Chances are you are reading this because you saw my link on Facebook, but according to Google Analytics, there is a higher probability you found me through a search on Google for “corn gravy.” I am not making that up.
As much as I enjoy Facebook, I was reluctant to create a profile four years ago because as hard as it is to believe, I don’t like sharing every single aspect of my life. Believe me. What you get is a taste – there is soooooooooo much you will never know!
Social media, whether you hate it or love it, is a necessary evil if you want to promote your work, and if used wisely can increase exposure – good exposure. However, not everyone on social media is there to promote anything except their own miserable lives or become overly exposed – literally.
Many years ago, during the prior century, when we were first hooked up to the Internet at work, two people said things that struck me. One editor I worked with said, “The Internet is a virtual rat’s nest.” This was a reaction to our managing editor demanding we find more information about a particular case we were including in a book on bankruptcy law. I started in publishing as a legal editor.
The other, a boss, said, “You put a television screen on the desk in front of people, and then you get upset when they look for something interesting to watch.” This was a reaction to my office-mate watching “woman-on-horse” pornography during business hours. Not only did I go blind a second too late, but also, every day I pray for early onset Alzheimer’s, so I can finally get that image out of my head.
Beastiality and other forms of entertainment aside, I have noticed something about myself lately. I really am bored with the Internet. I can’t even get a rise out of XTube anymore. Maybe I have low-T?
In 2001, when I finally got connected at home via dial-up, I could spend hours in front of the computer looking at everything from antique cars, pictures of Lucille Ball, antique cars, muscle-worship videos, antique cars, wrestling videos, antique cars, bodybuilder videos, antique cars, Bewitched memorabilia, antique cars, and sometimes, the news. With dial-up, it took hours to load a page, so lots of time was spent waiting or getting kicked off and re-connecting. This was before I had a cell-phone, so I missed a lot of phone calls during that time, including the one telling me my mother had died.
I remember I was watching this site where people had webcams (I wish I could remember the name of it), and you could watch them walk around their apartments in their underwear while they did dishes or laundry. Seriously, I was fascinated with this early form of reality television. I could watch a hot guy in briefs fold towels and be fascinated for hours. Maybe I was just happy to see someone else enjoying housework as much as I do. That night, June 2, 2001, I was watching such a hot scene, when something told me to log off and check my voicemail, and that is when I got the news, five minutes after she died.
The early fascination with having this Interweb in my home wore off pretty quickly, and eventually I began using it more for research for my books, and of course, free porn. Have you seen Avenue Q? My favorite number is the one with the line: “The Internet Is for Porn.” As much research as I did, I think I spent twice as much time watching porn, and none of it good porn. Is there such a thing?
At one point, I thought I was one of those sex addicts who can’t get enough pornography, but unlike those guys on TLC, I did leave the house, go to work, participate in social events, and the minute I got home, I booted up and watched more porn. I also discovered that I like straight porn as much as I like gay porn. Naked sweaty bodies going at it. Hey, it’s better than any National Geographic documentary I ever saw.
Porn aside, I joined Facebook, reluctantly. As with anything in life, once I did, I dove right into the deep end, but the one thing I tried not to do was give hourly updates on my everyday activities. I mostly posted jokes and observations and the occasional big life moment news. I did have to stop myself sometimes when something would happen and I would think, “Oh I have to post this on Facebook.” What I tried to do was turn whatever it was into a joke.
It was not too long before I started to find out how annoying many of my Facebook friends were. Notice I said Facebook friends. I do not have 603 friends. Beverly Sills said in life you are fortunate to have two, maybe three, close friends you can trust with everything. The rest are acquaintances. She also said to get rid of all negative energy and influences. This was a world-renowned opera singer whose children were deaf and never heard her sing, yet she remained positive. I follow her advice as best I can.
Before long, I was either ignoring, unsubscribing or just unfriending people and for good reasons.
There are the ones who post everything, and I mean everything. I am sorry you aren’t feeling well, but do you have to post every five seconds that you are praying for death because you have the flu and your mucus had gone from green to dark purple? I almost hired a hit man, so the posts would stop. I can honestly say that I have never posted about my health. The closest I came was posting a picture of my colonoscopy to show how clean it was. One friend posted a picture of his sty, and he is reading this now because he is one of those two to three people who are real friends. I did call him on it because it was disgusting and way too much information. Thank God we didn’t have to experience his urinary tract infection.
There are the food posters. Another close friend does that. Granted, he is a marvelous cook who does more with food presentation than Taylor Swift does with her vagina, considering she has slept with every straight man in Hollywood, Nashville, New York and London. During her last pelvic exam, her gynecologist fell in. His food pictures I excuse because they are works of art, but come on everyone else, do you really need to take a picture of your latest purchase from the Ronald Reagan Building food court? Or worse, do I need to read a post that you are making scrambled eggs. Who cares?
There are the political posters. Being this was an election year, these people really got on my nerves. It didn’t matter if they were liberal or conservative, they were all obnoxious. You know why? Because the ones who posted all that crap were from the extremes of the liberal and conservative wings. I unfriended plenty of these folks, including a tea-bagging cousin who is no longer speaking to me. Thank God for small mercies. If I had known that was all it would take, I would have unfriended her crazy ass years ago.
My favorites are the correctors. First, all you know-it-alls, just about everything I post is for laughs. I do not take myself seriously, and if I post something with a malapropism, it is intentional. These people are obnoxious beyond compare. They have this need to clarify every point you make with a comment that is at least five-hundred words, so the world can know they read a book. Recently, I posted a comment about how I heard a pilot at BWI say that something he ate was “restaurant quality,” as in “’the southwestern chicken on Eastern Airlines was restaurant quality’ for all the Nanny fans out there.” I then received a long response about how Eastern Airlines was no longer and other tidbits about food on airplanes. I informed the know-it-all that it was a joke for all the Nanny fans, who would chuckle at hearing that in an airport, and he admitted he never saw the show. I then wanted to respond, “Then shut the fuck up.”
I didn’t. And yes, he will probably correct this. Ironically, he was the former boss who made the comment about the television in front of an employee on his desk.
All annoyances aside, I still was on Facebook more often then I should have been and mostly out of boredom, so last week, I decided to have a twenty-four hour "no Facebook day." I would have taken a no Twitter day, but I don’t twat regularly. The only time I twat is when I post a new entry in this blog. I have never seen my Twitter account, so I have no idea what my twat looks like. If you have seen my twat, please describe it.
Being the good Jewess that I am (my mother hated that word; she embraced JAP – Jewish American Princess), I chose Shabbat as the perfect time to log off and disconnect. At exactly 5:00 pm last Friday, I said goodbye to the Facebook world in typical self-centered social media fashion by having a countdown as if I am so popular anyone would give a crap, which enforced my belief that it was time to take a break. I know I am not that interesting, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.
I then turned off my computer.
What happened? I sweated, I shivered, and I convulsed like a heroin addict with no access to methadone.
I ate dinner, watched a little television, and I went to bed. On Saturday morning, I got up and went to the gym without checking email and Facebook first. When I got home, I did something I rarely do anymore. I read the paper from cover to cover. Then, I ran some errands, had lunch with a friend and watched a movie.
As it turned out, I didn’t miss Facebook at all, and when Shabbat was over and the Havdalah candle was dunked in the wine, I didn’t turn on the computer. I didn’t feel like it. As a matter of fact, I didn’t go on Facebook until the Oscar pre-show on Sunday night, which was 50.5 hours later, and I only logged on then to comment on Seth McFarland’s toupee. That Hair Club rat on his head was crooked.
As I scrolled through what I missed in my two-day hiatus from Social Media, I learned that one friend took a nap, another posted a new shirtless pic to gain validation and be told his body would be beach ready (it really won’t), and another went on and on about sequestration; I had no idea he was on jury duty.
I also had seven comments on my countdown, one of which said, “Wow, he was serious!”
In addition, I had 115 emails, of which only two needed a reply, and those could wait until Monday. The rest were junk.
In other words, I didn’t miss a damn thing.
I am going to do this every weekend. Should I always do a countdown?
If you missed me all weekend, follow me, join me, get on my mailing list and buy my books: www.miltonstern.com.