FaceBook. FB. Time-sucking, discount-store blog. “Friends” you’ve never met on the outside of a screen feel your pain and share your excitements with a simple click; causes and politicians can be supported with the touch of “Share”. Surely this is Nirvana.
I used to blog regularly, at times doing the literary equivalent of attending Black Friday sales in the wee hours, searching for the perfect word or turn of phrase to complete the day’s post. Now, through FaceBook, I take on the evils of real Black Friday with a mighty click. Climate change: Click! GMO crops: Click! Romney’s dog on the car roof? Click! Click. Click. Click!
Back in the real world, there’s an insect for that, although the Click Beetle’s clicking tends to scare off predators because of its sound and action, not its support of causes. The mechanism is a spine on the prosternum which snaps into a corresponding notch on the mesosternum. Not only does it create a clicking sound, but it can bounce the beetle into the air, so it’s useful when the critter is on its back and needs to right itself. Evolution has not yet provided our click beetle with an “Unfriend” button.
It was Karan Cross of http://www.thewildinside.blogspot.com who “got me on FaceBook,” as they say. As anyone who sells handmade items will tell you, social networking is a way to spread the news of what you are creating, and, being a smart dealer, Karan made it easy for me to try the drug. It quickly progressed to being the first thing I do each morning with subsequent fixes throughout the day. The personal page was soon supplemented by a Wizened Eye Photography page. If you want people to “Like” your art, it isn’t necessarily good to mix personal observations, loves and hates with the more dignified artistic self you wish others to see… Or, put more succinctly, I soon had two f***ing FB pages to manage.
Inevitably, the question “Why?” arises. I sip my morning coffee and click to see what’s new. A high school classmate posts a new photo of her granddaughter, stunningly beautiful and sparkling with personality. Click! A distant neighbor describes a morning’s activity in Ireland. Click! A cartoon makes me laugh out loud (or, more precisely, LOL). Click! A new painting is unveiled, a hand-crafted silver bracelet displayed, a haiku shared. Click, click click! Awareness of someone’s need or illness is made. A dinner recipe tempts me. Whispers and shouts from around the world, taken in nibbles that I swallow- or left as crumbs on a plate for other scavengers of cyberspace to forage.
And so, although it doesn’t fend off enemies or right me when I’m on my back, like the beetle, I’ll keep on clicking. My FaceBook friends, thank you for being a part of my life. This post’s for you.