The Death of Facebook?

I don’t want to think about it, actually. I don’t want Facebook to die. I’ve used it for ages. It’s helped me come out of my shell that I had and has given me the ability to talk to people outside of school without profoundly asking for their phone number (which was a big deal for me in Middle/High School and still is a quantitative one in some aspect, I mean, it’s much easier to add someone on Facebook than to ask for their number and it’s much easier to chat them on Facebook than to talk to them over the phone or even text them.)

But I see less people using it. I see people getting angry over minor things such as the timeline, which I actually find cool. I like the timeline. I like having a cover photo and I like fitting more posts onto the screen than I could have been to before. I like knowing whether or not someone saw my message so I can create a more educated hypothesis as to whether or not someone is deliberately trying to ignore me. There are a lot of these little things that everyone is just so aggravated about! CISPA was a decent reason to get mad at Facebook, but all of the other things really aren’t, in my opinion. You don’t like the fact that people can now see whether or not you saw their message? You’re probably one of those assholes who deliberately ignores people. Even if you’re not deliberately ignoring them, just because you don’t think into these kinds of things doesn’t mean that nobody else does.

My two best friends are still in high school. They don’t go on Facebook as much as they used to and I don’t really talk to them as much as I used to, I don’t think. At least when I’m in college. Now to be fair, I could just not be talking to them as much because I’m in college and I have different schedules than they do. My one friend has been sending me messages every so often at around 8:00pm, which usually isn’t the greatest time. I’m either doing work, doing some kind of activity, or taking a break from doing work and hanging out with college friends. The only reason he even goes on Facebook is to talk to his friends. And in a certain sense, I only do too. I just go on more often than they do because I suppose I feel the need to talk to people more than they do.

But I never got into Tumblr. I can’t really talk to my friends through Tumblr, all I can do is share pictures and maybe comment on things. Once Facebook came out I switched to that from MySpace because I liked the chat feature. I know that there was some kind of chat feature on Myspace, but it was very difficult to obtain for some reason. Facebook in itself is boring, essentially. All it is are humorous pictures shared by pages that I “like” and posts made by friends, along with some other things. Words With Friends, etc. But it’s not really a “game”. When I hang out with my friends, if Facebook is involved, it’s usually to prank/troll other people or view things that other people had put up, not to browse through the news feed and analyze it. That’s just a biproduct of distraction/waiting for a friend come onto chat or respond to something you said on a post.

Now my two best friends? I initially asked them to hang out for the first time over Facebook. Our friendships were further enhanced by talking to each other outside of school via that. They may not go on Facebook that much anymore, but I do usually see them when I come back from college and I do still talk to them over the phone. But I feel as if Facebook were to go away, I wouldn’t be able to make any new friends like that. College has been a different experience because I am able to see my friends any odd hour of the day without having to talk to them on Facebook, but this is because they live in my dorm. What if I wanted to be friends with someone outside of my dorm, or what if I had a prospective girlfriend who didn’t live in the dorm? I would feel nervous as shit asking her for her phone number before I got to know her a little bit better first and so I probably wouldn’t do so. I’d feel more comfortable in just finding out what her name was and finding her on Facebook. What happens after college?? Facebook is a crucial website of interaction for people like myself. Some people, such as my brother, can do without. But I would feel disconnected and distant from the world like I did before Facebook. It had better stay or if it does get replaced, if had better get replaced with something else that serves the same fundamental purposes.


The Philosophy of Derp

The word “derp”. It originated from the internet and is commonly used in memes. It is often used as a shortcut to having to choose between saying many different words and phrases, including “oops”, “brainfart”, or “I’m being stupid”. I “derped” whilst writing the previous sentence because I clicked on the thing that said “Pop-out” in the bottom left hand corner and this little editing window went away. I thought my brief dissertation that I just wrote was gone forever! But it wasn’t. Phew. So I guess that you could say I just experienced a “double derp”.

“Derp” is a common word to use in internet conversations; that is where the word is primarily used, although the usage of the word “derp” can possibly be used in everyday face-to-face conversation. Internet comics featuring “derp” are also very common and are; in some sense, integral to each other. A character named “Derp” is portrayed as an oval-headed man with exotropia strabismus. A female version is also popular. Her name is Derpina. Here is an example of a Derp comic:

The other face included in the comic is “Troll Dad”. He is in the bottom right hand corner and he is being used in this situation to imply that the father was screwing around, or “trolling”, when he decided to name both of his children “Derp”. Perhaps he was on something. Now. “Derp”, besides being a word to describe accidental/idiotic notions or a name for a character, is also used as a label. Take this here instance of a Derpina implementation.
These two women clearly aren’t both Derpina. There can only be one “Derpina”. This comic makes fun of how photos of women may be subject to lots of attention on Facebook if the woman’s clothing is very revealing, but not so much if she is dressed conservatively. The maker of this comic may also be satirizing women who take lots of photos of themselves by giving these two women the Derpina face; perhaps suggesting that women who take lots of pictures of themselves are something to make fun of. With this concept of placing Derp or Derpina faces on people or using them as representations of people, you can essentially give humans in general “derp qualities”. This means that it would make grammatical sense to call someone a “derp”.

The name/label “derp”, in itself, does not seem like a completely dark insult. It isn’t. However, it can still be used as an insult to some extent. It does have a joyous, goofy sound to the consonants being used (much in the same way that the word “kiki” has a pointy sound). But I can see how it could be used obnoxiously in a scenario with less mature people. This could certainly be used obnoxiously in an elementary school playground. Something along the lines of “Don’t let him on the swings! He’s a stupid derp!” could be uttered. Yet, it is safe to assume that massive moral discrepancies to society will not come about as a result of Derp/Derpina comics and memes.

Is a Dislike button on Facebook really a good idea?

There is tons of popular demand on Facebook for something called a “dislike” button. On a Facebook post, one has the option to “like” something that someone posted. This act alone has given a different connotation to the word “like”, which I approve of. I remember back in middle school if I used the word “like” to describe someone, people thought that I had a crush on the person, regardless of my actual opinion. It just so seemed to me that ever since Facebook became popular (about when I entered high school) people didn’t run down that train of thought so much anymore.
Sometimes people will see posts relating to something that they don’t want to “like”, but don’t want to disregard either. Perhaps someone made an ignorant status, or perhaps there is a gory picture of a mistreated farm animal from a pro-vegan site. Instead of “liking” things like this, perhaps one would want to “dislike” it.

I see a couple of problems with this. For starters, I don’t think that Facebook should be encouraging negativity like that. Sure, you could say that people shouldn’t friend people on Facebook unless they actually want to talk to them. Socially awkward people who don’t have that many friends may want to add everyone they know or know of despite their true opinions of those people so that when they actually do want to talk to someone/add someone on Facebook, they have 200 or so friends and not 20. There sometimes happens to be a social stigma against people who have less than 100 “friends” on Facebook: they are weird, they are anti-social, etc. I have over 400 “friends” on Facebook and I actually interact with about 20 or 30 of them. Said socially awkward person may want to add a certain amount of friends to avoid putting himself into a quagmire.

On the same token, though, if there were to be a dislike button, bullies of said socially awkward person may go around his wall and dislike a bunch of things just for the sake of spiting him. This may not be very good for the socially awkward person for obvious reasons, people might ignorantly look at his wall and see a bunch of dislikes everywhere. They might think negative things about him. And it just doesn’t feel great to see that everyone is disliking your things. Gangs of “dislikers” wouldn’t only affect “socially awkward” people, either. They could be cast upon anyone. All in all, I do not support the idea of a “dislike” button. I feel as if it’d subconsciously move people in a negative direction in the same way that I feel the “like” button has subconsciously moved people in a positive direction.

Creating Music on the Computer

I’ve had a desire to write music ever since I was in middle school, but I never really got around to it until I was in high school. This is primarily due to the fact that in middle school, I didn’t know much about music theory and I couldn’t record music that I wrote off of the top of my head because I didn’t have a microphone for my computer. Also, sound recorder was difficult to work with and while I would be writing the song using sound recorder, I would be thinking about how I might playing something really cool but then forget how to play it later because there was no visual instruction as to what notes to hit. These pre-thoughts would fulfill themselves more often than not and they would disappoint me. In high school, ninth grade to be exact, I learned some music theory and I became better at writing music. Also, and perhaps more importantly, I was introduced to the software Guitar Pro 5. This allowed me to record the music that I was writing by allowing me to type the numbers in tablature format. Tablature format looks a bit like this:
The lines are supposed to represent the strings on the guitars. The numbers are to represent what frets you are supposed to be holding down on what strings. If you see the number 0 somewhere, you don’t hold down any of the strings. Now this is a real pain to draw out by hand, but with Guitar Pro, I was able to type it up in very quickly, and choose note values for each note so that I could play it back. I could also add drums, bass, keyboard effects, etc.
Everything that I wrote was written with intent of actually being physically recorded by me at some point; that is, I don’t put anything into the computer that I actually wouldn’t be able to play on guitar or drums or bass. I have a general criticism to give to concerts of artists who, when performing live, don’t always display all or a crucial amount of the key background instruments. For example, if you were to go and see Beyonce, you would see her on the stage, singing, and a bunch of people dancing. But where is the drumset and drummer? Where is the bassist? Where is the keyboard player? There are definitely drums, keyboards, and bass in Beyonce’s music. But when you go see her shows, it’s essentially fake for the most part. All of the music is being played back from a computer.

Let’s think about electronic music; specifically, let’s think of the kinds of artists that you go and see at those humongous raves where there is simply a DJ at a computer, playing back music he already wrote and recorded… using a computer! Some of it is fair music, for the most part. Here is one of my favorite electronic songs:

I don’t know much about the the artist Darius to begin with, but it can be presumed that if you were to see Darius live, it would not be a full band. It would probably be one person by the name of “Darius”, sitting or standing at a computer and pressing a bunch of buttons or whatever electronic artists do when they put on live shows. The best benefit from creating this electronic music goes to people such as myself who want everything to turn out the way they envision it and can’t really work with other people. Perhaps Darius is similar in this aspect, in that Darius cannot work well with other people when writing music, and so Darius decides to record all of the instruments him/herself. Or maybe Darius just really likes electronic music and just want to create cool tunes of that genre for people to listen to.

What’s great about being able to create music on the computer is that you don’t need to own lots of fancy instruments or recording equipment, and you don’t need to have friends that play instruments and would be able to play with you and compose music with you. All you need for the most part is your computer, a software, and the ability to write music. (If you don’t have the ability to write music, then why would you be writing music?)