Is that a Monkey On Your Back? Or Just Facebook?

The first thing you open in the morning after your eyes is Facebook. Because let’s be honest with each other, unless you are elderly or below the age of ten, it’s an addiction we can’t seem to kick. It doesn’t matter how many promises you make to yourself.

“I’m going to put down my phone and start reading an actual book,” is something I’ve been saying to myself for, well, who’s counting? Let’s just say I’ve broken that promise and said, “I’ll start next Monday,” so many times I’m fairly certain enough Mondays have passed that I could make a decade out of them.

Or how about this: “I’ll just scroll through for five more minutes.” But 7AM comes and goes and you’re stuck there like if you put down the phone you will combust into thin air. You know you need to get in the shower or else you’ll be late for work. But you lie there in that position for another quarter of an hour without a care in the world, bleary-eyed as if you just got off the red eye to China.

I don’t really know what all the hullaballoo is about anyway. It’s not like Facebook is giving away a free trip to Fuji. Or even a free timeshare in my own town which I would gladly take because I’m cheap and love anything with the word FREE attached to it. It could be a pet rock, or an entire set of new teeth. If it’s free, I want it.

In my ten, thirty, oh heck, sixty minutes of scrolling I’ve discovered that half of my “friends” had a high school aged kid graduate yesterday. That another fifty people have posted something political that I don’t care to engage in. And another god knows how many have shared an article or meme that I mostly just go right on by unless I think it may actually illicit some real emotions out of me or change my life. You know, something compelling.

And then there’s the one who has yet ONCE again posted a pic of herself with the “friend du jour” at another gosh-damned restaurant or bar. Or whatever. For the eighteenth time that week.

Look, I like to see my friend’s stuff. But when it turns into your own show, then it’s annoying. I don’t care to know your every move. And anyway,

Who.

Cares.

The Facebook content really needs to step up its game. But yet. There I am. Scrolling like I drank the damn Kool-Aid.

The cherry kind.

And then there’s that little two-headed icon that shows a red number when you have a friend request. You get all excited wondering who it could be.

Was it that kid I befriended during eighth grade Outdoor Ed in 1981? I believe she was the one who took the picture of that raccoon eating uneaten Cheese Puffs on my back while I was passed out asleep on my cot in our tent.

Or maybe it’s an old friend that I haven’t heard from in years. Or an ex-coworker. Or maybe even a long lost cousin.

But no. Most likely it’s a friend of a friend of a friend and I typically decline those requests. If we didn’t have some kind of connection somewhere in life, then I don’t really need you knowing about me or my family. Especially when you are an Amway representative and clearly just want to make a sale.

But sometimes I do accept the friend request from perhaps someone I went to high school with. Not because I remember them but because a little quick stalking tells me we both graduated from the same class.

Except it turns out this person tries to get you to join a singles group. If you took one look at my profile pic you would see I am clearly married. No, he’s not my brother, uncle, or that long lost cousin. I don’t usually hold hands with family members in that manner.

He’s my HUSBAND and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t appreciate your invitation. We aren’t swingers last time I checked.

Delete.

And let’s talk about stalking since I brought it up. I do it. You do it. We all do it. We’re all curious about that gorgeous woman at work who wears the best clothes and oozes confidence from her earlobes. Her husband must be HOT. Stalk.

Or the Anna Black of our lives. She was a childhood friend from my Army brat days who actually performed a hazing on potential friends in order to become her friend. Stalk.

Unfortunately, that search produced way too many “Anna Blacks” so there is no way of telling if she turned out to be a cult leader or, well, an Amway rep.

And you KNOW you have stalked an ex-boyfiend or girlfriend. Let’s not deny that you aren’t just a little bit giddy that said ex is fat or bald or is just now entering the toddler phase when you are an empty nester.

So, yeah. Facebook is an addiction that I need to quit. Or at the very least do much less of. So, how about I start next Monday?

Social Media Killed All The Fun

Someone posted this on Facebook the other day:

1010578_684363594926430_1747462678_nAnd I thought, “holy crap, no kidding.”  I can’t even begin to imagine it.  I probably would have spent more time in the principal’s office, rehab or even been shipped off to Military School had my parents known the half of it.

Being a teenager 30 years ago is pretty much the same as being a teenager now.  The difference is we didn’t get caught (as often).  We had ways of intercepting the dreaded phone call from the school secretary claiming we didn’t show up for Math Class.  If we told a “friend” a secret, it took more than 3 minutes to circulate our school and the surrounding towns.   And hiding bad grades?  Damn, I was an expert at that.  I would have been screwed if my mom and dad had access to a  “Parent Portal.”

Kids today can’t do anything fun without going to great lengths to keep it hidden.  I could, as well as most anyone, pretty much write a book on all the mishaps of my teen years.  And I may.  But for now, here are just a few:

  • Doing donuts on Lake Mahopac in January in a friend’s car.  With NO seatbelt.  Not that a seatbelt will save you as your car breaks through and you sink to the bottom of an icy abyss.
  • Driving an abandoned vehicle in a field.  With shards of glass flying in my face from the remains of a smashed out windshield.
  • Driving to the edge of a cliff to see how close we could get without going over.  (By now you get that I enjoyed doing crazy car crap.  My insides are creeping out just thinking about it.)
  • Drinking beer at the A&P until midnight when my parents thought their sweet girl was at the movies with Heidi. If Facebook existed, I’m pretty sure one of the friends I hung out with would have tagged me.  Completely blowing my cover.
  • Cutting class.  Well, there most likely would have been some kind of page dedicated  just for “Mo’s Skipped Classes.”  And what I did while cutting class?  It would have gone viral for sure.
  • The time I threw Mickey Dee’s BBQ sauce in the face of an ex pretty much stayed in the Mickey Dee’s.  Or else peeps would still be talking about it, right?
  • The vomit I spewed onto my boyfriend’s driveway got hosed away into the grass and that is where it stayed.  Not on some cell phone camera for the class of 1986 and beyond to see for their viewing pleasure.

If I knew half the shit I did would be out in cyberspace, I may think twice.  Or not.  I just thank god I wasn’t bred in this generation.  The half-brain I possessed would not have had the ability to filter out the good from the bad.  Unfortunately, only part of me has grown up.  Every day, I have to put forward a real effort to not do or say anything stupid.  I wish filters were as readily available as Youtube.  The world would be a better place, wouldn’t it?

 

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The kid wanted a Facebook account.  Now, DH and I are pretty strict.  We did not give in to her easily.  We had to think about it, mull it over, digest it, dissect it.  Finally we relented.  I had my own page so I could keep an eye on things.

She was happier than a dog eating poop.  Everything’s great.  Happy kid, happy mom.  Until about 6 months later.

The Kid:  Mom, what are you doing?

Me: I’m checking my notifications.

The Kid:  Oh, mom get with the program.  Facebook is so yesterday.

Me:  Oh.

The Kid:  Can I get an Instagram?

First of all, it took me a year to figure out the term “notifications” and she is ready to move on?  Second of all, what the hell is an Instagram and why do you need it?  Apparently, it’s a place where you post pictures.  In my opinion, no one wants to see how you dress your cat.

Now she’s working on us for a Twitter account.  Isn’t that so “yesterday?”  Chirp chirp.  Or is it Tweet?