Let’s All Throw Facebook Into the Ocean

I spend at least an hour a day on Facebook, and I’m probably not going to stop. So don’t take this post as any indication that I’m going to change my ways. I’m not here to lie to you.

That said, can we agree that Facebook is the best worst? Leave aside for the moment that it was apparently used by a foreign power to sway the election. I’m almost as concerned about the fact that it makes me into a crazy person who thinks she can persuade people to change their minds — something that’s nearly impossible to do under the best of circumstances.

If I had a nickel for every stupid fight I’ve gotten into on Facebook, I’d have at least one very grimy dollar. And I’m a non-confrontational person. Generally my feeling about personal disagreements in real life is, “Meh, I’m tired.” When a fight breaks out on Facebook, however, I’m all:

wrong

This is clearly a sign of insanity. And yet there’s something about Facebook that brings out the worst in me and just about everyone I know. I’ve had fights with people on Facebook in which we’re both on the same side of the argument, and yet still become mortal enemies by the end of the thread. Sort of like this:

Me: I want to like oranges, but the white stringy parts creep me out.

Beloved Friend of Over 20 Years: I agree! Oranges are the worst!

Me: Well, I mean, the orange part is good. I could just do without the surprise flossing.

Friend: Right? Oranges are gross.

Me: WHY DO YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME? I BET YOU VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP.

And scene.

Again, in real life, I would never behave this way. But all forums and social networks make it easier to hide behind a wall of code. It’s not even necessarily Facebook’s fault, except that I suspect they tweak the algorithm to make sure we see stuff that will enrage us, so that we’ll interact more with the site. But probably any social site that I visited every day would turn into the same thing.

Except Instagram, which is apparently full of ladies’ butts. At least, that’s what I’m getting from my followers’ list.

Images: someecards; Massimo Barbieri/Flickr

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My Facebook Feed Hates America

So, you might have heard that Sunday was a pretty good news day.

The 24-hour news cycle being what it is, I figured we’d probably start seeing backlash sometime tonight. I was maybe a little naive, at least as far as Facebook goes. (And if it doesn’t happen on Facebook, does it really happen at all? Ha, ha, sob.)

Going by my Facebook news feed, it seems that people are pretty evenly divided into three camps:

1) Elation. Full disclosure, this is my camp. I actually saw a video last night of people chanting “USA! USA!” in a stadium and didn’t think they looked like they were at some creepy Soviet rally circa 1950.

2) Conspiracy theory. These are people who hate good news. Mostly, the popular story seems to be that we killed Bin Laden’s double, or something. This is so bananas, I don’t even know what to do with it. How do you argue with a person who thinks that the most complicated version of history must be right? I think the only thing to do is to suggest they stay away from TV and movies for a month. Maybe all forms of narrative storytelling. Because clearly, someone wants a twist ending.

3) Weirdly displaced grief. OK, OK, I get that it’s weird to celebrate a person’s death. I understand that it’s not the spiritually evolved stance to take. But maybe let’s not pretend that we killed Bambi’s mom. This was a mass murderer of innocent men, women, and children. Maybe Jesus and the Buddha wouldn’t have been as totally psyched as I am right now, but last time I checked, I wasn’t Jesus or the Buddha, so … whee!

Also, for those of you who were wondering, Sgt. Lucky and I totally danced around the apartment to the Ewok Celebration song last night when we heard the news.

A Very Monday Monday

This was one of the worst Mondays in recent memory – not for me, so much. For all of you.

I can tell this, because Facebook and Twitter told me so. Here’s a random sampling of sad, sad (oh so sad, very sad) status updates from around my personal network today:

Marc L: What’s the one business Warren Buffet would never buy into? Mine. (Thanks, Buffie!)

David M: Someone smeared Vaseline on my Monday.

Meghan H-B: Didn’t know dogs could get bronchitis.

The Puppy Tax

Lazy blogging, I know, but I’ve never gotten 18 comments on a Facebook status, and I am nerdily proud of it:

Status: Jen’s new favorite thing is to say, “I cannot wait til Obama fixes _____.” It works for everything!

Jen Hubley at 4:32pm November 6
For example, “I cannot wait until Obama makes there be more Diet Coke in the machine.” Or: “I cannot wait until Obama makes beer that works as a diet aid.” Etc.

Shannon at 4:32pm November 6
Seriously?

Jen Hubley at 4:34pm November 6
Think of it as some gentle self-satire. 😉

Shannon at 4:34pm November 6
You are too funny (;

Julia at 4:37pm November 6
I cannot wait until Obama makes rainbows happen ev-er-y day!

Jen Hubley at 4:38pm November 6
I cannot wait until Obama buys a puppy, not just for his own kids, but for EVERY. SINGLE. ONE OF US.

Julia at 4:40pm November 6
That’s totally socialism, lady. Redistribution of puppies is not cool.

Jen Hubley at 4:41pm November 6
I cannot wait until Obama takes puppies from people who have TOO MANY puppies, and gives them to those of us who have TOO FEW.

Julia at 4:43pm November 6
I earned my puppies. My right to own all my puppies is in the constitution. You’ll have to pry my puppies out of my cold, dead hands.

Jen Hubley at 4:45pm November 6
FINE. Then we will tax your puppies. Prepare to pay the Puppy Tax!

I’m Actually Surprisingly Bad at Scrabble

Facebook has this excellent thing called Scrabulous, which lets you play Scrabble with all your internet friends. Most of my internet friends are writerly, so I spend a lot of my time getting my ass kicked. For example, I am currently losing four games.

Scrabble also has a message function, via which I just had the following conversation:

Jen H: everyone is raping me at scrabble today

Ross P: so many things in one sentence! aargh!

The Cabbage Patch Nurse

NB: I did ask my pal if it was OK to post the following. So if you’re a real-life friend of mine, it’s safe to email me with your woes. I won’t just put them RIGHT UP ON THE INTERWEBS. Ahem.

As most of you know, I love social networking. At any given time, I’m an active member of at least three different sites, by which I mean that I check them regularly and actually use them to stalk people, instead of just leaving them out there as dead internets-real estate. (Although I’ve got plenty of those accounts too.)

Anyway, right now I’m mostly on teh facebook, because that’s that has scrabulous and because I like to see people’s statuses change. It’s so helpful to be informed that your friend “is going to kill her friend Jen” or “would like to buy a drink for a struggling writer” before contacting them. (Neither one of those statuses have happened yet, but there’s always time.)

Recently, I check my facebook and discovered that a friend of mine from high school, we’ll call her Jane, had logged in and changed her status to the following:

“Jane is horrified at the idea of having to date again. Ugh.”

Well. Something you might not know about me is that I like to help. I like to help a lot. I immediately wrote to Jane:

Subject line: Dating

Message: Is disgusting. It’s my least favorite. In my perfect world, it would go like this: I would go out and get drunk with fun people until love descended from above. This is called college, sadly, and is hard to recreate.

Anyway, sending well wishes your way.

Jane replied:

You’re a sweetheart! Thanks for the well wishes. My college experience was more along the lines of getting drunk with fun people, then discovering them in my bed the next morning and desperately trying to remember what their names were while frantically searching for my bra amongst the sheets. Love descended from above far less frequently than hangovers. Ah, the good old days…

But dating, alas, is even less fun. At least in college, when I was still desperately trying to prove I was straight, I felt like I was accomplishing something, you know? “Tally one more proof of heterosexuality,” while now my biggest dating accomplishment seems to be not chucking my drink in some lady’s face out of sheer boredom.

Le sigh… what’s your most recent bad date? I’ll tell you about the Cabbage Patch Nurse if you tell me yours 😉

Cabbage Patch Nurse? Who could resist? I wrote back:

Oooh, girl. Let’s see.

OK: One bad date. I met this social worker through Match.com. Sez I to myself, “Social worker! Surely he won’t be a sociopath like most guys I meet.” Sez my shrink to me, “Oh dear. You know, most of us are very odd. We couldn’t afford professional degrees and the amount of therapy we actually needed.”

Needless to say, the guy was creepy in a Green River Killer sort of way. He was very nervous, as if the drugs were taking hold, and spent A LOT of time talking about how he was a lapsed Catholic, and how hard it was, and how he would have become a priest, but he loved KEEES-ING and TOOOUCH-ING too much.

I swear it was all could do not to point out that his pervy mcpervs were not incompatible with the priesthood.

Anyway. Do tell me of the Cabbage Patch Nurse. Which should be the name of some artistic work or other, I tell you.

Jane replied:

I know, so hard to pick just one, isn’t it? Though that does sound like a doosie- should’ve checked with me before dating a social worker. I could have told you, from bitter experience, that none of them are just the Hairclub president, so to speak. Good thing he was so, um, tactile…it bodes so well for his future professionally, either in the priesthood or in therapy.

And now, the one, the only…. Cabbage Patch Nurse.

So I worked up my nerve, and went on a date with a friend of a friend’s friend. I met her for lunch, thinking it couldn’t be a long nightmare that way, if she turned out to be a member of the Manson family or something. Nope, she wasn’t: turns out she’s a nurse. She turned up, and I shit you not, she looked like my Cabbage Patch Kid, Blythe Marie. Same weirdly squished-but-doe-eyed face, hair in two braids…I kept resisting the urge to drop my napkin, to peek under the table and check if she had those scary dimpled knees like the doll, you know?

Little did I know, she had fiberfill for brains, just like my old doll. She babbled happily along about her ex and her coming out process, and I quietly munched my food, trying not to think about how I finally succeeded in giving the other Blythe Marie an appendectomy on my parents’ kitchen table, and tried not to wonder if that meant I was possibly the bigger loon at the table? Finally, just as I raised my cup of tea to my lips she says, flapping her eyelashes earnestly, “I don’t really know if I should vote in the next election, you know?…when is it, anyway, January? Besides, I think people have been really hard on Bush, don’t you? I mean, he’s really likable, in a bland sort of way?” (yes, she ended every clause she uttered with a big fat question mark)

I concentrated on swallowing my tea, and thought peaceful, calming thoughts until the check finally arrived. I kept thinking how this caring, well-meaning woman is a nurse, and handles drug dosages for patients. Heaven protect all the little old ladies in the home where she works.

Now I ask you, with that to think back on as my first dive into the dating scene in 6 years, is this really something I want to get back into???? Horror, I tell you, pure unadulterated horror!

Now, that, pals, is a bad date.