Like most, I have a serious Love/Hate relationship with Facebook. I haven’t figured out how to completely wash its smarmy germs off my skin, but, I also haven’t been on in a decade.
There’s things I’ve missed. Friends’ birthdays, top of the list. Of course, if I’m a good friend, shouldn’t I know the date when a soul pal entered this parenthesis of woe? We have become such mental mush upstairs. I was reminiscing with a friend the other day. Neither of us can remember telephone numbers. Remember? Some of us used to store hundreds of phone numbers, area code and all, using a prehensile organ called a “memory?” Smartphones came along and we don’t even have to push a single button anymore. We say, “Siri, call that wretch of a human being Randy Lawrence and be jolly quick about it.”
In an Arabic young maiden’s giggle, Siri responds, “Yes oh kind and powerful master.”
If I had my druthers, I’d probably live in a cabin atop a distant lakeside mountain. I’d still have WiFi and cable, but I’d tell everyone that I lived on a mountain and my internet was, ahem — “sketchy…” You can smile weakly, tap the person there-there on the arm and walk away disinterestedly, but I frankly think that’s piling on.
I was on Facebook for years. Like my marriages, it was my own fault. When I first climbed aboard the social media giant, I put down in my background information that I was born in Somalia and was a pirate. That garnered me several nice non-pirate citizens of Somalia as FB Friends although now that I think about it, perhaps they were just pretending to be nice so they could get close and steal my cargo containers or borrow money to place a duly appointed prince back on his rightful throne.
I wouldn’t say being on Facebook is like having a serious heroin addiction. I don’t have to say it. We all know it. We’re scum. Sure, we turn our nose up at everyone in San Francisco who shoplifts. But we’re no better. It’s a blankety-blank addiction and you know it is when you can’t go a few hours without getting the screaming joneses for a gossip fix.
I’ve been clean & sober for a decade. Don’t need to take a selfie of me and my breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Or snap a photo of a miniature nephew or niece all cute and a dot on the horizon playing outfield a quarter-mile away on a T-ball field. Don’t particularly miss wincing when I accidentally look at the gaping wound of a Hart High classmate (Home of the Mighty Indians Forever, Woo-Hoo!) after they slipped on a rock at Placerita Nature Center.
CAPTION: “That’s actual blood and human flesh and my broken fibula sticking out! Doctors say it can’t be fixed!!”
Someone you don’t know from Polynesia pipes in: “I was eaten by a shark once. It looked just like that!!”
And, from that one series of close-ups of the inside of the human leg and a personal account of being digested by a shark, you get 116 recipes for tuna helper and a posting suggesting Donald Trump shot Kevin Costner at the end of season No. 4 of “Yellowstone.” That’s Facebook.
Actually, Facebook is fact-checking that Kevin Costner got shot at the end of season No. 4 of “Yellowstone” and getting 67,304 responses correcting you that it was the end of Season No. 3.
I had all sorts of personal Amos ’n’ Andy business enterprises over the years where I used the platform to gently nudge the world toward my humble magic carpet of wares for sale. I started using my personal FB site and it grew by leaps and bounds. I no longer kept up on whether a sister-like substance next door just gave birth, again, or that I was supposed to bring a casserole to tomorrow’s funeral. As my public “friends” grew, my actual friends were dissipating into the ghostly ether of the world wide web. I’m getting vacuumed into conversations with Black Lives Matter members and the boys from the Michigan low levels of melatonin state militia. I’m taking valuable time issuing condolences for Antifa members I don’t really know who sprained an ankle while burning an orphanage or offering a thumbs up for tuna helper recipe from Deepest Darkest Africa where you’d think they’d have lots of helpers but not so much tuna.
I’ve got this new pie-throwing excuse of a publishing company I just started. My tech vice president assures me I must return to The Facebook Borg and become the Social Influencer I Was Born To Be. Either that, or hire the Next Marilyn Monroe to breathlessly crank out videos extolling the virtues of my latest literary clip-on tie.
I don’t wanna go back to Facebook. Don’t wanna don’t wanna don’t wanna.
I’m learning I don’t have to get a personal page again. I can hop on the social media freight train as — A Public Figure. Like Cher. Or maybe Will Smith. I don’t keep up with pop trends anymore. Is Will popular? I’m sure I’ll find out, whether I want to or nada.
A Public Figure on Facebook. It’s like being a pigeon-stained statue in a parallel dimension or having your bathroom on the front lawn, encased in glass for all the world to see and comment.
For those of you who don’t know me, it stated on my old, old, old Facebook bio that I attended Alliklik People’s University in British Columbia where I majored in Fishing Commentary. I actually ended up making a good friend who was an author and torch singer. Even met her once. Strikingly beautiful Toronto woman who started innocently asking if I owned any cargo containers.
Unfriended her faster than you could drop third-period Quebec.
Until he gets on back Faceback, visit johnbostonbooks.com and buy many of John Boston’s fine, insightful and filled-with-mirth volumes.