Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about how Facebook fans are shocked—shocked!—that their privacy has been compromised, prompting them to rise up and exhort oppressed social media users everywhere to join the righteous movement to #DeleteFacebook.
MOM: Where you going, Pop?
POP: Next door to see Cyrus.
MOM: What for?
POP: I need to show him this photo of me parking my car between the lines at the supermarket.
POP: Well, yeah. He always teases me for taking up two spaces because I’m too lazy to straighten out the car after I pay no attention to how I pull in. I’ll show him that I’m no Porky Pig parker.
MOM: Good for you. But why not just put the photo on Facebook and tag Cyrus? He’ll see it that way.
POP: Facebook?! Don’t mention that eight-letter word in front of me, woman!
MOM: Oh, no, not you, too.
POP: You’re darn right: Me, too—the hash tag-less “me too,” that is.
MOM: You’re deleting Facebook?
POP: You bet your bippy. Aren’t you?
MOM: I don’t use Facebook all that much anymore, so why bother...
POP: How do you share what you need the rest of the free world to know about your life every day, even the cute little inane details?
MOM: I’ve become more of an Instagram grandma-type myself. I find it’s simpler, more fun, and more people Like my posts. Lately, I’m not very “Like”-able on Facebook, it seems.
POP: That’s because most of your Facebook friends never see what you post. It’s the fault of that Al Gore fella.
MOM: President Clinton’s VP? What does he have to do with any of this?
POP: Plenty! He says he helped create the internet, for one. Plus, they’re always talking about how Facebook’s Al Gore decides what you see on your page.
MOM: No, honey, that’s algorithm. It’s a mathematical formula that…never mind.
POP: I never do.
MOM: Why would I delete Facebook just because some people I don’t know are telling me to?
POP: You don’t know Will Ferrell? Or Jim Carrey? They’ve deleted Facebook.
MOM: How special. I read Will Ferrell’s reason for deleting Facebook. He meant it to be serious, but I found his reasoning as nutty as his comedy. Besides, the whole Facebook backlash is way overblown.
POP: No, it isn’t. Why should my privacy be at stake just because I want to share...
MOM: …and overshare, and shamelessly share, and needlessly share.
MOM: That’s right. You share whatever.
POP: It’s my constitutional right. Amendment Numero Uno.
MOM: And how did those dastardly forces sneak in and steal your no-longer-private information… did they beat it out of you?
POP: Of course not.
MOM: You willingly provided all that private data, just by living half your life on Facebook.
POP: ‘Course I did. And that Zuckerberg kid from Dobbs Ferry should have protected my data better.
MOM: Yes, he should have. He’s an entrepreneur who had a great idea and now seems to be in over his head as the CEO of a bazillion-dollar company. But this is far from the first time that the user accounts of a major corporation have been hacked. Now Facebook knows better and will deal with it.
POP: I know better, too, and am dealing with it by deleting it.
MOM: Be careful what you wish for. You’re going to suffer cold turkey symptoms by having “Hey, look at me!” withdrawal.
POP: Me and everybody else who deletes Facebook. Misery loves company.
MOM: Deleting it is not such a bad thing if it gets people doing old-fashioned stuff again, like reading.
POP: Or talking to each other in person again.
MOM: Or having more civil conversations about politics instead of posting childish memes that mock the other side.
POP: And spreading fake news and fake too-good-to-be-true offers.
MOM: I saw somebody point out that, without Facebook, you’d have to write about 50 letters a day to communicate with the same people at the same pace as we do now.
POP: Where’d you see that?
MOM: On Facebook.
POP: I’m not sure I remember how to write a letter.
MOM: Another person reminded everyone that our private information has long since been compromised by the government and private industries.
POP: So true that.
MOM: Think about it, Pop. We choose to abuse social media, in a manner of speaking, by spending way too much time in its death grip. We put all kinds of information out there about who we are, what we own, where we go, what we buy, what we do, what we like, what we hate, who we hate ad nauseam. Then we turn around and complain that social media is abusing us and invading our privacy. Like the man said, “Physician, heal thyself!”
POP: No, I mean the guy who said that. Wasn’t his name Hypocrites?
MOM: You mean Hippocrates.
POP: Yeah, him, too.
MOM: Well, we sure could use an antidote to prevent overdosing on social media. It’s an addiction.
POP: Maybe Facebook and the others should be regulated, like other controlled substances that cause addiction.
MOM: Somebody suggested regulation in a Facebook post, and I agreed.
POP: What did you say?
MOM: That users of social media should regulate themselves. Maybe we’d complain less about losing our privacy at the hands of Facebook if we had more self-respect about our privacy and more shame about our exhibitionism.
POP: Good point, Mom. No wonder I “Like” you so much. Maybe I’ll reconsider deleting Facebook.
MOM: *thumbs up emoji* *heart emoji*
Bruce “The Blog” Apar promotes local businesses, organizations, events and people through public relations agency APAR PR. He also is an actor, a community volunteer, and a contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce The Blog on social media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-275-6887.
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