“You should friend me,” said the man at the party who I barely knew, “just don’t post anything corny or lovey-dovey or anything about your kids. Or I’ll have to drop you.”
“That’s all I post,” I smiled.
“You’re getting a rude comment when I see that stuff,” he continued.
“So you’re an actual real life troll,” I said, still smiling.
His wife swooped in, “He’s only mean on the internet.”
Right. A troll.
I understand that we’re all stuck together in a big elevator named Earth.
And everybody else’s flaws are taking up way too much elbow room. I get it.
The ground zero of annoying spaces is not the cubicle next to yours. It’s your Facebook newsfeed. Where you are probably making countless faux pas without even knowing it.
- Are you posting about your kids?
- Your cat?
- Something baffling and emotionally cryptic?
- Do you overshare—which is so very 2000s.
- Are you posting political critiques and/or endorsements? This is the social media equivalent of loud and pungent flatulence.
- Are you guilty of curating only the good parts of your life? Me too.
Last week my husband posted a picture of our hopelessly cluttered kitchen. Actually, it was our son making pancakes, but all I saw was the mess.
Even the #LoveYourSpouse challenge, which seems so benign, was immediately hit with backlash.
I saw articles lamenting its exclusions: gay couples. Agreed, of course. (Also, why aren’t men posting? Can I nominate my own husband?) What about folks without a spouse? Or those who hate their spouse? How are they supposed to feel? Of course, agreed.
But worst of all? The #LoveYourSpouse trend is ANNOYING. (Note the all caps! Emoji Emoji Smiley Thumbs up)
I look at Facebook a lot. During every intellectual lull. So yeah. Constantly.
“What’s happening on Facebook?” It’s my brain stem default.
The answer is both insignificant and also: CRUCIAL (Emoji Emoji Peace Sign, Etcetera)
You know what, people? I am so in the mood for love.
Look, I can be scathing. Do not find yourself on the other side of my critiques of racism, sexism, injustice or ineptitude. If you commit these: I am coming for you. Not on Facebook though.
Because Facebook is where I go for joy. Honestly.
That’s what I’m here for.
I am scrolling past you on my phone and I will never hate you. I love you.
- Be uncool. I am with you.
- Tell me about your pet. Adorbs.
- You want to post about your baby? 18 times an hour? I’m fine with that.
- You love your spouse? Great.
- Having a snack? Gimme some.
- Checking in from the tropics? Or Target? Go you.
- Selfie time? Nice.
- Making an observation? High five.
- Want me to fund or pray or read? I’m open.
Sorry to scroll past so quickly.
If you want to post something that has love at its core, that’s funny or sweet, or if you want to post about cornball sentiment, or your 9 thousandth selfie, or your spouse, or if you want to get serious–basically, if you want me to read something you’re passionate about? Get at me. I am here for you. Friend me.
You don’t want to be tagged? Too bad. I AM TAGGING YOU. (Emoji Party)
Dear Friends: ALL OF YOU. And those on the outskirts who read this, you friends of friends, you “public,”
Here is your challenge:
For seven days, or for less, or more:
Tell me what you love.
I don’t care what or who. I promise, I am not annoyed with you, I like it. I want to know.
This is a stuffy elevator on the good days. You know what it’s like on the sad ones. I’ll take your lovey-dovey, sentimental sap. And all of your “spouses” (however you define them,)
Facebook is just a place to see tiny glimpses of other people’s souls. Show me yours.
On the drive home from that party I told my husband to de-friend that troll guy.
“Oh, he’s not so bad,” my husband told me.
“He is,” I argued, “No one needs friends like that.”
Then my husband defended the man. Just a little compassion–small hints of backstory that made me see this guy with new eyes. The truth is, every troll or tyrant has a train or two derailing somewhere in their background. And while it is easy to roll our gigantic eyes, it is harder to strum our heartstrings.
I did not find and friend this fellow. But I love my “spouse” for his compassion. (Two trillion Smileys with heart eyes)
Who or What do you love? Seriously. I mean it. Consider Yourself Tagged, Facebook Friends.
TELL ME. (Hilarious GIF)