9/22/14

Facebook and Emotions . . .

This was a million "must see" videos of kitties ago and you have probably "liked" so many stati (yes, that is the right word) involving the death of elderly grandparents you have probably totally forgotten about it but "we" were all really, really mad at Facebook in late-June.

It seems those evil bastards (who have allowed us to all become the laziest, most insincere people in the world and have given us a free portal through which to archive our lives, manage our every relationship, make money, and even - for some - find love all for FREE) did a little experiment with us to see if they could alter our moods by changing our news feeds.

Clearly I was not part of the test group because every time I log in the Facebook I become just-short-of-homicidal (seriously, people, cut it out) and this is now . . . years after the great summer of the "I wish people would just be honest" status (aka 2009 - 2011) but what did make me chuckle was the outrage of it all.

Here is what the argument boiled down to (even those who looked at it academically) . . . "they" don't have the right to keep things from or force things upon me.

Think about that . . . people were upset they were denied the 400th selfie their middle-aged friends took of them and their daughters at the Taylor Swift concert or the most recent "clickhole" video from the fine folks at Upworthy and/or were forced to acknowledge that people and organizations in their lives are less-than 100% Upworthy.

Know what's funny? That used to be real life. That still IS real life. I ask my colleagues (rarely truly caring for an answer) how their weekends were. I love the monosyllabic answers . . . Good. Great. Eh. Sucked. I am fine with the Cliffs Notes . . . Had fun. Took the kids to see Frozen. Too short. Not great. I will sit through the more inspired longer versions . . . "We found out that the pond has a leak and the fish we stocked it with are not going to make it past dinner tomorrow night." "I had a really great first date with a woman with an eye so lazy it couldn't even stay focused on the table next to us." "My mother-in-law took a turn for the worse so we are going to move her closer to us, for now, and likely in with us by the end of the year." (all three of those are real conversations, for the record). If I missed any of those nine or ten things . . . life would go on.

I would feel weird if I insensitively asked if oh boy's mother-in-law was available for a quick date and I would miss laughing at the date absurdity (they are still dating - it is fine - and her eye is not that lazy, it blinks regularly) and I would feel weird if I didn't stop talking to the guy who went to Frozen because I didn't know I should have stopped. But life would go on.

If we put all of our eggs in this faulty, weak-handled basket called "social media" we should not be so angry if it doesn't lead us to the nirvana we seek. There is no such thing - here or there.