Aging ain't for sissies. Neither is chronic pain.

Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Take My Advice

Since joining Facebook I’ve witnessed any number of different ways people interact and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gathering place as overflowing with unsolicited advice as Facebook. I find it amusing and kind of sad. Amusing because we are so sure our advice should be required reading material (without even considering it might not be wanted.) And sad because we have expectations we never voice.

It’s not a hard concept – if you don’t want advice when you post something then say so! Tell people what you need. Some will listen and some won’t. Appreciate the people who do and flip the silent bird to those who don’t.

Some time ago I saw an exchange on Facebook that illustrates what I mean. I’m changing the names and context of the subject matter to protect the innocent and the asses.

Clarice was upset and posted, “My poor Charlie has a hair ball! I feel so bad for him.” 😦 😦 Notice that Clarice does not tell anyone what she expects from her statement – does she want sympathy, empathy, advice, a pie in the face – what? She leaves herself open and encounters these typical responses:

a) “Aww so sorry. Hope he feels better soon.” **hugs** – (Short, sweet and nice.)

b) “Omg, that’s nothing!!!! You should hear what happened with my kitty!!!!! She had a hair ball the size of a Mack truck engine!!!!! We had to have it surgically removed and then send her to therapy because she was so distraught and then we had to put her on Prozac because she loved that hair ball!!!!! Just be thankful Clarice that your kitty’s hair ball wasn’t worse!!!!! Hugs!!!!” – (Do I even have to explain what is wrong with this? The minute someone says “Oh that’s nothing…blahblahblah” they’ve proven they could care less about you. Intent, intent, intent.)

c) “Sorry to hear about Charlie’s hair ball but sometimes it all comes down to the food you feed him. And the quality of the water. And what size bed he sleeps in. And whether or not you vaccinate him. And what time of day you flush your toilet. And if your sheets are 500 thread count. If you don’t do everything the way I do, because my way is the only way, then you’re just going to have to deal with hair balls Clarice.” 😉 (A winking smiley face never makes a know-it-all look better. They still look like an ass. A winking, smiling ass.)

d)“Clarice you might want to consider electroshock therapy for your kitty. My mom’s friend’s dad’s cousin’s uncle’s nephew’s masseuse did this to her mouse because it was obsessed with some kind of ferris wheel thingy in its cage. Apparently it was successful because the mouse is so quiet and timid now. It worked for the mouse so it might work for your kitty‘s hair ball. Good luck!!” (Bad advice is bad advice is bad advice.)

e) “I don’t know why you bother even having a cat Clarice if you’re going to let him get a hair ball. Did you not research cats before you got him??? Did you get him from the pound??? No wonder he has hair balls, he has no pedigree. I don’t understand why anyone gets a cat and then lets them get hair balls. If cats are properly cared for they will not get hair balls Clarice. Sheesh.” (There is nothing to say to someone like this. They live to make another look foolish because that’s what their deflated ego requires. Don’t feed the beast. Move on.)

Clarice, understandably pissed off, chimes in, “For your information Charlie is an IGUANA! That’s right people, an IGUANA. An IGUANA with a HAIR BALL. And I’ve ALREADY taken him to the iguana DOCTOR. If you’d JUST ASKED ME instead of ASSUMING Charlie is a CAT then maybe you would UNDERSTAND that I DON’T need advice about CATS. I DON‘T want your advice AT ALL!”

Can we count all the mistakes made here? Firstly, Clarice did not tell people that Charlie is indeed an iguana and she did not inform them that she wasn’t looking for advice. People aren’t mind readers. If you don’t tell people what you’re looking for you won‘t get what you need. So if you’re one of those few individuals that actually has an iguana with a hair ball then you damn well better state it upfront. Details people details!

As for those who answered Clarice, they naturally assumed Charlie was a cat (understandable) but they went a step further and assumed their advice was welcome. No matter how many passive-aggressive emoticons someone places in and around their words, it is the words that matter and it is the intent that shows a person’s true colors.

"ugh, I don't feel so good."

“ugh, I don’t feel so good.”

Misunderstandings happen but damn we need to cut each other a little slack. There will be times when something serious is posted and we feel a strong moral nudge to respond because we see harm in someone’s future but those type of posts are not nearly as frequent as the ones where we could actually, you know, just shut up.

And while I’m at it let me call it like I see it in regard to advice in general – not every piece of advice is good advice. This is coming from someone who was told my fibromyalgia could be knocked right out of my body if I would simply partake in a daily juice concoction that the giver-of-unsolicited-bad-advise read about in a book she got with a juice machine. Yeah. No.

So go forth and Facebook to your heart’s content dear readers. (Yes I made Facebook into a verb. Just let it go. ) Be kind, be fair, cut each other some slack and watch out for iguanas with hair balls.

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Update on Facebook Hell

(In order for this to make any sense you need to first read the blog entry below titled My Facebook Hell.)

I know, I know, enough Facebook already!  But I thought I’d end the week with an update on my Facebook dilemma.  Next week anything goes so stay tuned.

Let me preface this by saying my husband does not do Facebook.  He has commented on several occasions that he’s not interested in joining but he would like to take a look to see what it’s all about.  I don’t need to tell you that I’ve been putting him off due to the whole Café World addiction thing.  Apparently my time has run out.

Last night my husband read my blog entry about my experiences with the hell that is Facebook.   Our conversation about it went a little something like this:

Husband: “I didn’t know you were into all that.”  (smiling)

Me: “Uh huh.”  (trying to sound nonchalant)

Husband: “It’s really funny.”

Me: “Thanks!” (thinking he meant the blog entry)

Husband: “No, I mean it’s funny that you don’t cook unless it’s online.”

Me: “Oh.”  (blushing)

Husband: “I think what you wrote is funny too but not as funny as you using pots and pans.”

Me:  “Ha, ha smart ass”

Husband:  “So what’s with the fish aquarium and pet life stuff?”

Me: “Oh yes, my other pets!”  (I shared excitedly)

Husband:  “Other pets?  Don’t we have enough pets already?”

Me:  “No silly, my fake pets.”

Husband:  “You have fake pets?”

Me:  “Yes!”  (for some reason I start talking very fast)  “I have a pet on Pet Life.  I think it’s a dog but I’m not sure.  He’s kind of ugly.  His name is Mo and I have to feed, brush and play with him every day.  I take him shopping and to visit his friends.  Then I go to Fish World and buy plants and other fancy stuff, I feed my fish and sell them.”

Husband:  “You sell your fish…what’s the point of going to all that trouble if you’re just going to sell them?”

Me:  “I sell them so I can buy more!”

::crickets chirping::

Me:  “Then I head over to Happy Aquarium where I feed the fish, clean the tank and mate them.”

Husband:  “You mate online?”

Me:  “I beg your pardon?”

Husband:  “You mate your fish online.”

Me:  “Yes.”  (how did this conversation get so far off course?)

Husband:  “Okay, let me get this straight.  You go online to bathe, brush and feed your ugly pet named Mo.  You take him shopping and to visit friends.  Then you go to your various aquariums, feed your fish, clean their tanks, breed them and sell them for no apparent reason.  After that you go to your café and cook for a hundred of your robotic friends just so you can buy tables and floor tiles.”

Me:  “Well, when you put it that way it sounds kind of lame.”  (pouting)

Husband:  “Not lame, just….well…odd.”

Me:  “You knew I was odd when you married me.”

Husband:  “True, but I think I’d like to check out Facebook.  Maybe you can show it to me on my day off this weekend.”  (Cripes!  I’m not ready to let him into my secret little world and try to head him off at the pass.)

Me:  “But, but…we have to paint this weekend!”  (I pulled that one out my ass)

Husband:  “We have to paint?”

Me:  Yeah, you know, the trim and stuff.  And we have go through our Christmas stuff.  I need a hair cut, you need a hair cut, the dogs need haircuts.”

Husband:  “Our dogs don’t get haircuts.  They have short hair remember?”

Me:  “Well then, I guess I’ll have to show you Facebook.”  (omg am I whining?)

Husband:  “Good, I can’t wait to meet Mo.”

My Facebook Hell (this is long so I hope you packed a lunch)

I joined Facebook this year for kicks and giggles.  (Never mind that I can’t kick anymore because my legs refuse to go that high.)  “You’ll love it!” said my friends. “It’s a lot of fun!” they exclaimed.  They told me such wonderful things about this phenomenon called Facebook.  It’s what they didn’t tell me that was my down fall.

It started out innocently enough.  I signed up and was sent to my new home page.  I was so flippin’ confused!  I haven’t cursed that much since the early 90s when I got my first computer, with DOS no less, and after 3 days of fighting the damn thing, had to pay some geek thirty bucks to come to my house and show me, with one click, how to get past the main menu.

Anyway, I puttered around Facebook for awhile until I could edit my profile.  Then I noticed something at the top that said “News Feed” so I clicked on “View News Feed” but nothing happened.  That’s because no one told me I actually had to type something in that little box that says “What’s on your mind?” 

I go to my profile page and see a tab that says “Wall.”  Is this like a living room wall, the Berlin Wall, another brick in the wall?  Curiosity got the best of me and I clicked and found the same little box that says “What’s on your mind?”  So I told that little box exactly what was on my mind.  It went something like this…&^%$#(*&^% 

I looked up people I knew were on Facebook and clicked on their name.  “I’m going to find friends!” I thought excitedly.  That is until I clicked on their photo and got a page that said, “(Person) only shares certain information with everyone.  If you know (Person), add her as a friend on Facebook.”  First of all the sentence doesn’t even sound right…”only shares certain information with everyone.”  It just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

Fear kicks in.  What if no one accepts me as a friend?  What if they ignore my pitiful attempts to share flairs?  What if I become the only friendless person on Facebook?  Against my better judgment I plowed ahead and made friend requests to people who “only share certain information with everyone.”

Before I knew it I found myself checking Facebook every day to see if I made any friends.  And each day I was faced with that same little box that insists on knowing what’s on my mind.  Regardless, I made friends!  Some were people I knew and that was great.

Then one day I get a friend request…wow, someone is asking me to be their friend!  There was only one problem, they didn’t speak English. 

Apparently, due to the Italian nature of my last name, someone in Italy with the same name thought we should be friends.  That person led to another person to another person in Italy that wanted to be my friends.  I can’t tell you how many times I went to the Google language translator to find out what they were saying to me.  Then Google would translate my response into Italian and I would copy and paste it on their wall.  I’m not sure about the accuracy of the translations because my Italian friends would sometimes laugh at their silly new American friend.  Finally I gave up and told them all I don’t speak Italian.  If I’d done that in the first place it would have saved me a lot of trouble.

Something happened one day that forever changed the way I viewed Facebook.  I discovered games.  I found Fish World, Happy Aquarium, Pet Society, Monk Werks and the game that sent me into the depths of Facebook addiction hell, Café World.

As I’ve previously stated, I really, really hate to cook.  But there is something about Café World that sucks me in.  I can be a chef and not have to do much of anything.  I can create such culinary masterpieces as Tikka Masala kabobs, Triple Berry Cheesecake, French onion soup, Voodoo Chicken Salad and Crackling Peking Duck with the click of a mouse.  Little people with funny hair who walk like robots come into my café to eat and then leave with a big thumbs up.  I’m a success and I never have to wash a dish.  I earn points so I can buy things for my café like tables and chairs and floor tiles.  What can I say, I’m easily amused.

I realized the depth of my addiction last week when I found myself trying to coordinate the time it would take to cook a virtual Spitfire Roasted Chicken (don’t tell my husband) on my tiny little café stove to the time when I would be online again.  The chicken takes 12 hours.  I had to make sure to start the cyber chicken exactly 12 hours before I would be back online.  I am pathetic.

Hanging my head in shame, I admit I need a support group.  Something with a 12 step program to help me wean off slowly.  (“Hello, my name is Terri and I am an online chef addict.”  How lame is that?)  If I don’t get help soon I will remain a tiny robotic chef with funny hair that hates to cook for the rest of my life.

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