Tag Archives: Facebook

Kicks from the crypts?

14 Feb

Funny tombstone

Facebook recently announced the creation of a “legacy contact” feature, where you can appoint someone as the curator of your Facebook page to maintain it or shut it down after you die.

Upon learning this, I immediately went to my account settings and tapped my sister to see if she’d be up for the challenge in the event of my untimely demise. Who else would get the tone right in my post-life posts?

Here’s the type of updates I’d want her to keep flowing from my account:

“Hey guys – as it turns out, snowballs DO have a chance in hell.”

Whenever there’s a celebrity death, I’d like a, “You’ll never believe who I ran into last night,” post.


“Need a haircut. Can’t trust anyone with scissors here.”

“All the constant singing and euphoria is starting to get on my nerves.” 

“Time to go take my accordion lesson.” 

“Heads-up: Eternity is over-rated.” 

“After-life? I’ve been to better after-parties.” 

My friend Alison hopped in on the action, suggesting that there would be some pretty rich opportunities for “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) photos as well. I tend to agree:

“Remember this? Back when I was ALIVE??? #TBT”

“Wow. I really had some skin on my bones in this one. #TBT”

“Looking kind of fleshy, no? #TBT”

“This one literally killed me. Literally. #TBT”  

Speaking of hashtags, I’m thinking we could create a new one” #PLP – for “post-life post.”

Whew. Glad I’ve sorted this out. I don’t have a will or a DNR order executed, but I can sleep better knowing I’ve achieved social media immortality.

If a tree falls and no one posts about it on Facebook, does it mean it really fell?

4 Feb

Image Source: http://media1.annabrixthomsen.com/2012/07/If_a_tree_falls_in_the_woods377Detail.png

Two weeks ago, I entered Facebook Silence. Or at least, that’s what I called it when I decided there was no time like the present to tackle the “Two weeks without Facebook” challenge from my 40×40 list.

For people who don’t have Facebook, that entry probably earned an eyeroll. But for those of us who check Facebook multiple times daily and feel like it’s our connection to people outside our immediate sightline? It seemed daunting.

I’ll admit, if I hadn’t deleted the Facebook app off my iPhone, I would’ve blown my resolution the day I started. I posted my intention to go dormant on a Sunday night, then – when I woke on Monday – I started my lazy wake-up routine. I don’t run my furnace at night, so I wake to chilly air and usually spend a bit of time lounging in my bed, reviewing emails on my phone before I can muster the courage to run to the shower. If it’s really cold, I’ll buy more time by flipping over to Facebook to see what people posted while I was sleeping.

That Monday, it was exceptionally cold, so when I finished the emails, I instinctively went to check Facebook. But my smart self had remove the app from my phone before I went to bed. Instead of a blue square icon, my phone simply had a blank space glaring at me. I briefly wondered what I’d committed to. Then I wondered if my Facebook usage bordered on an addiction. Then I showered. Image Source: http://media02.hongkiat.com/facebook-addiction-signs/facebook-addict.jpg

That first day was a series of realizations… not only that I used Facebook as a crutch on cold mornings, but also that I’ve become accustomed to checking it quickly as a way of mentally shifting gears between projects at work. More than once, I found myself landing on the login page, catching myself before I entered my credentials.

I hadn’t declared an outright ban on all social media, however, so I’d dip into Twitter daily and post something. I’ve never been much of a tweeter, and this two week period helped me figure out why: Facebook feels like more of a conversation. Twitter seems like a bunch of people just blurting things and occasionally responding to each other. Perhaps a bit like a Tourrettes conference. Also? It turns out I enjoy the photos people post on Facebook – even if they’re usually of children.

So while I bounced over to Twitter periodically, I’d wager that it held my attention for no more than five minutes a day. It kind of makes me wonder why I have four Twitter accounts. (I guess I did a land-grab early on? Beats me.)

I will say that this experiment DID help me reclaim a staggering amount of free time, so I definitely plan to restrict my Facebook usage moving forward. But I also found that I missed out on key events and had to learn about them second-hand, which I didn’t like.

Thankfully, Alan texted me when my friend announced the birth of her baby via Facebook. And it was from overhearing people in my office talking that I realized one of my work friends was stuck on a bus in Atlanta for 24 hours because of the snow storm. Trade-offs, I guess.

In any case, it was liberating to unshackle myself from Mark Zuckerberg’s three-legged race for a week. And it was a stroke of genius that my dormant period coincided with the Super Bowl. Because who has time for that?

Baby, it’s cold outside.

10 Jan

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 7.25.16 AM

Perhaps you’ve noticed: it’s been COLD lately. I know, you may have missed it. I can see how – if you live in Florida, don’t have a Facebook account or avoid television – this newsflash may have completely passed you by.

Let me bring you up to speed. Apparently there’s a “polar vortex” hovering somewhere over the Great Lakes. As a result, the Midwest is getting buried with snow and temperatures have been stalled below zero. Even in DC, where anything below freezing is cause for angst (we ARE southern, after all), we’ve been in the single digits. When combined with some wicked winds, the windchill here has been as low as -15.

From the human reaction to these temperatures, you might believe that hell was, in fact, freezing over. My Facebook newsfeed has featured no fewer than a dozen photographs of cars’ instrument panels, prominently displaying temperatures. It’s like a pissing contest, but with low temps.

My friends who are parents seem to be split on the matter of snow days. Some (mainly those who are teachers) are rejoicing along with their children that school is canceled. Others seem to be running on fumes as their two-week holiday break gets extended – and extended – and they face their third week cooped up inside with hyper, stir-crazy children.

I think my sister is in the latter camp. She’s started sharing (and trademarking) somewhat mundane activities on Facebook that she’s creating to keep her kids occupied. And she’s referring to herself in the third person – never a good sign. For example:

On day 18 of extended break I took the kids to the basement for Alicia’s 20 Minutes of Fitness™. It ended up lasting 30 minutes and I lost (winner got an oreo).

UPDATE: It was a Double Stuff… and there was a chance earlier to win another one in Alicia’s World Series of Poker™.

I suppose I should be glad she’s creating activities for them to do inside. The other day she told me that after shoveling for twenty minutes, her oldest son returned inside and began complaining about his hands hurting. She looked at them and found that his fingertips were swollen like little balloons.  At the time I laughed, imagining him with sausage-like balloon-animal fingers.

But then just yesterday one of my high school classmates (who also still lives in Michigan) posted these photos of HIS fingers after shoveling for an extended period of time.


Yep, that’s frostbite all right. Call me naïve, but somehow I thought the only people to actually get frostbite were arctic explorers, plane crash survivors stranded in the Himalayas, and anyone who lost consciousness and was later discovered in a snowbank. Shoveling snow in Michigan with gloves on???

So if you haven’t shoveled a foot of snow, almost lost a finger to frostbite, or been cooped up with children for three weeks without respite, I think you should consider this year off to a great start.

As for the rest of America? It might be worth investing in some very thermal outerwear. Or bumping up your insurance plans.

I suspect this will get lost in the retelling…

15 Mar

…but I’m not going to let that stop me.

I’ve had “War Horse” in the Netflix queue for some time. It arrived last weekend, but Alan had already seen it (because he’s seen everything) so I saved it to watch on my own. “You’ll love it,” Alan promised.

Alas, halfway in, I wasn’t loving it. So I paused it and hopped on Facebook:

Image Source: © 2013 pithypants

Then, feeling feisty, I updated my profile photo so that anyone looking for me (but mainly Alan) would see this photo:

Image Source: http://www.kulfoto.com/funny-pictures/18025/war-horse

That somehow set off a pun contest among my friends, resulting in the following comments:

Poor thing…saddled with the traumatic memories of war…

Fortunately, his unbridled passion for freedom fighting got him through the worst of it.

The Secretariat of Defense issued this brave beast a Medal of Honor

Sometimes, you need to jockey for position at the front lines.

A recent Gallop poll shows that most Americans are not in favor of this war.

In these situations, it’s best to harness your rage as best you can

Agreed. Unbridled rage is absolutely the wrong reaction.

He’s really feeling his oats here.

The rest of his platoon really needs to pony up and help this guy.

He doesn’t look very stable in this pic.

He might shoot the wrong guy and stirrup a ton of controversy.

Sorry I can’t hang around and watch your wittiness unfold, guys. I’ve gotta giddy-up early in the morning.

OK, now i’m stopping.

Please, before we start trotting out even worse …

Time to hit the hay

Please make me stop

Consider yourself corralled.

Dang it! I just herd there were horse puns here. Looks like I missed the mane event. 

Okay, just one, even though the horse is out of the barn already. 

I bet he loves the smell of neigh-palm in the morning.

And then my sister showed up, skipped all the puns and asked, “But the image?? What IS that?”

Alan patiently explained, “You might surmise from the random spray of gunfire, but in fact she just meh’d a movie recommendation of mine. Demonstrably.”

Which then brought a previous commenter back out of the woodwork:

Wait. You mean she was a neigh-sayer?

Oh, and in response to my new profile photo, Alan changed his to this:

Image Source: memegenerator.net

Who says social media hasn’t improved thoughtful discourse?

I’m sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere.

6 Mar
Snowquester Bumble.

Snowquester Bumble.

If you’ve been following the national weather this week, then you know there’s been QUITE the hype about the Snowquester storm that was forecast for DC today.

(My sister doesn’t watch the news so her reaction to the word “Snowquester” was to say, “I may have to pop the cyanide tablet tonight,” followed by sharing this video, which I assume is her way of expressing disdain for named storms that she hasn’t heard of. It’s mildly effective.)

Anyway, I love a good storm, so I yesterday I started getting excited for the Snowquester. By which I mean: I bought a bunch of toilet paper and used Facebook to encourage other snow-fans to do the Snow Shake to guarantee the storm’s arrival.

“Start doing your snow dance,” I commanded whenever someone indicated they were even marginally excited about the storm. “Stop typing and start shaking!” I’d admonish.

Of course, when I cast an eye on Facebook during the work day, it’s usually to give myself a two-minute mental break or multi-task while I’m waiting for a conference call to start. In other words: I’m not fully paying attention.

And so this is how it came to pass that I zipped into Facebook and misread my friend’s status:

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. #HeavyHeart

I was distracted and thinking about the snow forecast when I read this. Also in my defense,  her previous posts had been excitedly discussing the Snowquester, so I skimmed this status and thought its gist was, “They revised the forecast! That sucks!”

Please tell me you can see how I arrived at that interpretation.

Even worse, not only did I skim her status, but – always amusing myself – I felt compelled to comment:

Nonononono! I guess you didn’t dance hard enough!!!!

And because I had things to do, I went back to work.

It wasn’t until the end of the day that I went back to Facebook and saw that TONS of people had jumped on that thread. At first, I thought her friend-base was entirely pro-storm. And then I read their comments, which said things like, “Hugs,” or “Sorry for your loss!” and I realized I needed to re-read her original post.

Oh yes. Now I see: Someone has died. Gulp.

Well, whatever your grief is, I’m glad I could momentarily divert it by suggesting that you actually killed the person by not dancing hard enough.

Turns out, maybe I’m a storm that needs a name? I think we can cross “Sensitive” off the list.