If Facebook Disappeared Would You Notice?


My 11 going on 30 year-old daughter finds my high school yearbook and can’t decide if it is more interesting to make fun of the way the class of ’87 dressed or to read what people wrote.

“Dad, how many girls signed your yearbook and why did so many write “love” in it?”

I smile and suggest there are some stories she doesn’t want to know.

“Don’t treat me like a baby, I know you had other girlfriends before mom.”

“I had a big life before mom and before you guys came around. So did she. You should too.”

She doesn’t know somewhere in the pages she will find the words my high school girlfriend wrote to me and instead of a simple “love” she said “I love you” and made the usual promises teenagers make to each other.

I don’t take the book from her hands, if she stumbles upon it, she stumbles upon it. Though I am not bothered by the idea of her finding those words I am not particularly interested in having the discussion that will come if she locates them.

Better to play it cool and not react because she is far more likely to get bored and move on. Or maybe a friend will Facetime her and that will be the end of it.

“Dad, I know you are friends with a bunch of girls on Facebook, will I find your ex-girlfriends there?”

Sure enough her phone rings and the conversation ends. Dad’s yearbook isn’t nearly as interesting as whatever conversation she is going to be involved in now.

If Facebook Disappeared Would You Notice?

Yeah, I am connected with a few of them but until my daughter mentioned it I didn’t even notice that there is no interaction there.

We connected on Facebook years ago during the time when very few of us put any thought into whether there should be rules about who to connect with, probably because we were too busy poking people or throwing sheep at them.

That was before Zuckerberg and company spent countless hours working and tweaking algorithms that make it hard to see the updates of the people you care about, let alone those you chose to connect with for other reasons.

And it was certainly before Facebook became a place where people would collect to go apeshit about politics, hunting and whatever else incurred the wrath of the faceless, nameless internet mob.

Sometimes I look at the crap I see there and I ask myself if I would notice if Facebook disappeared.

Is it adding value to my life or is it taking something away?

Maybe a little bit from column A and some from column B with a dash of something else in there too.

Don’t mistake that to mean that I think everyone of my updates are meaningful, significant and or special because they aren’t, but some of them are a hell of a lot of fun to write.

What Kind Of Schmuck Quotes Himself?

The answer is me.

I do.

Those are my words below and there is a reason they are there.

“What I know for certain is there are people who come into our lives who turn them upside down and inside out. If you open the eyes inside your chest and clear the clutter from your soul they will help you wake up and remember who you are and who you might have been.”  Write From The Heart & Edit With The Head

When I collected the mail today I received the latest copy of Sports Illustrated. It is the one with Pete Carroll on the cover and the tease about it being the 25th anniversary of Friday Night Lights and how the author followed his heart back to Texas.

I looked at that cover and glanced at one of those Occupy Democrat pictures that are going around on Facebook and shook my head.

Not because I am a Democrat or a Republican but because it is more opinion disguised as fact and pushed our for emotional impact.

You don’t need to know that I am registered Democrat but that I have considered an independent for years but I’ll share it now because it fits the conversation I am trying to have with you.

What I want for my children is to eventually have the sort of relationship I alluded to in that quote above, not the one about arguing with a fool but the other one.

I want them to find someone who turns their world upside down and inside out in a good way. I want them to reach a place where they think long and hard about what they believe and why.

Ask questions and be prepared to go a different direction.

I want them to think.

Facebook doesn’t make me think very often. That might be because of how I use it and I might be responsible sometimes for adding to the noise too.

But I am aware of this.

Hell I am probably far more aware of what I do or do not do than at any point in my life.

Doesn’t mean I haven’t been the fool in the argument or the dude arguing with the fool. Sometimes I have done so knowing full well I was involved with an idiot but I continued because my intent was to influence the lurkers, not the jackass who kept telling me how smart they are.

Hell it is not that hard to find people who are smarter than I am. I can name quite a few and if you ask around there will be more than a handful of people who will volunteer names of people they think are smarter than me too.

If I told you I don’t give a fuck if they are a midlevel VP at a bank in Texas you might wonder if I am speaking to one person in specific or not and I’d say it doesn’t matter.

That is because being smarter than me is nothing special, at least without qualifying it and adding some sort of context to it.

That is part of the problem with so much of what I see on Facebook, it lacks context.

Can’t and won’t say I am going to delete my Facebook accounts because I don’t see a need to go that far, but if they closed up shop and it all went away I don’t know that I would miss all that much about it.

What about you?

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