Did I mention I hate Twitter more than anything? I think I did. Well, Facebook’s not far behind, and I say that with sincere apologies to all the people who I dearly love—and with whom I would have no contact whatsoever, were it not for that mind-numbing, brain-draining, time-wasting, ego-bloating little icon with the lower-case F.
For a year or so, I’d strictly limited myself to being “friends” with the people I stil quaintly call my “children,” as well as my “brothers” and “sisters.” And even my “dad,” who was born when they were still fighting World Wars with horse-drawn cannons, and who has now lived long enough to see a world in which Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address begins “4 scor n 7 yrs go…”
In all, I had about 15 Facebook “friends,” which turns out to be about one-eighth the friend count for your average death row serial killer, and that just didn’t seem right. So I expanded my cyber circle, and now I have, I don’t know, it looks like 166 friends. Could that be right? I guess so.
So now my Facebook “News Feed” is cranking out updates the way the old UPI wire machine used to when I was a cub reporter on the Huntington Park Daily Signal. Only instead of late-breaking bulletins about civil unrest or world events, I see a steady stream of the sort of stream-of consciousness communiqués that were once termed, oh, “scuttlebutt” or “this-n’-that”, or “damnable wastes of my precious time.” Facebook calls this its “News Feed,” and it is “news” in that it is about stuff that is happening to somebody, somewhere, right now, and it is “feed” in that it reminds me of the way they grind up spoiled beef and feed it to cattle, resulting in mad cow disease.
I don’t have time to write to all my Facebook “Friends” at once—how could I possibly accomplish such a thing?—so here, for your convenience, is a list of things I do not want to read about any more:
- You are tired.I cannot keep track of how many people report this fact, and then explain the reason at great length: “I was up all night catching up on Dancing With the Stars,” or “I was cramming for a big exam,” or “I was Chatting with my friend Charles Manson.”
Do me a favor. Get some sleep, and when you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the challenge of a new day, don’t write to me about that, either.
- You have a very special carrot that you want to share with me. Or an egg that you found, or a precious gem that you just have to give me. I have since discovered that these messages do not in any way involve actual produce, poultry byproducts, or valuable stones. These are, it turns out, picturesof these things, and as I understand it, you are paying for the privilege of passing these pictures around. I must confess I am so, so mystified by this I don’t even know how to respond. So let’s just drop it, okay?
- Politicians make you sick.Yes, they make us all sick. Trouble is, the politicians that make you sick are the ones I voted for, and the ones you voted for are to my mind one evolutionary step below the box jellyfish. Look, I like you. I’m not going to get into an argument with you. Let’s talk about something we can agree on, like religion. Oh.
- What you’re waiting for. You’re at the doctor, the dentist, the garage, the toll plaza, your shrink, the checkout line, the motor vehicle office…What you’re telling me is “Yes, I am so very freakin’ bored—yet somehow you are going to be totally tantalized by how incredibly bored I am. My boredom may be nothing but a fog-bound torture for me, but the boredom of a megamind such as myself is without doubt of infinite interest to the world at large.”
- The environment. Is the globe warming up too fast for ya? Shut down your computer. Think everyone worried about the planet is a commie? Drop a lit match into the Chicago River. Surprise! It doesn’t burst into flames anymore.
How much you love your pet. How very nice for you.
- What happened last night on The Bachelor. Or American Idol. Or Jersey Shore. Or The Real Housewives of Absolutely Anywhere. If I was even remotely interested in any of those shows—and please, please if I ever express any interest of all, assassinate me—you will be absolutely the first to know. I’ll post it on Linked In.