John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Facebook Reality Check

Facebook Reality Check.

If you are a middle-aged male and get a friend request from a 20 year old very attractive woman along with a breathless message about how much she likes your profile picture and would like to meet you and sends you her private email address, be careful.

I don’t respond to these annoying friend request/messages because I’m happily married and tell them so. But I know not all of my middle-aged male peers are in a marriage/relationship and might find this generous invitation appealing. I’d like to offer some friendly peer advice that I can give objectively.

Sure, these young women have tracked down our overweight, under-toned profile pictures on Facebook and find us every bit as irresistible as we know they should. That’s a given. And, sure, they are probably going to keep stalking guys like us, because, you know…we got it going on and they can’t help themselves and are essentially powerless to our feeble and imaginary charms.

jyb_musingsSo…. as realistic as this offer for Facebook friendship and romance probably seems to you, just remember that no one is as great as they sound on Facebook and she probably looks better in their picture than she looks in person. And may be really hard to talk to after you have a torrid romance. And, let’s face it, you’ll probably end up getting bored and have difficulty hanging out with her 20-something friends. And then there are the awkward Facebook status decisions about whether you “are in a relationship” or not to deal with.

All I am saying is: think it through.

Especially before you respond to her faux personal email by sending a digital picture of yourself flexing your flabby, withering physique.

I’m just saying, as a friend, in the long run, if you are going to strip down and get in bed with anyone today, just stand in front of a mirror and take off your dark patent leather dress shoes, white tube socks and short plaid pants——and get in bed and take a nap alone. You’ll need the energy to mow the lawn later today. You just don’t have time for a tryst with a beautiful 20 year old this afternoon. As much as she is wanting to, it’s probably going to be a pain and keep you from going to CVS to pick up your medications after spending that traditional 30 minutes every Saturday browsing your favorite hardware store. She’s just going to have to deal with that.

Maybe next weekend.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Flirty Facebook Messages

I have received three flirty messages from three different fake FB profiles pretending to be a young woman eager to exchange private emails with me.

I finally responded to the last one just now.

“Thanks for your message.

However, another woman sent me an almost identical flirty message yesterday and we got married this afternoon.

And it’s really going well. To top it all off (and no offense) but she is a lot hotter than you are.

Here name is Rebecca Brown and we have “married” now as our Facebook relationship status

Good luck with finding romance. Or amusing yourself pretending to be a young woman. Which is, frankly, a turn off to most women your age and not the most well thought out romance strategy.

jyb_musingsBut you never know…you just might stumble onto an interaction that will change your life forever doing just what you are doing now. It could happen.

Keep the faith. And keep putting yourself out there until something better than rejections like this one from me start to happen for you.

There’s more than one fish in the sea. And more than one profile to fake private message on Facebook. Somewhere out there there on FB tonight there is a soulmate for you who as we message is writing a really funny trolling message under a fake name and profile just like you. And you two are destined to meet someday and fall in love. Someone who “gets you” and will love you just the way you are. And that is no laughing matter.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? In the business world, more than we usually think….

Award for worst named new technology in the past decade?

“The Cloud” A remote point for storing massive amounts of sensitive data

Nothing says security like “I’m moving my data from the server in IT to a place where it will be more secure and accessible. Something called “a cloud”

It’s like calling a sturdy new product for storing dangerous liquids “The Sieve.”

I know that were naming the new technology based on its physical (or rather non-physical) characteristics.

But it’s important to remember when naming a new product or service–especially one that is supposed to change the world— to think not only of the “appearance” but also of the benefit it produces for future users.

jyb_musingsAnd surely the name “The Cloud” has given pause to IT directors who might otherwise be eager to take the leap (worth billions for a truly superior product)but resist because they have to explain to their boss how “The Cloud” isn’t anything like a cloud but just the opposite.

Of course in naming some things, like boys and girls, neither appearance nor functionality are helpful. But even painful names like Helga and Norbert would have been better for remote data storage than “The Cloud.”

I would feel secure with all my sensitive data stored in “The Norbert” or “Helga”

Then again maybe the person who came up with the name “The Cloud” was named Norbert or Helga —and was just trying to get even. That might explain it.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: I am NOT a Bot

I just failed to prove I am not a bot trying and failing repeatedly to sign in to LinkedIn after forgetting my password yet again.

I typed about 15 random combination of made up words and failed each time to read these sign-in word forms correctly. 15! This was not something I took lightly.

Which means….I suppose, that I am a bot!

Which does explain a few things about me I’ve never understood like being drawn to HAL’s voice in 2001 A Space Odyssey when I was just a child.

jyb_musingsBut doesn’t explain why I would be so eager to sign in to LinkedIn at this hour.

Maybe I’m a bot with a heart.

Or at least a bot with a networking gene that lives on despite my automaton ways.

It’s my own way of railing against the machine. I suppose. ; )

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Banning LOLs


It’s time.

Right now.

Right here.

The world, real and virtual, cannot abide another moment without it.

It’s time to retire the acronym LOL…and any emoticon …to signify “I’m joking.”

And replace it with an asterisk followed by a parenthetical:

(Hey now! Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion. I’m not serious. Really. This was intended as a light-hearted joke. If you read it literally and didn’t catch the humor you aren’t alone. It was admittedly an inartful and flawed attempt at either understatement, overstatement or irony. And I apologize for any confusion. Please try reading through once more knowing it is an attempt at humor and see if it seems funnier. If you got it the first time, please disregard.)

True, it’s not as brief as an ideal “humor warning” could be. But it’s not as lame as the outdated acronym LOL or creepy as the overly cute sideways smiley face coming from a middle-aged man.*

jyb_musings* (Hey now! Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion. I’m not serious. Really. This was intended as a light-hearted joke. If you read it literally and didn’t catch the humor you aren’t alone. It was admittedly an inartful and flawed attempt at either understatement, overstatement or irony. And I apologize for any confusion. Please try reading through once more knowing it is an attempt at humor and see if it seems funnier. If you got it the first time, please disregard.)

But probably best to not overuse.

Nancy Slotnick: Facebook Frenemies

If the friend of my enemy is my enemy, then is the friend of my date going to be my date?  A lot of guys may want it that way.  (and some girls too.)  What about the Facebook friend of my date?  Facebook doesn’t make it easy to keep your dating life on the down low.  If you are Facebook friends with your date, then chances are she has her ways of finding out who else you are dating.   And that’s a good thing in my book. If you are really trying to two-time your girlfriend with her best friend you should at least have the decency to be stealthy about it.

The public nature of Facebook also makes it complicated to use Facebook for dating.  You want to use your social network to find dates, but you also don’t want everyone in your social network to know everything you’re doing.

Nancy SlotnickSo a lot of people try to keep their social life and their dating life separate.  I have been a dating coach for over a decade.  I teach singles how to expand their network to try to get more dates.  And I have to say from my experience, on the prospect of keeping your social life and your dating life separate: “How stupid is that?”  Sorry if that doesn’t sound very professional.  But it gets me all riled up when I see inefficiency. Dating is an inefficient process anyway. Trying to keep your social network and your dating network separate is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

It’s been scientifically proven that your mate is highly likely to be within 2 degrees of separation from you.  [I read this in Scientific American] One of the biggest complaints that I hear from singles is that it’s so hard to meet people. So you have to start with who you know and the easiest way to find them, i.e. Facebook.

Read the rest of…
Nancy Slotnick: Facebook Frenemies

YouTube’s Hilarious April Fool’s Joke – “We’re Ready to Select a Winner”

Screen shot 2013-04-01 at 9.25.37 PMWatch it here:

Harlem Shake at the Western Wall

OK, I’m a little late to this meme, but this version was worth waiting for:

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: A LinkedIn Delusion

My delusion of getting LinkedIn attention and an apology.

I like using LinkedIn. It’s a useful and efficient business networking social media tool, in my opinion.

And so I was amused at first, then overjoyed, and ultimately circumspect a few weeks ago when it began raining LinkedIn “acceptances” in my email box.

I knew over the years I had requested a number of LinkedIn connections that had gone un-responded to. And I wondered why this or that person may not have “confirmed” me.

Was it something I said? Did I remind them of someone they dislike? Or am I the person they disliked–and kept others who reminded them of me from being “confirmed” on


I just didn’t know.

It started with a trickle. First two, then four, then nine, then 14 LinkedIn confirmations –all in the space of a few hours one day.

jyb_musings“Well, what do you know?” I thought to myself. “I feel I hit the social media jackpot. I guess all those people who never responded are all finally coming around. And at nearly the same time.” Which seemed odd….but the thought was replaced quickly with the self-serving, “Well, it’s about time.”

And then I began wondering “Why now?” Was it the ad in the airport just breaking through. Was there some effort at LinkedIn to end the moratorium on people who had requested to be linked but were in the “questionable” category?

But before I could think through that remote possibility here came 10 more confirmations. And then another five and another seven.

“What the heck?” I thought to myself.

By the end of the day I had lost count. I had at least 300 new LinkedIn connections. All in one afternoon. The likelihood they were all coincidentally people I had requested but hadn’t yet decided until today seemed not only unlikely —but downright delusional.

And then I got an inkling. A few friends who are more colleagues and acquaintances began asking “Did you mean to ‘Link’ to me the other day on LinkedIn?”

I checked my LinkedIn account. By the end of day two I had about 600 new LinkedIn connections. If this trend kept up, I would soon be closing in on Richard Branson of Virgin airlines as the most linked to member of the social media site. I began to wonder if Mr Branson (well, “Richard” now to me) had experienced a similar dramatic surge like mine.

And I realized, at last, it wasn’t a sudden burst in my popularity or people coincidentally seeing the value of linking to me on a social media site. No, something far less impressive and a great deal more humiliating. I had inadvertantly “blast requested” LinkedIn connections from every single person whose email address I had in my Outlook account that could be found on LinkedIn (that wasn’t already connected to me).

Of course, this last and more plausible explanation is a little unsettling and embarrassing. I would like to apologize to everyone I contacted and also thank those that are now “linked” to me.

I think.

I actually want to hold off on a formal apology (and thank you) until I can be sure.
I’d like to hold on ….for just one more night….the convoluted idea that finally, at last, all the people who had gone silent to my LinkedIn requests saw the error of their ways and rose up to link to me. Simultaneously. All in a matter of just a few hours.

I may be able to stretch it out for two more days and nights with this pleasant delusion.

So please be patient waiting for me to get back with that formal apology.

Oops. Gotta go. Just got 12 more new “confirms” on LinkedIn.

“It’s about time!”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Facebook and Dopamine

Facebook and the levels of dopamine hits.

It’s a good feeling when a friend request on Facebook gets “accepted.” Of course, we are adults and perhaps shouldn’t acknowledge the affirmation rush we feel, but it happens and is pleasing.

But what about the “delayed acceptance” of a friend request?

This gets complicated. The “dopamine factor” (we’ll call it) is reduced the more time that passes before we are notified of the big “accept.”

A week delay is probably only about a 20% reduction in the dopamine delivery. It’s possible this were really busy or is just now checking Facebook for new friend requests. But the chances are they saw the request from you 5 days ago and weren’t excited enough about it to immediately accept but knew they would eventually accept when “other” friend requests came in and they could kill 5 birds with one round of accepts, so to speak.

jyb_musingsA month delay, is concerning and delivers only about 40% of the dopamine an immediate accept produces. In this case, it’s likely the person decided not to accept you but then in the intervening weeks realized they needed to ask you for a favor or remembered you know someone important to them and don’t want you saying bad things about them for not accepting you on Facebook. Hence, the month delayed “accept.” The reason this is 40% and not lower is we know going in these people aren’t crazy about us and getting an accept in the first place is a bigger surprise, increasing the dopamine punch.

6 months or longer. It delivers about 20% of the maximum dopamine surge. Sure it’s offensive to know it took 6 months for someone to finally think of something redeeming enough about you to “accept” but the “relief factor” of knowing they eventually did come up with some reason to accept is worth a 20% hit. In fact, we are so relieved we don’t even need to know what the redeeming factor about us is. Just that there is one at all (for these individuals) is good enough.

1 year and 9 months? This is a tough one to explain. And is what got me thinking about this topic in the first place tonight. I haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll say a 25% dopamine burst. These are people you had written you off as undeserving of a friend accept. And about 639 days passed before they changed their mind…..and you have come back from the social dead to them, figuratively speaking. And coming back from death from anything is worth at least 25% of the maximum dopamine burst. I’m low-balling this one. ; )

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