Friday, March 2, 2012

Apparently, I’m a big fat jerkface.

A friend of mine* just had a baby. I’m super excited for him and his wife. It’s their first child and I think they’ll be great parents. One problem: they announced the birth on Facebook. Why is that a problem? Worry not, dear readers; I won’t keep you in suspense for long.

Back in the day** people would mail out a physical birth announcement or share the joyous news via an email to friends and family. Most people these days only mail out physical announcements to close family members and select friends, mainly because it’s cost-prohibitive***. And people rarely send out mass email messages anymore because wanna-be stand-up comedian Cousin Ricky had to go and ruin it for everyone with his mildly offensive “reply alls”****. But the advantage of the physical announcement was that you could reply at your leisure, if at all, and, with a mass email, you could reply directly and only to the sender.

The problem with social media sites, like Facebook/Google+/Pinterest/etc., is that I can’t “Like” or comment on anything without also getting a barrage of messages from everyone who comments or hits “like” after me. It’s either all-in or all-out. There isn’t an opt-out option like there should be. And with a major life event, like the birth of an heir or a wedding, it’s a gold rush of congratulations! OMG! Im sooooo happy 4 u!!! Oftentimes from people I’ve never met.

What do I do? Nothing. I don’t comment on anything. I don’t “like” anything. I don’t post anything, unless I’m properly prepared for the influx of alerts from every sector of my social network.

So unless I tell you otherwise, let’s just set my default status to “thrilled”.

*His wife actually, if you want to get technical
**Pre-social networks
***Can you really put a price on your child’s fame?
****To be fair, the baby does look a lot like the milkman