Facebook: the Sniper

Be wary as you travel the various plains of Facebook timelines as you will no doubt, if you have not been already, the subject of a sniper.

A sniper will hide in the tall grass and wait for their victim, when they engage with you it is by means of clever comment to your posts or by a subtly worded post of their own. The effect is still the same, however, you have been taken down by their superiority.

The Facebook Sniper is a perfidious breed, often greatly intelligent, insightful and witty they hone their skills not to engage, support and encourage but to destroy. They seek to balance some level of negative self-esteem by seeking superiority over others.

Their attacks are clever, always tilted to sound reasonable, balanced and above all passive, but the this is just a ruse. In truth it is an assault, intended to rile while providing the sniper with sufficient cover to hide. They draw you out to their killing ground where they can claim a justifiable kill. If you engage with a sniper it will look as if you instigated the assault and they will rally others to watch their kill.

They are a player of tiny games, seeking to lift themselves high by standing on the corpses of their kills, do not engage with them, you will lose.*

* An interesting note should be made that by publishing this post I am in fact doing approximately the same as the Facebook: Sniper myself in that I am drawing out a certain type of person into my killing ground. This realisation demoralises me slightly yet does not stop me posting 😉

Facebook: the Sharer

This Facebook type is the constant Sharer. You know the time of day by the sudden rush of shares from their timeline as they push item after item onto their feed.

Often they follow other Sharer’s, they work best when they are in packs, passing the same tired item from feed to feed in a ceaseless bid to prove that they are socially savvy.

This type is not usually a content creator, if they do update their feed or supply something new it is often another bid for attention, to be noticed.

Their deep inner need is to be noticed, to be admired for their ability to spot interesting content and to supply them to a waiting crowd of admirers. They are less prone to ‘Like’ or engage by comment with an original producer of material.

At the core their is a deep inner need to be noticed or admired which they try to encourage by being the joker, the iconoclast, the modernist or the reactionary. In reality they are rarely anything but. Often conservative, dour and traditionalist the Sharer just wants to be admired, noticed and loved.

Phrase that you imagine them saying: “Look at this cool thing I found!”.

Things I Learned Last Night

So I learned a couple of things last night (yesterday) that I am going to share with you:

* I am considered a bit more ‘famous’ than I thought and now a name to draw a small crowd in the community – blushes profusely.

* Cluj is a lovely place, really very pretty and the people are very relaxed for the most part, nice drinking beer in the square.

* Cluj Perl Developers (the guys at Evozon from last night) are good drinkers and nice chaps – will meet even more of them tonight.

* Romania is cheap, average beer cost is about one pound twenty for draught to two pounds for good bottled beer, kebabs are about one pund forty and the nightclub entry 2 pounds.

* Romanians seem to like having fun and seem very warm and friendly to each other.

That wraps it for now.

Ciao

Taxi(ng) to communicate

In the beginning…

I had a strange, well odd, well interesting, well probably something… experience in the taxi to the station. Let me set the scene for you and hopefully try to work this through as I do.

I was getting ready to fly to Orlando, part of this is that I was up earlier than usual (by about ninety minutes) but I hadn’t gone to bed any earlier, in fact due to a compression of things to do I went to bed later so I was already a little out of sorts and I had started on caffeine.

I called the taxi and set a time, the taxi was 20 minutes early and they didn’t call the phone as usual but knocked on the door which surprised me and I had a last minute panic rush to get ready – meanwhile the taxi driver had the clock running eventhough he was early. I can see his point as he was given the job by despatch, but that wasn’t my problem and I object to being charged for something that was out of my control, had they been a few minutes early I would have been ready, but 20 minutes is a bit too early. I only think about this now and I don’t believe it affected me at the time as I only figured out the increased cost when we got to the end of the journey.

The taxi driver himself was fairly chatty, he was either up early or more likely on the night shift so had been quiet for him until then. He was however a little critical of things, he had a strong Liverpool accent which was familiar to me and reminded me of when I used to live in Warrington.

A difference of perception/behaviour

We chatted about where I was going and he tried to up-sell me a taxi ride to the airport which felt a bit odd, he discovered I was going to a conference and then claimed I could just charge it to the company (not knowing I run the company). I mentioned that the company had already paid for the flight and hotel so cost frugality was to be respected. His words were that I should lie (to myself) and claim that there were no trains. Even if I were working for someone else that is not a wise behaviour especially as it is an easy thing to verify. One can also grab historical train delays if that is your lie of choice, so it is unwise even if your specific mores let it be ethical to engage in such behaviour. Especially if it is to yourself.

He asked about my line of work, I did my usual enquiry into his level of knowledge about computers and the computer industry, I didn’t wish to bore, patronise or confuse which is so easy to do. He reassured me it was good so I said we worked on “infrastructure” software as it was close to giving some idea. He wanted to know if it was like Apple, so I mumbled no and gave a simple explanation of Perl and OSS and left it at that.

Feeling odd and weird…

I felt odd during the conversation though, a little detached and not fully engaged. I usually pride myself on being able to talk to people and so it could have been the tiredness that was making me feel disconnected.

But I have had other occasions where I feel the same way, where I cannot connect as well as I have in the past. It is as if some of my register specific phatic communion skills are rusty. I find it hard to engage in small talk and need to be warmed to it, or rather I find it hard to engage in a specific type of small talk.

This could be the particular levels of socio-cultural groups and people I am engaging with and their standard forms of communication. Added to this is my increased use of text as a form of communication in online life such as irc, text message, email etcetera. This is perhaps dictating a particular social interactive model and providing the impetus for my interactive passivity and failure.

Finding reasons…going forward…

In all honesty the introduction of a child into my life has probably added to this in many regards, further dictating modes of thinking and interaction. It is very easy to fall into the trap of all ‘parent talk’ about things that affect your child social age group and future. To discussing their development and the particular habits you engage with them. There are fascinations based upon these and I think a good number of parents follow them. I wonder however if we can generalise and say all parents are like this?

Back to my social skills however and it will be interesting to see if I can practice and regain some of the inter-social dexterity I once felt I had. This will of course mean that I will once again have to try and talk to people more which fights against my natural shyness.

Yes I am shy. I hide it well by being an extrovert and consciously pushing communication, it is part of why I am loud, boisterous and gregarious, some of what makes me want and crave attention is to hide my brains immediate pull back and hide a little then they wont see you for what you really are…

Okay, too close to psychological triggers of behaviour there…

But I am shy, and I often feel I am being awkward and don’t know what to say or how to ask and continue talking, I can rant on and on about the minutiae of things that interest me, but have trouble getting people to want to continue talking to me…

More thinking required and examination needed…

Thanks for the time.

(I had no idea how to end this…)

Sorry for all the elisions…