8:00am, Thursday:Barely awake barely caffeinated open laptop enter password type the single f needed to autofill the Facebook URL, and:
9:00am, Thursday:Nope, its not a joke. Someones messing with me hard. The question is, who? Who did I piss off enough to jump through the hoops necessary to get my account suspended?
I can only think of one maybe two OK, three dozen people at most who needed to be told theyre wrong this week.
Gotta give it to them, though; going the public figure/business page route is genius. Nothing Ive written anywhere warrants a ban, so flooding them with false claims about the nature of my account is a very effective way to get the job done.
9:30am, Thursday:The Facebook appeals process requires proof of identity. That seems reasonable, but when I upload precisely the proof they ask for:
I dont know. Maybe its just me, but it seems that Facebook shouldnt be telling me I didnt upload an ID file when its own form is listing the ID file I just uploaded. Must be one of those coder things I dont understand.
So, how exactly do I go about getting Facebook to recognize the ID I uploaded? Are there arcane secrets Im missing? Special passwords? Secret handshakes? An ancient Sumerian initiation ceremony with four goats and an old guy named Edgar? Maybe a never-to-be-spoken-of one night stand at the GOP Planning Committees annual members only after party?
I feel so out of touch.
10:00am, Thursday:12 hours without my Facebook feed. Everyone on my friends list must be frantic by now.
11:00am, Thursday:Apparently, the Excite forums dont exist anymore.
Ill go walk the dog.
3:00pm, Thursday:Where did I go online before Facebook? I remember the hours flying by before I ever heard of Mark Zuckerberg. What was so interesting back then? AOL? Myspace? No, that cant be it
Porn! Thats what the computer used to be for in the long, long ago! Ill go find some porn!
3:07pm, Thursday:No just no. Im pretty far from a prude, but how is that even a thing?
5:30pm, Thursday:Making dinner. Spent the afternoon cleaning the house. Maybe Ill pull out my guitar after the dogs next walk. Its been what a year?
11:30pm, Thursday:Falling asleep on couch watching Netflix.
8:00am, Friday:Still no Facebook access, and still no response to queries. Yes, I know its free, but this is NOT what I consider good customer service.
Time to walk and feed the dog.
10:00am, Friday:Tried signing in again, but still no go. This is really starting to piss me off! I literally use Facebook as my communications hub! Seriously, what if someone needs to get in touch with me? What if I need to get in touch with someone?
StartedCodecademyPython course. When did I first promise myself Id learn to code? Was it really 2004?
3:00pm, Friday:Talked to Mom. Shes still the one person on Earth who can make me question my sanity in less than three minutes.
6:00pm, Friday:Girlfriendemailed a friend who has a friend whose sisters boyfriend works at Facebook. Fingers crossed.
7:00pm, Friday:Practiced Kung Fu forms for the first time in over five years. Damn, Im out of shape! Maybe I should head over to Reddit and see if there are any good non-commercial groups practicing in the area?
Note to self: Dont feed the Reddit trolls theyre the worst.
10:00am, Saturday:We took the dog to the park, let him run around like an idiot, and then worked on his recall for about 45 minutes. Once he gets used to a new treat, it doesnt seem to hold as much value for him. Maybe we should buy chicken jerky and only use it for training.
He got to play Wag Wag Punch You In The Face! with Barney the German Shepherd before we left. He smiled the whole way home.
1:00pm, Saturday:Reading a book on social media analytics thats been sitting on my shelf for a few years. Ive always known that companies like Facebook make their money by selling data, but once you start grasping just how deeply theyre digging, just how much they learn about you, and just how far beyond simple marketing it goes Well, its impressive, but more than a little frightening.
Note to self: Look into PHP after completing Python course.
5:00pm, Saturday:Still no access. In more than a few of the forums Ive stumbled across trying to find a solution, commenters write that its not uncommon for it to take several days or weeks before Facebook even responds. Seriously?
The more I think about Facebooks abysmally shitty customer service, the more its becoming apparent that being a Facebook user isnt necessarily the same thing as being a Facebook customer.
9:00pm, Saturday:Broke down and paid the $20 Comcast wants to purchase The Force Awakens. Screw it! Its Star Wars! We all know Im gonna shell out another $20 for the Blu-ray, but I want to see it again right now, dammit!
Is it weird that Im in my forties and still want a real lightsaber? Zuckerberg probably has someone working on one for him right this minute. What an asshole.
5:00pm, Sunday:Ordering Arduinos! I may not be able to build a real lightsaber, but I can design and build game peripherals! Most of whats out there is crap or too damn expensive (you know who you are!), and with the new flight and space sims coming out, I need something that Ill actually want to use!
Not that its going to be easy Glad I started to learn coding!
9:00pm, Sunday:When I first studied Buddhism, what appealed to me was the belief that, in order to be at peace, you first need to become aware of whats been right in front of you all along. The next step is accepting that once you see something as it truly is, you cant go back to seeing it in any other way.
Too spiritual? Too hokey? Too off-point? OK, then lets just go with what people smarter than Ill ever be have been saying for years:
If youre not paying for it, youre not the customer; youre the product being sold.
This so much, this.
Facebook doesnt care about me (or you), or the fact that my account never should have been disabled. Im just one tiny data set among 1.65 billion, and theyll get to me when they get to me or they wont. Either way, Mark will still have his $10 million mansion by Dolores Park.
7:00pm, Monday:Spent all day learning Fusion 360. (Its just amazing what that software can do.) Came up with a few prototype design ideas and now I need to find a 3D printer to rent or borrow. I think Ill want to go mostly with cast aluminum parts eventually, but plastic should do for proof of concept.
Am I onto something here? I dont know, but Id forgotten how happy I am when Im trying to create something. Its like Im playing with alien Legos for adults!
4:00pm, Thursday:Back to Fusion 360. Spent the past two days 3D printing and the first batch of prototypes work, but the designs are going to need some careful refinements before Im ready to send them off to the tooling service.
2:30pm, Friday: Facebook finally responded. Ill open the email and see what they have to say later. Right now I mightjust mighthave a patentable idea and I need to work through it and get it down before I forget it.
But first, the dog and I are going out to find his pal Barney. Dog punches wait for no one.
A grumpy New York transplant and old-school telecom guy living in the Pacific northwest, Jason has been pushing bits and bytes over wires and fibers for more than 20 years. He decided he was done with New York when CBGBs closed its doors, but has a dozen Brooklyn bagels flown in once a month because nothing else cuts it. Hes jealous that his dog Faulkner has more Twitter followers than he does.
Illustration by Max Fleishman (CC-BY)