I regret to inform you that I caught myself agreeing with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia the other day. I also began to differ from many of you, my regular readers.
That makes me look like an ingrate, but I will not fib and tell you that you are always right. In truth, some of you go overboard, obsessively digesting the pathetic trivia of your fellow Facebook fanatics.
Despite my frequent disagreements with Scalia, I have recently run across one of the most fascinating things he ever said. And I agree with him.
“I don’t know,” he said, “why anyone would like to be ‘friended’ on the network. I mean, what kind of narcissistic society is it that people want to put out there – ‘This is my life and this is what I did yesterday?’ I mean… good grief. Doesn’t that strike you as strange.”
Yes, that does strike me as strange. Every time I peek in on Facebook and discover still another day’s overload of petty concerns, I recognize relatives and friends who beat useless information to an empty pulp.
I am worried about people who spend time comparing new shades of finger nail polish or reporting another fanny tattoo or announcing their stomach rash seems to be clearing up.
Scalia is right. Most people who live on Facebook could live a larger life. Some of this daily drivel comes from well-intentioned but giddy friends. They have sloppy language habits, such as an inability to use any adjective but “awesome.”
Worst of all, they have the boorish habit of constantly telling me and everyone else “Have a wonderful day,” like it or not.
I don’t like it. Constant wonderful days can be exhausting, especially when I am lost in thought or savoring a latte or hoping to take a nap and prefer something less grandiose than a “wonderful” day.
Could we have a recess from these incessant demands to have a nice day? Try something more subtle like saying, “Have a great nap, old timer” or “Brush your wonderful teeth, all three of them”?
Justice Scalia would agree with me. Surely when he died a couple of weeks ago, he didn’t want to hear “Have a nice day.” He could finally have a chance to relax and tell all those lawyers crowded into his life to stop driving him crazy by begging him to have a wonderful day. Is there no surcease?
Spare me and Scalia from constant visits to Facebook. Death is unpleasant enough as it is without learning there is probably a Facebook in heaven,
On the other hand, come to think of it, I remember something my mother used to do years ago that was not unlike today’s Facebook gossip. She was constantly out in the back yard, chatting and laughing across the garden gate with a neighbor.
Men of those years and of today also have their pleasure of trading quips and fishing lies, sitting around the coffee pot, just enjoying each other’s company.
Today, such neighbors and relatives go well beyond the garden gate or the coffee klatch. They share their pleasure and their troubles with each other, killing time on Facebook, the new garden gate.
Justice Scalia and I have wondered why so many people waste so much time in their lives on Facebook. Is it possible that Scalia and I may have been a little slow to figure out why people we know seem to be enjoying each other?
If Scalia and I run into each other in the hereafter, I assure you, I will be the first to shout in his direction, “Have a wonderful eternity.”
Contact Bill Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1012 Prospect Ave., Lewiston, ID 83501.