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Don’t send me messages on Facebook!

18 February 2009

Don’t send me messages on Facebook — use e-mail instead.

E-mail is simpler, better, faster, as one of our banks used to say. Facebook is like the bank now, inspired, motivated, involved — very involved.

This morning I received an message from a friend about a Facebook discussion on darkie English. I’m always interested in questions of language and usage, so I loaded up my web browser, and went to have a look. There were a few interesting points there, and I thought of a few more, and wrote a blog post about it, Darkies discuss darkie English on Facebook.

Then I wanted to make a comment to my friend, but when I tried to send it, this is what I got from Facebook:

Enter both words below, separated by a space.
Can’t read the words below? Try different words or an audio CAPTCHA.

Well, I wrote “both words” in the box like they said, and just got a repeat of the message. I tried a couple of different words, but that didn’t help either. Even tried writing “dva slova”. No dice.

Perhaps they were displaying the words they wanted me to enter, but if so their colour scheme was white words on a white background, i.e. invisible.

I didn’t try the “audio CAPTCHA”, because the computer I was using doesn’t have speakers. I use it early in the morning when the rest of the family is still sleeping, and don’t want to wake everyone up because some webmasters think it’s cool to blast sounds at people while they’re browsing their web sites.

So I gave up, looked up my friends e-mail address, and replied to the Facebook notification, using his address.

But it really would have been better to send an e-mail in the first place.

Simpler, better faster, as the bank used to say.

But now Facebook is inspired and motivated to make everything involved.

Like the bank.

We paid off our mortgage to the bank 10 years ago, and they are STILL charging us an “administration fee”. That shows how inspired, motivated and involved the whole thing is.

Gripes over, for today.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Dion Forster permalink
    18 February 2009 7:44 pm

    I agree entirely!

    Sadly my facebook use is somewhat deceptive on my part… I update my facebook status message using twitter ( ), Donie creates the impression that I actualy use facebook, when in truth I only log on about once a week or less…

    Facebook is too crowded for my taste and Internet habits!

    Sadly, even email is a little dicey for me these days! I am sitting 181 unread messages in my inbox since Monday (most of them requesting financial support from one of the trusts I take care of…)

    As always, your posts are spot on


  2. 18 February 2009 10:01 pm

    I don’t get word verification when I send messages….only when I post links.

  3. 19 February 2009 6:00 am


    Yes, I too update my Facebook status using Twitter, which led one person to ask how I could update it when my internet connection was down and during a power failure. I can tweet through my cellphone, though that is an overseas call and rather expensive too.

    And I too only look at Faceboook once or twice a week — though I do get e-mail notifications of Facebook messages. But rather than send an e-mail notification of a Facebook message it would be simple (and better and faster) to send an e-mail message in the first place!

    Mat Donna,

    I very rarely send messages on Facebook (usually to ask people’s e-mail addresses), but when I reply to a message it does ask for two words. Can you see the words they are asking for?

  4. 21 February 2009 3:44 am

    The display of the words was blocked by NoScript. I got the same thing, so I temporarily allowed whatever site it was that was being blocked.

  5. 21 February 2009 7:27 am

    Fr Andrew

    Ah, thanks for that… I’ll try it next time I look at Facebook.

  6. 11 June 2009 10:58 am

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog posts, whether they be about Facebook or Amahoro with the latter being the more captivating topic. I don’t even use Facebook at all though everyone else seems to be on it. For what I do, there isn’t a lot of need to interact with all the various social networks that are now available though I have made a start on using Twitter.

    I must say, it isn’t often I get to read deep and thoughtful pieces from Christian writers examining anything to do with post-colonialism in Africa or anywhere else. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.


  1. The Internet and information overload — or underload « Khanya

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