Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Facebook tease reflects on the Eye of Sauron

“You are a tease” he said.   “You dip your toe in and then retreat”.   He was right on the money; those of you who read this blog know I took a sort of hiatus while wrestling  my love/hate relationship with social media.   “You need to be more like a Facebook whore for us to invest”.    Q: What precisely is a Facebook whore?  The crass, but fearless investor continued:  “Someone who is on Facebook all the time,  24/7, constantly updating, commenting no matter how mundane,  or stupid, as long as you are always available”.    I considered his response and then ventured “Don’t you mean Facebook Slut since no money is changing hands?”   But then I realized my own naivete- a Facebook whore is the Facebook slut who’s successful- she gets the dough.   Mom was wrong; evidently, everything I needed to learn to succeed, I definitely did NOT learn in kindergarten.

I didn’t heed that sage’s advice, not only because I find our society’s obsession with broadcasting our lives alarming, but because I am opposed to how it zaps productivity, and am left in an ethical quandary of  harnessing the very thing I see as marginalizing our lives, our relationships, and our health.     Spending sedentary time updating, tweeting on our asses, is it any wonder then, that so many of us have fat asses?

But what has always kept me wary of  Facebook, as an investment [recommended shorting it the minute it opened for trading], and as a means to build our brand, is how it makes money; by trolling your information and activity-  it is a corporate “Eye of Sauron”.    Further, reliance on a third party leaves you vulnerable,  particularly, if the Eye sets its sights, or buys, a business that competes with yours, as several companies that were shut out of Facebook, learned and reported this week.   Businesses like divorce attorneys and mate match sites, use your ‘single’ status to start their ad campaigns.   More dubious enterprises such as fortune tellers, identity thieves, and burglary rings,  are also scouring facebook and reaping rewards.  All of which reveals one simple fact;  your free facebook account  isn’t really free; it has been paid for in the currency of the your privacy.

USDA’s affair with soda

There’s been much controversy over Bloomberg’s large soda ban but for all the negative comments and outcry over being micro-managed, no one can dispute the costs associated with this vice.   The neighborhoods with the highest incidence of diabetes and obesity, have the highest soda sales, offering the most compelling evidence to enforce the ban.  But the real culprit in all this is the USDA itself, which rejected NYC’s proposal that soda be excluded under SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.   Perhaps the USDA thinks there is some nutritional value in soda,  or pork rinds,  maybe their retirement funds are heavily invested in Coca-cola or Pepsi, or  just possibly, the soda manufacturers lobbied the USDA right into their back pocket.   Perhaps they were soooo overwhelmed in their task of replacing the Food Pyramid with the Food Plate, to build healthy food awareness. Ironic, considering soda doesn’t belong anywhere on it.    When tax payer dollars are spent on changing a triangle to a circle, instead of meaningful decisions that make a positive impact, it’s no wonder we’re in a sequester.