July 16, 2014 - You know, it wasn't that long ago (actually it was exactly one year and four months ago -- I know, cuz I just looked it up) that I railed against the ominous intrusion in our lives that was then and is now Facebook.
On March 13, 2013 wrote I, "Facebook is taking over folks' lives. They share everything -- and I mean everything -- with the world. Love-life things, religious views, political rants, to when their first born has a good bowl movement.
"I think I should be the leader in Saving America from Itself and Facebook."
I was gonna' lead the Revolution, change the course of human evolution, by turning back the hands of time, to a time we didn't do Facebook. "Right here and now," I wrote. "I propose we have a Facebook-off; one day without posting ANYTHING on Facebook (yes, and that includes those oh-so-cute moments when Lil' Jimmy plays in the toilet or spits up a crayon). This I say: April 1st -- no fooling, no Facebook.
"So written, so let it be done."
I am ashamed to say, your leader has failed. Yes, yes, I know it is disheartening news, but it's more than that. You hero actually stepped over to the darkside and has been playing there.
I was tempted.
I was seduced.
Aw, the humanity!
What got me are those stupid little test that pop up which your "friends" post. If you've waisted anytime on Facebook, you've probably run into these quizzes. They ask things like, What US President Are You? or What Star Trek Character Are You?
You will then be asked a series of questions to which you can only choose one of the following, like: "In a crowded room you . . . "
Stand alone and watch
Joke with everybody
Ignore anybody but your friends
(By the way, I got George Washington and Capt. James T. Kirk.).
Whenever I see one of these quizzes, I am compelled to take it. I cannot stop!
Oh, I blame it on everything an everyone except myself. I subconsciously will say something to myself like, "Hey. It's 12:43 p.m., I better check the newspaper's Facebook page to see if anybody has asked us a question, or has given us a news tip."
R-i-g-h-t! Wink, wink.
After I spend about 4.5 nano seconds glancing over the work pages, something on my page usually catches my eye. What would have been my occupation in the middle ages? I was thinking, scribe. Nope, I got tailor, cuz I'm good with my hands.
Wanna know "What Mythical Creature Describes" me? Sure you do; here's the answer, "Angel. When people think Angel, they think of something good. But in reality, you are a bit of a goody-two-shoes. You are OCD to the extreme, and sometimes a little annoying. You are a great person though and look for the best in everything. We need more people in the world like you."
Want to know what my nickname should be? Doesn't matter, I'm gonna' tell you. According to the stupid quiz it's Captain. It further explained, "Oh captain my captain! You are a true born leader, you know how to handle obstacles in the best way, you have a winning personality, and that parrot is just so much fun!"
Oh hey -- what about this one, "What Tarot Card Are You?" Answer, I am, "The Lovers. You love to be in relationships, and you tend to put a great amount of thought into making decisions that will affect others' happiness. In general, you're talented at making difficult choices because despite your powerful emotions, you have a level head."
Blah, blah, blah!
Who's making these quizzes up and for what nefarious reason? Are they compiling the answers and making psychological profiles on us, narcissistic, self-delusional sycophants?
I don't know but I should stop taking them.
* * *
Picked up a free tabloid-sized community newspaper in Portland, ME. And, the only thing I remember about it (aside from nice design) was a single quote. I don't even remember who the quote is attributed to, because I didn't feel like packing the paper and bringing it home.
But, here is the quote, tell me your thoughts on it. "Facebook is not your friend. It is a surveillance engine."
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org