I’m still getting used to this Facebook thing. I mean, I like it, I really do, but I’m just not sure if I’m using it the way I should be. I have posted pictures, along with updates (infrequent though they are) for anyone interested in my goings-on, and have even uploaded a link or two. To that degree I guess I’m just your typical user, but still I feel like I could be getting more out of it, as well as putting more into it.
My problem is that I can’t post like so many others do. For example, I’m not one of those types who can post every detail about what I’m doing at that particular moment. Don’t get me wrong – I know a lot of guys who can get away with it. They’re never doing anything uninteresting. They’re also the same types who are always uploading pictures of themselves debauching scores of young, attractive hipsters at some ghastly discotheque. Me? My life’s a little less interesting. My posts would look a little something like this:
Jason M. Miller is looking at the ceiling. Wondering how many layers of paint are there? And what about primer? Does anyone bother to primer a ceiling? And is it “to primer” or “to prime?”
And I’m not the type to fish for attention by posting ominous, out-of context, obscure and nonsensical jibberish, either:
Jason M. Miller Hurt. Devastated. What did she mean? Do I clean it up? If stars are like bedpans and pickles breathe marmots, then who can I trust? Or is it whom? Undulant.
And I refuse to take part in those games, polls and quizzes that are everywhere, though I can imagine some that I’d like to see:
Jason M. Miller took the quiz “What character in the movie ‘Salo’ are you?” and got the result “Male Victim #2.”
I do, however, find myself using Facebook as a place where I can gently kid around with my Friends. That’s one of my problems, actually – I see the sincere and personal postings of others and immediately assume that if I post a response that I think is funny then they’ll think its funny too. Sadly, though, that’s not always the case; not only are some of my comments not funny – they’re not even appropriate half the time. Not that I’m aware of this when I hit the “comment” button, of course. It’s usually only the next morning that my witty response to, say, a Friend’s posting that he has been suffering from debilitating vertigo for weeks (“Quit crying and get over yourself, sickboy…”) seems just a tad insensitive.
Last week I even went so far as to post on a Friend’s wall, apropos of absolutely nothing, “I’m going to kill you in your sleep tonight. See you then!” I don’t know – it seemed pretty funny at the time. The next morning, however, he had deleted it from his wall and sent me an e-mail stating in no uncertain terms that he’d be alerting the authorities. Whether the authorities he referred to would represent the nice people at Facebook (who could drop my account in less time than it would take for me to “poke” a Friend) or the actual police (who could probably confiscate my computer and investigate my wise-ass post as a legitimate threat) I didn’t plan on finding out; firing off a nervous apology, via e-mail, was for me the work of an instant. Crisis, for the nonce, diverted.
My posts don’t always end in potential litigation. Some actually are quite funny (though I admit I’ve never gotten a response indication as much. I think it’s safe to just assume that everyone thinks they’re funny). For example, as any Facebook user knows, you can easily “like” something just by clicking on the “like” button, after which your approval of the initial post’s content is wordlessly registered for all to see. It’s a great function, really, because it allows the user to acknowledge a Friend (or a Friend’s post) without really spending any damn time getting into a comment-fest with the original poster and twelve of his or her other Friends. There is, however, no “dislike” button. And that’s a problem.
The solution is of course to actually type the words “I do not like this!” into the comment section. But here’s the catch – I don’t write it when I actually dislike something that a Friend has posted. That would invite the original poster to comment back, and then there would be one of those Facebook arguments that we’ve all seen or, if we’re really unlucky, been a part of. Plus, where’s the humor in that? No, I write it when someone has posted something really nice and sweet, something no one could ever not like. That’s funny. Here’s an example:
Friend: Conner and Timmy and I are going to the pumpkin patch today! They can’t wait to see the petting zoo! Pictures later!
Jason M. Miller: I do not like this!!!!!
Or how about this:
Friend: Hubby and I went out for dinner last night – the first time in a long while! We actually got to talk like adults! Such a nice night!
Jason. M. Miller: I do not like this!!!
It also works wonderfully when a Friend uploads a photo. Picture seeing a single photo on your live feed. It’s a nice picture of, say, a Friend playing with a new puppy. The Friend is all smiles, and the puppy is obviously in a state of intense joy. They are in what appears to be a living room, surrounded on all sides by a potpourri of various chew toys, knotted ropes, and balls. The picture is so adorable that if you closed your eyes you could almost hear Clarence “Frogman” Henry’s “Ain’t Got No Home” playing in the background. It’s that cute. The photo even has a title: Meet Frosty, our newest rescue dog!
And under it, in the comments section:
Jason M. Miller: I do not like this at all!!!!!!!
Sometimes words aren’t even necessary. I’ve even learned, for example, that a cleverly placed emoticon can be a wonderfully succinct way of brightening someone’s day with my unique humor:
Friend: Patrick Swayze died today. So sad 😦
Other Friend: 😦
Another Friend: 😦
Jason M. Miller: 🙂
And how about all those fanclubs? Well it turns out anyone can make one! One morning a few months ago I was lying in bed, strangely awake at about five AM, my mind fluttering about as it tends to do when I’m up for no reason. Suddenly I hit on an absolutely hilarious idea. I would create fake Facebook fanclubs! It would be hilarious! I jumped out of bed and ran to the computer. Within minutes I had my first two fanclubs:
Jason M. Miller became a fan of Passing Out On The Floor In A Pool Of Your Own Sick and Finger Painting with Offal.
I invited a couple of Friends and leaned back in my chair, confident that I had just struck comedy gold. I think that as of this posting my fanclubs actually have two members, and that’s not even including me. Success! I even made a mental note to create a new one, this time less wordy:
Jason M. Miller became a fan of Hookers.
But I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
There are certain things, though, that I won’t do, no matter how much I’d love to. One of them is responding to a Friend’s religious-themed posts with something that reflects my current feelings about organized religion and the people who can’t live without it. Trust me, I would love to toss a secular reality-bomb into some of these threads, but the truth is I really do respect other people’s lifestyles, and feel that to rain on someone’s parade just because I happen to think they’re cuckoo is arrogance at its worst. Still, I can dream, right?
Religious Friend: Jesus has blessed us with another perfect day! We are all here because of Him, and let’s not forget that!
-Three Friends like this.
One Friend: In his name!
Another Friend: Hallelujah!
Jason M. Miller: Oh Jesus Fucking Christ…
See what I mean? It would feel good to get these things off of my chest, sure, but it can hardly be denied that in doing so I would look like a total jerk. And why do something like that when all my other creative Facebook contributions are such fully developed examples of my wit, revealing to all my Friends how smart and funny I am? Why tarnish their opinions of me, opinions that undoubtedly place me at the top of their list of Friends They Admire Most?
Aw, screw it. I’m a jerk.