“So It Is to Be War Between Us…”

The Chronicle of Higher Ed profiles a recent facebook app/plug-in/whatever the cool kids are calling it these days, that allows users to declare certain things, users, or even abstract concepts to be “enemies” on the popular social network service. Think of it as the mythical “Dislike” button on growth hormones. The developers are affiliated with the U of Texas at Dallas, and they see their plug-in as a means of jolting what they see as the excessive nicey-nice of Facebook, and as a way to allow users to examine the incongruencies in their own networks.

On the other hand, the comments on the article observe that this could also make for better bullying through technology, and can we really say there isn’t enough negativity on the internet? For that matter, I haven’t really noticed an inability of Facebook users to express their distaste for things ranging from Nickelback to (ahem) Brussels Sprouts. I have, meanwhile, noticed considerable difficulty in distinguishing their/there/they’re, your/you’re, and other homophonic puzzlers.

An app to wipe out homophonia on Facebook? That’s something I’d add.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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2 Responses to “So It Is to Be War Between Us…”

  1. Withywindle says:

    Write a computer virus that selectively deletes ungrammatical & misspelled sentences. Mark II will leave mocking commentary.

  2. Severian says:

    If I may get meta for a moment (and as you’re graciously allowing me to comment on your blog, feel free to delete this)….

    When did all these “hate” locutions start showing up? I’m not that much older than the Facebook generation, and the phrase “I hate thus-and-such” hardly ever passes my lips. I certainly can’t gin up hyperbolic outrage over the mere existence of Nickelback, say, or the designated hitter rule, or politicians I disagree with. I don’t think I’ve had an honest-to-goodness “enemy” in my life… not because I’m such a sweet fellow, mind you, but because someone who stands in your way around the office or in the mating game is an “opponent” or “rival.”

    I think it’s partly a reaction to PC. We’re not allowed to express any disapproval whatsoever of huge swathes of people — everything from “I sure wish you’d turn your car stereo down” to “I’d like to see the math on that” to mentioning certain statistics is lumped together as “hate speech.” We’re only allowed to be miffed at certain, necessarily inconsequential things, and so we gin ourselves up into blind fury (or at least the online facsimile thereof) over silly rock bands. What would’ve been a lament about those darn kids today in 1970 is, in 2012, a Facebook jihad against the very existence of Justin Bieber.

    It can’t be healthy.

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