Cranky geezer, Rufus Smedley, decided to join ‘em after years of saying he wouldn’t. He finally took the plunge into the touchy-feely swamp known as Social Media. Prior to this leap, Rufus had coped with the modern world by using email, his INTERNET home page, and Google. He skipped all the rest – Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Pinterest, and a dozen other similar portals that he figured were for the more hip – meaning younger – folks. And furthermore, from what he had heard, these sites were for bored women who blathered on and on about mindless stuff accompanied by pictures and videos of themselves, their children, and their pets. No, this was not for Smedley.
One day, however, he opened a message with a Facebook tag that was sent by a person from his past – a student of his during his years as a high school teacher some thirty-five years ago. This fellow, now in his fifties, expressed fond memories of Smedley and wondered how he was doing these days. Smedley was touched that someone would not only remember him from those days but that there was a trace of affection and appreciation expressed. Not known for his tenderness, Smedley was pleasantly surprised, and against his previous take on the value of these portals, he replied, thanking his old student for his kindness.
From this little seed of replying, grew a huge tree of former students, old classmates, old girlfriends, people he owed money, but also he heard from sellers of vitamins, cars, and lacy underwear (for his wife, of course) – and practically everything related to all his Google searches. Every day, his email inbox was clogged with messages announcing Facebook Postings, Conversations, Updated Photo Profiles, and Requests to be Your Friend.
At first, this deluge of communication was enchanting to Smedley, taking him on so many delightful trips down memory lane. He enjoyed catching up with many people from the past and even meeting new folks – “friends of friends.” There were also a few messages that were less than tasteful as some people had complaints or even a score to settle with him from the past. Some of these were former customers he wiped out by selling them “investments” in his days as a stockbroker. Oh, also, from his early college days, he heard from a few irate coeds complaining that he deceived them about his “intentions.”
It wasn’t long before the joy of heaving up his past grew tiresome. He soon realized that most of these people from the past did not fit into his present life. They lived far away. Some – under closer scrutiny – were people he really didn’t like back then, much less now. With others, he didn’t have anything in common with any longer. Ultimately, Smedley grew annoyed by the inane world of social media that was swallowing up enormous amounts of his time, over the dullest things in life such as recipes, kid’s concerts and sports, fashion, makeup – all just plain unending drivel!
Rufus Smedley determined to extract himself from this mire of nothingness. But how was a challenge, as he couldn’t “de-friend” all these fine folks without hurting their feelings. So he had to find a different way out. And then, it hit him: He would drown them with drivel! By piling up shovelful upon shovelful of twaddle into his page, his “Friends” would soon be bored to total distraction and then they would quietly de-friend him, liberating Smedley from the choke hold of Social Media.
What drivel did Smedley use? His nightly dream life! Every morning, fresh from a vigorous night of visions and bizarre excursions, Smedley logged every detail of his dreams.
None of it made sense. Many times he was naked. Sometimes he could fly. He was always looking for a bathroom. Often, he was in the downtown of some city unable to find his way home. There were encounters with women. He found money along street curbs. There was no thread from one dream to another. Every dream consisted of the meanderings of a facile, perhaps unhinged, mind.
But it worked! Smedley has no more “Friends.” Now free from the suffocating blanket of Social Media, he has time to read the morning newspaper once again.