Thursday Things

1. I think Facebook is getting a little pushy with the whole “Give your friend a gift for their birthday!” thing.

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Yesterday was Alyssa’s birthday, which, of course, is a fabulous occasion because birthdays are always fabulous occasions! But my Facebook friendship with Alyssa is still in its infancy…as in, I believe we had been Facebook friends for a whopping 36 hours when her birthday rolled around. Am I the only one slightly unnerved by the fact that Facebook was like, “Hey! You literally JUST became friends with this person — SEND THEM THINGS! That’ll lock up your friendship FOR SURE!”? I mean, this was at the very top of my newsfeed! I had another Facebook friend from high school with a birthday yesterday, and never once did Facebook tell me I should send her a gift, even though we’ve been Facebook friends for four years.

Don’t get me wrong…Alyssa’s a wonderful person and totally deserves to be showered with gifts for being alive for an entire quarter century. I just think it’s a little disconcerting how in my face Facebook was over the whole situation. You can’t buy love, Facebook. It doesn’t work that way.

(Although if anyone’s interested in putting that claim to the test, my birthday is in five months and nine days, and I will happily accept gifts through Facebook. Or the mail. Or in person. Particularly sugar based gifts, because as we’ve established, I love that business. But you know…it’s all in the name of social experimentation and verifying claims made in Beatles songs and not in any way for my own selfish pursuits. Promise.).

UPDATED TO ADD: And now today, a day where I have three Facebook friends with birthdays, Facebook isn’t encouraging me to send any of them gifts. What the heck, Facebook. I call shenanigans.

2. Well, kids, for the first time in the history of this little blog, I’ve got something to pass on to you: a discount code! Woohoo! The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is putting on their Move for the Kids 5K on May 19, and though I can’t run the race because I’ll be visiting family in Seattle that day, if you want to run the race, the code “readM4TK” will get you $4 off your registration. Yay discounts! Yay raising money for children!

Speaking of discount codes, if I can con anyone into taking hip hop or breakdancing with me next session, I’ve got a code for that as well. You know you wanna…

3. It’s book club weekend!

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After much to-do last time, we finally chose The Live You’ve Imagined as our book for April. I suggested this book, but it had actually been about two years since I last read it, so I had my fingers crossed it was as good as I remembered. The Life You’ve Imagined follows the lives of four different women in (fictional) Haven, Michigan, your standard small, west coast, touristy town (feel free to add a “South” or “Grand” in front of “Haven” and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what this town is like). The lives of all of these women intersect in various ways, as lives are apt to do in small towns, and the book chronicles the various trials and tribulations each of them faces as the summer progresses.

While I’ve become a bit of a literary snob since the last time I read this book, I did enjoy revisiting the story. From a writing standpoint, it may not be The Best Book Ever, but I think the storyline is engaging. It’s not too fluffy, but it’s also not too heavy, and, as a native Michigander and former resident of a town not entirely unlike Haven, reading this book made me feel like I was home.

Have you ever given a gift over Facebook?
What are you reading? Currently working my way through The Visible Man by Chuck Klosterman and I LOVE it. I became a big fan of Klosterman after reading Downtown Owl a couple months ago. I highly recommend Klosterman if you’re at all into small town life and/or the phenomenon of small town high school football, and though I’m only about halfway through The Visible Man, at this point I highly recommend it as well.

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17 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Ugh the facebook birthdays. I didn’t know people actually did them until I got one from Caitlin for mine which was the sweetest surprise ever (literally!). I was so excited for it but it is kind of weird how pushy they are over the whole thing and honestly, I’d rather just buy someone a present. If they’re a close enough friend that I feel that they deserve a gift, then I should be able to give it to them myself, not through the internet. That’s what I tell myself at least.

  2. I’ve honestly been thinking about getting rid if facebook for a while because i just don’t use it much anymore and anytime i do, something annoys me haha. We shall see. That book sounds great! I’m reading the night circus right now which i really like, but i’m not sure what i’m reading next…too many books on my wishlist that look good!

  3. So I just found out not too long ago that facebook gifts are real gifts??? I thought it was some fluffy “send your friend an electronic dog” type of gift. Wrong. Apparently, you can really send gifts through facebook.

    • I think it used to be fake gifts? I’m not sure. I’ve never done anything that requires money with Facebook, so I don’t really know. I looked through the gifts, and a lot of them are legitimately nice things to get someone for a special occasion…but I still don’t think I’d be inclined to do it.

  4. I had no idea that Facebook liked me so much! Sadly, I did not receive any gifts from Facebook (well, none have arrived yet, should I be anxiously awaiting a delivery?). A few weeks ago, FB asked me if I wanted to send a gift to someone who got a new job.
    I am currently reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and I still haven’t read The Life You’ve Imagined. Not that it matters because I can’t go to book club this weekend anyways. Wedding season is already beginning for me. I’m so disappointed.

    • Well…uh…you’re not getting one from me, despite Facebook’s best efforts haha. Yeah, I really think Facebook likes you a lot, though…a similar ad was also at the top of my newsfeed on my Facebook app on my phone!

      Ugh, wedding season. I got SUPER lucky this year and have zero weddings! Hooray! Actually, I have a wedding I *should* have gone to, but it’s the day before the Chicago Marathon and it’s in Michigan (and I’m not wild about the fact that the couple is getting married…) sooo I’m not going to be at that wedding. Whoops.

      • Zero!? I’m incredibly jealous. I have at least 3 that I know of so far this year. I shouldn’t be admitting this online, but I sometimes decide on whether or not to attend based on how much I like/dislike the couple. Oops.

    • Tell me about it! I also think it’s kind of creepy how Facebook picks up on major events and encourages you to give gifts for those as well. Like Alyssa said, I’ve seen people announce new jobs, that they got into grad school, etc., and a lot of times on the side of that post Facebook will say, “Give a gift!” Which, yes, nice sentiment. But can you imagine how weird it would be if some random kid you sat next to in high school chemistry sent you an iTunes gift card to congratulate you on getting accepted to a PhD program?? No thanks, fb.

  5. I’m astonished by the programming and the algorithms that go into how Facebook works but, dang, it’s a little shocking to see it trying to be “smart”.
    I though the book club book was a good one for discussion considering where a lot of us are in our lives. Hopefully more people than just you and I will have read it!
    I’m not currently reading anything. I actually have to magazines sitting on my nightstand that I still need to read!

    • Tell me about it! Birthdays are one thing since you give Facebook that information, but when it can figure out when you’re making a major life announcement in a status…whoa.

      Haha indeed! Especially since I’m only about 50% sure I’m even going to make it to book club…whoops :/

      And TELL ME ABOUT IT. Oh man. I got my May Runner’s World in the mail last week and I was like, “Stop! Please! No more! I’m not even done with March yet!” Haha.

  6. seriously what is up with FB trying to get me to send everyone I’m friends with birthday presents?! I saw this when I was wishing my grandma happy birthday and it was like SEND GRANDMA A STARBUCKS CARD! Wait, what? Grandma doesn’t even know what Starbucks is…. STOP BOSSING ME AROUND FB!

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