Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Facebook and the Seven Deadly Sins.

How can I put this? Let’s just say I’m not the most secure mattress on the roof of the station wagon, so I’ll need your bionic grip as we breeze down today’s freeway.

Incidentally, isn’t if funny how people think they can simultaneously drive and pin an eighty-pound cushion to the top of their car with nothing but one sweaty paw?

Yeah, sounds funny until someone gets his eyebrows waxed by a windshield-speckled Beautyrest, right?

Anyway, today I want to talk about something of which we’re all guilty, that I noticed yesterday as I rode the bus home. While ninety percent of the passengers stared cloudy-eyed at their iMasters, sitting next to me was a woman with two small children. Was she holding anything manufactured by Samsung, Apple or Hewlett-Packard? Nope.

Did she tell them to “shut the hell up and sit still or your Gameboys stay in Mommy’s purse and you’ll be stuck with your iPods.”? Negatory.

Get this: she talked to them. They even joked around a little and drew some stuff.

Good Lord, what backward behavior on vehicle of mass transit. Laughter can prove so distracting when zeroing in on the perfect Snap Chat. Oh, the humanity.

Humanity. Hmm, let’s visit that word for a smidge. When we as a society choose to remove ourselves from the humans around us, to sever the communal connection, doesn’t that diminish our collective humanity?

I’ll go ahead and say yes, it does. In fact, I think that despite the repressive environment of his era, the 4th century monk Evagrius Ponticus nailed it when he penned the original seven deadly sins. These were the seven forms of self-idolatry where the subjective reigns over the objective.

In other words, social media has rendered us even more profoundly self-centered than we were in the age of rotary phones and vinyl records. Since I don’t participate in the Twittershpere or Instagram Nation, I’d like to use Facebook to illustrate my point with each of these vices:

Greed—For the realtors among us, must we incessantly post the latest listings? Some may call it networking; I would deem it Amway-inspired acquaintance alienation.

Sloth—Isn’t it just a bit lazy to wish someone happy birthday on Facebook? I understand that a card can set you back, sometimes over three dollars, and that’s B.S. (before stamp).

Pride—I’m guilty of this one, but I’m trying to improve. Not only have I posted every image ever shot of my daughter playing hoops, I even slapped one up of her sleeping with her ball. What gets me are the memes I see like this:

I did this in Photoshop. Please share if you’re proud of me.

Lust—I agree, after seeing all those selfies, your new boyfriend is super hot, and it’s always a solid backup plan to tell him in twelve point Helvetica on my newsfeed page.  

Envy—I agree, after seeing all those selfies, your new boyfriend is super hot. Oh yeah, and thanks for showing me the nachos you guys had at TGIFridays, because I’d have to go really far to get those, which makes me super duper envious. Just wait until you see my tuna casserole on Thursday. It’s got crushed potato chips on top. Bam!

Wrath—This was on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page a while back: "Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants' hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

All of who, Sarah? The two other Einsteins who use “intolerant” as a noun?

Gluttony—I was recently de-friended by a high school classmate who complained about Obamacare after posting several photos of her beautiful new home with its exquisite views. When I mentioned the irony in my always-delicate manner, she took offense, as did her entire family who joined the fracas. In another twist of irony, I blame Obama for one less Facebook friend.

Make no mistake, I like Facebook. I like the babies and the nature imagery and the cute stuff our kids say. I like Throwback Thursday and Man Crush Monday. As a matter of fact, I wish there were something for every day of the week, like "Toilet Peep Tuesday" or "Stop Using All Those Hashtags Because It's Really Stupid Sunday." 

And I’m sure I’ve offended at least a couple of my Facebook friends who think I’m talking about them, but I’m willing to risk it.

You know me—anything to save the sinner.

1 comment :

  1. Well done.
    Somebody is going to see a very special Man Crush Monday status.