I’m addicted to Facebook as much as the next bored housewife/freelance writer. It punctuates my day with little red squares alerting me to ‘notifications’ (interesting); ‘messages’ (intriguing) and ‘friend requests’ (incredible). It’s like going to the mail box twenty times a day and knowing that each time, like a magician’s box, there might be something there for me. When particularly bored or needing an escape from my work on the computer, I’ll play a stupid game that bounces between the Blog Stats, work and Face-book and see if I can get new red squares each time. It’s kind of like playing ‘Scissors, Paper, Rock’ with myself. I go Blog Stats, work, nothing. Blog Stats, work, MESSAGE. Blog Stats, work, NOTIFICATION. Yeah, yeah. It’s sad but I swear I’m not alone. Some guys have internet porn. I have my little ‘find the red box game’. The thrill is not quite the same but on the rare occasion that I have more than one message at once, it is pretty damn exciting.
I secretly love the antique postcards with witty slogans about how much housewives like a drink, Always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge in case of a special occasion. Sometimes the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge and how they don’t give a crap about anything. Once upon a time, fuck you, the end.
I have one friend who is the king of posting outrageously funny photographs from around the world. It’s nice to be generically invited to every book launch at my favourite book-stores and super hilarious when someone posts a photo of me from 1980 at school, but it drives me completely and utterly bonkers to scroll past hundreds and hundreds of photos of furry, baby animals in cute or amusing poses with or without other appropriate or inappropriate animal friends.
I don’t mind animals. They are fun to visit in zoos once in a decade. The petting farm at the local fair was brilliant and I’m truly against all forms of animal cruelty but the fuzzy, furry little Hallmark posts that appear like tsunami waves every morning, tell me that drunk people like to stay up late and googoo gaagaa over fluffy neonates. Why???? It’s not funny. It’s not informative. It’s not clever. It’s just….well, it’s just stupid.
Right now, as we speak, I will tell you what I mean….(damn, no red squares). It’s the middle of the night and we have – a kind-hearted soldier who rescued a baby squirrel (that’s nice but I just don’t care); two Weimaraner puppies posed on pumpkins (WTF sort of garnish is that?); Jeff Duff in hot pants (that’s a little bit cute) and a goose and a baby duckling floating in water (SO WHAT!!!). I do not understand why they do it. Is it to make me feel relaxed or comforted or teary? It does none of these things. It makes me think, ‘that thing belongs on a sympathy card for the lady from the shop, whose geriatric husband just died’, and not on my laptop.
The other annoying thing about Facebook posts is the relentless stream of requests to join some cause or other. You can have causes for anything. Just set up a cause with a click of a button and try to guilt everyone you know into joining it. The worst cause I have encountered so far is the ‘Join this cause because you’ve joined every other cause, cause’. It’s just out of control. And a year ago I would click the ‘like’ button for a particular band or a film or book but now you can hit ‘like’ for idiotic, random things like ‘beer’ and ‘money’ (I still click on them, what the hell).
Posting things after becoming inebriated is almost as bad and dangerous as drink driving and has made me want to shut the whole shemozzle down the next morning as I bang the ‘delete this post’ button repeatedly. I don’t quit though, because apart from the fun of feeling popular occasionally and the ability to use the platform to promote yourself, you can stalk your kids, exes, and random people that you’ve never met but have heard about. You can get some brilliant recipes and be on the cutting edge of scientific breakthroughs. I learned today that cannabis oil can cure cancer and that aliens are planning to land in Wollongong. (I think they were posted by the same person).
It’s inane and frustrating and addictive but it’s there and sometimes that’s all something has to be, to be interesting.
Whoo! I just got one notification box but it was a crowd notification. Damn!
And some sweetie-pie just posted a picture of a kitten with one paw over one eye and the slogan ‘Aw damn, tomorrow’s Monday.’ Like I needed a dumb-ass baby cat to tell me that!!