Something Positive About Facebook

I’ve not had a great day.

I’ve got a rotten cold that’s filled my brain with cotton wool, my computer rejected a software update hard enough to require a system restore (Advice: Avoid Catalyst 12.1), I had to throw out dinner when it became obvious the chicken was out of date (which was after I’d spent the time making it), and I’m generally feeling like the universe was waiting for today in order to subdue any optimism I have.

But over the course of the day, starting yesterday afternoon as my Australian friends started the day, I’ve had a steady stream of trills from my phone as people from every part of my life and lives have wished me happy birthday, from family to people I haven’t seen or spoken to since I walked out of the office I worked with them in, though to people from Usenet, IRC, computer games and larp systems. A stream of people who give enough of a care to write two to five words into a text box on Facebook, which is nice.


Sims Anti-Social

So, as part of my research into Gamification, I signed up for EA’s new attempt to milk the cow of The Sims a bit more. A little while later, my Facebook inbox looked like the below.

To clarify, I don’t have any problems with my friends who have sent me requests, I have a problem with the way the game gives you incentives that eventually turn into this. I find it anti-social and put me off playing it. Encouraging you to engage with your friends is a good thing. Stacking up thirty requests at a time isn’t.