Paris Goodnight: What would we do without Facebook?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

Imagine there’s no Facebook. It’s easy if you try. No Twitter or Google around us. Above us, no TikTok, only sky.

That might not make much of a song, but maybe you could put your mind at ease with a little less bombardment from all the social media offerings swirling around. I’m one of the few who decided years ago that Facebook wasn’t for me. But I did have to join the party and sign up when the Post used that as a way to moderate user comments that were posted on our website or delete spam that showed up there. That was years ago and long before one of the interns at the Post signed me up for Twitter, and then left me to figure out the rest. I used it for awhile until updating phones one time and losing the password to log in when that one key function didn’t get transferred over.

If you’ve ever tried to reach a live person to assist in getting passwords reset or trying to solve an issue with one of the big media outfits, you can imagine how that went.

So I left Twitter behind and moved on with life, not missing much of anything that I could tell.

When I signed up briefly for TikTok, I thought it might be the one for me. That lasted about five minutes in social media time as I promptly decided to delete that app and carry on without it. It took even less time to decide Snapchat was not for me, because anything the kids passed along via that platform was usually something I wanted to keep, then — poof — it was gone in a flash, never to be resurrected.

Sometimes celebrities get fed up with one or more of the social media outlets that bring them millions of followers waiting to see what they have to say at any hour of the day or night. But they usually come back around as soon as somebody offers them a fee to hawk some product to all of their “friends.”

I don’t have to worry about that option, but I have other worries about using social media, though they’re not always the most logical. It’s mostly to do with my own leanings and the troubles I know could follow with my digital fingerprints showing up online.

Back in the days of the USA Today publication we printed here at the Post, we maintained an unwritten rule of never typing anything on a computer that you wouldn’t want showing up at the top of the front page of that paper — with your photo beside it. That included stories meant for our own entertainment like The Onion has made into a full digital media company with satirical items written just for the comedy. Other troubling spots were typing something into a story with the intent that an editor would read it, chuckle and delete it as it was not meant for mass consumption. You don’t know how many times we heard of people losing their jobs for doing just that and the offending comment not getting taken out and then showing up in print.

Most people don’t even think of doing such things today, hopefully as self editing has taken over along with the realization of how easy it is to be put into the spotlight if you do something of the sort.

But I do think about rejoining the fun everyone else is having on sites like Facebook every now and then, especially when I hear something good that has been posted. But I also imagine the trouble I’d get into by looking up some former friends and acquaintances, like that young gal pal of mine from Faith. When I was of driving age in Kannapolis, I thought that was a really long trek to make to see someone so far away. Nowadays I realize it wasn’t really a long distance to travel to see someone special.

But what happened to her after we parted ways? Well that’s the kind of thing I probably shouldn’t be searching out, and since Faith is a small town, I’m sure someone knows somebody else who knows her and next thing you know, word would be getting back home where it shouldn’t be about such online quests.

As for Facebook links that pop up in email sometimes, I’ve been known to click on them and occasionally they open just like I really do have an account that’s active. I’m sure mine probably is since I never deleted the earlier one created to monitor comments on our website. But other times the click doesn’t work and it asks me to log in or create an account. One day, maybe I will. But until then, I’ll just keep wondering whatever happened to that girl from Faith.

Paris Goodnight is editor of the Salisbury Post