Face­book: it’s on, it’s off, it’s on again

Bray People - - NEWS - SHEA TOMKINS

Wed­nes­day: A DIS­IL­LU­SIONED friend de­cided to leave Face­book to­day. He an­nounced his de­par­ture, via his sta­tus, and ad­vised us to be sure to keep his per­sonal email de­tails, as that was how he would be com­mu­ni­cat­ing from now on. With that, he was gone. Un­til six hours later, when up he popped back up again; three hun­dred and sixty min­utes of be­ing out of the loop was all that he could take.

The not-know­ing what was go­ing on (FOMO, the Fear Of Miss­ing Out as it has be­come known) in the im­me­di­ate lives of his near­est and dear­est was eat­ing away at him; Face­book had snared, pro­grammed and con­di­tioned him. Once it had slipped its way be­neath his skin, he just couldn't ig­nore the itch.

There are plenty more like him. Take for ex­am­ple Bolton Wan­der­ers striker, Marvin Sordell, who is so ob­sessed with so­cial net­work­ing via his mo­bile phone that his man­ager, Dougie Freed­man, has been forced to go pub­lic about the prob­lem. So­cial me­dia guide­lines have now been is­sued to all Bolton Wan­der­ers play­ers, with con­fis­cating their phones be­ing se­ri­ously con­sid­ered as the next step in re­solv­ing the is­sue.

I left Face­book once or twice be­fore, hop­ing I could res­ur­rect the art of let­ter writ­ing. It was dur­ing a time when all that the post­man was slip­ping through the let­ter­box were bills and fly­ers, and I yearned for the days of the late 1990s, pre-mo­bile phones, when we wrote in­ti­mate let­ters to each other. But then I found, to my shame, that I sim­ply didn't have the time or en­ergy to write lengthy let­ters any­more. With my tail be­tween my legs, I re­turned to Zucker­berg’s so­cial me­dia mon­ster. Now, I have learned to en­joy it. For what it is.

As for the friend? He's happy to be back and says he can't see how he will aban­don Face­book again – the break-up was too hard to do.

Fri­day: Since I first dis­cov­ered him in Drive, I have been en­joy­ing the act­ing skills of Ryan Gosling. The good woman likes him too, though I'm not sure if our rea­sons cor­re­late.

Tonight, we rented one of his newer movies, All Good Things, which is an eerie thriller-typed drama based on one of the most fa­mous miss­ing per­son cases in New York's his­tory. Half­way through the show, some­thing strange hap­pened. Our sit­ting room door started shak­ing and rat­tling fiercely, as if a large lorry or train had just passed the house.

Noth­ing too un­usual you might think, ex­cept that we live nowhere near a train sta­tion and out­side the streets were silent, still and black. We then checked on the young lad and younger lad up in their beds, to see if they had been play­ing tricks. Deep sleeps owned them both. An un­nerved good woman looked to me for an an­swer. I had none. I said we'll worry about it if it hap­pens again.

Satur­day: There was a report in to­day's pa­per about calls for all dogs in the Repub­lic of Ire­land to be mi­crochipped, af­ter a se­ries of vi­cious at­tacks on sheep around the coun­try. A dog trainer I know tells me that a re­spon­si­ble owner will get it done as they are ter­ri­fied of los­ing their pet and though there are com­plaints about ex­pense, it only costs in the re­gion of a few pack­ets of cigarettes. He feels the pos­i­tives far out­weigh the neg­a­tives and speak­ing from a par­ent’s per­spec­tive, any move to erad­i­cate spar­ring strays, ex­cre­ment on pave­ments and the sav­age at­tacks on live­stock must be wel­comed.

Stay­ing with mi­crochip­ping, a man I know told me that his wife was con­sid­er­ing hav­ing a mi­crochip in­stalled in him that would beep ev­ery time he was in the pub and he’d reached his ideal fill of drink.

He told her to ar­range to have the pro­ce­dure done, as long as she could live with a beep­ing in her ears morn­ing, noon and night.

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