R U Drunk on Facebook…Again?

The headline screams loud, “Social Media Domination!”   

Oh come now! Are Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and such the “aha” lights of your life? And maybe your business too? Are you drunk on Facebook?

Again?

Yes, the hype sounds good on paper, er uh, I mean, electronic media. After all, I can strategically locate, contact and then woo people I barely know or have never met. And it’s all on the Internet, so it’s not like watching them window-to-window with a telescope.

Is it?

Hmmm……

Certain friends of mine envision a pseudo horror society, where all privacy is stripped and our souls laid naked for the world to do with what it will.  But…what about the articles that quote otherwise?

“Such a simple, safe and effective way to network.”

What I see is, “Never leave the basement. Stay in touch while you lounge in your worn skivvies, sip Red Bull and munch on Cheetos.”

Is it creepy like that yet? Let’s examine…

Not so long ago, it was difficult for many introverted folks to start a conversation. Awkward social skills, rural homes and simple laziness also introduced a certain degree of separation amongst human animals.

Then one day, along comes this abundance of online bounty, called INFORMATION You  Google up a clever line or two and then jump right in—the social walls have tumbled! Let me give you an example…

Anne Rice, the author, is one of my Facebook friends. I have never met her, but nonetheless, she is someone I admire, therefore it made sense to take the opportunity to gain exposure to her “personal” side.

Two days after she accepted my friend request, I commented on a post she had written. My prose was drooly, complimentary and yes, long and drawn out. “This’ll get her attention,” I confidently thought.

Well, imagine my delight, when nine days later I receive an alert from Facebook. “Anne Rice commented on your wall post!”

OMG, I thought. My idol has recognized me.

Had to take a moment to calm myself, till I was ready to open the app and reveal the sacred words of my big time celebrity friend.

Shaky fingers typed that familiar user name, “Getalife,” followed by the password, “Seriously.” I gazed expectantly, and clicked through to the post and there it was…emblazoned in lower case font: “thanks”

“She likes me, she really, really likes me!” I shouted.

“Probably just her assistant,” said one downer friend of mine.

“No! She said in her profile that she doesn’t use an assistant for Facebook. It was her! In fact, I’ll bet she read my post over and over. Probably saved it and shared with her really important author friends. We connected!”

“Uh…right dude.”

Alright, back to center. It is my experience that a good solid human connection should be made face to face. Shake hands, hug, kiss, make eye contact, talk, listen, laugh, cry—all that old fashion stuff from back in the day.

Second best is a phone call. Whether landline or cell, it’s all good. Same as above, sans handshake, hug, kiss and eye contact. Still a live engagement.

I’ll bypass texts, note cards and smoke signals to move right in to Facebook. So much has been said about its virtues, as well as the dark side.

Lots of validity for both.

The way I see it—just as it was somewhat “unfashionable” to shop at Wal-Mart a few years ago; so many folks (Maybe you?) say, “I never go on Facebook.”

Um hmmm. Like the Yogi Berra quote, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

Let’s put it out there. Just about anyone who owns a computer and has Internet connection is exposed to Facebook and has likely made a choice to join, or not to join. A recent Statista report stated 77% of all Americans participate in social networking—much of that through Facebook. Another recent poll states that 95% of Americans bought something at Walmart last year.

There’s an old joke, told way too often by stand-up comics… “A recent survey showed that 80% of people masturbate…and the other 20% are liars.”

See the point?

So, what does Facebook do…really.

Some say it’s to “Keep in touch with friends and family.” Sounds reasonable enough.

I say though, it helps to avoid that overdue phone call or drop-by, and instead provides pseudo maintenance to a lazy personal or business relationship.

Of course; on a phone call, you can blabber away and it’s mostly all forgotten by hang-up time. True, but—you connect. With Facebook, on the other hand, you write a few clever sentences, then change your mind and word it all differently—again and again; till finally you have arrived at just the right blurb. Thank God for the backspace key, eh?

Your “timeline friends” will read your post and then sometimes reply in kind. And don’t forget—those same words will stay on your respective walls till the end of time.

Others may troll Facebook, simply for the fun of it. That’s great—if you consider stalking a hobby.

Where else can you peek at intimate testimonials or “accidentally” discover who “friended” whom. Many a domestic battle has been waged on the hallowed grounds of this site.

Still others may say their reasons are to “express my views.” I suppose that makes some sense. I wonder though, if you choose this venue because no one really cares about those views in the flesh and blood world. Write an awkward quote penned by you—or worse, steal something from a buzzword poet and call it your “inspiration.”

I’ll say it, “No one cares!”

OK, I’ve ranted my piece. Made light of Facebook and certainly myself. I too, participate in the hubbub, and despite the negatives, find it a refreshing and simple means to shrink our world to a smaller neighborhood.

So—next time I write a thought or muse on my timeline, you have every right to pummel it with thoughts of how you really feel or you can be extra nice and say it is cute and clever. Just don’t ignore me. Several hundred friends who don’t pay attention to something I took so much thought to say….

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