Monday, July 20, 2009
Was it something I said?
On Thursday night, facebook dubbed me a spammer.
With no prior warning, I received this message:
"You are blocked from making wall posts due to continued overuse of this feature.
Your failure to comply with an earlier warning has resulted in this block.
Please note that this block is temporary and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Facebook cannot lift this block for any reason. Please be patient and refrain from using this feature for a few days.
Continued misuse of facebook's features may result in your account being permanently disabled."
It is now Day 5 of not being able to comment on any status updates, post any wall messages, upload any photos and otherwise use facebook for its original intention: social networking with my friends.
Having read their not-so-helpful "Help" menu, I have deduced that I was posting comments excessively and quickly, which set off an automatic alert to shut me down. My friends were also quite prolific on my wall that day, as we were writing about my experiences wading through the rejects of chemistry.com. At the time I was blocked, about ten of us were laughing hysterically in our respective homes. While we made fun of total a-holes - deservedly so, I might add - my roommate said karma would come back to haunt me. It didn't take long for him to be right.
I have since emailed the elusive FB admins to find out what I need to do in the future to prevent such an occurrence. They have not responded, nor does their Help menu suggest how much is too much. In fact, it states there is "no way" to let someone know this information.
Five days (and counting) of being prevented from using facebook in all its glory isn't a big deal, one might say. It isn't. For a normal person. But I'm not a normal person. I'm a full-fledged FB addict, and I am not ashamed to admit it. This is the reason I balked for so long and didn't join, even when people kept telling me I should. I was never on myspace, and I fought the urge to join crackbook for a couple years, until everyone I talked to starting asking me, "Are you on facebook?" When it happened twice in one week, I said, "Fine." That was last October.
I spent 35 years and four months happily not on facebook. Now, after nine months, I'm not really sure how I survived before. I currently have 257 friends, including elementary school camrades, high school buddies, best friends, my mom, my dad, my sister, my sister's husband, my infinite list of cousins and second cousins, people I only know from facebook whom I've never met, new friends I met on facebook whom I now see in person, friends of friends, one ex-boyfriend and some of his friends, former students, college friends, a girl who has my exact name and spelling, coworkers and former coworkers, members of bands I like, and a guy I met on a plane once.
If it weren't for crackbook, I wouldn't have been reunited with old pals and wouldn't be abreast of everything going on with pretty much everyone I know on a daily basis.
I'm not one to take a bunch of silly quizzes or vent my frustrations with government action and inaction, as others do. I don't play Mafia Wars. I don't till a farm in Farmville. I don't send people "requests," nor do I use the site for any other "applications." I do, however, write on it more than the average person. So you can imagine my dismay at being on lockdown.
My friends have started a "Hey Facebook, Un-Ban Chelsey" group, in which 29 people are currently members. I don't think the admins will listen, but even when I am "reinstated" as a fully functioning participant, I will be cautious because I don't want my account shut off.
In the meantime, I have always wanted to start a blog, and I figured this was the best time to do it. I can use this space to expand on my "status updates," instead of relying on the site that will continue to think I'm a spammer.
And maybe if I ween myself from crackbook, I will stop thinking in the third person all day long:
"Chelsey is going to the store."
"Chelsey is reading."
"Chelsey says, 'F that!'"
"Chelsey wants chocolate."
You get the idea.
The Grammar Nazi