Facebook, I can’t quit you.
You see, there are too many fascinating aspects to your personality for me to walk away. I tried cutting back, I really did. Then I got bored and lonely.
You allow me to pretend like I live in a big city. You let me feel like I’ve been in a large office all day, with loveable, irritating, eccentric, crazy, outlandish, quiet, withdrawn, and average co-workers.
When I enter Facebook, though, I get to pick whether or not I walk by that annoying co-worker’s office or whether I bypass it to stop by the loveable secretary’s desk for a quick laugh.
Facebook lets me take time getting to know people. A good example is the friend who always screams when he posts. At first, I thought he didn’t realize he had caps turned on. Then I thought maybe he had a hearing problem. After a while, though, I saw that he is absolutely loveable and full of life. I can hear his excitement and enthusiasm whenever he posts and it is contagious. Actually, sometimes it is downright vital to giving me a lift. Now, on the rare occasion when he doesn’t scream, I am disappointed and worry about him. When he posts again in all caps, I breathe a sigh of relief.
Facebook lets me identify the few and far between truly mean and mental people. Like the person who called the First Lady a “bitch”; and then allowed someone else on his page to call her a “nigger bitch”. I apologize for typing the actual words, but if you are offended then you may have just a slight inkling of how I felt when reading them on Facebook. I’m not known for having a filter, but I DO possess social skills. And I’m not a racist misogynist. Most of us aren’t. Facebook, for some people, is somehow permission to openly share any dirty little thought that enters your mind. The difference, clearly, is that most of us understand some thoughts are “dirty” and not for public consumption. And most of us don’t talk that way. Or even think that way.
Facebook fabulously allows me to chew on thoughts before I put them out there for public consumption. In the early days, I didn’t appreciate this opportunity and more often than not ended up with my foot in my mouth. Now, I’d be a wealthy woman if I had a dime for each “response” I started to type and then deleted. It still felt good…. and even better when the thoughts never hit the public arena. It’s cleansing and more people should try it.
Facebook gives us a snapshot of the myriad of interests people have. The guy who posts music links every week is a gift. I should tell him. I enjoy hitting “play” and listening to the words while I’m putting dishes away or making dinner. For him, each song means something and by not taking the time to listen, I feel like I’m missing out on a tiny piece of him that is being so freely offered.
There are some folks who use Facebook to complain. Imagine a dinner party with one person at the table who only talks about their own personal woes. Awkward!
Then there are those who talk about the fun and amazing things in their life…..but go to Facebook when pain and sorrow hits as well. I have one particular friend like this. She has hundreds of friends and because of her personality and because she is so loved her struggles turn into a huge group therapy session. The feedback and support is amazing. Sometimes the responses are a little aggressive; sometimes they are full of wisdom and guidance. Sometimes, the response simply says “you are not alone”. I find I am most amazed at the speed and magnitude of the support she receives and it lets me know that this woman must be pretty amazing.
There are the typical attention seekers, those who have hundreds of photos of themselves. Yes, they are usually women. Of course, these photos are of them layered in makeup, dressed up and out on the town with other equally dolled up friends. The smiles are full of wattage and bleach, the tans are perfect, and we get it. You look fabulous. Now, post more pictures of your kids please.
These posters are similar to the “Oh my God, my marriage is so wonderful, look at all of the wonderful things we do together as a couple” folks. Just for your information, no one’s marriage is that damn perfect. If I wanted to see a fake perfect marriage, I’d watch re-runs of “Leave it to Beaver”.
There are the folks who go in spurts. Ginormous spurts, where they post twenty snapshot photos in a row with cheesy “feel-good” statements about God or friends. I scroll through these as fast as I can, by the way. Admit it, so do most of you.
That brings me to the folks who seem to be torn between God and politics but don’t realize it. Seriously, if you post a photo of scripture and then follow it with a photo of a quote from Ted Nugent, you probably should speak with your minister about God’s love. And whether or not he likes the “F” word or the “C” word; both of which fly out of Ted’s mouth like spittle.
Which leads me to something I learned the hard way: prior to running for office, I was one of “THOSE”. I posted political rants on national politics….which led to useless and time wasting arguments with one or two people. ….hurt feelings…….and turned allot of friends off. I had to clean up my Facebook page before entering the political arena and was amused and horrified all at once when going back over things my “friends” and I had written. Never again. For the record: I will post information on Kansas government because it affects my family directly and I truly believe people don’t really know the details. In order to feel comfortable with this, I classify those posts as “educational”. I will also post anything Andy Borowitz writes because it will be short, sweet, and wickedly sarcastic. I will not enter into political discussions again as I did in the past. My life is too short. So are the lives of my Facebook friends.
Pay attention, there will be a test: YOU WILL NOT CHANGE ANYONE’S MIND POLITICALLY DURING THESE TIME WASTING AND STRESS INDUCING ARGMENTS. Yes, that was yelling in print.
I WILL, however, comment if you negligently share posts that claim the POTUS ordered flags at half mast for Whitney Houston. Seriously people, practice safe Facebook posting. Google is your condom.
Oh dear, I think I wrote without a filter, didn’t I? Forgive me, it’s the Facebook conundrum. In the end, we all have to decide how we say what we need to say without going overboard. Few of us really ever figure this out completely, me in particular, which may be the REAL reason I love Facebook.
For the most part, she’s pretty real. And I like real. And I loved all of those birthday well wishes. Be honest – who wouldn’t?
Gotta go, I just heard a ding.
P.S. Now I’m worried about hurt feelings. If you think I was talking about you, I probably wasn’t (except for Matt – that was you – and if you ever quit typing in all caps I’m going to find you and your computer and break the “caps” key so that it is permanently on “caps”……because I love your all caps!). Yes, it’s okay to sometimes post a photo of you looking hot. Who wouldn’t? Just don’t post 100 of them. Unless you are my hot sister DJ and it’s your professional page. In that case, more!!! Yes, it’s okay to say your husband is awesome! Just don’t do it every day; with responses from him. That makes all of us gag. Are we all good? If not, send me a pm and we can discuss.