Give Me Your Photos and Updates, but Keep the “Bragging” to Yourself

Are you on Facebook yet?  So many people are and that’s sorta cool.  I’m on it.  I check it several times a day to see what my friends are up to, but let’s be honest.  I’m really checking to see what my friends think about what I am up to.  Is this not the modern pinnacle of narcissism?  I will post a picture of what I prepared for dinner.  Not because I want you to know what I cooked, but because I want you to say something nice about what I cooked.  Shame on me.

Now I have lots of friends who put up pictures of their kids, which is great.  This is sort of a living Christmas Card as we watch your little angels grow weekly throughout the year as opposed to on watching their physical changes on an annual basis.  I cannot decide if I like the modern version more.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in your kitchen.  You invited me in I guess, but maybe I was kidnapped.

Something old, something new

No wedding in Dixie has taken place since May 15th from which I have not seen at least a dozen pictures.  In the good ole days, we used to read the Sunday Gazette to find a description of the bride’s gown and the mother’s dress.  Hell, now they are available to me before I go to bed Saturday night.  We see the band and the drunken bridesmaids and the little kids with the bored looks or maybe the silly dance moves.  Do we post this stuff to show how pretty the guests were or to show the uninvited that I got a ticket you did not earn?  Anyone (including me) who does not admit to a bit of one-upmanship with many of our posts is in denial.

The worst show offs are the vacation folks of course.  “Here I am in some place you should wish you were” is the un-typed title of many albums.  Pink sunsets and half finished Mai Tais tell our ‘friends’ that we are again where you are not and this is the proof.  I enjoy looking at this stuff myself but maybe not for the reasons the poster suspects. I’m looking for trash on the beach, a fat Brit or some sign of imperfection that tells me I might not like where they are as much as they think I would.  But I can be a jerk, so disregard my feelings.

Sometimes the truth hurts

The truth is, Facebook is loads of fun.  I really do enjoy seeing pictures of grandchildren of old fraternity brothers, whether these kids are perched on camels in Egypt or some grocery cart at Publix.  I get to know what my friends spouses look like and see their pets.  I must be alert however.  There are people I thought were clever who turn out to be Facebook bores and people who I thought would be predictable who can make my day.

Things not to bother me with on Facebook:  Witty, sweet or emotional quotes.  Games.  The stuff where you try to make me feel guilty about not reposting.  Videos of rock bands you like.  Horoscopes.  Things that attempt to make you look closer to God than I am.  Admittedly, the list is fairly long, but as a veteran of this media I’ve learned to ignore things that don’t resonate with me.

A lot of my readers are not on Facebook, and I think I understand.  Maybe they feel the train has left and it’s going to be embarrassing to learn the ropes publically.  I consider it sort of an initiation… get on board, try it… yes, you will do something stupid… but you will be forgiven.

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