click here" and when I declined that, another prompt popped up saying "Send Becky a gift!" and I also declined that.

I understand it's for FB to make some more money, but I also think stuff like this contributes to the "gimme" mentality that is becoming so prevalent today (case in point, Dame's blog entry yesterday on the girl who announced her birthday on FB to solicit cash). Just because my high school acquaintance from 20 years ago, whom I haven't seen in 20 years, is having a birthday doesn't mean I'm dying to spend my money and send her a gift.

Rubs me the wrong way. Thoughts?

It's terribly annoying, but I think it's premature to say it's contributing to a societal decline or anything. I have never received a gift through this feature (and have had a birthday since it started), have never sent a gift through this feature, and don't know of anyone having sent a gift through this feature. I think most people are ignoring it unless, maybe, this was someone they'd have already bought a gift for and they see this as an adequate way to do it.

You don't even need to decline it (and it sounds like declining brings up another ad). Just click outside the birthday message window and it will go away.

Oy, vey.

I have received numerous requests from friends to add my birthday to FB's database.  I have never done so because I can't stand the idea that it will cull or spread more information about me that is none of its business.

This feature is attractive to the retail advertisers who will benefit from it (after paying for the ad impressions, which benefits FB's shareholders).  It will be supremely annoying to those who scream "I don't want to be marketed to!" but I have told those people I know who feel that way that they would hate the alternative more:  Paying by the hour to use the internet in their own homes and not being able to use it at all at work for anything personal (or even much to do with their work).

As to whether it will make people into worse Gimmee Pigs than they are, I don't think so.  Gimmee Pig mentality is usually well-established long before anyone is old enough to be on FaceBook.  What it will do at best is remind real-world friends that they might want to buy a gift online.  At worst this will be profoundly annoying to people who have 600 FB friends they have never met in life.

What the internet has done is create a need for Instant Gratification both for information and for shopping addiction.  This doesn't have to be bad if the information is reliable (the user needs to develop a good BS detector) or if the shopping addiction doesn't get worse.  I spend less on books online because I buy what I'm looking for without being exposed to much temptation by full shelves in a store.

I like the Give a Gift feature.  It's pretty easy to ignore if you don't. 


--- Quote from: Venus193 on March 13, 2013, 09:15:03 AM ---What the internet has done is create a need for Instant Gratification both for information and for shopping addiction. 

--- End quote ---

Actually, for many types of shopping, the internet has kind of trained me out of needing instant gratification!  ;D About the only thing I can buy online and get instantly is e-books. Anything else, sure, I may find it online faster than I'd find it at the mall, but then I have to have the patience to wait a week or two (or sometimes more) for my product.

And it can be nice to not have to deal with all the sales questions you get in a store--"Would you like to buy earrings too? They're half off. Would you like to sign up for our credit card? Are you sure? You can get 15% off. It only takes a few minutes. Would you like to fill out our survey?"

A website may suggestive sell the same things, but it's often in a sidebar, plus it's easier to ignore because I don't worry i'll look rude to my computer screen.


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