How does a somewhat normal middle-aged man who shuns most forms of social media and modern technology quit the one demon that has captured him?
I'm talking about Facebook, and I hate myself for even going on it because it's -- as we used to say -- played.
Of course, I have posted my fair share of over-rated music videos from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Heck, I've even posted links from the newspaper ... this paper, in fact. I've have gotten in touch with people who I haven't heard from in 40 years in some cases. That was cool.
But now I have to see the pictures of their trip to the islands. They show their personal triumphs and that place they have in Lake George. What am I going to post, the new tires that I bought for the old pick-up? That's my glamorous lifestyle.
I just don't think that I should be viewing the personal activities of the guy who fixed my sister's toilet. There he is on my Facebook timeline because he told a good plumbing joke once and I laughed, so now we're supposed to be friends? I hate the politics you are bombarded with on FB. All you get is the creepy side of both parties. And this I can't quit? Funny, I never thought the First Amendment would be so annoying.
I'm sick of the pictures of puppies with cute sayings. I'm sick of the upside-down kitty that's having a bad day. But the thing that gets me jacked up on Facebook the most is when people take pictures of their food and post it. Isn't this the kind of stuff that brought down the Roman Empire? What about the young guy or the single mom who can't afford veal with cheese sauce like you and your "simply wonderful husband?"
Yet, I go back every day, sometimes twice or more during the day. I go back to Facebook for reasons I can't describe. I scan the world of my FB friends and it ticks me off.
That's my Facebook experience: It gets me angry, and I don't know why. I'm on the patch for smoking, but do I need one for Facebook, as well? Once again, I'm hooked on something that makes me feel bad.
It's a weird thing when you read a personal conversation between a husband and wife. Why don't they just talk to each other for Pete's sake? I don't think I need to know that my seventh-grade girlfriend needs air freshener and a cantaloupe from the market. Their postings are sappy and full of names like "Pooh Bear," while he calls her "Kitten." It just makes me irritated. And Wall Street wonders why the stock tanked when it was offered on the open market.
OK, I'll admit I like the pictures from my close family and relations. I don't mind postings from those who are really close to me and local. The ones who get me going are the far away grammar-school folks, the people I met when I was 13 and wouldn't really know if I fell over them. They are not my friends, they are acquaintances, and there is a big difference, as a buddy of mine once told me.
Twitter? I know nothing of Twitter. But I would think it would be just as annoying as Facebook. And all that Tweeting that goes on ... I just don't get it. As I opened with, I'm not the most tech-savvy guy in the modern age. I stopped evolving with tech advances and social media last decade. Some will say I've stopped evolving as a person years before that.
So the questions I'm asking myself is: Do I grow with the times while learning tolerance of others? Can I be happy that some kid who had an accident in his sleeping bag on a sleep-over in 1971 now has a place on Assembly Point in Lake George? And more importantly, do I want to? Dern you Facebook, you're trying to change me!
Johnnie Carrier is a freelance writer who is still evolving as a human being. "I'll get there someday with the help of modern technology."