Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whack 'Em by Margaret Ullrich

We've just gotten back from a small trip to Dubuque.
We had a lovely time.
If you get the chance, drop by there.
They have a beautiful arboretum and a fascinating Riverboat Museum.

Now, I admit, I don't travel easily.

I'm always afraid I've forgotten something.
I know, my husband tells me we're not going to the middle of nowhere.
If I've forgotten something, I can always buy it there.
I just can't help double and triple-checking what I've packed.
And packing spares.

I also over-examine our room before we leave.
I mean, I check drawers we haven't even used.
If someone saw me, he'd think I'd forgotten the Hope Diamond.

Let's be honest.
The most that I could've forgotten is a pair of peds.
And they probably have holes in them.
No, they definitely have holes in them.

Now there's a third vacation hassle for me.
Checking FaceBook when we return.

FaceBook is something new in my life.
And, just like everything else, it's a mixed blessing.

I've enjoyed making contact with old classmates.
Seeing family pictures is a pleasure.
I've even made a few new friends.

But all the notifications are driving me crazy.

Something just snapped when I saw I had over 100 of them.
I couldn't believe how they'd piled up in just a few days.
You know, comments on threads.
Lots of comments on lots of threads.
And, frankly, some of them are just lines like "Woo Hoo".
Some are just "Likes".

I opened my list of Friends.
I read the list.
I poured a drink.
I gulped the drink.
Okay, it was hot chocolate.

Then I "Unfriended" someone I'd never met.
I'd friended folks who had a few friends in common with me.
It was my fault they were in the same list as a blood relative.
At first it felt terrible.
Was I hurting someone's feelings?

Then the sugar kicked in and I realized something.
Some of these people have about 2000 "friends".
They were collecting people.
Like butterflies.
They had never commented or posted on my comments.
Hell, they couldn't even be bothered to "Like" a comment of mine.

I was getting notices that they had commented on other people's walls.
People I didn't even know.
But FaceBook had decided I had to know about these people's other friends.

Thanks loads, FaceBook.

I "Unfriended" two dozen names.
Total strangers.
It felt great!

Bye, bye, "Friends".

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