Confused by Facebook

Take away the Facebook app and we are left with random conversation. Sometimes it makes no sense at all!

Facebook. Image copyright Facebook


What would happen if a civilisation from far, far away was monitoring Earth and then found someone conversing on Facebook? What would happen if other civilisations are receiving the data but without the context? They don't have a Facebook app, just the data being constantly updated in a stream. At the risk of sounding like I have been having some really deep thoughts and this is going to get complicated, in summary, I have been thinking what would the conversation would look like if ET received only a flow of text from Facebook when monitoring Earth? Would the alien become confused?

I have pondered this for years and I finally decided that I should extract just the conversation from Facebook and Twitter in order to see what it would look like. An experiment if you will, just how random is Facebook?

During this experiment I decided that to keep everything as real as possible I wouldn't change any of the spelling I came across. What you will witness, probably for the first time ever in the history of social-media* is a transcript of conversations from the initiating post, and the immediate and not so immediate replies in the order that they have appeared on my timeline.

Sometimes we have a slow Facebook day, when this happened I quickly logged in to Twitter, because that is a whole other experiment, but also it is what we do when we have read everything on ours and our friends timelines. There are days when this is actually possible.

I am also often confused by the whole Like, Love, Share, wow, sad, angry, laughing, have I missed anything thing. Whilst I occasionally struggled with only the like button, I never quite felt right liking something that someone had shared if it was a sad story. The new system though is just way too confusing. When I click angry, it's because I'm angry at a story, others though click angry because they have some beef with the poster. I don't think there is yet an etiquette in place. Someone at Facebook really needs to adult for a few minutes and tell us.

*I have no idea if this is the first time ever, but I also couldn't think of anyone else in their right mind who would put themselves through this. I also figured that aliens might be monitoring in shifts so they get the whole story, but I need to sleep, so I chose random times to pick up the thread. Also I had no one who I could ask to copy and paste timeline conversations without them fearing I had lost it completely. My inner thoughts and reactions are italicised in bold and didn't necessarily appear in any conversation. Sometimes I just can't reply because the words aren't immediately available to me.

For clarity, the replies to previous conversations appear sometimes instantly, and at other times not quite so instantly. But I figure this is exactly what the aliens would see*

*Not that aliens are doing this, we have no proof that they exist yet, but aliens are probably doing this right now. If you are an alien, any chance of sending down a like?


Wait, what you like owls?

I wish people would mind their own business, almost instantly a reply comes back, uh, you ok Hun, what's wrong? Who upset you?

You posted that on Facebook, what were you thinking?

Yes I like owls, I keep them as pets I have almost 20.

Yes you know, some people, never mind, I'll PM you.

What like 19?

Have you seen the news from Syria?

OK, 18. I have 18 owls, close enough.

Your political opinions are not the same as mine you should be banned from Facebook.

I feel sad about this story but everyone else is hitting the happy ha ha button, what a dilemma.

This cat is sooooooo cute!!!

I hope I'm not on some kind of FBI watchlist because I friended you and I do not share your phobic opinions, and thanks for the like.





If you can't handle me at my worst you don't deserve me at my best.

Crowd chases after rare Pokemon in Central Park bringing chaos to congested streets

Is there a cliff at the end of this??

So, currently the world's population is split into three groups:

1.) Those using their phone to catch Pokemon

2.) Those using their phone to record people using their phone to catch Pokemon

3.) Those unaware or are indifferent to the phenomena

Your ex isn’t reading your self-empowering, motivational, cliche, Pinterest quotes

Wait, what, there are rare Pokemon spanning in Central Park, book me a flight

Edited: Slawning not spanning


Meanwhile in Turkey, at least 265 people died and over 1,400 are wounded

Shared from Pinterest

Please no more mason jars and why don't they spawn a rare Pokemon in a polling station.

Discount rate 4 buying quality good sunglasses made by Oaklay must buy now

Yes before Oakley send in their fraud team

Michael Page with the best timed knee I've ever seen.... And then he try's to catch my man with a poké ball

A 3D Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater"

Finally, something artistic and/or cultural

Can't believe it has been 15-years since Grandma left us. RIP Grandma

Quite possibly the saddest thing I have ever seen

This dawg is so damn cuuuuuuuuute!!! (Emoji not relevant to dogs)

I have decided that I am not going to be on Facebook any more. I need to concentrate on other things in my life right now but I want you to know that I luv u all.

What, Grandma has Facebook in the afterlife?

You should definitely go to to this concert

Hillary will face trial after all

You should get out more, see you in less than five minutes

Selfie picture of (no name because I don't need anymore stress in my life)

Hold on, why do you post a selfie showing only half of your face whilst exposing both your breasts?

Elvis is alive and working as a gardener at Graceland

15 Page PDF & Video Walkthrough To Map Out Your Profitable & Successful Business Online.

Happy Birthday to my little man Joe who is four today! Can't believe how quickly you have grown up!

Okay, you are a bad parent because Joe needs to be 13 to have a Facebook account, and four years is a total of 1,460 days or 35,040 hours.

K. Sometimes that's all I've got.


Elvis definitely died, cause my grandad was a gardener at the time and he was trimming a bush at Graceland on the day it happened.

Clearly this [wtf] means welcome to Facebook but I checked and they have been a user since 2009

Windows 95 takes one hour to boot on an Apple Watch

Plz Share!


Do you accept PayPal?

I am an artist, it's summer, at this point I would accept Green Shield stamps

Please copy and paste this as your status if you know someone, or have heard of someone who knows someone that may know someone who knows anyone. If you don’t know anyone, or even if you’ve heard of anyone who doesn’t know anyone that doesn’t know someone, then still copy this. It’s important to spread the message. Oh, and the hearts. <3 <3 <3 because if you don't a unicorn will die. Please don't share, cut and paste because 99.987% will just share. #SaveTheUnicorn

It took more than an hour on a fast PC when it was released

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset cna be a taotl mses and yuo cna sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the hmuan mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! Fi yuo cna raed tihs add tihs to yrou’e porflie.

OK, enough of these cut and paste scams, you do realise that you are putting your account at risk of data mining don't you? OK, I shared one of them. No unicorns died as a result, well, I don't think they did.





Shared by 1.46 million gullible people

Another treat to go with our Nutella evening on Wednesday

Wait, a Nutella evening is a thing?

I have tagged every friend on Facebook in this post and I have 5,000 friends

Who all clearly love it when you tag them in to a post about your upcoming Kindle book that's like three pages long.



NOTIFICATION XXXX has added you to the group CosPlay addicts

I CosPlay by wearing a suit all week pretending to be an adult, why would I want to dress up on a weekend too?

NOTIFICATION XXXX and 12 others require approval to join your Facebook group

50% won't make the cut. They are either fake profiles or their profile photo was taken when they were arrested for stalking.

Salt and pepper and a little garlic,good eatin' son!

Fascinating story. Thanks for sharing.

Yes, yes, it's amazing what happens when you figure out a way to add ductility to something very stiff and brittle. The IDEA has been around for a few hundred (several?) hundred years.... as "reinforced concrete".... and a decade or so as fibre reinforced polymers.

It's not "nuts".

So beautiful

Feeling angry? Let off some steam in the sequel to the biggest mobile game ever.

madnes is coming in our world

Grammatically you are wrong wrong, but you are so right at the same time. Except that madness is already here.

Will there be duck racing in the pool????? :D

Claiming for personal injury is quick and easy. Find out how much compensation can be claimed.

It is called Pokémon GO, not Pokémon STOP. Society hasn't come to a halt because of this game.

It's Summer! And with it comes up to 14 inches of snow in the valley

I hope so, and would like it if rained in my front yard and backyard at the same time. Oh and if the rain would last more than two minutes. Ok I'm going to push my luck, and if it could rain during the day.

Snow is different to rain.

I cannot count how many people fall for the coaching game. Nobody is going to teach you people anything except how to get lured in like an idiot with a PDF ;)

Agreed and liked

The Secret Formula to Success is yours with just an email address

Congratulations, you share a sense of humour and a degree of mutual affection with another human being.

That legroom looks real uncomfortable IMHO

que bicho é esse? what animal this?

Some day I'll do that!

I know the feeling.

I have a feeling they are more than mates really, it's getting more obvious and clearer every time they are around each other.

Wow! Those are great words coming from our future Vice President. Keep them coming and full steam ahead

"No officer I was not texting, I was playing pokemon"

EXCLUSIVE: Former British Army soldier makes sensational claim he was abducted by aliens.

Reading this lot, I think we all were.

China Releases Moon Footage Of Alien Bases.

Click on this post to find out if you have won one of 10,000 iPads that we are giving away.

XXXX we must meet up for lunch on Tuesday at Carluccios

You haven't won and they're not giving anything away

If you are such good friends why don't you just send a text or use the phone, or do you want the whole world to turn up at Carluccios on Tuesday?

The Moon... natural? I don't think so...

The Aurora Borealis, I was told, is fickle. You could get there and never see it. If you stay 5 days on the 6th day it will show up. I would still love this experience. Is this true? Could this happen?

Can't Hun. I am going to spinning class with XXXX

Stay in a glass igloo and experience the Aurora Borealis

I am unfriending you. She is just an awful person. I thought we were friends. No more Hun xx

I went on a two-week cruise around the entire Aurora Borealis region and never saw a thing.

So cute! #Pets

Who is Mike Pence?

Create a powerful website to help accomplish your business or personal goals.

What are these lights?

Twitter logo
Twitter -All rights reserved



My kids can find a virtual Pikachu 5 doors down, but they can't see their real shoes sitting in the middle of the walkway. #parenting

Toddler has discovered a secret whistle on her music shaker. How lucky for all of us.

This ends like Romeo and Juliet but with me collapsing still rinsing baby bottles at 80, and hubs passed out in a pile of his dirty laundry.

I asked my kid what he wants for breakfast and I'm anticipating an answer some time around never o'clock.

My daughter has this really cute thing she does where she asks me if her breakfast is ready every five seconds. So adorable.

My morning just doesn't feel complete until I have reheated my coffee 821 times.

So this tells me that Twitter is actually a hangout for parents who found out that having kids isn't always a walk in the park, although you have to walk in the park far more often than life pre-kids.


I realise now that it's not Facebook itself that has the randomness problem, it's the people who are random. Twitter, Google+, and Ello are just the same. If you take away the context of all of these posts appearing on a social-media channel you could think that the people of earth are a strange bunch. If you took the feed from Pinterest you would be forgiven for thinking that Mason Jars are a vital life-source.

Eventually I had to wrap up my scientific experiment and go back to adulting, but it's nice to know that the person who gave up Facebook actually returned to Facebook exactly three minutes and sixteen seconds later.

It's also no wonder that an hour on Facebook can exhaust us. It's even worse when you have a touch of Facebook OCD. The notification badge shows up and immediately you have to leave what you are reading to see who is broadcasting live. It is a constant battle, putting all this data together, and you start connecting the people who know the people that you know.

I also discovered quizzes that you can take that work out just how addicted to Facebook you are, the links to these were of course on Facebook.

What I also discovered was that Facebook does a very good job of wrapping all of this in to a context. Actually the same conversations have been had in pubs around the world for years, a whole lot of what goes on, on Facebook seems at times to be background chatter just the same as overheard in a pub or a crowded area.

But all of this data is constant. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Facebook never sleeps. I just wonder what the aliens would think of it all!


If you have been thinking of starting a Facebook group, my next post will have you covered. Everything you need to know about becoming the proud owner/admin of a Facebook group, and you don't have to give away your email address to receive a PDF. It will be right here, it will be free!

What's the funniest thing you have heard on Social-Media this week? Leave a comment below, I'm sure there will be a few posts we have all missed!


M.A is a UK based artist and blogger. You can buy his artwork from and follow him on Facebook at or on Twitter @beechhouseart



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