Friday, August 14, 2009

Suck Suck Slurp Slurp

There is a place where time is literally sucked out of thin air. Where does it go? I have no idea, really. But it goes there fast. The place? Is called facebook. And I'm sick and tired of it. In fact, that is my official status update: Sardine Mama is sick and tired of facebook. And in another ten minutes I shall frantically log into facebook to see if anyone likes my status by giving me a little thumbs-up sign. And an hour later I'll get off of facebook and wander bleary-eyed through my house wondering what month it is. BUT - at the end of the hour I will know the personality types of my friends, whether or not they approve of making dog fighting a felony, what five men they would like to see standing at the ends of their beds, and the fifteen books that changed their lives.

I have a lot of facebook friends. Not a lot by the average teen standard, but a lot by my standards. The definition of "friend" in the giant Time-Suck-Hole is different from the definition of "friend" in the real world. Often, facebook friends are people you've never had a real conversation with. They're friends of friends, or people who went to the same high school but wouldn't sit with you at lunch or acknowledge you in the hall. I'm friends with my kids and with their friends, which is sometimes awkward and sometimes hilarious....and sometimes convenient. For example, I find it convenient when my son tells me he's doing one thing and his facebook status tells me he's doing something else. And I love it when his status says he's bored. Really. Because I always have plenty for him to do. Actually, he has pretty much stopped saying he is bored on facebook. It really didn't work out too well for him.

Some of my facebook friends are people I would know if I bumped into them in the grocery store but who I wouldn't go out of my way to exchange pleasantries with. So it is somewhat surreal that, via facebook, I suddenly know what they just had for dinner, what they're planning to watch on television, that they just went grocery shopping, and they're considering a piercing. And when you're really lost in the Time-Suck-Hole you think that these are important things to know. You know, someone posts that they found cantaloupe on sale at the local market and you enthusiastically give it the thumbs-up. "I like this!!" you say. "I like that you found cantaloupe on sale! I don't know how many kids you have or what your husband's name is or how old you are...but I am frickin' thrilled to death that you found a deal on melons! I like it! I like it a lot!" If I am really REALLY lost in the Time-Hole-Suck I will add a comment about my own experiences with cantaloupe. I might comment that I prefer honeydew or that the last time I bought cantaloupe it was not very sweet. Then someone else will comment that I must not be checking for ripeness and list instructions for picking out sweet cantaloupe....someone else floating around lost in the Time-Suck-Hole.

People share all sorts of bizarre stuff on facebook via quizzes and status updates...and I am no exception. I recently shared that I could be easily caught in a trap if the bait were Sawyer (from LOST), Russell Brand, Patron Tequila, Haruki Murakami novels, and absolutely no children. This was through one of the "5 Things" quizzes. I love those. A long conversation of comments and several thumbs-ups followed my announcement. This encouraged me to take another quiz....something like 5 Things Within My Reach I Could Use To Defend Myself! And that loud sucking sound in the background? Time, baby. Suck, suck, milk through a straw.

Political status updates are also big on facebook. It is a passive aggressive way for people to thumb their noses.....and it, of course, encourages an avalanche of thumbs-upping from like-minded friends. A virtual rah rah session. What it doesn't EVER do, however, is make someone go "Oh my God! My sister's friend from high school who now lives in Wisconsin is against the Health Care Bill! I will be against the Health Care Bill, too! Because I value her opinion THAT MUCH."

And how many times in the past week have I seen "I Didn't Vote For Obama and I Stand By My Vote!!" or "I Voted For Obama and I Stand By My Vote!!" I am sometimes tempted to use a lot of exclamation points to shout out who I voted for, but I don't. For one thing, everyone knows who I voted for. For another, I have friends who didn't vote the same way. So the purpose of that is......what....exactly? I don't know. Maybe it is because I am the minority voice here, but I really don't like talking about politics unless there is a purpose to the conversation. I will share frustrations with like-minded friends....and I'll share an opinion when asked.....but I won't just throw something out there to start something. I'd prefer to talk to my friends about things we have in common (which are often some pretty important things) over the things about which we differ. I don't appreciate having someone attempt to change my mind about an issue, and I don't try to change the opinions of my friends. Especially by using lots of exclamation points!! On facebook!!

I am also often invited to join groups - many of them Christian in their orientation. Which is an indicator of how many of my facebook friends are not my real-life friends. My Christian real-life friends know that I'm not going to join their club. How many times have I been asked to join the group to "Remind Obama That This Is A Christian Nation!!" Oy. No thanks. I don't care to live in a religious state, especially one that isn't my religion.

However, if you invite me to join the group called "Tell Dick Cheney To Shut The Hell UP!!" I will join in a heartbeat. And did, in fact. But inviting my Republican friends to join the group would be rather offensive to them, don't you think? I would really like to form a group dedicated to convincing people to STOP TALKING TO SARAH PALIN AND THEN PRINTING WHAT SHE SAYS!! SHE'S NOT EVEN A GOVERNOR ANYMORE!! BECAUSE SHE QUIT!! BECAUSE THE ELITIST LIBERAL MEDIA PRINTED LIES ABOUT HER AND SHE GOT TIRED OF IT AND FOCUSED ON IT INSTEAD OF RUNNING THE STATE!! WHICH IS NOT A GOOD LEADERSHIP QUALITY IN A PRESIDENT!! But again, I wouldn't hit a "send all" on the "join this group!!" invitation.

Facebook also has games. Lots of games. Because it cannot stop sucking time. And nothing sucks time like the "I'm only going to play this 3-minute game 10 more times" mentality. And of course, at the end of the gaming, it will be time to see how many thumbs-ups you received for your status update....CAROL IS LISTENING TO THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS WHILE SHE PLAYS GAMES!! Other people lost in the Time-Suck-Hole love it when status updates indicate they are not alone.

Oh well. Call it procrastinating or social networking - it is all the same. A big Time-Suck-Hole. And speaking of Time-Suck-Holes....I need to get caught up on reading some blogs.

Later Dudes! Signing off as Sardine Mama - who is typing away and totally ignoring that disgusting sucking/slurping sound in the background.


  1. rThankyou for addressing the political commentary on facebook. I agree with you 200%. I think it qualifies as utter tactlessnes.(no I can't spell) Now if I could just drag myslef out of this time-suck completely....

  2. LOVE this post! I wrote something similar about my addiction a few months ago. The I attempted to quit cold turkey. Yeah, that lasted three weeks. I'd like a Facebook Patch or gum. :)

  3. I am so addicted to Facebook! I have no idea what I did before? I think I had a life? Perhaps I ebven left the house? I am not sure. great blog! Kisses,