I Have Cramps! LOL!

From Facebook to Facegook

If you are indulging in the national Facebook con­fes­sion ses­sion, then this is not the post for you. Close the browser right now, so you don’t have to unfriend me later.

Fellow haters, let’s dim the lights, top off our wine glasses, and get com­fort­able, shall we?

Back in 2009, after slyly launch­ing my own Facebook page, my mind would stay busy all day long com­pos­ing sta­tus updates about myself in the third per­son singular/present pro­gres­sive. For exam­ple, if I was clean­ing the horse stall on a cold win­ter morn­ing, I might have writ­ten the fol­low­ing update “…is shov­el­ing frozen  manure at sunrise!”

Thinking up sta­tus updates based on any one of the excit­ing things I was doing was a very grat­i­fy­ing exer­cise in nar­cis­sism for me. I loved cre­at­ing well-turned phrases through­out the day and then coyly offer­ing them up to illus­trate the stag­ger­ing cool­ness of me.

I can’t speak for oth­ers, but I soon began to sus­pect that I wasn’t alone in this endeavor.  Despite our thinly veiled agen­das, there was some­thing kind of sweet going on in those early years. We adults put our best foot for­ward and were care­ful to reveal our­selves in a pos­i­tive light because we respected our­selves and each other.

Eventually we evolved from the third per­son singular/present pro­gres­sive tense to the first per­son sin­gu­lar when post­ing sta­tus updates. Being freed from the demands of the bizarre Facebook syn­tax fur­ther loos­ened our tongues and sparked our col­lec­tive imag­i­na­tion, thereby pro­long­ing the hon­ey­moon with Facebook, and one another,  just a lit­tle bit longer.

Unfortunately, as graph­ics became eas­ier to upload and share, “friends” obliv­i­ously allowed online mar­keters to start speak­ing for them in the form of  dig­i­tal pablum served up on a cheesy graphic.

If I hadn’t been too snotty to par­tic­i­pate in this myself, you can be sure that I would have cho­sen some­thing that would show­case yet another facet of my incred­i­ble coolness.

For exam­ple, let’s imag­ine that my friends were curi­ous about my thoughts on fear but were too afraid to ask me. Being mag­i­cally omni­scient and know­ing that they were des­per­ate to hear my thoughts on fear, I would want to share my thoughts on fear with them. Why sim­ply state, apro­pos of noth­ing, that “Fear makes me want to piss myself” when I could eas­ily post a canned graphic that said “When life gives you some­thing that makes you feel afraid, that’s when life gives you a chance to be brave.”  

I hated the dig­i­tal pablum phase of last sum­mer, but now I feel nos­tal­gic about it. Gone are the days when we con­ducted our­selves on Facebook the way we would around a kitchen table.

Ideally, when hang­ing out with friends and fam­ily in the kitchen, there is laugh­ter and good cheer. The cloth­ing stays on, and there is a polite give and take when it comes to cur­rent events.

In the pri­vacy of the bath­room, draw­ers are dropped, noses are exca­vated, and zits are popped.

Regrettably, some of us have cho­sen to leave the prover­bial bath­room door ajar.

Let me put a fine point on it: The stitches and fes­ter­ing bubos should remain under the ban­dage. The per­sonal tragedy? It belongs with the pas­tor, or coun­selor, or best friend. The drug addic­tion? Again, there are peo­ple bet­ter qual­i­fied than I to help with that prob­lem. Ditto on the Viagra refill and the gooey flu symptoms.

My rela­tion­ship to Facebook has become com­pletely dys­func­tional,  but I can’t bring myself to delete my account. For every one per­son who flashes his necrotic toe­nail via Instagram, two more peo­ple make me laugh. And, morn­ings with­out Facebook would be unimag­in­able, so I’ve got­ten in the habit of plac­ing a barf bag next to my cof­fee cup.

Due to the images of food, scar tis­sue and blood, and the rev­e­la­tions about Viagra and phlegm on Facebook, I now face an exis­ten­tial cri­sis. Even if I still felt tempted to gush about some aspect of my fas­ci­nat­ing exis­tence,  I wouldn’t be able to do it. I have tried. Each time I try to write sta­tus update, a voice in my head intones “no one cares.”

In the past, I have ignored that soul-crushing voice because there were things I really wanted to share. In the spirit of full dis­clo­sure, I give you these exam­ples from my own timeline.

November 5, 2012: “Blasting Peter Frampton while I’m work­ing out gives me goose­bumps even though I’m sweat­ing like a horse and my shirt is soaked”

November 15, 2012: “I haven’t used sham­poo in weeks. Instead, I clean my hair with bak­ing soda and cider vine­gar.  So long large, flakes of dan­druff“

November 22, 2012: “I just dis­cov­ered these AMAZING bras! I am so over the padded ones because they stink in the summer!”

December 18, 2012: “Cutting dairy out of my diet. Too much mucus!”

December 31, 2012: “Thinking about get­ting a new vibra­tor. Can any­one rec­om­mend  one?”

After my own Facebook trans­gres­sions, I have since turned into a benev­o­lent lurker, and auto­cratic poster. I engage in con­ver­sa­tions with friends, but rarely post sta­tus updates any­more unless it is to pro­mote this blog.

If I reck­lessly express my dis­may about our country’s gun prob­lem because, say, 26 peo­ple were mur­dered in a school by a creepy white kid with an auto­matic weapon, I quickly dis­cover that I am expected to par­tic­i­pate in, and/or mod­er­ate a “fair and bal­anced” debate.

I should be more open to debate, but it isn’t nice to pub­licly anni­hi­late your friends, espe­cially after they’ve just checked out a pic­ture of your gall bladder.

February 1, 2013: “Thinking about kick­ing the Facebook habit. Too much bile”

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2 thoughts on “I Have Cramps! LOL!”

  1. It’s amazing how safe people seem to be to share very intimate details to absolute and uncaring strangers, not to mention relatives who might use it against them later!

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