Lent is over, welcome back to Facebook


By Bill Colvard - [email protected]



For all you folks who gave up Facebook for Lent, despite the fact that you get most of your news and news-ish information (this column being of the latter variety) from your Facebook feed, I would like to welcome you back to the great big world of electronic misinformation that has been chugging along without you while you were devoting yourself to penitence and spiritual reflection.

I have several friends who regularly choose Facebook deprivation as their chosen method of self-flagellation and their piety is an inspiration to me. Yes, I do have devout friends and I find your surprise at that fact a bit insulting.

One friend who has given up Facebook during Lent for a number of years apparently did the same this year as she chose the Lenten season to tour the Great Wall of China. As Facebook is banned in China to the best of my knowledge, I applauded her initiative in what I assumed was a temptation-reduction strategy.

Her traveling companion who had not, to the best of my knowledge, eschewed social media did manage to post some pictures of their excursion on Facebook. How she managed, I know not, but I do know the irony is rich.

But also fortunate because if someone in my circle of acquaintance is going to be trekking all over the Great Wall, I want to see photos of some near-miss ankle-spraining. When you’re giving up Facebook, you’re not just depriving yourself of annoyance and time-sucking, but others as well. And dare I say it, that is a little selfish. I’m sorry, but it had to be said.

I hope you Facebook abstainers have missed us as much as we have missed you. You must feel as disoriented as Crazy Eyes when she was finally sprung from Psych, (sorry, I binge-watched all four seasons of “Orange is the New Black” while you were in retreat from the electronic world). But fear not. I shall do my best to catch you up on what you have missed from Facebook’s trending topics of the last month, aka, your Fake News Feed.

This year wasn’t like three years ago when Lenten Facebook abstainers missed the glory of Kate Upton’s boobs in space or the horror of Kim and Kanye on the cover of Vogue, but you did miss some stuff.

April the Giraffe finally had her baby. And you only missed it by one day. But at least you wasted six weeks less of your life than the other suckers who got caught up in this non-event. You missed a live birth but you made it back just in time for a live death. That has to suck.

Twitter meltdowns are still very much a thing and the post-Easter ones you have heard will blend in seamlessly with the pre-Mardi Gras ones in your memory banks so that you will have nary a glitch in your syntax.

The March Madness memes were not nearly up to last year’s standards. “Duke vs. Yale: Where privilege collides” was classic. But it was fun watching all the Carolina fans enjoying a frenzy of mass hysteria. And I regret to inform you that their blaze of religious fervor was far brighter than your own.

Apparently, matching tee shirts for Daddy Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear are quite the trend in baby shower gifts. Facebook is always a lot of fun when you have friends who are reproducing. I can’t believe you voluntarily missed a month and a half of weekly baby bump updates helpfully comparing fetus size to common edible items. Currently, the future heir of my friends, tentatively named Peanut, is the size of a cheeseburger. Not entirely sure if we’re talking about a triple whopper or a slider, but Peanut outgrew the avocado phase weeks ago.

Frankly, I am a little concerned about the name “Peanut.” It is better suited to a questionably housebroken chihuahua than to a human firstborn. I am hoping the moniker is merely a placeholder for a name not yet chosen, but my friends are starting to bandy it about rather cavalierly and far too fondly.

You did see “Love Story,” didn’t you, oh pious ones? Ally McGraw kept referring to their future child as “Bozo” because Ryan O’Neal was adamant no child of his would be forced to endure “Oliver Wendell Barrett, V.” That did not end well, as you may recall.

But the unborn “Bozo” does bring us to an area in which I envy your isolation from the world. I would gladly have given up Facebook for forty days and forty nights if it would allow me to miss the trailer for the new movie adaptation of Stephen King’s “It.” The nightmares from reading the book 30 years ago are still with me. And now this.

Of course, Facebook had to kick the scary clown trope up a notch with a few unfortunate memes involving the president peeping out of a storm drain. I can’t unsee it. You are better off to have missed it.

On a more personal note, you missed almost daily updates on my own personal Waterloo at the hands of a brass chandelier and it would appear that marijuana is sometimes referred to as “the devil’s lettuce.” This came as a great shock to me, as I read voraciously all those scary “Don’t Do Drugs” pamphlets they passed out in public schools in the ’70s and I am positive Devil’s lettuce never once appeared on those interminable lists of marijuana pseudonyms.

And if you were worried that the world’s supply of cute cat photos may have peaked, never fear. Google Chrome has a cool new extension called “Make America Kittens Again” which automatically replaces any photo of Donald Trump on your computer screen with a cute cat photo. And trust me, it’s a lot of cats. A lot of cats.

Ain’t technology grand?

Welcome back.

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By Bill Colvard

[email protected]

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

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