While scrolling FB I can categorize my feelings toward the “friends” I’ve collected.
1. FB re-discovered lost friends and relatives: In the first flush of re-connecting with so many relatives and friends I’ve completely sentimentalized their persona and “like” everything they do because I think I love them and wish I lived next door, etc. In their episodic, truncated FB life, they seem innocent and vulnerable. I also - and this is hard to admit - feel I’m more worldly and sophisticated than they and - this is hard - it is a condescending and patronizing affection. Now that I’ve dug this thought out of my subconscious, I feel like a slug and - I’m willing to admit - delusional.
2. Re-computing the FB profile of acquaintances: this requires a mental “huh? “as in ‘I never thought this man/woman would ever mature but it looks like he/she is doing okay and I’ll give him/her a nod - wait - he/she seems fully engaged with the world while I am still a bystander and maybe I’m the immature one - and look - he/she has dinner out with friends and goes to weddings and posts iphotos of sunsets, etc that are boring to me but possibly of interest to other people who aren’t bystanders. Is he/she living “life to the fullest” while I keep treading water? Crap, maybe.
3. Cats: as it stands now, unless there’s a cat out there who nursed a wild boy who grew up to be president and the cat can also play classical piano well enough to accompany Itzhak Perlman with the full consent of Zubin Mehta, I can live without ever again seeing a cute cat on FB. (apologies to my e-friend Molly who is bats about cats).
4. Just shoot me now category: the stuff that is presented to me proudly as funny or spiritually instructional is not funny or inspiring. Not even a tiny bit. Most of it is in a frame, precious and priceless. I beg FB to hide all of this stuff even though they put me through the Spanish Inquisition to justify my reason for hiding it. It’s as if FB is saying: “How can you not like this? What the heck is wrong with you?”
5. Activist posts: Ok I get it Monsanto is the devil. Here’s the thing. If you didn't get me to fly to St. Louis to deface the Monsanto headquarters the first 50 posts, you probably won't motivate me ever. If I’m to be honest, I don’t care. What????? Am I an ignorant uninvolved jackass? Yes. Am I part of the problem? Yes.
6. Covert bragging category: I'm oddly ok with this. Life is hard enough without having to shut up about the good parts. Just be aware that only about 8 people in your life will love your successes and the other 92% don't care. Sometimes I prefer overt bragging as in: Hey, everybody. Stop what you are doing and look at my handsome boy using the potty! A covert brag that I kind of liked went like this: The mailman delivered the fat envelope and the letterhead says: Lux et veritas. This is both covert and elitist because only the cognoscenti would decipher that the writer’s loopy son Jason got into Yale.
6. Pictures of my grandchildren or short videos of my grandchildren: FB was made for this activity. I don’t care if you scratch your eyeballs every time I share a video of Gwynnie playing tennis or Kate in the sailboat or Penelope singing Happy Birthday or James jumping waves on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean or Margot toddling and grinning with movie star sunglasses. These are extraordinary people and milestones and you have to look at them. If you hide them, I will hunt you down.