Were a few hours without some social media sites really so bad?

Last week was the worst week for Facebook since Mark Zuckerberg launched the thing as a way to meet cute girls at Harvard. Even with the fake name “Future Billionaire,” he had a hard time meeting cute girls because (1) that geek would have needed the fake name “Future Trillionaire” to meet cute girls and (2) there are no cute girls at Harvard. Those, and quality football, belong exclusively to the SEC.

It all started when a whistleblower went on “60 Minutes” with the breaking news that Facebook and Instagram ain’t exactly good for young folks, especially those who are constantly comparing themselves to an average-looking kid who took 1,000 selfies before finally posting one that actually made them look like a fashion model. For those who can’t make themselves look like a fashion model, their only logical recourse is severe depression.

On Instagram, a lot of folks use filters to make themselves look much better than they really do — a little less pale and way less wrinkly. Some ugly folks can look downright beautiful on Instagram. Not me, of course, but some. I don’t use Instagram much because they’ve yet to come up with a filter to make me look good.

The whistleblower then addressed members of Congress who feigned outrage and promised to shake their fingers really hard and grimace at a TV camera so that they might be able to use the footage in a future campaign commercial that stresses how concerned they are about issues — not concerned enough to do anything about them, but concerned nonetheless.

“Boy, Sen. Jenkins sure is upset about social media in this commercial!”

“Isn’t that the same footage he used in the commercial where he was really upset about the debt?”

“No, you’re thinking about when he pretended to be upset about corporate tax dodging and tax evasion by the wealthy.”

“Well, at least they’re doing something about it.”

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Uh, I mean LOL!”

Finally, last week, Facebook and Instagram went down for hours, forcing people to Tweet Tik-Tok videos of how upset they were that they could no longer communicate with the outside world on such important issues as what they had for lunch or how they accidentally sat on a flashlight while eating a Tide Pod and cured their Covid.

For some folks, the break from Facebook was refreshing. No one was arguing over vaccine mandates, who should quarterback the Chicago Bears or whether we should audit the re-revisited re-recounted presidential election in Georgia by hiring Billy Bob’s Transmission and Election Verifyin’ Service. We could sit silently on our back porch and simply listen to the birds sing as we merely thought about how stupid people are instead of typing it out under one of their Facebook posts.

We had time to think and to pray. Normally, we have little time for either one because Facebook is chock full of prayer requests from other folks, especially down South. Folks often post things like, “Unspoken prayer request! Thank you!” That vagueness really complicates praying.

“Dear God. I pray you’ll help the earthquake victims in Haiti, the people of Afghanistan, the hungry, the sick, the poor … oh, and, Gladys needs, um, something. Possibly winning lottery numbers, I dunno. I assume you do. She also keeps saying something about ‘Let’s go, Brandon!’ so maybe help the boy out, too.”

Alas, the outage was not permanent. But it was out just long enough to make me consider making a few changes in my social media life going forward. Perhaps you, too, might want to consider some of these, such as:

  • Realize you can’t fix stupid. Americans are firmly in their trenches. And it’s not just the age of ignorance; it’s the age of proud ignorance. You’re not gonna reason those folks out of it. Humans are currently 0-for-45-trillion in their efforts to win an argument on Facebook. Don’t get drawn in.

  • Understand everyone else is not permanently on vacation even if it looks like it on Facebook and Instagram. “Earl is in the Bahamas! Again? The most exotic place I’ve been to this year is Publix! Does the guy ever work?”

  • Nothing a politician posts is gonna surprise you. It’s exactly what you think they’d say. Don’t waste your time. There’s only one side of every story for them.

  • As for yourself, if you can’t post something nice, just don’t post anything. That’s right. Go outside, encounter real humans and scream, “You’re all idiots! Yeah, you too, Gladys!”

  • And, finally, make more of your own social media outages by closing your laptop or shutting off your phone more often. Lunch is still lunch even if you don’t take a picture and share it. You could literally lie on the beach without taking photos of your feet in the sunshine to make others jealous. At least, I hear you can do that.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got important things to do … like posting this on Facebook.

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