Monday, November 11, 2013

Using Facebook in Japan is Damn Annoying

I'm on Facebook all the time. It wasn't always like this. In university, I dragged my feet on signing up. My friend would send me messages inviting me to join, I'd ignore them. Then in my final year, a month or so before graduating, I bit the bullet and signed up...under a fake name.

After some issues with the Facebook people, I now use my real name and last initial. (They said that nicknames were OK. And how do they know that Winder Girl isn't my real name? Maybe it's written that way, but read "Nora Jones." Facebook, you don't know me! ...But, I digress...)

Here in Japan, Facebook is like the devil in blue and white form. Media reports that you HAVE to use your real name. That you HAVE to use a REAL photograph...of YOURSELF!!!111 
Japanese people on mixi, don't have to register with their real names and they certainly don't have to post pictures of themselves....let's for a minute put aside the fact that Facebook doesn't know who you are, and they certainly can't confirm your name, but...again...whatevs.

What this means is that Japanese people are afraid of Facebook. I would put Japanese Facebook users in three groups: Japanese people who have spent time abroad and want to keep in touch with friends/Japanese people who lurve foreign things; Japanese people who made a Facebook page for work; and Japanese people who heard about Facebook on TV and decided to try it.

Let me focus on the second group; Japanese people who made a Facebook page for work. This describes 95% of the people in my office. On my first day of work, I was asked if I had a Facebook page, and then I was forced to become "friends" with all of my coworkers who also had a Facebook page. The majority of the people at work post nothing.

Every week or so, the office gets an email telling us to "like" someone's post or to "like" some page. And so, some random post gets 50 some likes. Complete and utter garbage. What's worse is that because these people see Facebook as another work tool, they have no boundaries. One foreign co-worker saw that people at our company took a screenshot of a Facebook dialogue with a friend, photoshopped another foreign co-worker over the original friend, and used it in promotional materials...all withOUT asking him first!

Another time, we foreign staff were asked if we could provide Facebook and Twitter accounts to the company to be used for promotional materials. Uh, no? Just because you were forced to get Facebook for work doesn't mean that I want a bunch of random Japanese people trying to find me, friend me and read through my posts.

On my first day, after friending everyone in the company with a Facebook page, I went and made a "group," put them all in that group and blocked it from the majority of my posts and photos. I get friend requests from the new people that join the company, and one chick, who is new, had the audacity to send me an email on Monday (I was sick on Friday), asking me if I got her friend request. Bitch, I don't know you! Who cares if I'm your "friend" on Facebook or not? Seriously, GTFO.

Knowing that I am "friends" with everyone at my company, from the CEO down, means that I'm obsessively checking to make sure that they can't see anymore than I want them to see. SO, if you are in Japan, or working here, don't just let people become friends with you on Facebook. I swear, people are cray cray here.

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