Saturday, March 21, 2009

Calming The Snark: When IS ain't necessarily so.

Gotta hand it to Facebook. Or specifically to the little window at the top of my profile page that prompts me to share what's on my mind. Unbeknownst to me, these little status posts have worked like literary WD-40 on the corroded parts of my brain where my writing used to live. Updating my status posts regularly feels a bit like hitting a tennis ball against a wall and observing my wonky swing grow steadier over time. It tells my friends what's going on with me and helps me stay in the now.

However. I get this frisson of irritation when I log on to Facebook to see what my friends are up to, and read the following status post yet again:
Joe Blow is.
Is what? Yo, Joe Blow, in your IS-ness, have you truly achieved the Zen-like state of being that continues to elude me? Or are you just a bloody bore with neither the imagination nor the gumption to come up with something more interesting to say about yourself? What's the point of friending (I fucking hate that verb) me on FB and then not interacting with me at all? When I agree to, ahem, friend someone on Facebook it's because I'm genuinely interested in what they've been up to since I last saw them in 1981, and I enjoy reading their status posts and seeing pictures of their family. Why have cyberspace friendships gotten so superficial that the only way some people can show others they're thinking of them is to throw sheep, race virtual cars, take idiotic quizzes, pat virtual pets, send virtual Ferraris plants drinks mandalas pizzas Prada handbags snowballs Christmas ornaments Valentine hearts Easter eggs and mysterious chocolate objects that look remarkably like dog turds? That's just lame. And it feels like being stalked. In a friendly way of course, but it's still stalking to me.

But what do I know? Perhaps they're busy with other stuff like falling in (or out of) love, texting, watching TV, driving their kids or being driven mad by them, digging a garden, playing golf, studying for exams, hanging on to a job or looking for one, trying to make ends meet, going to therapy, shopping, taking a loved one to chemo, trying to stay sober, blogging, eBaying, wrangling laundry, gaming, cooking, meditating, writing code, having plastic surgery, learning to belly dance, looking at porn, going to the gym, painting, going on holiday, saving coral reefs, getting Brazilian waxed, making music, making whoopie or whatever it is that takes up people's time these days.

Below are some of my status posts since joining FB in July last year to the most recent. Snapshots of The Snark.
  • M is wondering if summer will ever come to Belgium (my first FB post on 17 July 2008)
  • M and Skunk are off to Ireland for a week: to Norrie in Carrickmacross for Jin Shin Jyutsu, and to Galway, Connemara and the Aran Islands for regeneration.
  • M is enjoying the dog days of summer. They, too, shall pass.
  • M thinks iceberg lettuce is the polyester of all vegetables.
  • M is trying to keep her cool against an onslaught of teenage hormones.
  • M makes plans, Life makes others.
  • M is trying to get her taichi groove back. Everything aches! Serves me right for slacking all summer.
  • M is listening to Mission Control at CERN as the first beams are injected into the Large Hadron Collider. What a moment!
  • M feels humbled to witness the birth of a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe. Now where'd that Higgs boson go?
  • M is disgusted by all her shoes. Is there a 12-Step program for shoe addiction?
  • M misses the good old days when Skunk used to dance like the guys in this Duffy video.
  • M has been over-doing it and will now sit still and have a cuppa and listen to John Coltrane.
  • M is having a Saturday morning wake-up booty shake to The BPA featuring Dizzee Rascal & David Byrne – ‘Toe Jam (Stanton Warriors Remix)’. Woohooo!!!
  • M's lunchtime guests have just waddled off into a dark, rainy night, leaving half their possessions (cell phones, jewelry...) behind. Food coma in progress.
  • M is celebrating 20 years of two-getherness with Skunk today.
  • M is getting a bit nervous about cooking for a real-life chef on Sunday
  • M is still half asleep and is making Belgian waffles for breakfast.
  • M has just made a killer curry, saffron rice and a pile of triple chocolate chip cookies and hopes everyone's hungry.
  • M is still buzzzzing from last night's unforgettable performance by the Dave Holland Quintet, and is now looking forward to Seun Kuti & Fela's Egypt 80 tonight.
  • M is lost in the magic of Juan Luna's Revolver by Luisa A. Igloria.
  • M is ready for change and prays that Obama wins!
  • M's still thrilled about Tuesday and glad to see that woman (Palin) back in Alaska where she can think paranoid thoughts about socialists.
  • M would love to see a rescue pit bull as the new First Puppy at the White House. They could call it Sarah! Arf!!!
  • M is vampire-proof. (garlic-related, natch)
  • M is off to a monastery in the Flemish countryside to study more Jin Shin Jyutsu.
  • M is still tingling from the pleasure of discovering Bob Brozman's music last night.
  • M is ignoring the messy house and making fish curry with Persian steamed crusty rice pilaf for Jaki tonight.
  • M is grateful she's not rich - no sleepless nights obsessing about the state of the economy.
  • M has just woken up to heavy snow. Beautiful. Now I gotta drive in this shit.
  • M is having even more fun now the snow has melted and turned to black ice on the roads. Oh, the joys of winter!
  • M is dreaming of siopao. Does anyone out there have a siopao recipe they can share with me please?
  • M's head is still spinning from Cirque du Soleil's Quidam. Amaaaayzing!
  • M is tired after baking 9 Christmas cakes.
  • M is thoroughly flummoxed!
  • M & Skunk are taking the kids to an all night dubstep/triphop/drum'n'bass/hiphop/crunk/ragga/electro-funk/techno meltdown at the AB on Saturday. Must be mad.
  • M thinks Christmas can be one great big pain in the arse. There. I've finally said it.
  • M is having a Christmas bypass.
  • M is wearing a silly red hat (thanks, Legs) that makes her look like a demented cupcake. (on Christmas morning)
  • M has a date with some dead bodies.
  • M's just been to Gunther von Hagen's Bodyworlds exhibition and is both awed and humbled by the majesty of the human body.
  • M is getting ready to end the year dancing and wishes everyone a Happy New NEW.
  • M is paying a heavy price for last night's excesses and is trying to ignore the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed were-gerbil she lives with. (first real hangover in 15 years)
  • M has proof that older does not always mean wiser.
  • M hopes that the global economic downturn will motivate more people to go back to the garden.
  • M is laughing at Mia doing zoomies in the snow. It's minus 12 Celsius and flipping c-c-cold outside.
  • M is grateful for the warmth of Aran sweaters, insulated boots and ALL her body fat.
  • M wishes L and B a big, phat, insanely joyful Filipino wedding and wishes she could be there too.
  • M is DELIGHTED that a Filipina chef will be doing the cooking for the Obamas. Next step: plant an organic garden to supply the White House kitchen!
  • M thinks it's FANTASTIC that the next US president is black and has Hussein as his middle name. And if some FB friends don't like my opinions, well, tough.
  • M is glad that Obama can say "nuclear" correctly, and won't be mangling the English language like his predecessor or that Alaskan moose murderer. Also, he's hot!
  • M has the house to herself and is listening to Marvin Gaye while eating dark Belgian chocolate with Malabar cardamom. Bliss.
  • M is grateful to Barack Obama for making smart the new cool.
  • M is bowing her head in prayer, watching Barach Obama claim his place in history. (posted the exact moment he was being sworn-in, 21 January 2009. Can't cry and spell at the same time.)
  • M is feeling very wobbly after seeing a dream come true and thinks some champagne might steady her. BARACK the WORLD!!!!!! (And good riddance, Dubya!)
  • M wants to know if teenagers have a sell-by date. Because her patience is nearing its expiry date.
  • M has surrendered to dark chocolate and a bag of Cheetos. Too many late nights and frozen brain cells can result in bizarre food pairings.
  • M has orange fingers and hiccups.
  • M is lovin' her handles. (that would be love handles)
  • M has evil designs on a friend's neighbour's Aston Martin.
  • M has just come down to breakfast to find six bottles of red wine from her love. (on Valentine's Day, because he knows cut flowers make me sad)
  • M curses Mondays. And bugger the dirty laundry too.
  • M is listening to the birds trilling the earth awake.
  • M is going to make dark chocolate brownies marbled with dulce de leche, just to avoid having to wash her car. (photo doesn't show how filthy my car really was)

  • M is keeping it locked to breakbeats on Annie Nightingale on the Beeb. Oh lordy, my chi is UP!
  • M is staring at hillocks of dirty laundry. The thilly theathon ith over. For now.
  • M wouldn't mind roughing it in a hot smelly tent in Darfur if George Clooney would be my roommate. Seriously.
  • M is now vacuuming books, for crying out loud.
  • M is convinced that only a 10 year old boy would think that Chaume cheese and Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter on the same piece of toast is a good idea.
  • M is up at sparrow's fart to take Mr. Chaume&PeanutButter to swim training.
  • M is tending to sulking orchid plants and wondering what on earth made me think keeping orchids would be a good way to learn patience?
  • M wishes all her Brent schoolmates a great Centennial reunion. Will you guys please let rip, you're too damn old to still behave yourselves.
  • M is getting ready to groove to John Legend in Brussels tonight.
  • M is fed up with the indiscriminate use of the word "like."
  • M wonders why God created teenagers and early mornings. And He expects me to combine the two? In a sane and loving way? Hello!
  • M wasn't sure a hiphop concert was what I needed but dancing to Q-Tip with a full live band sure chased my big blue funk away. (the day after our cat Trouble died)
  • M delights in the abundance and creativity of the number 13.
  • My kids are being bolshy, I have workmen underfoot, and the dog wants to supervise me in the kitchen. Get me outta here!
  • M is looking for that Rumi poem where he says there is no room in the small heart for a separate "I" - can anyone help?
  • M just spent 10 minutes trying to explain what a leprechaun is to a deaf Walloon farmer. Now we're BOTH confused. I need a Guinness, now! (on St. Patrick's day)
  • M is giving up Worry for Lent. Chocolate would have been easier.
  • M loves the way her kids say, "Oooh, can WE bake this chocolate caramel tart," when what they really mean is can I do it so THEY can inhale it in 15 minutes flat.
  • M salutes friend & hero Roger Doiron for his work in persuading the Obamas to plant an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn. It's finally happening!!!


Pam said...

Just one reader's viewpoint:

I guess people use social networking sites for different purposes. I like using FB to keep in touch with friends who really, truly mean something to you will probably never see my friend count reach 100. (Maybe, but I doubt it!) I'm guilty of quizzes and tags, but for me, they are something fun and silly to share and I like them.

As to making a status, I don't always have something to say...if we were in a room, I'd be the one sitting silently listening and observing everyone and then maaaaybe I'd have something to say after awhile. My moods vary, and how I act or what I post reflect this. There are times I am very active, then other times not at all.

I do love the Internet and find it a wonderful tool, but there are things that drive me crazy on it too. Message boards and flaming arguments with alternate names drove me right outta there. I just didn't want the drama. I am anonymous on one site, where I prefer to be left in peace to photoblog and maybe speak my mind once in awhile. Save for a few friends there, I don't really immerse myself in the social aspect of it.

My friends list on FB is a weird conglomeration of past, present, and online friends. The one thing they all have in common is that they are an important part of my life...including you, Meg! I love how you speak your mind and I do read and follow your posts even though I may not always comment on them. I love this blog too, and look forward to reading many more of your opinions...:)

Loney Kitchen said...

I look forward to reading your blog and I will leave a comment or two. My friends roster has remained short as you can see, mainly because I don't have a lot of them..hehehe. But I do get requests from some with photo attachments that make me feel that I too should be profiled with a half-naked body with blubber attachments.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I signed up on facebook & have never been back. I have a hard time keeping up w/my life as it is. I know everyone loves it though. Maybe someday .....??

tanga said...

grrruf grruufff...girls gotta bark girls gotta bite...everyone needs a roti for a twin hehehehehe...and all along i figured fb meant f*&%#g broke!!!!!!

Stacey Williams-Ng said...

What a great post! You are right that status updates are more than they seem. They're a new way for people to relate to one another and as a result they are really open-ended right now. It's fun to see what different people make of it.