I’m not sure when I actually joined Facebook but I think it was sometime in 2009. I had 2 friends and no idea how to get more. There were some people I knew that had as many as 2,000 friends. I don’t think I’ve even known 2,000 people in my whole life. What kind of friendless existence had I been living?
It wasn’t long before I had 50 friends and I was starting to get their postings on my newsfeeds. Most of these people I hadn’t seen in 40 years. Many of them were from high school and it was fun to catch up on their lives.
Several of my friends are very political. Some are wildly liberal and some depressingly conservative. I couldn’t help myself. I started correcting posts that were lies or stated incorrect facts. I very quickly found out that no one cared if their posts were wrong and they didn’t appreciate my pointing out the facts. Doesn’t anyone do any research before posting their stuff? Apparently not. I also learned that no one ever changed anyone’s mind by challenging their Facebook “facts”. They just get annoyed and unfriend you. I didn’t mind really. I had never been to their house for dinner and they had never been to mine. In fact, I hadn’t actually seen them for forty years and wasn’t planning to see them now.
I’m tired of cute cat videos. I used to watch them and chuckle until they started to appear several times a day on my newsfeed. I later discovered that, if I clicked on a cat video, Facebook took that to mean that I wanted to see more of them. I didn’t and I still don’t but you can’t tell Facebook anything, they really don’t listen.
Last week I went to use my new power washer to clean my deck. I couldn’t find the manual so I went to Amazon, looked up my power washer and downloaded the manual. The very next day, I started getting sponsored posts from Amazon trying to sell me a new power washer. I had this creepy feeling that George Orwell was looking over my shoulder and nodding like he knew this would happen.
Recently a “friend” posted this on Facebook. “Hi everyone. I can’t decide what to have for breakfast this morning so I’m hoping all of my friends will post what they had and help me make up my mind”. Really? This is what you want from your friends? I answered that I had four fried eggs, a New York strip steak and half a pound of bacon. Atkins diet, right? I figured I might as well help them try and lose some weight since I could tell from their profile picture that was what they needed most. Just trying to help.
Two winters ago, we had a brutal winter on Cape Cod. Record snowfall and cold temperatures. I was in Florida for the winter. I thought I’d cheer people up by posting pictures of me sitting on my dock with a cold beer and a fishing rod. It didn’t cheer them up. I was reviled and warned that, if I did that again, they’d shun me when I got back to Cape Cod. Shun me? What am I, Amish?? I know they were joking but when they're buried in snow, I shouldn't remind them that I'm shoveling sunshine!
I’ve pretty much stopped posting anything on Facebook unless I think it’s really funny. No more political posts, no more expressing my opinion, no more challenging other people’s opinion. I’m thinking of dropping out completely, but, if I did that, no more cat videos. I’m not sure I could handle that.