[Note from the Staff of VFTB: Tim Jones is on vacation this week, so in his place, we invite you to enjoy this guest commentary by Barney Likezitt, an ardent Facebook advocate who would like to defend this social media site against its detractors. The views expressed by Mr. Likezitt do not necessarily reflect the views of Tim Jones or the staff of VFTB or any of its readers.]
Sometimes, I wonder how I survived life prior to 2004 – the year that the modern world’s greatest invention was created. No, not the beer helmet. I’m talking about Facebook. It’s hard for me to recall how I spent those nine hours a day before Facebook entered my life. Oh, now I remember. I was raising a family.
Since its inception, the number of Facebook users has grown to 2.4 billion. That means on any given day, roughly one out of every three people on the planet is updating their Facebook status while pretending to work. Some Negative Nellies consider Facebook a waste of time. But if you ask me, showering, shaving and putting on pants are much bigger time wasters. Watching hilarious videos of people falling into wedding cakes makes me laugh. And we all know laughter is the best medicine. Besides, Facebook’s also a great way to keep tabs on my kids’ activities. Why should I put myself through the annoyance of interacting with my brooding, self-absorbed 15-year-old daughter Megan when I can covertly scroll down her Facebook timeline?
More importantly – oh wait…. Someone just uploaded the funniest GIF where Hilary’s face was CGI’d onto a donkey. LOL. I have to share that one….
Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, right, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people. Talk about blasts from the past! This very morning, I received a friend invitation from Ned Lumpkin, who I vaguely recall might have been in my ninth grade algebra class. Or perhaps it was a bot (I am so hip with the FB lingo). So, naturally, I accepted his / its friend invitation. I also reconnected with a former college flame named Brenda. She has definitely NOT aged well. I have no idea how Brenda is doing these days, but her Schnauzer Butch posts the most hilarious cat videos.
Don’t try to argue that Facebook isn’t educational. That’s fake news. Why, in the last hour, I learned that most alien abductions occur in Bluff, Alaska, climate change is a hoax, Brexit is going to save Great Britain, Brexit is going to ruin Great Britain, and I can buy a cool new litter box that will solve all my pet’s excretory issues for only three easy payments of $19.95.
And when it came to voting on the various Articles of the Constitution, each delegate to the Constitutional Convention could have simply indicated either or . Admittedly, there would probably have been a few snarky comments from defenders of King George, but Madison, Jefferson and their cronies could have unfriended them. Easier and more targeted than a musket shot.
I’m very politically active on Facebook because I love my country. I will thoughtfully react with a to all Fox News articles. And I have signed every petition to deport anyone with black hair (which covers most questionable minorities). Now you might say, “Hey, Barney, if you’re so concerned about our nation’s future, how about doing some fundraising calls to stop gun violence, or knocking on doors for signatures on a petition to end inequality in the workforce?” And of course I would, but It takes forever just to type “Send her back” in response to the latest insightful MAGA rant. I can’t do everything, ya’ know!
Unlike TV, where the commercials are constantly in your face, Facebook allows me to choose which intriguing teaser ads I want to look at, like “Famous Musicians who are Serving Time in Prison” and “5 Foods to Burn Away that Belly Fat” and ”Whatever Happened to Calista Flockhart?” and “Poll: What Would You Sell Your Soul to the Devil For?” There are life lessons to be learned here.
Some detractors express concern that Facebook is collecting tons of data about every user without their permission. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg’s company makes billions by sharing this info with marketers, Russian hackers, and “attractive single women” in Turkmenistan who are looking to meet me. What’s wrong with that? Besides, did I mention I’m single?
Why all the fuss? If you ask me, sharing my most personal data about my political leanings, how I looked in 4th grade, and my online purchase history for the past six years (I can explain the inflatable doll if you’d give me a chance) is a small price to pay to find out the latest news in the celebrity feud between Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Personally, I’m on Miley’s side. Taylor can be such a prima donna.
I know what you’re thinking. But I’m not addicted to Facebook. It’s not like I sit around all day compulsively checking my feed. Sometimes I do it lying down. And I take plenty of walks – to the bathroom, the fridge (to get another beer) and back to the couch. So don’t tell me I’m missing out on life.
For you arrogant neo-luddites who self-righteously point out that you’ve never been on Facebook, you can wipe that smug, superior expression off your faces. Go walk in the park with your family or read that riveting new novel by J.K. Rowling, or…or… climb Mount Everest. Meanwhile, I’ll be checking out what my very dear old friend Ned Lumpkin is up to. Unlike me, you would have missed the video he shared of a golfer who drove his cart into a lake. LOL.
Well, I have to go. A moment ago, I noticed an important FB post: “Proof that Princess Meghan Markle isn’t a very nice person.” I always suspected…. – By Barney Likezitt*
[* VFTB Staff Note: You may be asking yourself, ‘Where did you guys find this Barney Likezitt fellow?’ Um, the photo above of Barney is a random stock photo. Barney is not a real person.]
Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019