Am I Really Sitting Alone at the Social Media Lunch Table?

Please check LIKE, er, I mean yes!

Please check LIKE, er, I mean yes!

Remember when you passed notes to your friends during home room? It was usually about the boy who sat in front of you in computer class (Braden is a) hot, b) super hot, or c) surface of the sun hot). Or if you forgot to study for the geometry test. Or if you had run out of clean underpants, forcing you to wear your bathing suit as a bra/panty combo. Those were the good old days. I sure wish we had a way to communicate all of our goofy stuff like that –

-Oh wait. We do. It’s called Facebook.

Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. have become the adult’s (and not-so adult) version of high school gossip. With way better photos.

Oh now don’t sweat it, this is not a post bagging on Social Media. The benefits can far outweigh the negatives. I stay up to date with family who live far away. It has given me a vehicle to reconnect with long lost friends. New connections have formed because of the social media circle. I can post this crappy blog on it. Sadly, I have learned about current events on social media. On more than one occasion, it has saved my ass to remember a birthday. And when my daughter broke her arm, it was a way to ask for help. Facebook and other SMs are my friend.

But (you knew the but was coming) if you take a closer look, Facebook/Social Media can sometimes be just a big popularity contest. It can be a race to see who can get the most “friends” or “likes” for their comment or photo. Great for businesses. A little weird if it is your sixty-five year old neighbor Lou.

Utilizing my research background and keen eye (cruising FB while wearing my glasses and drinking red wine), I culled through some of the most interesting/ridiculous/notice me posts. For simplicity’s sake, I have categorized the posts:

            FAMILY UPDATE: When the hell is Spring Break/Christmas Break/Fall Break/Columbus Day Break Over? My kids are driving me crazy!!! Followed one week later with… Movie night with my favorite people. I have nothing to criticize here. Most of my posts are about my child. I too have struggling thoughts of “maybe we should have just gotten another dog” vs. “I can’t live without you!” The favorite people comment usually does make me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Probably because at this moment I am having thoughts of “school should be year round.”

            FUNNY/CUTE ANIMAL POST: Kitty must be sleepy [photo attached of a black cat with white paws under the covers]. I am a dog person, so I have a hard time “liking” cat anything. Unless an animal is in pain and looking sad. Those ASPCA commercials get me every time. If you post about your sweet Mr. Pickles who died of cancer, I will send you a floral arrangement.

            FOOD & DRINK PHOTO UPDATE: Trust me on this, your food does not look as good via photo as it does live. Once I saw a post of someone’s homemade stew. It looked nothing like stew, but it did look like something else. Just don’t do it.

            WORK/VACATION BRAG UPDATE: Working [insert photo of person on a sailboat on a sunny day]. True story. My husband loves to posts these whenever he is on a client outing on a sunny golf course. I think people want to punch him in the face for this. By people, I mean me. Especially when it is cold and flu season and I am reading this in line at Target with a mouth breather behind me.

            CHILD UPDATE: I guess Susie/Brad/Carlos/Jamila/Insert any child’s name here doesn’t like Santa! [photo attached of screaming child on a degenerate Santa’s lap]. These photos are always a crowd pleaser and will get a thumbs up from me every time. Kids are cute. Screaming kids are cuter.


            DRUNK POST:  Totally sober! [insert photo of women with duck kissy-face double fisted with stocked bar behind them]. I think this one speaks for itself. I have been both the kissy faced girl in front of the bar, and the one passed out behind the bar [not mentioned in photo]. Maybe don’t post if your boss is one of your FB “friends.”

NEWS: Woman Pulls Gun From Vagina After Dispute Over Space Aliens. I know. This was an actual article. This post only created more questions for me, like, what kind of gun was it? How big can this woman’s vajay-jay be? Where were the aliens? Were they from Planet 52?

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN A COMEDIAN/SOMEONE GIVE ME MY OWN SITCOM POST: Political Comment. Political Comment. Religious Comment. Comment about ingrown toenail. Photo posts of marquees with extra letters, therefore spelling FART CLASSES instead of ART CLASSES. Okay, the FART CLASSES is pretty funny. The rest, can it. I think we can all agree that we were up to our eyeballs in not-so-witty political quips from the last two elections. I am glad we have the freedom of speech, but some people should not be allowed to give there opin- oh wait, I write this blog…nevermind.

No matter how silly, informative, sad, or uplifting social media can be, there is one thing it is not: life in real time. You can’t hold someone’s newborn baby online, you can’t hug someone online if they are having a bad day, and you surely can’t take a bite of the photo of the State Fair’s fried Nutella pie.

No, you can’t do any of those things, but you can learn about the baby, the friend, and the pie online. What you choose to do in your offline life is up to you.

So yes, go and connect. Make new friends and see what is happening out in the world. Then put down your phone, shut your laptop, and go live it. Hiking that mountain will be far more exhilarating than looking at the photos that chick from yoga class posted.

Plus, it will give you something to talk about with your friends between World History and A.P. Bio.