Wednesday, July 03, 2013

He lives

I made my little-ballyhooed return to Facebook a couple weeks ago.  The response was as you might expect.  A couple of "He's alives!" and one "Rumors of Bone's demise were greatly exaggerated."

But alas, I'm no Facebook Jesus.  Or even a Facebook Paul McCartney.  If anything, I'm more of a Facebook Luke Spencer.  Good for a few one-liners, then mysteriously absent for months on end.  But always, beloved by all.  (Wow, that last line sounds a little tombstone-ish.  Eh, I'll never come up with anything better.  Go ahead and chisel me in.)

November 28, 2011.  That was the fateful day of my last Facebook status update.  I had posted the following: "Why does Yahoo weather say it's snowing here, but when I look out I don't see ANY?  Am I... wait for it...... snow blind?"

And then, nothing.  For nineteen months.  No likes.  No status updates.  No passive-aggressive "Don't you love when someone lies to your face."  No "Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes, I've never felt more loved (by people I barely know)."

Nineteen months with no Facebook gives a man a lot of time to think.  And tweet.  But mostly, tweet.

Since my unceremonious return, the two questions I get the most are: Why did you quit Facebook?  And why did you come back?  And, did you know your Dad has like a hundred more friends than you?  OK, so three questions.

To be honest, I have given almost no thought to the first question.  I mean, who has the time for such ponderings when you log in to see one of your high school friends (Axl) has changed his profile pic and underneath it you read "Your dad and twelve other people like this."  (Is that tombstone ready yet?)

Top of my head, a few things do come to mind which contributed to my hiatus.  They include, but are not limited to:  Political posts.  People who seem to be in some unannounced competition to make their life seem beyond perfect and better than everyone else's, especially when you talk to said person almost daily and they do nothing but gripe and complain about their life away from Facebook.  Also, it sometimes felt like a contest for likes and comments.

And don't get me started on the typos and misspelled words. My God, the misspelled words! My blood pressure goes up forty points just thinking about them.

But mainly, I think it comes down to the fact that I'm just not a very social person.  And it is, after all, a social networking site.  It was just too much.  I like my human interaction in small doses.

So why am I back?  I suppose I had contemplated returning for sometime.  But ultimately, the straw that broke the Facebook-less camel's back was a single, kind post by a sweet friend.  It reminded me that there were a lot of good, supportive friends there.  And that I shouldn't let the bad and annoying behavior of a few rob the rest of the world of my brilliant-in-my-own-mind, if sporadic, statuses. Besides, it's becoming pretty clear Facebook is part of my heritage.

I can easily see Dad and I having a Frank and George Costanza Festivus moment, only about Facebook:
"Bone, Facebook is your heritage. It's part of who you are!"
"That's why I hate it."

Don't get me wrong.  It's still way too much.  Do you realize some people post on Facebook four or five times a day?  Who has that kind of time???  I barely had time to score twelve thousand points last week in Words With Friends.

And can I just say, I think we're all overusing the "like" button a bit?

"My dog died."  47 likes.

"My kid's sick." 22 likes.

"Darrin lost his job today.  No idea how we're going to pay the rent next month." 6 likes.

And now we're liking comments, too?  You can even like your OWN comment (which I have done, on more than one occasion, if you're curious).  Next we'll be liking likes.  "Hey, I liked your last status update, why didn't you like my like?"  These are the important conversations I imagine people to have.

The other thing I would like to know is where are all these overly-friendly people in real life?  I mean, I'm driving and people are cutting me off and honking and giving unflattering hand gestures.  And nobody likes anything or anybody at work.  People are griping about their spouses or clients or co-workers.

But put these very same people on Facebook, and magically they turn into the world's largest support group.  How fortuitous, as I've been looking for a new support group since my Jason-Morgan-Dependency group fizzled out a few weeks ago.

I should invent an app.  It would work with your Facebook page to give your friends more options than just liking a post.  There could be a "sympathy" button.  A "love" button.  (Sounds kinda kinky.)  A "BO-RING!" button.  If a post gets 10 "borings" Facebook automatically deletes it.  And of course, the ever popular "My God, are you on Facebook 24/7!?!?" button (also known as the "you are posting excessively" button).

I'm serious about this!  I think I shall be googling "Designing Apps For Dummies" later today.

Game on, Zuckerberger.

("Like" this post by commenting below, and be automatically entered to win a free reply.)

"Looking at pictures on Facebook / Of your ex-girlfriend / At three in the morning / Never helped anyone..."

18 comments:

  1. Politics drove me away from FB, and I'm ashamed to admit that what brought me back (although only occasionally) was Candy Crush. Stupid addicting game.

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  2. Some of us do Facebook and some of us do Words with Friends

    Very very funny post. Did I say very enough? More than funny. Excellent last line!

    Now I have to go back to commenting on facebook. Kidding. Maybe.

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  3. Most of my FB updates come from other sources, I'll post on my blog, and it automatically posts on FB, my Tweets and Instagrams automatically go on FB.
    Mostly on FB I read others posts..

    If you "like" and old dead photo, it rejuvenates it and people start commenting on it again.

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  4. Bone we've been petitioning Zuck for YEARS to get a dislike button and he just won't let us have it. I KNOW they have the technology! they just gave us #hashtags! o.O Don't know why we needed those as most folks don't even know what they're for.

    Seeing as this is way after Seinfeld's time, I don't really know how to tie this in...perhaps Kramerica could work on those buttons for you after they finish that oil bladder?

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  5. I wish you could get us those additional buttons... I think you're right about facebook being a support group--as long as you can stay away from the nuts on the right and the left in politics.

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  6. Susan ~ I haven't been sucked into Candy Crush yet. Too obsessed with keeping up my average per word score on WWF.

    Pia ~ You're so not kidding. I just appreciate you taking a break from Facebook to comment here. πŸ˜‰

    MarkD ~ I should probably look into that. It's nearly impossible for me to keep up with a Twitter account and Facebook. Cross-posting would be nice.

    Renee ~ Wait a second... you're on Facebook??? 😁 You should have said something!

    It'd be interesting to see how Seinfeld tackled Facebook and Twitter. I can see Kramer tweeting something inappropriate. Or George's mother unfriending him on Facebook.

    Sage ~ I wish there were a filter for political posts. Actually maybe I could create an app for that, too.

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  7. Another truly entertaining read mr. Funny bone! Especially loved comparrison of road Ragers. I'd like to optimistically think.... We post only good stuff about life and we write supportive comments (even if we just cut u off in traffic) because on FB we want to project who we are when we're being the best we can be. 🍭🍭 (no pic of syrup)
    I too feel like its a contest for comments & likes! ( but would still love you to get me those extra buttons! ). Glad you're back ! πŸ˜‰

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  8. Hey I moderated four self-help groups for people who had never had an easy place to talk about their or their children's invisible disability. I didn't find it fun but I'm told I changed some peoples lives.

    Facebook is the first place to provide truly easy forums for people who have lacked a voice

    I have helped mothers understand why their children lack friends and what they can do. Helped older people find relationships and then disclose their problems. I spent one horrible night talking a woman down from suicide-and more

    I can't do it anymore. too burned. But I never pretended to be better than I am or to be anybody but a social worker who has the same problem so I could help.

    Facebook just might change how people with problems interact and that's a very good thing

    I just prefer talking music with friends from college and other things with other people. Younger people with NLD see me "being normal" and realize that they can be also

    I try to stay away from politics but I'm not even sure what politics means anymore. That said I have "facebook friends" of just about every belief because they know I will always respect their beliefs. Might not understand their beliefs; might disagree but everybody deserves their opinions and a voice. I just wish politics would be banned from facebook for a week. just one week!

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  9. Great reflection on FB. My husband quit about 2 years ago and hasn't looked back. I find it entertaining and enjoy my friends' photos, although admittedly few of my close friends ever post anything anymore. Instagram is great because it avoids all of the words (and thus political lamenting that raises my blood pressure).

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  10. What's Facebook and Tweeting? I though blogging was the only form of social media.

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  11. Facebook is a curious place. I left too - and then came back. I'm still not really sure why. I don't post a lot, but I spend more time than I'd like watching other people. I think it's *because* I'm not a very social person that it works for me - I want to keep up with everyone but there's only so much social time I can take in a day, and more-often-than-not, a day at work fulfils the quota. It's a very odd world we live in these days...

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  12. I'd have posted right away if my last post had been about a snow blind ;-) Welcome back to the world's biggest time suck.

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  13. Just an FYI...with the invention of the Facebook app, you can actually be out enjoying the world and people AND sharing it on Facebook. Just sayin'. ;-)

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  14. Facebook is pretty much what you make of it, I think. In my case, I've built up a lovely community of people who enjoy reading and writing limericks. FB has annoying quirks and lots of boring people. :) It also has lots of fascinating people. It's just a matter of picking and chosing what people to friend.

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  15. I agree with Madeleine. It took me a few months of 'tweaking' (i.e. adding and deleting people) before I got a great mix. In fact, I even let one girl back in again after she sent me a lovely message about how much she enjoys my status updates. How could I say no to a fan? ;-)

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  16. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine who shows up on your feed. People you "Like" get shown more than others. So in order to keep people showing up in your feed, you have to "like" their posts every once in a while. I generally use the "like" button to agree with a sentiment without saying "yeah me too" so as to not clutter up a feed.

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  17. I focused in on "Words with Friends", so I typed in "Bone" in the find a friend box and it started a game, and then I worried that I was being a little internet stalkery, so I haven't played yet. (that and all I got were "I"'s.)

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  18. I am 100% confident that you wrote this entire post so that you could compare yourself to Luke Spencer.

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