I’m a voyeur on Facebook.

I know what you’re thinking, if I was using the dictionary definition for the word ‘voyeur,’ it’d mean I get some kind of odd sexual gratification from it. That’s not what I’m talking about. I just like to read interactions on Facebook, and not necessarily participate.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the postings, pics and presentations on the social medium! How else could I quickly learn how my nephew’s son is doing in Wisconsin high school football...how my sister wants to throw herself into the river because she is having the winter blues...how my Tennessee relatives are dealing with tornado season...or what my old friends from high school are thinking about!

This is all-important information I NEED to know! And, I wouldn’t know any of it, if it weren’t for the postings.

 

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When Facebook first came to be, I engaged. In the initial background information, I probably wrote too much. I was free with personal info, weighed in on political topics, and shared about trips we were taking.

I soon found out that kind of ‘sharing’ had consequences. Since I furnished my birthdate, I soon had AARP emailing and sending information on programs for older people, such as myself. (That was weird, because I thought Dennis was the old one!)

I clicked on an eating healthy ad, and numerous weight loss remedies were e-mailed. (Apparently I need to eat boiled eggs and pomegranate.) I read a banana cake recipe, and you would’ve thought I owned stock in Doyle! I had many banana-based concoctions sent to me, but my favorite was one that indicated that bananas rubbed on your feet stopped cracked skin. (It didn’t work, but I now travel with a cloud of fruit flies!)

As for political topics, I quickly learned...don’t go there! They’ll eat you alive, if you differ from their stated opinion. Word to Dixie – they don’t want your thoughts, they just want you to agree with them. I should’ve learned that long ago from being the editor of a small paper. Most people only want a newsletter agreeing with their beliefs.

Concerning trips you are taking, that’s not interesting conversation fodder either. Erma Bombeck wrote me once and said regular folks don’t like to hear about your adventures. They want to commiserate about the misery of a defrosted refrigerator, over-flowing toilet, or a neighborhood conflict!

 

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And what about tweeting? What an odd method of communication! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear about peoples’ lives 24/7! Most do not care that you’re at some important eating establishment...could care less if you’re talking to a semi-newsworthy figure...or, if your dog howls and scratches (and you take videos) to the tunes of Johnny Cash.

 

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I do understand the concept of the whole social media thing – connecting! Most feel they are out there alone, getting information from others in your situation is helpful.

But there are certain genres, for sure. Young women interact about childcare. How do you potty train? When do you start introducing whole food? Should you reprimand a toddler and how?

Then you get to adolescent mothers. What do you do if they are ignoring homework assignments? What do you do if they talk back? Is it best to put the kibosh on them interacting with other kids you deem ‘unacceptable?’

Young adults’ moms talk about how to build up their kids’ ACT scores, the best colleges for the cheapest prices, and how they’ll embrace the ‘empty nest’ thing.

Then you have my age. Suddenly, women are posting ‘profound quotes,’ both intellectual and/or religious. Really? When did we get so old and staid? Personally, I still think the best quotes are from Dr. Seuss!