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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Careful Around the Punchbowl There, Karl

Like all right-thinking citizens of the mostly-modern world, I’m on Facebook.

I got tired of people saying things like “didn’t you get the update?” or “oh, we knew about their new dog on Tuesday, when they got him. That’s old news”.

So I bought in.

And out they came, every person I’d ever met. Facebook had all kinds of friend suggestions for me, from my junior-high boyfriends to high-school science partners to people I had suspected were dead and/or imprisoned, all with pictures and links and frighteningly angry opinions on everything ranging from how to parent your children to fast food.

Here I thought ol’ FB would be more like a party. You know, we’d chat, share some photos, buy each other a couple of virtual drinks and talk about that screenplay we were pretty sure we could write if we had more time.

But like every party, I seem to have wandered into the part of the kitchen cordoned off for the politically angry, the porch dedicated to several weeping individuals who want to know WHY, WHY?, the back steps where a group is (virtually) hugging fervently and passing out (virtual) promises.

I am not among the most readily in touch with my (virtual) emotions and tend to look at these things askance.

And for this – and for using the word “askance” – I will pay.

I offer you this unseemly exchange from a couple weeks back as proof.

Brent - a person I knew a good 15 years ago and now seems prone to sending warm and loving regards to all, sparkling angels, and What Kind Of Elf Would You Be quizzes - posts on his wall: Until you have loved an animal, a part of your soul remains undeveloped.

Pearl - a callus individual I sometimes claim not to know and will refer to here in the third person - responded: And once you have loved an animal and been caught, you have a police record.

I worried about my cynical post immediately, only to have a number of comments of the “LOL” variety follow in quick succession.

Despite the (virtual) validation, I can’t help but wonder:

Perhaps FB is a party, just one I don’t understand.

Could I be the turd in the FB punchbowl?

32 comments:

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Yes Pearl. You are surely the turd in the punch bowl, the Baby Ruth in the swimming pool.

Silliyak said...

It CAN be a righteous indignation fiesta. Sure it feels good in the moment, but someone's gonna get hurt. I had to block people who were espousing extreme (to me) left or right wing paranoid conspiracy theories etc. I find it's been a good source of straight lines recently. Nice birthday reminders. (note-you don't HAVE to put in your birthdate)

Musings, Tea, and Me said...

Ha ha ha! I hear you...things are rarely what they seem, and although this is my third flirt with FB, I have abandoned it lately. I'm just tired of knowing who is eating where with whom. And I don't like people knowing when I'm not home anyway! I must admit, though, you can tell a lot about a person by their sense of humor based on what they post. Vickie

vanilla said...

No, you are not! Given my reluctance to using exclamation points, you may see how emphatically I believe this.
fb is one weird party, for sure. Wish I could lol, or maybe even snicker a bit; but mostly, it's not funny.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
In the same way I refused to discotheque I continue to refuse any booking of face. I refuse to make like a bird. I refuse to gram any Picts...

Stay here on the bright side Pearl; continue to look askance at the shallow and seek to peddle your wit in the full depth of a linguistically luscious page!!! YAM xx

Brian Miller said...

ha. i am 3 years facebook free...

i wandered into the kitchen with the scary girl that follows you home...from indiana...uninvited...that won't leave until the police call and talk to her husband...

there really has to be a quiz for that one, right?

Delores said...

I was accused of bragging the last time I said I wasn't on FB or any of the other social virtual outlets so I will just say, FB ain't for everyone. Take a look around and if you don't like what you see, back out quickly and lock the door.

jenny_o said...

I'm with those of the non-Facebook persuasion - mostly, I'm afraid, because I fear getting mired in yet another time-sucking sponge of technology. Anything I need to know, I eventually find out the old-fashioned way. By email.

You are SO far from being that ... thing that I can't say because I'm about to have lunch. In blogland you are the ginger ale/vodka/pineapple juice/other good stuff with your zing and kick and even nutrition and sweetness. From what I've heard, FB could use a good dose of that.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I would have written "sayeth Mee Man Fuk, the Great Panda Sage of China". Wouldn't have got as many LOLs as your retort, I'm sure.

Joanne Noragon said...

The best thing about FB, you can respond to nothing. I don't even punch the Like thingy. I just follow the feeds I care about.

Shelly said...

I admit I drank the Kool Aid of FB copiously, greedily. Now, though, I wonder more and more what was in it that attracted me. You, my friend, are one of the few reasons I can still find to be in it.

Emma Springfield said...

This is my first visit, Pearl. Already it is one of my favorite blogs. I love your sense of humor. It goes without saying that I will often be back.

Hilary said...

Nah, you're more like the Pearl in the oyster bar.

I keep FB at arm's length. I tend to visit my sister's kitchen and a few other carefully chosen "friends." FB knows too much about too many.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I often think we need a Facebook for the rest of us like-minded people just looking for the party.

joeh said...

Friend me if you want to see what I have for dinner every time I go out to eat.

And I'm pretty sure you would be the fun elf.

Linda O'Connell said...

Ha! You are probably one of the wisest, funniest, and most people won't be able to keep up with your wit. keep flinging it, Pearl. I live for your posts.

Elephant's Child said...

So you are telling me I am not right minded? A Facebook virgin. And happy with it.
And I love your response to the schmaltz.

Sioux said...

Was Linda telling you to fling the poop, since you claim you're the turd?

No, Pearl, you are not the turd in the punchbowl. Many people on FB are the turds, and you are the effervescence in the punch. (Or, the "punch"/the booze in the punch.)

...said a woman who is still NOT on Facebook...

Christine said...

Comments like that dog one need to have funny replies. You are exactly what FB needs to lighten the place up a bit.

Suldog said...

Hell, no. You are Dorothy Parker at the virtual round table.

Suldog said...

Reminds me of Tom Lehrer, actually. In talking of an academic, he said, "He majored in animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one day." I've stolen that joke more than once.

Daisy said...

I want to be your "friend"! It'll be a blast!

More seriously, you can screen and control what people write and read. and always be aware of privacy. I lied about my birthday - they just need to know i'm of legal age to use the site - not the fine details.

It's been a good place for keeping informed of my family and friends. Mixed blessings.

River said...

What Yamini MacLean said. I choose to ignore facebook until long after the day my dead bones disintegrate.

bill lisleman said...

"imprisoned" - You never know they might out on parole awaiting trial.
I could rant on about what is wrong with FB but being the excellent blogger you are, I would be singing to the choir as some say. I don't, because I can't sing. I have expressed my opinion about FB on my blog in numerous posts. Some make it a pity party. Others use it for their political party. Most don't know what the hell they are doing. "Like" is a simple thing to click. Share is not much tougher. Now writing your own original thought - I would guess maybe 10% have done that. OH sorry this is starting to be a rant and I should take those things to FB.

Geo. said...

What is this Facebook? Does it have a Pope? Is it like the LSD that I declined in the '60s because I did not think it would be good for me? Will it topple my who? I have worked hard on my who!

Rose L said...

I never got the Facebook thing. I rarely go in and usually only to see photos a relative or friend posts, or to try to get a hold of a friend. I just don't fly with it.

Simply Suthern said...

I have been hesitant to get on Facebook. I am usually late to these things. I am considering something called My Space.

Daisy said...

You used the word "askance?" GASP! :D

Ian Lidster said...

There are some creepy people in the FB realm and some of them are ones I was foolish enough to friend just in the name of being polite.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Someone has to take another point of view! I'm usually the one.. sigh.

Diane Tolley said...

As a teacher of youth-sized persons, Facebook is a must. That and texting are the only way they communicate! :) You can join my site. Guaranteed no emotion-sucking behaviour going on . . .

Diane Tolley said...

Come sit on my porch! We'll chat, share some photos, buy each other a couple of virtual (non-alcoholic, sorry!) drinks and talk about that screenplay we were pretty sure we could write if we had more time!