Kate Dalley is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 96.7 FM . The opinions stated in this article are solely hers and not those of St. George News.
OPINION – I’ve been on Facebook for 4 years now.
That means that I’ve been posting trivial things that really don’t matter since 2008.
Time flies when you’re really, really busy spending all that time on “The Facebook,” as my father calls it.
Most of those folks over the age of 60 just don’t get the phenomenon of Facebook. They cannot understand why we all like to share everything, every second of the day with everyone we have ever known since kindergarten. Yet, are we really sharing private, secure information or is it pretty meaningless stuff?
The older generation seems to think it’s such a breach of privacy – almost as bad as giving copies of your house keys to every friend or acquaintance you have ever had a conversation with. They just don’t get why we like to spend hours cyber stalking our friends and agreeing to be cyber stalked our selves.
There was an article recently about us becoming a “spy” for the government as the government can now cyberstalk you and look at your information online, in places like Facebook, in an attempt to know what you are up to all of the time.
Really? Well, in that case I feel sorry for the poor underpaid government employee assigned to cyberstalk me. I have had 4 years of superficial status posts letting people know what I ate for dinner or that I had a flat tire or at a particular moment I felt really bloated and didn’t want to work out. Pretty serious stuff.
The government will also be privy to the pertinent information that I love romantic comedies, long walks on the beach and can witness my brag-a-thon about my awesome kids. Wow. Just think what the government can do with all this newfound knowledge about me.
When I start to think about my meaningless updates and posted pictures, I start to wonder that if I could bore the government to tears, have I just wasted 4 years of my life on The Facebook?
Has my life been enriched by knowing that my friend from high school is at Starbucks right this minute enjoying their coffee and eating a sandwich?
I think most of us got on Facebook initially, just to see pictures of old friends- to compare who got fat, who lost their hair or to simply see who has aged well and who hasn’t. We are such a voyeuristic society. I think we find some sort of pleasure in measuring ourselves against everyone else. It’s kind of like attending a high school reunion every single day on Facebook.
I’m pretty sure Mark Zuckerberg is laughing his way to the bank as his umpteen trillion dollar website is about to go public.
His Facebook slogan should have read “ Facebook: A place where you think everyone thinks you are as interesting as you think you are.”
Except for an occasional inspiring article shared by friends or a pertinent health status update of an ill friend, I don’t know that the hundreds of hours I have spent on Facebook have actually really helped me as a person.
After 4 years of Facebook, is my life better? Am I smarter? Does my life have more meaning than ever before? Probably not, but it’s fun.
I realized the other day, when I ran into an old friend at the store that we didn’t even have to come up with any small talk anymore. I knew what was going on her life because of Facebook and the minute she started asking how I was, she agreed that she already knew what was going on in my life, too. After an awkward moment, we laughed about it and parted ways after about 10 seconds to continue on our shopping endeavors.
So, the hours we have spent online reading through hundreds of status posts can reduce the rate that we actually have to converse in person. For a nonsocial recluse, or someone like me, who frequents Wal–mart at midnight dressed in ugly sweats with no makeup on, this is definitely an upside.
Betty White had the funniest bit on Saturday Night Live last year talking about the fact that looking at vacation pictures is somehow supposed to be exciting on Facebook as you share your adventures, while years ago, when we pulled them out to show them on a slideshow and bore our friends and family, it was considered torture.
Of course, you know you have an addiction to Facebook, when things happen and you think to yourself, that this could be your next status update.
On that note, it’s time to go and post a new status for myself on the Facebook now, “My article is done for STGnews.com. Whew. And now I am going to eat a ham sandwich!”
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.