Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Social Media Is Not For Everyone

Hear ye, hear ye! The apocalypse is near! My father has finally gotten a Facebook account! The man who gets annoyed every time the phone rings has willingly decided to sign up to be bombarded by political cartoons, pictures of people's children, requests for borrowing eggs from people on the other side of the world, and status updates from people whose friend requests he only accepted out of politeness and plans on defriending after an appropriate amount of time (a month seems about right).
Everyone has different uses for facebook. I mostly use it to look at pictures of koalas eating leaves and videos of porcupines eating bananas. Some people use it for stalking high school classmates to see which of them are doing better than themselves and which are in prison. Some people use it to widely distribute messages in the hopes of getting at least a few responses- anyone going out tonight, anyone know where to buy a circuit board, anyone have an extra blow up chair in the shape of a duck? Those kinds of messages. Some people use it to see what their friends are up to without actually having to talk to them. Everyone uses it for stalking people.
What my father uses it for, I don't know (since I've refused to friend him). He only has 2 friends. On a good day. To be fair, that's probably more than me but I can't really see him stalking people he's just met, which is what, um, other people use it for (don't judge me- it's normal human curiosity). He's a follower of the “don't ask if you don't really want to know” policy. My mother is not wise enough to have learned this. Or maybe she just does really want to know. The difference between them is that you will never hear my father asking how a person lost his limb, what the surgery's for, or why the marriage didn't last, etc. This leads me to conclude that my father is not interested in going through people's facebook pages looking for clues about their hobbies, marital status, religious and political views, and family relationships. This also leads me to believe that my mother should probably not be let out unattended. She has occasionally wandered into restricted areas out of curiosity and probably has a file with several government agencies (in several different countries) after being flagged for asking the wrong people the wrong questions.
I understand that different people have different needs when it comes to facebook and everyone uses it differently. The problem is when my facebook needs and other people's facebook needs are incompatible. I just want to be amused. Funny pictures and cartoons, and amusing anecdotes are ok by me. Post a funny video, make me laugh, and I'll be happy. You don't have to announce to the world what you ate for breakfast, your exercise regimen, or what time you went to bed last night (incidentally because you were on facebook all night instead of sleeping). Basically any conversation I don't want to have with you face to face because it's boring is one I don't want to read about on facebook.
I also am not a fan of public meltdowns via social media. I recall a certain very long facebook post concerning the depressed mental state and terrible anguish of the author. I certainly wasn't going to be the one to ask what the matter was but someone else made the mistake of doing so. It turns out she had dropped her phone in the toilet. This is why I never ask. The poster is just waiting for someone to ask about their cryptic post. Well I refuse to fall into that trap. If you have something to say, say it. Otherwise I'm just going to ignore it. Or better yet, maybe I'll start responding to these posts in riddles:
Random person who likes to write ambiguous posts: Want to lay down on the ground and get traipsed on by homeless people.

Natania: 42 and yellow!

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