By Jim Hagarty
I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. Lately, lotta hate.
I love the funny memes, the often-amazing pictures and videos of nature and animals, and even some of the political commentary, although I have to confess, I am pretty closed-minded to much of it. If a “friend” keeps pestering me with views about the world order with which I don’t agree, I eventually unfollow him or her. Currently, of my almost 300 friends, I am unfollowing more of them than I am following.
Here are the top five types of status updates that drive me crazy and will cause a friend to be hidden away for future reference.
Memes and commentary that put down the youth of today. Apparently, anyone under 20 these days is lazy, disrespectful and glued to their phones and laptops. Oh, and their pants are too baggy, they have nose rings and tattoos. Yuk! Many of these people who are trashing today’s kids are people I knew personally when I was a kid, even some I hung around with. We were no Nobel prize winners as I recall. We drank like fish, smoked like chimneys and invented disrespect. These friends of mine who are putting down the young among us are now in their fifties, sixties and seventies. I can’t think of anything sadder than an old person criticizing young people, especially when it has been my experience that a lot of these people haven’t met any young people in a long, long time. They are reacting to what they think young people are like today.
Unsolicited advice. Oh my God, this fries my bacon. Why on earth do people turn into gurus when they sign up for a Facebook account? Some of these people are relentless with their free advice and guidance for living. And behind it all, I can’t help but think is their assumption that they have an inside track to Truth that the rest of us just can’t find and it is their mission to help us guide us in the right direction. Ugh a thousand times. I don’t mind people sharing heartfelt life experiences but the preaching is killing me.
The good old days. Scream!!!! Were you aware that everything was fantastic 50 years ago? Music was better, people were more helpful to each other, the Work Ethic was bred into every child and most importantly, we were all tough as cavemen. We literally ate a pound of dirt a day and liked it. We survived everything. No padded dashes and seatbelts for us. No labelling and best-before dates on food packaging. No safety regulations on anything. We swam in dirty creeks and ponds, stayed out on the streets till Mama called us in at 10 o’clock. Or later! There was no fluoride in our water and factory smoke stacks belched out real smoke and we loved it. Good for the lungs. Yes our parents and our teachers whacked the hell out of us for mostly no reason at all except to dispel their own anger but we grew up better people for it all. A moment of silence, if you will, for the good old days.
Cautionary memes about the cruel people around and what to do about them. How, I wonder, did so many of my friends attract such busloads of assholes with which they have had to deal their whole lives? But they have. And so I am pestered with constant suggestions regarding the quality of friendship and the lack thereof. I am told what to do when someone disrespects me or ignores me or puts me down. Where are all these people putting me down? I do not remember being surrounded by jerks at any time in the recent past. In fact, people in my life are pretty darned nice, for the most part. Maybe they chat a bit behind my back, I don’t know, and maybe I talk behind theirs. The last time I looked, this was called being human. Jesus, some people are spending all day crying their eyes out about how rotten their friends have been to them and, assuming I am going through the same thing, they share what I should do about it.
Finally, there are the ever-present scolders who take every opportunity to warn me about the dangers all around me. Food is poison, is the number one truth I have been ignoring. Snoring will kill me. I need to lose weight, need to stop worrying, need to take up yoga and need to slow down. I wonder how many of my Facebook friends forget that I actually know them in real life and have known them for a long time. Not one of them, I can testify here and now, are perfect now or were perfect then. Look after yourselves, by all means, but enough with the wagging finger. Just get busy videotaping your dogs and cats and post them. Some nice photos and videos of your kids. Then please, shut the hell up!