Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Please Like Me

On FaceBook yesterday a "friend" posted that his mother was very ill and near death. I put "friend" in quotes because I have never met this person and certainly don't know his mother. However,  I lost my Dad a couple of years ago and I remember how difficult it was.  I wanted to reach out to this "friend", like you would anyone going through that difficult time.  But, I didn't  really know what to say in a comment. So,  I just clicked "like".  
Imagine that same conversation anywhere but on FaceBook.  
A guy is walking down the street and he says to everyone around him and no one in particular, "Hey, my mother is dying."  A complete stranger responds with a very enthusiastic   "Mother almost dead... I LIKE that!" and gives him a thumbs up. 
Although totally rude and completely uncalled for in the real world this was a natural exchange on FaceBook. In the FB world the guy even thanked me for liking the fact that his mother was dying. I could have then liked that he thanked me and he could have liked that I liked his thank you.  And none of it  would have any emotional content because I did not type :) or :( 
You would think with this incredible web of international, instantaneous communication we would be more connected. We are not.  In fact the electronic distance makes us less connected and less emotional.  Friend and Like are becoming meaningless words, because they have been franchised by a multi-million dollar business.
I don't know why we feel compelled or even comfortable exposing our personal lives to strangers. It is not just on the internet, Jerry Springer set the bar low enough for most anyone to slither under. I don't know why you would admit on television that you are cheating on your baby mother by having an affair with a giraffe, but what is more incredible is the fact that some sponsor thinks I will care.
So I will post this on Face Book..I hope you like it.  But since there is not a "Are you f'ing kidding me" button I will not know how you really feel.
As you were, 

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