A good friend once theorized that strong infatuation leads to the act of putting upon pedestals, and that only results in a bigger crash when the fall inevitably happens. As you can surmise from this, I’m having a relationship problem right now. The proverbial bloom has gone off that cliché rose, and I’m finding it tough to know how to carry on. Sure, part of me wants to go on now. Go. Walk out the door, just turn around now… I will survive, after all.  Another part of me wants to try again, to come to an understanding, to make it work.

But there’s little point in denying it…the love is lost between us. Yes, I’m looking at you, Facebook.

Part of it is that Facebook is like the town gossip who tells you everything that’s going on with everyone you know, no matter how trivial.

“Ken took the Which punk rock star are you? quiz and the result is Patti Smith! Can you believe it? And Brian took the How will YOU get kicked out of Wal-Mart? quiz and got the result: You hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, you yelled “PICK ME! PICK ME!”… LOL  I mean, riot!”

Shut up!  SHUT UP!

Sadly, you can’t easily get Facebook to stop gossiping without a global ball gag or breaking up with it. The big windbag will tell you everything that you haven’t explicitly told it not to. You can’t say, “Really, no, I’m not interested in the results of any game or quiz any of my friends play,” ’cause Facebook won’t listen to that. You have to be specific…really specific. Say, “Facebook, baby…seriously, I don’t care that Marcus took the ‘What color is my left nipple?’ quiz. Please don’t tell me about that again,” and Facebook listens, yes, really listens, and takes it to  heart…but then turns right around and tells you, “Marcus took the What color is my right nipple quiz and the color was Vermillion!” That’s a whole ‘nother quiz, after all…

I’ve sought help with the relationship. I’ve tried Greasemonkey and Stylish scripts to control the conversation better, so at least Facebook isn’t “Highlight”ing the fact that several of my friends are “fans” of a given “adult” performer any more. I’ve tried making Groups to segregate the quiz-takers from the quiet ones, but that has its own pitfalls. It’s made our relationship better, but not perfect.

Sadly, this isn’t just about Facebook’s endless scuttlebutt. It’s also about some mutual “friends” and their Austin Powers problem… No? Don’t follow? Okay. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear (1997), when Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery first appeared on theater screens:

“My god, Vanessa’s got a fabulous body… I bet she shags like a minx… How do I let them know because of the unfreezing process, I have no inner monologue? I hope I didn’t just say that all out loud just now.”

Yeah, baby, Facebook is just full of ersatz Austins, saying/typing everything that occurs to them, regardless of how bland, base, puerile or personal. Do they type to their mother with that keyboard? Do they really think it’s worth a hundred people’s time to read that they have an itch? Or that they miss their girlfriend ten minutes after she’s left? Or that they need coffee? Or that they had a shag with their sexy lover after church? Do we really need to narrate the tritest minutia of our lives? And does such pedestrian or intensely personal stuff merit being aired multiple times a day?

Too Much Information.

I’m all for knowing what books people are reading or a news item they thought topical or to know they had an amazing vacation…but I don’t flipping care that Fran has a pimple. Not everything is news or noteworthy.

What’s that, Facebook? Me? Victorian morals? I am not uptight. I just think there are public and private spheres and some things aren’t appropriate or gemane to a hundred people or more. Oh yeah? And you talk too much and you encourage others to narrate their lives in excessive detail even when they’ve nothing to say. Oh, don’t give me the cold shoulder. There’s got to be a way to work this out. Maybe we can— What?

No, I don’t care that it’s “Lunch!” for Greg.


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