I read recently that young people are turning away from Facebook in droves. This is an abrupt reversal from as little as five years ago, where to be a young person and not to be on Facebook was just a nanogram away from not existing at all.

Today's young person, who apparently is only five years younger than the fogeys still on Facebook, prefers other social media, media unknown to those approaching the age of decrepitude, which is twenty-five or so, social media with names like, Instantme, Bitstuff, Snapchit and Twitgram, bracing, no nonsense sites where semi-naked selfies are the preferred posting and comments of more than three words are discouraged.  Facebook is left to the generations whose significance is being erased by time. Mine, for example.

I started my Facebook account when my first novel was published. My publisher insisted on it; to him it was more important for one of his writers to have a Facebook page than it was for him to know whether a quotation mark should be placed outside or inside of a comma. So I obediently followed his advice. After he went bankrupt, I should have realized he had no idea what he was doing and gotten out of Facebook, but I lingered on there and now I have ninety-eight Facebook friends.

Yes, I am conscious of the inadequacy of this number. I can't seem to break a hundred, even though I accept every friend request I get. My special lady has hundreds of Facebook friends. When I asked her how she acquired them all, she said they were mostly guys she knew in high school and college. Now, she is a very attractive woman, and certainly wasn't less attractive when she was younger. I figure all her FB friends were people who wanted to sleep with her then, couldn't work up the nerve to ask and were now indulging in a form of sexual nostalgia.

The conclusion  I draw from this is that considerably fewer people wanted to sleep with me when I was in high school. I accept that, but still feel self-conscious about my low friend count on FB. Just the other day I got to 99 when I accepted a total stranger as my friend. I was quivering with anticipation, thinking that in only a month or so I would get another random friend request and finally break the century mark, Facebook-friend wise.

It turned out that my new friend only wanted to sell generic Viagra to me. I don't mean to brag, but I bank enough every month to be able to afford real Viagra, so I deleted him.

I've been guilty of deleting other people, too. It turned out that, unknown to me, several people I knew pre-Facebook were firm believers in the inevitability of a future race war in America, and were so keen on that idea that they posted updates on its progress every day on FB. I blocked them. Another friend continually expressed his opinion that the 9-11 attacks were orchestrated by the US government. His posts usually began "Everybody now realizes that the World Trade Center attacks were a false-flag operation."

Well, no. Not everybody realizes that. This friend also believed that a global groundswell in favor of world peace would begin at one point on earth and spread its spores of universal goodwill outwards from there, until all of humanity was soaking in the glow of global nice. He believed in this so firmly that he moved to that place for a few months and posted from there.

That place was SYRIA. I am not making this up. If my deleting anybody from FB was especially historically justified, that was it.

There are people I want to delete, but can't, because I like them even though they are Facebook page hogs. You know what I mean—people who post seven or eight pictures in a row, forcing you to scroll past them to determine if any of your other friends actually did or said anything interesting. One of my friends shares illustrations of her main interests in life every day. Those interests are the Bible, animals, and attractive semi-naked men. Sometimes she combines the interests, as when she posts pictures of young, semi-naked male actors portraying Christ in various movies and TV shows. These she refers to as "Hot Jesus" pics.

I went through eight years of Catholic grade school. I've seen enough pictures of Jesus, hot or not, that I feel confident I'll be able to recognize the guy if and when I eventually meet Him, which many believers assure me is inevitable and will not work out in my favor.

Other FB friends post pictures of meals they are about to eat or their cat sleeping on their sofa. You don't need to do this. I already know you eat and your cat sleeps on a regular basis. I'm not deleting you, though. I'll never break a hundred if I do.

I've been blocked myself, by my eighty-five year old Aunt Peggy. She was sick of the occasional blasphemy and bathroom humor that finds its way into this column. I'm sorry, Aunt Peg, but I don't think it's really my fault. I am only driven to scribble on those seamy subjects when the worldwide pantheon of politicians and celebrities refuse to do anything stupid for weeks on end.


I hope not. Otherwise, all my friends are going to be reading more stuff like this.

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