Two months ago I saw a man cut in half by a commuter train.
First he was walking on the tracks. Then the train came into the station. Then his torso twirled like a top, as he was cut in two horrible pieces between the sleek train and the concrete platform.
This was on Facebook. I watched it, not believing that it was happening. It couldn’t be real, only, I’m pretty sure it was.
I prefer not to watch people die. There isn’t much sacred left in the world, but the moment a person passes into the hereafter should be one of them.
It wasn’t the first death I watched on Facebook. I saw people prepare a muslim woman for stoning. I didn’t know they buried them to their necks.
I saw people thrown from cars during disastrous car accidents, to encourage people to buckle their seatbelts. I saw wreckage littered with still moving bodies, some of which looked like bloody bags of meat with limbs sticking out, in the name of encouraging people to get off of their cell phones.
I saw a pickup carrying about a dozen men in its bed, lose control and roll over them, again and again, just because.
Kid fights, mammas beating their girls like they stole something, Kermit the Frog getting into everyone’s business and acting real smug about it and death. My Facebook feed had become a depressing mess. An aggregate of my most obnoxious friends and acquaintances, all qued up to say, “Hey’yo! Check this shit out!”
And it never took a break, never went away and never ran out of dumb shit to say.
Three weeks ago I got tired of it, and I took an ax to the whole thing. I made judicious use of that little arrow in the upper right hand corner of every post and I cried to everyone that would listen (the Facebook admins, mostly) “Hide All From…”
I took aim at Worldstar. Every time it popped up, I knocked it down. Then, Nigerian Wedding, a bridal planning shop in Lagos Nigeria that had garnered more than 500,000 followers by posting shit that I don’t care about.
Then the radio stations. So many radio stations. You’d be shocked by how often they go to the same trough and share the same thing, over and over. The same people falling off of bikes, the same animals being cute, the same bad sayings wrongly attributed to famous people.
Michael Baisden recently posted his condolences for Rue McClanahan. His people were so thirsty for something to share that they totally overlooked the fact that she died in 2010.
Unfollow. Hide All From.
My blog had been languishing with followers in the double digits for more than a year, while other people are posting the same shit you saw yesterday, and commented on last month, and they are getting liked, shared and followed into the stratosphere.
Sound like hating? Maybe. Or, maybe I’m tired of people saying that if I watch this video all the way to the end, I’ll be amazed or burst into tears. Well I won’t because I’m not and I never do.
Misery gets clicked. Trifling gets shared. If you are positive and insightful, well, you’d better keep that shit to a bare minimum. Like, small enough to fit on a post card beside a picture of a beautiful woman, preferably with natural hair, and naked. Or a famous person who didn’t say what you think he said.
Well, I rebuke thee.
In the scramble to find long lost friends and family, I lost the fact that this little part of the internet is mine. I built it, and I could take it back apart.
I haven’t seen Nicki Minaj’s ass in weeks. I feel good about that. It was dropping like it was hot, last time I saw. And she was looking over her shoulder as if to say, “What, this ol’ thing?” Like, no biggie.
Well, I don’t like her fake ass and I don’t like her fake ass, either. So I get rid of her on sight – Facebook Wackamole. No discourse, no debate… After all, not liking someone is sometimes just not that deep. This isn’t a war for the decency of the web. It’s house cleaning on my little piece of it.
This morning I saw a man get hit by a car. He was crossing an intersection on a bike. The car came out of nowhere and sent him flying.
This was on my Facebook feed. If the caption had read, “this poor guy probably just died. He might have a wife and kids. Their lives will never be the same. Enjoy!” I would have bypassed it. It didn’t.
Afterwards I used the “Hide All From…” button and made that particular radio station disappear. I’ve still got a lot of work to do but hopefully, one day, I will have the Facebook feed that I want.