At Least SEVEN BIG BENEFITS of COVID-19

No, that’s not some sadistic, morbid, sarcastic, or hippie feel good see the bright side of things sort of a title. I am dead serious! That was morbid. No, seriously! There are going to be some huge benefits from this coronavirus pandemic!

OH, COVID-19

How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…

  1. CO2 emissions will be drastically reduced from much less flying, cruising, driving!
    There will be much less emissions from all that reduced transportation, that’s for sure! We may hit that 2050 CO2 target in 2020! Probably not, but we’ll definitely get much closer, much sooner, than anyone expected… at least before a rebound once this pandemic is over.
    .
  2. People will learn to appreciate where they live more!
    If people can’t go anywhere, they’ll have to stay close to home. It’s amazing when you’re stuck somewhere that you’ll start to look around and appreciate all the beauty that is there, even in the worst of places.
    .
  3. People will buy local more!
    With supply chains disrupted, aside from some a group of goods like iPhones that are not able to be produced locally, people will have to rely on local goods more. This will be especially noticeable for goods like food, which will be great for the buy local movements!
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  4. People will learn to live with less!
    With less available to buy, and less to spend with labour disruptions and lack of work compensation in the US, lots of people will have to learn to live on a lot less than they used to. It won’t be pleasant for them, with these changes forced upon them. But you know, the human spirit is a damned resilient thing! It will adapt, and it will be fine. Of course, some people will be hitting desperate situations out of pure economics not adding up, but I’m talking about the spirit to adapt to loss of luxuries and some conveniences here.
    .
  5. People will be less dependent on Chinese goods!
    A LOT of what people around the world buys is made in China, in part or in full. With Chinese supply chains disrupted, whether there or where you live, much less will be available. For the most part, though, it’ll be things people will be able to do without, or will be able to substitute with local goods. It might cost a little more, but it will probably be better, and it will definitely be better for their local economy! For a long time, the world has been unsuccessfully trying to wean itself off Chinese goods. Perhaps it just didn’t substitute the right thing, like COVID-19. Wouldn’t it be the most karmic of ironies that the Chinese create the thing that will get the world off its addiction to Chinese goods?
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  6. People will waste less with less in life!
    When people don’t less things to buy, like fast fashion, they will throw away less. That’s on top of no money to buy, which doesn’t stop a lot of people looking at average household debts in well to do countries.
    .
  7. People will keep a LOT of the new habits they “discover” during the COVID-19 pandemic! When the time comes that goods, services, and events available not so long ago will be available once more, and people will have more money to spend, many will realize they have an option to live the way they did before, in lifestyles they couldn’t afford, or not, and many will NOT! This may be only in part, but that will still a reduction from before! There may be a temporary spike to rejoice, but when it settles, people will live less consuming and wasteful lives.
    .

Those are the big benefits I can think of now that I am quite certain will happen. Many other things will happen that will also be good, but may not considered so, like a proper correction of the stock market from all the money printed so people have money to keep funneling to the 1%. I love it when Mother Nature extends her turf to economics!

There will also be situations where the outcome will be great for many, and disastrous for possibly just as many, like lots of time spent together with family. Some will strengthen bonds they don’t get to from little time spent together, while others will drive each other crazy because they’re… well, family. Some will do productive things with idle time, like read, while others will do things not so productive, like eat and drink more while not being able exercise more from not getting out much from conditions enforced where they live. Only time will tell on those things, but I’m pretty sure the seven things listed here will be a lot of good to people, and the world, in general, ultimately.

Prove me wrong in a few years!

Of course, I am not without empathy in wishing we could have all done all this without something as tragic and disruptive as a pandemic. But until we become smart enough as a species to do so, we’ll just have to keep on relying on Mother Nature to keep things under control for this planet to keep on thriving.

Thanks “Mom”! ūüėČ

 

Facebook’s Friendship Page Feature Gives Everyone New Spying Capabilities!

Facebook rolled out a creepy new feature called Friendship on Oct 29, 2010. Good intent, bad results. Lay another brick in the road to Hell that is paved with good intentions! Here is a review and some counter-measure suggestions. This feature is a stalker’s dream! But it’s the same for just the casual “troll” curious about creeping on people… like maybe jealous friends, ex’es, significant others, family, etc.

What is this Friendship Page feature?

This creates a page showing all the public wall posts, comments, photos (based on tags) and events that two friends have in common. This goes for any two profiles which have common things to share, not just friends you have in common. It’s all based on what people choose to share in their privacy settings, that they have in common.

In plain language, it’s like being able to ask Facebook to show me all the interactions between person X and Y which is not protected from me, with one click of a mouse, then getting the results in an organized online report, summarized where each result has a link to the full information instead of just thumbnail, first few sentences, etc.

Whoa!!! R U kidding me???

Remember the days when you had to work to be a creep? When you had to browse through all the wall posts, photos, events and such, filtering out all the stuff by people you’re not looking for, to find what you were looking for? That’s all said and gone now. You can just click on a link now and voil√†! It’s all there for you, in more details than you could have ever hoped to find in the past, like events two friends RSVP’ed together! I bet the FBI, CIA, MI5, CSIS and other secret intelligence services could only wish they had such a convenient tool to track people! Well, take CSIS out of that list. I’m not sure they’re either secret or intelligent enough to qualify.

Can you imagine your significant other doing this to someone who interacted with you a bit “friendlier” than s/he would have liked? Can you imagine Parents doing this to their kids and one of their kids’ friends? Can you imagine that person you’re dating wanting to know more about another “friend”, or an “ex” via all your Facebook interactions with him/her since you could not tell all, even if you wanted to? You couldn’t hope to have a memory like these Friendship Pages!

Worse, the stalkers, Internet trolls or 5 types of Facebook trolls are just in heaven these days! That include those behind bars who have Internet access!

Even for normal people, this Facebook Friendship page can enhance the 10 Ways Facebook can ruin your relationship (Collegecrunch.org) by making the features that are the reasons all the more accessible and organized.

How do you access this Friendship Page feature?

The easiest way is to go to someone’s profile and look on their Wall for the See Friendship link next to the Comment and Like links on various Wall posts, and click on the link. I’m not sure why some Wall posts have the See Friendship link¬†and some don’t, but it’s there for many posts. However, you can see Frienship Pages for people who are not your Facebook friend, which is the creepiest part of this feature to allow spying beyond just your friends, and vice-versa on you by people who are not your Facebook friend.

After you get to the Friendship Page, to the top right is a more convenient feature where you can type in two friends’ names, aided by Facebook’s drop down menu to guess which friend you’re talking about as you give it more letters in typing out the names. Facebook guesses with people you know, people you have common friends, who live in the area, etc. While this feature limits the people you can input to be just of your Facebook friends, finding the See Friendship link on people’s wall does not!

What can you see on these Friendship Pages?

More than what Facebook says you can! One feature more is the common friends those two friends have in common. Of course, everything that shows up, whether a wall post, comment, photo, event RSVP’ed together, etc. there is a link you can click on for more. The page you initially get is an Overview of what the page fully contains. You can then click on links to the upper left, below a photo (if the two have a photo together) or an icon of two heads, to filter out features like Wall posts, photos, comments, etc. Talk about helping creeps to be organized!!

What can you do to prevent being super-spied on with this Friendship Page feature?

Nothing that would prevent this feature from being enabled. All you can do is minimize its impact on you with these solutions.

  1. Adjust all Facebook Privacy settings to “Only Friends”. If you do this, at least only your Facebook friends will be able to creep on you.
  2. Purge your Facebook friends list. Ask yourself this… who would I want to be able to creep on me with the Friendship Page feature? Anyone you have a strong reaction against, throw them out or take Step 3. Purging your Facebook Friends list¬†is good to do on a regular basis, anyway, to keep people who can view your profile in full to those who know and trust to some extent. The link I provided at the start of this bullet offers some assistance with questions you can ask yourself to determine who you might want to remove, and why it’s no big deal if you’re wrong to get them back. This was before this Friendship Page feature came out.
  3. Customize Facebook Privacy settings to “Only Friends” and Block certain people. If you’re not cool with removing certain people from your Facebook friends list, even though you’re not comfortable with them creeping on you with the Friendship Page, block them in your Privacy setting for whatever you don’t want them to see. That could be pictures, Wall posts or comments. I don’t believe the RSVP feature works, though. It’s hard to check, but that would be the one I would be concerned the most because that person could see future events you RSVP to in common with another friend, and not just past ones. Can you say stalking assistance?¬†I would recommend you make a list of people you keep as Facebook friends who you would not be comfortable with creeping on you, and just add them to your “block” list for each Facebook feature like photos, Wall posts, etc. I’d just sooner take them off my Facebook friends list if I were you, if I’m going through that much trouble.

If this Facebook feature changes to limit access, or you know other ways to counter it, please let me and others know by leaving a comment.

In the mean time, Facebook safely and try not to creep, even if it may be very intriguing. If you don’t like people doing it to you, don’t do it to others.

p.s. I find it interesting Facebook rolled out this creepy feature just before Hallowe’en. Unfortunately, it won’t go away just because Hallowe’en has gone away. Who the hell at Facebook let their engineer Wayne Kao add this to the site anyway???

Other Facebook issue posts on my site:

The Prejudices and Privacy Perils of Facebook Quizzes

How to Get Rid of Your Facebook Past

25 Things For Facebook You Can’t Steal My ID With

25 Things You Gave on Facebook to Help Get Your ID Stolen

Una Guía de Netiqueta Práctica para Facebook