A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk typing away on my computer. My cell was plugged into it, charging. Suddenly, the phone began beeping and chirping with messages. I looked at it and read the texts. Huh? An earthquake?

This is what I love about Facebook. I didn’t feel a thing that evening, but, once alerted, I got online and joined in the repartee.

Had anyone on the east side of Augusta felt it? Why hadn’t my cats moved all evening? Weren’t animals supposed to be sensitive to such things? The whole interaction was enjoyable.

Too bad we don’t have gentle earthquakes more often. Most of the time, Facebook is no fun at all.

The most annoying thing about it is that it has become a self-promotion machine. Friends seldom pop up with something interesting to share with me, personally. Yes, the message function is useful for one-to-one contacts, but my point is that most postings have the theme of “me, me, me.”

Before I proceed, let me acknowledge that I am probably guilty of all the transgressions I list.

To wit: On June 16, I posted a picture of my breakfast. It featured homemade muffins and eggs laid by my backyard chickens. My chocolate lab, Quinn, had his handsome snout resting on the table, eyeing the goodies.

Mea culpa. I’m not usually so obnoxious. I don’t think.

Frankly, I don’t have much to be obnoxious about. If I took the idea of “status” seriously, most of my posts would read: “Too tired to think.” Or, “Bad hair day.” Maybe, “Watching nail polish dry.”

If someone were self-deprecating enough to post a picture of burnt French toast, or the world’s biggest dust bunny (found under their bed) or the shriveled and blue turnip that emerged from the depths of their fridge — well, I’d LOL.

Instead, I find myself glowering at descriptions of super-productive days that start with the washing and drying of four loads of laundry and end with the completion of Proust’s epic “Remembrance of Things Past.”

Is no one eating frozen pizza out there? All I see are four-star meals, usually involving heaps of goat cheese and mesclun.

Somewhere, somebody is growing bigger tomatoes than I am, doing more yoga and getting more degrees.

There’s always someone on vacation. I don’t mind this when I, too, am on vacation. But when I am feeling dead on my feet after a long work week, I am in no mood to hear about your fab time in Maui.

Should I be in a generous mood, and want to take a peek, could you please take the time to identify your pictures? How about a little backstory, too?

I am seriously annoyed when I scroll through my “news feed” (a misnomer if there ever was one) and suddenly a “friend” is climbing the Alps. With someone who might be her husband, or maybe one of the guys from a Ricola commercial. Is that an alpenhorn I see?

And please make sure you’re tagging people correctly.

I don’t enjoy getting an email telling me a friend has been tagged in a photo, then when I follow the link I see it leads to a picture of an overweight Dalmatian wearing a tutu.

This lack of information is especially irksome when it comes to what I think of as “voice of doom” posts.

Hint: It’s never good policy to break bad news on Facebook. If you must, explain yourself. None of this, “Worst day of my life.” What, did you have a fender bender or have you been diagnosed with beri-beri?

Your friends will worry about you, and will be angry when they learn you went hungry all afternoon because somebody stole your lunch from the office refrigerator.

OK, maybe nice people will be relieved, but I annoy easily.

Should I mention that I really hate it when people post butt-crack jokes?

I know that participating in Facebook is a voluntary thing. Some of my best friends aren’t even involved. I know I can hide offensive posts, unfriend people and simply stay away.

I use all these coping mechanisms. Still, I can’t stay away for long. Suppose I miss something important?

Perhaps I should quit complaining and follow the advice from Ghandi that is printed on my coffee mug: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I could just post cheerful notes on friends’ walls every so often.

I just have one question: Would it be wrong to include a picture of the fabulous pumpkin cheesecake I made last night?

Liz Soares welcomes e-mail at [email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: