Archive | February 4, 2012

Facebook, Computer Crash, & Bugs

While Facebook (FB) is looking forward to its public debut on the IPO, (inital Public referring) & to the billions of dollars they are expecting to earn as profit from sales; I JUST learned that the reason I have been without my computer for over a week is due to my time on Facebook. Yes! You are reading that right.

Beware!!!

“If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it”    — Tennessee Williams

After spending a really special week on vacation and having my computer crash leaving me without my pal to write & communicate I almost deplore this being my first post back. Yet I can not in good faith let what happened to me,and may be happening to those who read this, go unsaid.

I just today picked up my 7 yr. old laptop from the computer tech I have never had to use before. My poor old laptop that is “still in mint condition” was sorely “infected over 1000x’s” (unbeknownst to me) through my time I had spent on Facebook.” My tech who has been in business for almost 30 yrs and came highly recommended to me from someone who works in the industry explained to me that despite having Macafee and doing everything I knew to do that by visiting FB I allowed my sweet laptop to become exposed to bugs that sat idle while I happily was using my computer, not realizing that there was a time bomb waiting to implode. . The bugs just waited, and opened the door for more of their friends to enter. I was also told that although Macafee is a superior product it is not enough. And even with all the protection I can add-on to watch & guard over my laptop FB and it’s “friends” are still able to find back doors that are not locked. No way to lock them out with any guarantee.

Ironically I had opted almost a year ago to stop my FB’s visit, but for very different reasons. For one I was never very enthusiastic about the idea of FB, yet all my kids and grandkids were all playing along and it just seemed at the time to make sense. Then I began a couple Christmas season’s ago to realize just how time-consuming FB visits could be and I did not come away from those times feeling any more rich for the time I spent. The first Christmas I spent having complete down time from the computer and devoted all my attention & all of my time to my family, friend’s, and to my faith.  I recognized what a trap the computer could be if I let it. FB had to at least be at the bottom of my lists. I rarely in 20111 visited FB and did not miss it one iota.

Last week while on vacation (I’ll re-post later about our road trip) the first night away I hooked up to a hotel’s Wi-FI. That night I some trouble  booting up my laptop. For the first time I was seeing the blue screen of computer death. I followed the prompts for this first time error message and attempted a complete re-boot. I had never done this before, never needed to. That night I was able to log on and sign in to my Internet browser and my email. While reading my email I received an email alert from an old friend I have not seen or talked to in maybe 4 to 5 yrs. This one alert could have been what finally did it. Because I opened the link in the email alert I was of course taken to FB. My computer tech tells me this is likely how I left my computer open to the different bugs that  it was attacked by. And all those times prior to the this last year when I had been on FB fairly often? OMG!!  Some bugs lay quietly doing their dirty work,  others laying dormant until BAM I was been taken down. If you are lucky enough to never have had this happen, bravo! If you are part of the survivors group who have had their computer crash you know that sinking feeling.

This little known secret that FB or the links through FB is infecting our computers was a shock to me. As I said I had been opting to not visit FB for other reasons but this is reason enough for me to never open FB again. I believe that my time needs to be spent on things and people who feed me. Feed my heart, my brain, and my soul. The whole premise of FB always rubbed me wrong anyway, but because I have children and grandchildren and I like to stay hip to what is current in their lives I joined the rush to recruit my own FRIENDS list. Yet despite as careful as I was about my privacy and not joining in any FB games I was still attacked. My tech guy explained to me that the large majority,  if not all came from FB and he sees this all the time. Really? Wow!

So MIA because my laptop bit the dust for a bit was not on my travel itinerary, yet it happened. It happened and my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach, and my mind started spinning with thoughts and feelings about being cut-off. In a happy ending the time of almost 2 weeks without having easy access to everything I do with my laptop and all the ways it lets me organize my life I realized it was a blessing in disguise. I spent my week’s vacation reading more, creating some hand crafted cards, a watercolor, and created culinary delights almost every evening with the ocean right out the kitchen window.  I could not ask for anything more. I needed nothing more. And I spent more time talking with my BFF, my husband. I missed the feeling of knowing my laptop was there should I want to write, or check and reply to email. (using my cell phone was a joke I discovered) To blog, to catch up on comments from my blogging friends, to peek into the different forums I often visit, and the support I receive from other people who live with chronic pain are all ways in which my computer help feed me. I did miss these, and missed the all assuring knowledge that my laptop was there if I wanted it. It was the first time since 1998-99 that I was without the technology in my home that brings all that alive for me. It was strange, but it was so good for me. I learned a lot more about myself during this time without.

Yet I am still shaking my head in knowing now that something that is so widely accepted and used is what my computer tech believes was the downfall of my sweet little piece of technology. If it is in fact true that it was Facebook like my tech believes that infected my computer than what is happening across the world? What is going with the billions of computers that are logged into FB right now? I have no answer. And to be clear here I am only repeating what I was told and sharing the one experience of my own involving FB and my laptop crashing. There were tools I was missing I will agree. But I’m told that there is not enough protection for Facebook and I am choosing not to take the chance again. And I was warned to stay away from FB.

I still wonder how many others are being infected unknowingly by logging into FB everyday, playing inter-active games such as Farmville with their “Friends” and their friends friends? I am aware that FB will take umbrage with what I am attesting to here in this post. Thankfully the Internet protects my right to expressing my personal opinion. And  to share my personal experiences.

I’m back in my saddle again and writing on my old friend. I love to write long hand, but having the treasure of my words saved for eternity through no more effort than typing as I write is a gift I shall never take for granted again.

 Like I said, it was a nice surprise to be forced to have my hands quieted because I had a very ill laptop, but next time I take time off it I’d much rather it be because I chose to just “shut down” my hands for a period rather than my computer crashing.

©tjhelser 2012