So, You Find Cat Videos Annoying? by Christina Knowles

knowyouwantmeme Facebook is getting tedious, more so by the day. Constant misinformation, misattributed quotes, and fallacies run rampant on political memes. Facebook posts have reduced my estimation of the collective intelligence of our population, but worse, it’s reduced my belief in the basic goodness of humanity. Not only are these tedious to see, but it’s a full-time job posting Snopes and Politifact links to these comments, but I try to be a good citizen. But don’t get me started on trying debate an issue on social media. It’s a lost cause that sucks you in and won’t let you go for about twenty-four comments, two unfriendings, and a blocked participant. I’m not against all political posting. I love when people post actual news articles, thoughtful opinions or news that raises awareness, and links to insightful editorials. I like to have a calm exchange of ideology, as long as we adhere to facts for evidence and not tabloid headlines, but how often does that happen?

Then, of course, we have the “god blessed” me posts, crediting God with everything from parking spaces to the random luck of the wind failing to blow down a fence. (Wow! Aren’t you special! I guess your neighbors aren’t cozy with the big guy, huh?).

The next most annoying thing about Facebook is over-sharing, where people admit way too much, like how they were fired for stealing office supplies, to having gotten so drunk, they woke up with a total stranger. Really? This is information that only your best friend should have. Don’t force me to judge you, please. It’s not who I want to be. (Caveat: Sincere opening up and sharing who you are with the intention of self-expression and engaging in a relationship with your friends is not offensive, but someone never taught these people about the circle of trust.)

Then, there is the under-sharing, the ones who post some vague melancholy comment, and when someone asks what’s wrong, they say, “I’ll text/PM you.” If it was so private, why publicly build everyone’s curiosity by posting anything at all?

But, honestly, the most annoying posts on Facebook to me are the ones that try to manipulate me. I don’t surf social media to be guilted or forced to re-post or comment to feed your fragile ego. First, we have the chain letter post. The one where you are commanded not to simply share it; you must COPY and PASTE it into your feed, especially if you do not want to have your hair and fingernails fall out by morning. If you do repost in the proper manner, you will enjoy a landslide of money, blessings from Jesus, and all forms of good luck. If you don’t, well, you obviously don’t love your mother.

The other form of Machiavellian Facebook posting is compliment-fishing by pretending to hate yourself. I mean how can you really keep scrolling past a photo with the caption, “I look so (Insert word of choice: terrible, ugly, fat, old) in this picture.” I feel like I’m being forced to say, “No, you don’t. You’re beautiful.” Even if I mean it (which I often do—some of the prettiest people do this), I don’t like being manipulated into feeding your ego. But I have to on the unlikely chance you really mean it and are so depressed you are about to off yourself. I mean, someone would have to be a little depressed if they actually do mean it and want to draw these inadequacies to the attention of the world, right? Truthfully, whenever I see these posts, I can’t imagine why they think this of themselves or why they’d want to announce that they think it (again, over-sharing). Anyway, I feel manipulated because I don’t want to be responsible for someone’s low self-esteem resulting from my lack of compliment-commenting. It really is exhausting.

So, remind me, please, why were we complaining about pictures of dinner, glam selfies, recipes, and cat videos? –Christina Knowles

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“Dinner Party Queen” by Christina Knowles

cocktail-partyEntering your enormous and lovely apartment,

you greet me with your gratuitous smile,

your plastic-flower image, and oh-so-courteous temperament.

You taunt me with your high-styled manners

and your generous remarks snub me as they normally do.

“How do you take your Beluga?” and “Which wine do you prefer?”

and “Oh, I didn’t mean to assume—I’ll be happy to select for you.”

You quickly explain to all of your friends

my regrettable shortcomings and beg them to forgive

my sinful lack of politesse, and then

politely excuse yourself and float across the room,

leaving me blundering in your cultural forum.

As I bitterly gaze at your perfect state,

your fashionable clothing gaily stabs me in the back—

your mission in life, so-to-speak.

Crimson faced, I hate to admit

your silky silhouette does look stupendous

in your A-line frock and jacaranda dyed heels.

I would never say it conflicts with your artistically painted face,

contrasting so vibrantly your pale complexion.

Bullhorn-bright and swelling with pride,

you sweep through the room, bulldozing my dignity

with your swanky attire and arrogant demeanor.

Slowly, I slide away from the circle of beautiful people

and fade into the paisley wallpaper,

which, I might add, is out of style.

Here I blend

Again, I gaze in your direction,

your elegant coiffure turns up its nose at my violin-string hair.

Mortified, I hide

humbly in the corner reserved for shopping school dropouts.

Slouching behind your ornate décor,

I look down at my flower-flocked frock and Payless shoes,

and ponder my sanity—why did I come?

I really must control these masochistic tendencies.

Swallowing down my caustic remorse; emerging

I slither my worm body over to your graceful self

and settle at your satin shoes.

Weakly, I rise up through the ashes of my incinerated pride

and face your rude disposition.

“Although it’s been so lovely, I really must be going,”

I croak as I meet your captivating blue eyes with my insipid ones.

“Before dinner? Oh well, if you must,”

you drawl so gallantly, perceiving your work is complete,

and I may again return to my hovel, properly placed.

Recognizing the dominance of your station, I retreat.

Backing down from the challenge, I fall into line

at the prosaic end of the pecking order.

There really was never any debate.–Christina Knowles

Image from laplayaclub.com

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