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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I blame Facebook

It has been more than a year since I wrote anything on this blog. Is that possible?

I blame Facebook.

Go ahead, laugh. It sounds funny on the surface, but seriously, the hours I have spent on that heinous site are hours that I will never get back. Never.

That's a pretty long time.

So today starts my 12-step program of weaning myself off the crack that is Facebook.

I'm not sure what all of the steps will be yet, but I know what Step 1 is. Start writing. Blog entries here, an outline for my book, dirty limericks, grocery lists, anything. Any writing is better than useless status updates there.

Seriously, what is the purpose of most status updates that people write? Validation? Popularity points? A feeling of power because what they've said is just SO profound?

My answer? All of the above.

Have you ever noticed how some people get sad and irritated when no one responds to their status updates? I call these the Validation Seekers. They start posting more and more, and then finally say something like, "Is anyone else having problems with Facebook? I don't think people can see my posts."

Well no Sunshine, Facebook isn't broken. I just don't care what the humidity is doing to your hair today, what you shopped for at the grocery store, or that your lunch has made you take numerous trips to the bathroom. I don't care that you heard/read somewhere that McDonald's fries cause cancer (newsflash, just about anything in the modern world probably has the potential to cause cancer). I am not going to pray for you to get a good offer on your house, for your team to win the playoffs, or for you to get a high SAT score.

Get. Over. Yourself. I have.

The Popularity Point Collectors are always a good train wreck to watch so long as you can stay out of their drama puddle, because you seriously don't want to get any of THAT on you! For them it is all about the number of "likes" and the number of responses. How many people are going to come along and say, "I know, RIGHT????!!!!!" Godz forbid anyone question what they're saying or worse, actually tell them they're full of crap. That could be grounds for (gasp!) UNFRIENDING!

Side note: can I just tell you how happy I am that "unfriending" is underlined in red on my screen right now, and that it hasn't been added to the Universal Online Dictionary (yes, I made that up) as an actual word?

Back to what I was saying . . . one would think that the Popularity Point Collectors would all be young, right? Don't they sound like teenagers and tweens? Yeah . . . no. Their club is an open bar baby - middle-aged women and men, twenty-somethings, educated, uneducated, black, white, brown and yellow - they're all represented in the PPC drama world. I've been sucked into it myself, more times than I care to admit. I've probably even started it a few times. Let's face it, we all love a little train wreck action occasionally as long as we aren't one of the casualties.

Again, hours I'll never get back.

And then there are the preachers. Oh, the preachers. They are speaking THE WORD. What word? Well, the word that you're supposed to read, live, and share. No, really - share it, as in "click on the little word 'share' - it's blue, you can't miss it" and tell the world what I am saying. Why? Because I am speaking THE WORD!

Now, the "word" could be political views, warnings about the aforementioned evil french fries, spreading awareness, religious views . . . just about anything. These are the people who think that just because they said it on Facebook, it is true and it is somehow going to sway people to think like they do. They think that if they tell you the President is bad, God is a woman, or that you should only eat beef that has been fed organic corn grown in the eastern-most country of Nebraska, you should believe it because they are such a reliable source.  Come ON - I posted it on Facebook people, how can you doubt me?

Shallow. That is the word that comes to mind when I read status updates like those. But not everyone on Facebook is shallow. Some of them truly do have something important to say. Some use Facebook as a means to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away. Some use it as a place to goof off (my personal favorites actually).

Whatever people are using Facebook for, it’s still a time sucker. There are so many more productive things I could be doing - reading a book, cleaning my house, making more jewelry, visiting friends, writing my book . . . so from this point on, when I feel the need to share my thoughts, I’m going to make it more than just a status update. Look out World - Shannon is about to start talking!

Now to figure out how to get this blog on Facebook so someone will actually read it . . . .