Tag Archives: facebook

Why?

In light of recent events, both locally and nationally, I would like to take a moment to voice my opinion.  Stop reading now if you’ve literally had it up to “here” with all the talk of Baltimore Riots and such.

I posted a blog last year about Facebook, with all it’s shortcomings.  Last night Facebook was all ablaze with over 400 comments regarding a post from a user in the area commenting on a possible “credible threat” at our district high school.  The comments that proceeded were nothing short of asinine, to put it lightly.  As I sat and read comment after comment from parents and the like, the one common thread that appeared was the ability to completely bad mouth the school district, with special slurs being slung toward Supervisory staff, mocking the early morning “snow day and delay” calls, which  now seem irrelevant and highly overrated with our  70 degree weather we’ve been having.  I mean, why can’t the school district let us know just as easily about a gun wielding student planning an attack during school hours on school premises?  What’s the big deal? Information like that, being received with a cold, monotone voice message that may or may not be received by each parent, what’s the big deal?  It’s unanimous.  Our school district wants to keep us in the dark.  They want our kids to die in a bloody pillage, as well as possibly themselves, all because snow delays are more important the threatening students.  And yes, people ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT!

Which leads me to my current realization…THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST BAT SHIT CRAZY.    The scary part of that is that they are walking among us.  They are sitting beside us in the doctor’s office (I use that example because I spend a lot of my life sitting in the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices).  They are the complainers without being the doers.  I always felt that the worst people are those that complain about politicians but would never EVER consider running for office.  A certain player or team in sports is horrible and cannot do anything right, but the person complaining could never play the sport in question.  Ever.

I’ve almost commented on this specific Facebook post about 30 times.  I have to literally exit the app.  But it won’t leave my mind. The instigators, the scare tactics, the insinuators, the not-so-funny comedians.  They all come together with their own warped “meeting of the minds” that gives the innocent reader much to contemplate.  Now to be clear, I’m far from innocent OR perfect, otherwise I would be putting myself into the same category as they’ve put themselves.  The untouchables.

That brings me to Baltimore.  There have been many rioting events involving protests lately, with Baltimore being the last.  The video via drone which shows mostly youth, jumping on police cars, looting stores and setting vehicles and retail supply establishments a blaze is so concerning at this point that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the level of incongruity happening in our country.  We’ve definitely been out of control for some time, but it hasn’t affected us to the degree that it has escalated to.

I don’t have all the facts in the case of Freddie Gray, so unlike my “friends” and their “friends” on facebook, I’m not going to pretend that I’m judge and jury and what I believe to be good and fair in the world of crime is entirely my way or the highway.  I don’t know exactly what happened, and I most likely never will.  And quite frankly that’s not my job to know.  There have been reports of prior criminal history.  I don’t know this to be a fact.  In any case, it’s not a reason to have my spine severed.  I don’t know how or why it was severed.  I just plain don’t know.  It doesn’t “sound” good, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t legit.

The truth of the matter is there are THUGS everywhere.  In every area of society.  We cringed when Priests were convicted of molestation.  When political officials have been caught red handed with prostitutes and in money driven schemes.  We’ve seen athletes use steroids and other drugs to hit home runs and win Olympics.These are just a few of the “trusted” people that we look up to, have respected and admired.  And lately Police Officers are coming into full view.  Thanks to cameras and cell phones, deliberate mistreatment of an individual being arrested is all the buzz.  As it should be.

I don’t want a child molested.  I don’t want my tax dollars going toward a tropical vacation.  I don’t want to pay money to go to a park and watch a baseball player hit home run after home run only because he’s had the opportunity to ingest performance enhancing drugs.  I also don’t want a police officer to treat me with little disregard if I’ve done nothing to provoke it.  Ahhhhhh, and there’s the difference.  The other “authoritative figures” really aren’t being provoked into wrong doing.  They do that of their own free will, as well the officers may.  Provocation can do a lot of things, depending on the day, the events that are going on in your life, your attitude.  Many things.  I can be fine with slow drivers during many trips in my car, but on any given day, I may have just had enough.

For me, when I’ve had enough, it’ll come out in the form of a blog.  Luckily I have the ability to vent here, even if absolutely no one reads it.  I feel better type-venting.  I don’t have any idea what it might be like to be provoked by an individual breaking the law.  I’m not excusing it,  but it must be incredibly difficult if not practically impossible to hold back emotion and frustration, day after day.

Is that where the city of Baltimore is?  Have the young individuals who were trashing property and attacking officers gotten to the point where they can no longer stand the repeated abuse?

My guess is gonna be no.  My guess is that they saw an opportunity.  They’ve seen it televised in the past.  Rodney King.  Michael Brown in Ferguson, just to name two.  The rioting that ensued following the protests was all over our TVs and social media.  Can you remember your children when they were young, listening without paying attention, but knowing everything you just said or did?  Did this distribution of media over the decades decide the fate of Baltimore before the arrest even occurred?  Has the provocation gene been embedded into the brains of every single person who exists and who watches and listens and believes without questioning?

I don’t know why it happened.  But I know why it shouldn’t.

My inspiration to write this blog today came from the incredible Annie Lenox.  Please PLEASE enjoy this song after you read my blog and you too might just ask yourself, “WHY”.

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Heavy Living

I see it more and more each day.  Arguments that turn brutal and threatening on Face Book.  Tweets with intentional, harmful comments destroying the constitution of an individual in 140 characters or less.  The news is filled with hate crimes.  We are at war with ourselves and everyone in our path.  We are judge and jury crushing a relatively harmless opinion and turning it into a massacre of the human soul.  Guilty until proven more guilty.  How do we sleep at night with the weight of deception on our shoulders and the taste of blood on our tongues, we are drowning in our own desire to make worse all that is evil in our path.

Sounds heavy doesn’t it?  A little too heavy?  Maybe.  But aren’t we living heavier these days?  Our lives are taken so seriously that a minor indiscretion or slip of the tongue spirals so out of control that we are sorry for opening our mouths, our eyes, our hearts.  Are we so far passed the point of no return in our guilt ridden lives that even the smallest drop of joy we experience is perceived as a fluke, an anomaly?

The pressure of a life.  Perfect child, perfect spouse, perfect parent, perfect employee, perfect friend.  Don’t make a mistake.  We compare and are compared to by others.  My way or the highway, because my way is best.  You love too much, your love is not enough.

The pressure of day.  We wake every morning and it’s judgement day all over again.  You should have, you could have, why didn’t you, why wouldn’t you?  We impose our beliefs on others, standing on the proverbial soap box, preaching to the non-believers.  You can change.  You will change.  You should be more like me.  That would make you perfect, like me.

I won’t sit here and tell you that you’re inadequate, that your beliefs are wrong.  I’ll sit behind my computer and gripe my way through this post, making sure to let you know that the judgment is yours and yours alone.  But before I relinquish all of my acceptance to your morals and ideals, I will remind you that we are all God’s children.  We are all guilty of looking the other way, and not getting involved.  Luckily we are free to decide who and when we contribute to the health and welfare of another human being.

We have National days in this country where we honor many different people.  Many of them are people who came before us, changing the world for the better.  Does all  that seem like just an antiquated tradition?  How many people in the world today could be honored for their humanitarian efforts?  How many would have the responsibility and commitment to society with the credibility required to receive the devoted recognition of our country’s citizens?  I can think of very few, and I’m sure that even those elite specimens would have a few skeletons in their closet of sin.

Can we have a day of non-judgment?  Can we refuse to log in to our facebook comments page and twitter feed?  Can we put down the cell phones and turn off the tv?  How about a national day sparing the children of abuse?  A day devoted to the children of the country, allowing them to sleep soundly knowing they won’t be beaten or molested?  While we’re at it, let’s have a day of exercise.  All business will be closed and you are required to do SOMETHING to work up a sweat.  The list of ideas goes on.  If we can’t find a person good enough to memorialize, why don’t we find a reason to stop the judgment, stop the pain, stop the insanity that consumes our daily lives?  If just for a day, a day’s a good start.

And for today, I wish you freedom and a walk on the lighter life.


Fake Smiles

I heard Taylor Swift sing this song a few (6) years ago and was instantly drawn to the lyrics.  At first I thought about my son and some of the troubles he was going through, but a friend just reminded me today about the perception of a smile.  More to the point, a fake smile.

I posted a picture of myself and my husband over the weekend, and needless to say got a lot of “likes” on Facebook and Instagram.  The perceived notion that we were happy was evident.  I mean, we look happy in the picture, so we must be, right?

These days we can edit the shit out of our pictures, covering up our flaws and making an ordinary pictures look extraordinary.  I honestly tried to edit that last sentence, removing shit, but guess what?  There’s no other word I can put in there that means as much.  Sorry.

I’ve been guilty of editing my pictures to appear to be entirely different than they started out.  I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe they are very photogenic, so it takes me quite some time to play around with my pics, insuring that they have the right shadow, fade and coloring to do the impossible – make me look good.

My friend commented on the picture that I posted stating that she thought myself and my husband looked happy.  That was not the case.  We weren’t happy or unhappy.  We just were.  We are.  We exist. 

So how then is it possible to edit your life to appear happy?  Can you fake smile your way through life, making people actually believe that you’re something you’re not?  Apparently it IS possible. Who knew that I have a filter button on my life, and pressing that lil sucker in sends a message that is actually believable?  I’m guessing that my husband has that same filter button, and it’s still working after all these years. 

I remember an acquaintance of mine was at the same wedding as I, getting a drink at the bar when we struck up a conversation.  I had been having an argument with my husband earlier, and I guess it spilled into my evening/conversation with her.  She acted surprised as I spoke about splitting up, not being happy.  Her reply, “Really?  I thought you were like Barbie and Ken, perfect for each other”. 

Barbie and Ken?  Okay, she’s kind referring to our appearance a bit.  Myself with a slight 80’s hairstyle, never really letting it go completely, and my husband with his rugged good looks and pleasant demeanor.  But she was also speaking about our appearance of being perfectly in love, whenever she had seen us out. 

My mother used to tell me, “don’t show your ass in public”, and all that really means is that you don’t air your dirty laundry for other people to see.  Sorry mom, if you’re reading this, it’s mostly for perfect strangers to read, as I don’t make a habit of telling friends with about this blog. 

So I don’t show my broken heart in public.  I don’t let anyone see my pain.  Friends get to hear me complain, sure. 

It seems I’m tied together with a smile, but I’m coming undone. 


Do you “Facebook”?

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into taking a break from facebook.  Being a non-committal kind of person, I don’t really want to delete it entirely, but I do find myself getting increasingly aggravated by it.  Of course I’m generalizing, because facebook is the sum of it’s parts, in this case the people who post on it.

I get tired of the complaints, the bragging, the need for attention.  Things like, “Send prayers, my cousin’s fiance’s daughter’s best friend is having surgery on her big toe tomorrow”.  Or maybe, “I’m off to my summer home for a month.  Glad to be able to get a way from these horrible winters here in Pittsburgh.  So blessed.”  Yep, that’s the kicker.  Make sure you add that “blessed” word.  Because somehow  you aren’t “blessed”  if you’re reading their post and stuck in Pittsburgh for the duration of winter.  How bout, “my car broke down and  I just spend my last $1000 on a new 50 inch TV”.

You’ll have your funny videos, weather and school closing posts, and blow by blow events that happen during the day.  “Just made yummy soup, watching football, cleaning the house, etc”.

To make it interesting, we can all “comment” on those posts.  And we can say whatever we damn well please.  But we must be careful, those people are our “friends”.  Yep, people we haven’t seen since high school.  People we’ve hunted down and friend requested, neighbors and co-workers.  If you say what you really feel, you just might find yourself de-friended.  Yep.  Without warning somebody can take what you say, twist it around in their head to somehow be judgmental, get the wrong idea (or the right idea as the case may be), and block you.  You can no longer see what’s going on in their life.  You can’t see the photos of their magical trip to Cancun, their kids straight A report card or hear about the bad service they received at McDonalds.  And just like any friendship, you’ll be left dumbfounded.  You’ll explain to yourself in your head….”well, I was gonna block THEM anyway, they just beat me to it”.  Have we ever truly been sad to be “blocked”?  I know I haven’t lost any sleep over it.

Now I must admit, I”m guilty of a few of those posts.  I’ll post a picture and wait for the replies.  I’ll check back a hundred times.  And then I’ll get an attitude. Hmmm, I post things in reply to their hard times, their beautiful life….why can’t they post something about mine.

And then it hits me…..facebook is very much a narcassistic game.  We believe that there is a world out there that actually gives a shit about our highs and lows.  It’s true, maybe somebody loves when you have good times, and secretly loves when you have bad times.  Of course they’ll never admit it.  Think about it, have you ever checked facebook and read about somebody having a rough day?  Have you thought, “oh, that poor thing, hope it gets better” (at least that’s what you post).  Or you really thought, shut the fuck up already.  You complain every day.  I think you might deserve it.

Do you look at a person that isn’t a “friend” and stalk them?  Do you check out their photos?  Do you want to know about them, without actually “friending” them?  Yep, I”m sure you do.

Have you ever seen a post on a friends page, recognized the name and thought, “I wanna be friends with them”?  I”m sure you have.  I have.

I wonder what kind of people post what they post.  Have you thought that you liked a person, but after reading their stupid post reconsidered?

I wonder what they’re looking for. Sympathy, jealousy, consideration?

My life is a relentless question mark.   I don’t understand a lot of things.  I often wonder how and why and who.  I guess it’s interesting to me to think about those things.

Isn’t it ironic that “facebook” rarely has anything to do with being face to face?  It is however a book.  Many times our “friends” are an open book, and we’re free to sit back, turn the pages and be privy to their entire life, day in and day out.  We know what they find funny, what irritates them and what is so important that they have to p0st it for the world (or at least the people they consider “friends” ) to see.

I guess I’m glad I still get to make the decision to read it or blow past it.

You could probably say, “I’m blessed”.