In a joking mood one morning a year and a half ago, I snapped a picture of one of the kitchen cabinets and posted it with this message on my Facebook page: “My husband leaves this cabinet door open all night because his cereal and tea are in there and it saves time in the morning. I told him that leaving the door open will invite mice in. Which one of us is crazy?”
All my early-bird Facebook friends soon replied:
I’m with you, Alan! And I eat my breakfast at night to save some morning time. We can share some tips!
Tell your hubby that keeping his zipper down saves time, too.
Real men don’t drink tea.
If he put a mirror on the inside of the door, he could shave while making breakfast. Maybe a few hairs in the corn flakes, but he’s a real man and in a hurry...
I’d leave the lid up to save time but I don’t live by myself and I’d like to keep it that way!
Gotta say he’s crazy on this one, but the mice probably wouldn’t agree!
The mice usually can’t read the labels.
Germans never do crazy things. (to which I replied “Nein, natürlich nicht!”)
This is one of my favorite uses of online media — getting silly in a public venue and inviting others to join in. Laughter is undeniably good for your health, animates your day, and kick starts an upbeat attitude. It’s also great to know you have many “friends” who share your twisted sense of humor.
Then there’s the other side of social media. In the new way communications are done, friends and family post sad and tragic updates as well. The death of a loved one, a somber medical diagnosis, a heartbreaking break-up or the tenth anniversary of mourning a beloved pet are all shared online. People instinctively respond with condolences, prayers, positive vibes of all kinds, whether it’s to relate their own similar story that ended well, or even if it’s just to silently click “like” to show solidarity. Since every funeral we go to reminds us of every funeral we have gone to, there’s a truly universal link that binds us all.
I know friends who have used the GoFundMe online fundraising campaign that is so prevalent nowadays and so easily shared. I think the reason for its popularity is that folks in general, and especially folks in New England, are loath to request help when they need it most. This internet intermediary allows you to ask for help — with funeral costs, emergency travel, or medical expenses — and allows those who know and love you, and those who just want to be a good human being, to have the joy of helping someone.
I believe that instantly sharing photos, joys and sorrows with many others who share theirs in return is the greatest use of social media. It can also be inspirational, affirmative, and mind-blowing. And sometimes it’s the perfect stage for just plain silliness.