Friday, 04 January 2019 14:04

COLUMN: Frowning upon Facebook forwards

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It's no great secret that I have a social media presence. A lot of you have seen the “Joe Weaver, Columnist” Facebook page. I also have a personal Facebook page for my friends and family. 

My family is spread out worldwide and we use social media to connect and share family pictures and stories and such. I keep my personal Facebook page private. It's not that I have anything to hide really, but you all don't need to see the pictures of my dinner, vacation, or what the cat coughed up on the carpet. I actually enjoy social media. I know a lot of you might not believe this, but I am actually kinda shy and don't like a lot of interaction. With social media, I have a little more control over what goes on. 

This week's column is not about how shy I am or my social media habits. As mentioned above, most of you probably aren't interested in my social media. As long as I keep writing goofy things in the paper, I'm good to go in your eyes. I know a lot of you have social media, so you're probably going to understand what I am about to discuss. Most of you aren't gullible or impressionable people. The demographics for this column suggest the readers are of a, um, mature age and I'm smart enough to realize that with age, for the most part, comes wisdom. 

It is with reasonable authority that I can tell you it's okay not to share everything on Facebook. By that, I mean the 10 or 15 posts that get shared by each and everyone on our news feeds. I can assure you that no child will perish if you choose not to forward their picture to all 500 of your Facebook friends. Typing “amen” in a Facebook post will not help anyone's financial status. You can post all the pictures of five-dollar bills you want, and you're not going to get richer. That kid with a skin disease? It's a piece of ham with eye holes cut out of it. Say it with me, you are not going to get a million dollars if you share a picture of something with a hundred of your friends. Facebook has billions of users. If we did this, and the million dollars was granted, the world economy would be spun off its axis and hurtled into oblivion.

Now, before you go to my Facebook page and hit the unfriend button, hold your horses for a minute. I'm not saying that there are not one or two legitimate posts that can be shared. However, the 5-year-old girl with a terminal disease that is begging for money has been doing so for the last 10 years. Let's do the math here. Ten years ago she was 5. Add 10 to that and you have 15. I think the terminal disease is the least of her problems. Not only has she continued to live for 10 additional years, she hasn't aged as much as a day in that time frame. I'm no detective, but even I can see something is goofy here. Perhaps she's in cahoots with Ham Face.

Recently, there has been an epidemic of this. When it doesn't appear on the news feed, it's been sent in the private messenger. I can assure you, if a chain message is sent to me in Messenger, it dies right there. I don't care what it is. If I want to wish each and all of my friends  good holiday wishes, I'll do so. I don't need to be instructed to send it to 20 friends so I'll have good luck. I make a nice living, married the girl I wanted and have a nice home and family. I have all the good luck I need, thanks. 

I have been getting so many of these that I have been responding in less-than-polite ways. I did this once and suddenly realized after the fact that I had responded sharply to a fundraiser for my grandson's baseball team. I should have paid more attention when I saw the name of the team. A team picture was included in the message. Not a single boy had ham on his face. 


Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.