Thursday, May 31, 2012


           “You won’t believe it, but I just took the mother lode of all dumps.  It was amazing.”
           The girls and I just stared at the youngest male child wondering what possessed him to share such disgusting knowledge.  We didn’t invite it and the girls for one didn’t want it, especially since we were sitting down to dinner.  We tried to ignore him, but when Zac starts talking about his bowel movements it’s hard to get him to quit.  It’s like they are his crowning achievements.  When people ask what our kids are doing nowadays we say, “Oh, and Zac, well, he’s blowing up the bathroom and might soon be in the Guinness Book of World Records for massive shits.”  We beam proud while the other couple then tells us of their brain surgeon child.  “That’s nice, but is he in any record books?”
          It is the time in which we live.  With information so readily available - good and bad - people tend to throw anything and everything out there, whether it’s worth knowing or not.  At any given time you can check Facebook, Twitter or MySpace - yes, MySpace still exists, believe it or not - and you can see what people have fixed for dinner or their cat’s latest hairball.  We know more about our friends and family than we ever wanted to know.
          I’m pointing fingers at myself as I write this, so don’t think I’m accusing the world while thinking I’m so far above everyone else.  While they’re posting about being on their couch, I’m announcing to the world that I’m perched on the back porch with a cigar and scotch writing about them.  Sometimes, I’ll even show a picture of both.  Why?  Because inquiring minds want to know.
          Actually, we don’t.  It’s true.  While I want you to care about my three course meal, I’m not interested in your enchiladas.  I threatened once when everyone was showing us plates of their meals before consumption that I was going to show them my meal after expulsion.  The girls stopped me, of course.  Zac can brag about his bowel movements, but I’m supposed to fake maturity.
           Social media has become our check off place for our To Do List.  Woke up - check.  Had coffee - check.  Took a shit - check.  Had my shower and now off to work - check.  Throughout the day we’ll know how their day is going, and what was for lunch and how their boss needs a personality transplant.  No one asks, “How was your day?” at the dinner table because we’ve seen the status updates throughout their eight hour shift.  Communication has now gone digital.
           In some ways, however, it’s a good thing.  We have family in Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Oregon and South Florida that we don’t get to see nearly as much as we want to.  With our handy dandy Facebook, events such as birthdays, graduations and that first time on the potty going wee-wee are shared with everyone and no one misses out.  Furthermore, it saves us the cost of getting the pictures printed.  We just post them on Facebook and people can copy and save the photos that they really want and print them out themselves.
           I’m all for the sharing of information and I do want to know what’s going on in the lives of those I care about.  I want to celebrate their joyous events as well as mourn the loss of a loved pet.  I want to know when they’re on vacation so that I can sneak into their home and watch their flat screen television and drink their booze.  It’s cheaper than going out.
           That’s the other downfall to sharing every minute of your daily life with the cyber universe; the wrong people will know where you’re at every minute of the day as well as where you’re not.  It makes it easy to become a victim of the evil element.  Those who would like to make use of your possessions know when it’s safe to break in.  The stalker elements know where to find you and when it would be best to take stalking to the next level.  Too much information can lead to disastrous results.
           Before clicking “Post,” think about what’s going out over the web to be permanently etched into cyber space.  Once it’s out, it can’t be retracted or lived down.  It’s forever going to be a source of joy or shame.  Furthermore, keep in mind that while you may be proud of your bathroom experience, the rest of us aren’t impressed, just nauseous.
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