Claire posted a lovely note that I (and I’m sure you) have thought about writing. I liked it so much, that I’m co-opting and adapting it slightly to my own quirkiness.
I know you don’t post things on Facebook to specifically entertain me. (Sure, in my fantasy world, I occasionally indulge in thinking that’s why you’re posting…) But what the heck, I’ll make some requests.
I want to read your thoughts and wisdom. I don’t need to see another quote from Martin Luther King Jr., the Bible, Garfield, or Nietzsche. I do, however, want to read your words, even if they aren’t as elegantly stated or superimposed on a waterfall, mountain or beach photo taken by someone else. I’m friends with you, not Garfield.
We’re all human. If you are combating illness or remembering a friend that you lost, then post your struggle. I’ll read that, and open my heart to you. You are a parent of female teenagers with wacky hormonal mood swings? Post about your experience. I’ll read, and your difficulties will be all too real to me. Don’t repost some placard that then implies I’m a jerk for not reposting.
I love reading about the small joys and trials of your day. Post the description of the gazpacho you had for lunch, progress on the sock you’re knitting, seeing a child off to college, finishing your executive MBA, or spending 48 hours camped out for a search-and-rescue gig. You’re all awesome.
Photos you’ve taken are wonderful. Some of you (Dave Vaughn) are amazing photographers and could easily be doing this for a living. Others, not so much, but it’s all good. I love seeing the humanity in photos of your kids and your elderly dad or quirky stuff you noticed today — a fire hydrant where none ought to be, scattered hermit crab shells when walking on the beach, barefoot.
Novel music that you like that I otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to is great. Through friends like you, I’ve discovered awesome cover songs like Tom Jones’ take on Burning Down the House, 2Cellos doing Smells Like Teen Spirit and even Chris Isaak doing Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man. It’s cool if you post that 1997 ear-worm by Chumbawumba. As with everything, little throttling on the quantity would be appreciated, though.
As Claire mentioned, please don’t like commercial products unless you really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really like the product. Facebook creates a metric crap-ton of ads for everyone else. (And as far as I can determine, there’s no way I can filter them on my phone. Hey Zuck, I am so not the target market for match.com.) Conversely, I have “liked” Linode (my hosting provider), a few of local coffee joints I frequent, and some cycling events I’m fond of. If you are seeing endless ads from these, let me know and I’ll whip out the stash of unlike buttons I keep in my underground bunker.
Those of you who know me well know I’m all about learning. It may come as a surprise that I enjoy political and historical analysis that’s competently argued and makes one think, especially from a perspective I haven’t considered. The italics are for emphasis. If you’ve read something that made you think, link to it. Educate. I do have a major request: don’t be a dick. Among the ways you can be a dick or engaging in ad hominem attacks or name calling. A couple of recent examples involved threads that devolved into making fun of someone’s appearance. For example, Bill Krawietz wrote an editorial regarding cyclist behavior. In his editorial, he was expressing some views I strongly disagreed with. Unfortunately, the cyclists in the forum took the lower-road, going waaaay off-topic and getting personal.
Hoaxes: There has never been an article containing “forward it to all of your friends” that wasn’t a chain letter, hoax or bullshit. Similarly, “shocking” items with “forbidden” knowledge that does not appear on a reputable media source are likely bogus. Please, check snopes.com. Use your judgement. Yes, sometimes we’re wrong. It’s forgivable if you learn from it.
OK, to sum up. I’m friends with YOU. I mostly to hear and see and read about YOU. Your thoughts, your wisdom, your breakfast, your life, your hopes, your sorrows, your joys. I’m also friends with you because you might have a different perspective. If there’s something you found interesting, or is in alignment with how you see the world, link to that. That’s how I learn more.
THANK YOU for being my friend. I especially like hearing from the more quieter among you (as I am…).
Very well thought out and argued. You’re absolutely right: my connection to someone on Facebook is about that connection to that person. I guess I have a higher tolerance for those photomemes than you do but I confess that I do get deathly sick of them as they make me immediately want to run for my Bartlett’s to see if the quote is correctly attributed.
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