Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 2)

Unliking the Facebook Like button

Dear Wendy,

I don’t like anything any more.

When a friend says, “I just ran my first half-marathon,” I don’t like it.

When a relative announces the birth of a long-awaited grandchild, I don’t like it.

When someone tells me they’ve just been pronounced cancer-free, I don’t like it.

Nope, none of these things move me to press Facebook’s ubiquitous Like button. I’m just not into it any more. Continue reading

Interview with a pig

Dear Readers,

In our efforts to bring you only the finest news, views, and entertainment, today we decided to give you a sneak peek into an Actual Conversation between Karen and Wendy. Oh, don’t thank us now.

It all started when, in the course of their daily Facebook Messenger chat, Wendy announced that she had had a longish heart-to-heart chat with a pig recently.

Yes, that’s exactly what Karen thought.

Here’s what ensued: Continue reading

Facebook betrayal and…ducks

Dear Karen,

I was all set to discuss betrayal on Facebook today but I decided not to.

Let me explain why:

  • I’m not a masochist
  • I don’t have time to dwell on people who childishly decide to  block me
  • Life isn’t a popularity contest
  • I can see ducks through my window
  • I guess they’re more important than hurt feelings and unanswered questions.   So I threw away my original post (Gone!  In the bin! So long, sucker!) and started to do some duck research

I’m so glad I did.

From Cuckoos to Ducks?  Huh?

You know I’m not a bird person, or as they’re called in professional circles, a Birdologist.   I used to think, based on the evidence that Donald Duck always flew in airplanes, that ducks don’t fly.

That’s how much I know about ducks.


“Yes Wendy, I climbed up here, thanks to my portable ladder. I never travel without it”


So when I saw them across the way, I wasn’t sure if I was looking at girls, boys, or one of each.  All I knew was that they’d show up every morning around 6, stand on the railing looking towards my office window, quack a lot, and about 3 hours later, they’d fly away.  Lyra and Blue loved having them around.  So did I.  They were kind of fun.

But I wanted to know why they decided to come to a landlocked block in the centre of London. Why not fly the extra 3 minutes and land in the pond in Hyde Park?  Dumb ducks.

So, using something called Google (have you heard of it?  It’s kind of amazing), I tried to search for information.  I tried “Strange duck habits”, “Ducks landing on balcony”, and “Why am I so unpopular? Please help!” but came up with nothing that solved my burning question.

Imagine my shock and blushing horror when at last I Googled “Unusual duck behaviour”, and up came  this site addressing the much lauded topic of Homosexual Duck Necrophilia.

Well.  Tie my beak and call me speechless.

Of course I had to read on.

Don’t worry, it’s gruesome but it’s also incredibly fascinating.

Fascinating?  More like terrifying

Male ducks engage in something charmingly called “rape flights”.  These two males were going at it feather and tong  when, according to the scientist who was witness to the whole sordid affair (oh Wendy, you’re so judgmental), they crashed into his window and fell, plop!, to the ground, just outside his office.


We see a sitting duck, whereas he sees an opportunity.

He went out to see what was up, so to speak.  He found Dead Duck  and Lucky Duck, as I now call them.  Lucky was furiously pecking Dead Duck’s head.  Like, a lot.  As in, more than you’d think necessary or prudent in a situation like that.

Once he completed that little task, Lucky jumped Dead’s bones, and there’s no delicate way of putting it, raped him.  For 75 minutes.

Isn’t nature amazing?

What Kees Moeliker had witnessed was unique.  10% of ducks are gay, apparently, so they’re not that rare.  And sometimes the males do have a go at dead females.  But the combination of these two behaviours turned something sort of boringly average,  into the realm of “Holy shit, did I really see that?” and “Where’s my camera?”.

The only thing that could improve this story is if the Lucky were also a vampire duck.  That would be awesome.

Moeliker won the IgNobel Prize for this one, and I say Bravo to this.   Apparently, these ducks have  changed his life.

I love this story more and more.

But this is what I really take away from this article:  ducks have penises?  Wow. How did I not know that.  I thought they laid eggs and then kind of sat on them for a while.

I really wish I’d paid more attention in school.

The silver lining of this duck story is, I’m insanely happy that the person who has so rudely blocked me can’t read about my duck news.  And whenever I think of her,  I now imagine those ducks, which just makes me laugh.

And that’s good.  The world needs to laugh more, I always say.  Who needs bitterness and hard feelings when there’s nature to explore and necrophiliac gay ducks to spy on?



Facebook, vague-booking: Lesson learned

Dear Wendy,

Last week I learned something very valuable. And of all places, I learned it on Facebook.

As with most Important Life Lessons, first I had to screw up in a fairly big way, though.

Here’s what happened.

You’re familiar with the term “vague-booking,” right? It’s where someone posts a status update on Facebook consisting of an apparent cry of anguish…and doesn’t elaborate on what they’re talking about. It’s the Facebook equivalent of calling up a friend, sobbing that you just can’t take it any more, and then hanging up. It’s unkind, it jerks people around, it’s self-serving.

alt="IMAGE-vague-booking-alert-meme-after-the-kids-leave"And for some reason, last week there was an epic outbreak of vague-booking…at least among my circle. It started Monday, and by Thursday, I’d counted 4 separate incidents. Frankly, I was getting annoyed. As far as I’m concerned, vague-booking is a form of emotional manipulation. Almost invariably, as soon as someone does it, a crowd of well-wishers gathers, with equally vague messages of comfort. “Hang in there!” and “Be strong!” and “Whatever it is, hope it gets better soon!”

Of course, all this does is encourage the original poster, and things can escalate into a weird game of Blind Man’s Bluff, in which no one has the faintest clue what the original poster is talking about, but dammit, they’re determined to help! No one ever says, “Hey, could you stop beating around the bush and just tell us what’s going on, already?”

Anyway. This happened multiple times last week, and by Thursday I was ready to scream.

I know, a bigger and better person would have just ignored it. A bigger and better person would have walked away from the computer. Sadly, that’s not what I did.

Nope, you know me. Gallop in where angels fear to tread, and stomp around in my gumboots, roaring and growling. I posted an expression of annoyance:

Okay. The next vague-book post I read, I plan to punch the person in the nose. “Oh, the world is so cruel…so sad that the mean are rewarded and the innocent (like moi) must suffer the torments of the damned.”

Followed, of course, by sixty posts from people who are apparently okay with being emotionally manipulated by an attention-seeking nutcase. “It’s okay, snookums, we have your back!” and “Awww…tell us what’s wrong?”

No, really, it’s cool. I can live without knowing.

Okay, rant over. Time for more coffee now. Grr.

And then I felt better, and went about my business for the rest of the day. I’d vented, and that was the end of it. Or so I thought…

Because the next morning, I woke to discover that someone I know, but am not Facebook friends with, had responded at some length. She’d assumed my rant was about her, and she was hurt, angry, and very vocal about it. She ended her response by blocking me.

At first I was just bemused: why would this person assume I was talking about her? We weren’t even friends, for pity’s sake! I decided the best course of action would be to delete her response, as leaving it up would only inflame things further…but that didn’t feel right either. Suddenly I was the one feeling uncomfortable.

The situation had blown up in my face, and I had no one to blame but myself. By yesterday, I realized: I was guilty of doing the exact thing I was ranting about.

By leaving my rant vague and open-ended, rather than saying, “Person X, Person Y, Person Z: your posts have annoyed me, and here’s why,” I’d left room for misinterpretation. I’d created a situation in which my angry/hurt commenter believed I was targeting her, and that made me wonder how many others were making the same assumption, but not saying so.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I’d been a hypocrite. And if there’s one quality I hate, it would be hypocrisy.

So here’s my solemn pledge, to you and to Facebook: no more vague-booking for me. In future, I’ll live by the motto, “Say it or stow it.”

Lesson learned.



Mum’s imaginary thoughts on Social Media

Dear Karen,

I’ve been thinking of Mum lately (actually, when don’t I think of her?) because I often wonder what she’d think of this brave new world in which we live.  What would she think of Facebook, Twitter, and blogging?

I have a feeling she’d wryly smile, raise her eyebrows and say “well, that’s interesting”, which in Mum-speak means “that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard”.


Mum had a bizarre need for privacy, which sometimes bordered on the nutty.  When I was 18, I divulged family plans for the weekend (Dad was going to chop down a tree in the back) to one of her friends.  You’d have thought I’d committed a sin equal to letting the recipe for Coca-Cola fall into the hands of Pepsi, the way she lectured me about ‘family privacy‘ and ‘it’s no one’s business but our own’.


Mum would choose a new category:  Hide This From Everyone (photo credit: flickr.com)


That lesson stuck with me.

I listen, I read, I share, but I don’t spend a lot of time talking about myself, my children or now, my grandchild.

It just doesn’t feel right.

When I see comments, threads or posts that annoy me, Mum’s voice of reason comes into my head and says ‘leave it alone, Wendy, this isn’t your business and if they want to behave like jackasses, you can’t stop them‘.

So I back away.  When something really bugs me, I get involved, but it doesn’t happen often.

I don’t discuss politics or religion online either, but that doesn’t stop people from wanting to ram it down my throat at every opportunity.  I can’t get through a day without an ‘I blame the sudden rise in teenage acne on Obama’ or ‘Jesus Loves You’ on my wall.  Ugh.



Right, you two. Not a word to anyone. About anything. Ever.

They were ‘small-L’  liberals, our parents.  We knew, come election-time, who they’d vote for.  It was only discussed in the lightest of ways, mostly when Mum threatened to negate Dad’s vote by ticking the Conservative box.  She never went through with it, as far as I know, but she did like to tease him that she would.  It drove Dad nuts.

I don’t know if our parents were religious but based on how many times I went to church as a child, I’m guessing they weren’t.

However,  being lapsed Christians didn’t stop them from loving puppies and kittens and John Wayne movies.

Mum told me to never get involved with a man who didn’t like animals.  She had a soft spot for dogs; perhaps she appreciated their loyalty, devotion and inability to spill her secrets?


That sums up Mum’s whole outlook on life, in my opinion:  sit quietly and wait for the enemy to come to you.  Don’t search out fights or strife.  Just wait, and if trouble comes, be ready for it.

That’s a good mantra to have on Facebook.  I don’t search out problems.

There are bloggers out there who thrive on drama and if it works for them, I’m happy.

Drama is great when it’s on the TV, in the cinema or on a stage.  I don’t want it in my house, on my computer or in my life.


What on earth would Mum think about how we communicate today?  She’d say it was for the birds.  Too much bragging.  Needless information passing from one person to groups of thousands.  Who needs to know I’m on the 5.16 train from Albuquerque, or just had my second margarita served to me by a cutie named Jorge?  No one, that’s who.

Maybe, like me, she’d read it, but she would never contribute to the voices in the social media crowd.

Interesting, how much I feel the same way as (I imagine) she would.

Hmmm.  Maybe I’d be a good spy, as well.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Older posts
%d bloggers like this: