I’m on day four of a self-imposed Facebook ban, thinking about everything I’ve probably missed:
• Candice Dyer’s posts, sometimes epigrammatic, sometimes dramatic, sometimes hysterical, always interesting and worth reading.
• Reminders about current or upcoming events (birthdays, monster truck rallies, my sister’s band’s next gig, meetings of the homegrown patchouli collective).
• Purty pictures, some of it really beautiful.
• Plugs for what’s happening in other sectors of cyberspace, like my brother Tony’s amazing animation, my friend Erik Lundegaard’s wonderful blog – that sort of thing.
• Anything my daughter posts.
• Brantley’s daily news of the weird (weird to most of you, while stories of pigmen driving ice cream trucks is perfectly normal and legitimate news to serious news junkies like me and Brantley).
That covers most of the useful and worthwhile stuff. Here’s what I’m also missing/avoiding:
• Louise just bought the farm in Farmville when Jeb ran over her with a plough he acquired in a trade with Leroy (not really sure how Farmville is played, so go with me on this).
• The Don who lives in his mother’s basement has muscled his way to controlling all of the drug traffic and prostitution business in Mafia Wars. Do they still have Mafia Wars?
• New applications that will give me a porn-star name, tell me which Dinner With Andre character I am, what my lucky color is and how long my cats will live.
• Frothing parrots regurgitating something they heard from Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Bozo the Clown or … well, Keith Olbermann is gone and I can’t really think of another popular or well-known liberal talk show host, and I think “popular well-known liberal talk show host” might be an oxymoron, but whatever your political bent, I’m missing – nay, avoiding – the virulent spew that comes as a result of the most innocent things, like the time I posted a video of a retired veteran in Maine, a World War II veteran, who spoke compassionately and brilliantly about the rights of his gay son to serve openly in the military. Man, you should have seen the responses to that, all of the right-wing nutjobs came out to play for that one, and don’t get me started on the Civil War and the neo-Cons (that’s neo-Confederates, y’all) who still, with a straight face, insist their forefathers seceded over “states rights” and “economic reasons” and slavery was just a minor inconvenient truth, and certainly not the reason that rich, white, slave-owners caused more than 600,000 deaths and the near-destruction of the country. What was that I said about frothing? Need a towel to wipe the corners of my mouth. Moving on.
• Ads for products and services that will improve my wealth and virility and fantasy baseball team.
• My own frequent (and frequently inane) verbal masturbation (as opposed to this verbal masturbation, that you’re watching, you freak). Come to think of it, and I haven’t until now, my vision has been getting worse since I started using Facebook.
• The link to this blog (because I think WordPress is automatically posting it on Facebook).
• Quotes from other (often dead or unimpeachable) people. Now, I really do appreciate and enjoy many of the quotes. It’s good to share wisdom, and to be exposed to it. But this frequent quote-posting often feels like the reason a lot of people to church – to check it off the list, you’re covered because you posted something wise that someone else said that you agree with.
I’m as guilty of this last one as anyone else, and worse — sometimes I’ll post a quote, or part of one, or butcher one, or twist one, and not attribute it (in the subliminal hope that I will come across as witty, or ordinary, or less of a schmuck). Speaking of which:
“It is better to keep your status update empty and let people think you are a schmuck than to post frequently and remove all doubt.”
I’ll probably resume removing all doubt in the near future. It’s a habit.