Tater’s Writer’s Block Tuesday

I decided that I needed to write something this morning. I had a thought about what I wanted to write. I sat down with coffee and the laptop and got started. I typed a sentence. I deleted the sentence and typed another. I deleted that one and typed two this time. I've now deleted those two and instead started writing about deleting the previous sentences. I can't seem to get more than a sentence or two into a topic before I get stuck. Normal people would probably just put the laptop away, but I've never been normal. Here are some things I could write about if I could write more than a sentence:

The Post-Vacation Blues - I'm still in the middle of the post-vacation blues. I'm counting down to retirement(8 years) when the vacation will never end. I think it's harder after an event you've been anticipating(high school reunion) and also after visiting family(why did we choose to love so far away). I guess I will get over it soon. If not, maybe I can win the lottery and be on a permanent vacation.

Politics - The Today Show is playing while I'm writing this. There is plenty I could write about in the news, but I'm not ready to go there. Everyone knows how I feel about President Trump(I throw up in my mouth a little every time I write that) and he's doing nothing to change my mind.

Unfriended - Speaking of my thoughts on the president. I was very vocal during both the primaries and the general election on my feelings on Trump. I noticed during this time that a couple of people were no longer my friend on Facebook. I guess they were either tired of reading about politics in general or didn't like my opinions. It's not the first time I've lost Facebook friends. I keep discovering that people who used to be my friends are no longer my friends(usually when they comment on a post I'm following) and I'm never really sure when or why this happened. I think a few unfriended me because I'm not "Christian" enough(meaning I don't blindly follow the political opinions of a church), some did it over politics and a few just don't really like me. Their loss.

Random Thought While Trying to Sleep Last Night - I don't think it would be possible to time travel without messing up time. Even if you went back as yourself in the past there is no way you could replicate everything and any little deviation could have a big impact on current time.

That's a lot of writing for someone claiming to have writer's block.


Why I Keep My Facebook Public

I generally keep most of my Facebook statuses public. Periodically, something happens that makes me consider changing that. Usually, it’s when some random person I don’t know decides to take offense at something I shared without actually reading the article or knowing why I shared it. I always make the decision to stay public. Here are my reasons why:

1. The only time anyone reads this ridiculous blog is when it posts to Facebook.   If I’m going to insist on writing stupid stuff on occasion, I would like to get a few hits. The only way that happens is if a lot of people see it on Facebook. Keeping it public allows for the possibility of new people reading it.

2. I enjoy seeing random people who are friends of friends liking my posts on Facebook. It is a narcissism thing, I know, but I like to see that my posts are reaching people outside of my circle of friends.

3. I don’t post things I wouldn’t want my boss, mom or pastor(all friends on Facebook) to see. I admit that I do share some articles, mainly by Drew Magary, that have profanity, but I have issues several warnings about those. Besides those, most of my posts are random innocuous thoughts from the weird place that is my head and boring posts about what I’m doing. No reason to hide that.

4. Along those same lines, it makes me thinks about what I post. If I have filters and assume they are working I might feel comfortable posting in anger something I will regret. If I know the whole world could see it it makes me thinks about what I’m about to say. 

5. Last, and most important, I think I’m hilarious and that the world should not be deprived of my humor. Everyone should get a chance to read my posts. Why should my friends be the only ones who get to enjoy the awesome and hilarious Tater?


I have recently been contemplating seriously reducing the number of “friends” I have on Facebook and setting my updates as friends only. This seemed like a good way not to worry about people being upset about what I post. Then I think “It’s my Facebook. I can post whatever I want and if they don’t like it they can unfriend me”. It’s not like I haven’t been unfriended by numerous people over the years for a variety of reasons. It’s not like being unfriended by most of the people on Facebook would really matter that much to me. This line of thinking makes me wonder if I feel this way, why do I even stay on Facebook? Honest answer – because it is the only place where people see and respond to my ridiculous thoughts and rambling blog posts. Also, because I really do enjoy seeing the photos and status updates of friends and family who live far away, but I will admit that the vanity part is stronger. How else would the 12 readers of my blog know when I post? How else will I know people appreciate my humor. Real life? Not likely. I’m much funnier online. So, I am staying on Facebook and staying public. If you are someone who would rather not read what I post, do us both a favor and unfriend me now. I think we will both survive.


I admit that I am a Facebook addict.  I am a Facebook addict because until recently I could count on my friends to post interesting articles, funny statuses, pictures of themselves doing interesting things, etc. It was also fun at the beginning to keep finding old friends I had not seen in a long time.  This is no longer the case.

I’m sure I do have some friends who are still posting the things that made me love Facebook. I just can’t see them because of the post after post of “inspirational” posters, the click like if you love X posts, the reposts of things debunked by Snopes years ago and other easy, no thought involved posts that seem to take up all of my feed these days.  I’m not sure what changed and when and I don’t want to tell others how to use Facebook. If I don’t like what they post, that is my problem, not theirs. I’m sure plenty of people hate everything that I post over there.  It is, however, killing my love affair with Facebook. I also have apparently found all of the old friends I will likely find. I guess I need to look for other ways to kill time online.

Some Facebook questions

This was asked on the radio this morning and I am posting here rather than Facebook due to space constraints: How soon is too soon to friend someone on Facebook? The radio question asked specifically about friending someone after a first date, but in general, how soon is too soon to search someone and friend them on Facebook? Do you think it’s a little creepy for someone you just met to look you up on Facebook and send a request? Do you feel obligated to say yes?

Another part of the discussion was about work. If someone new starts at your organization do you friend them immediately? Do you feel obligated to say yes if it is someone from work? Do you immediately say no if it someone from work? How about family? Do you feel obligated to say yes to requests from family members, even distant ones? Do you feel differently about requests from high school and/or college friends?

My answer has evolved over time. When I first signed on to Facebook I didn’t decline many friend requests. If I had ever met the person, I would say yes. I didn’t see the harm in it. As I have been on Facebook, this has changed. I don’t say yes to a request from someone I have met, but with whom I have no personal connection. I don’t say yes just because we work together. Actually, these days I am more likely to say no to someone from work unless they are someone with whom I would socialize after work. I generally say yes to family members, even if I barely know them. I will say yes to high school and college people if I can actually remember who they are. I can’t answer the dating question. I think my wife would not approve of me dating.

I Just Met You, and This is Crazy, but I’m on Facebook, Friend Me Maybe?

But seriously, don’t.  I was thinking about the concept of Facebook “friends” last night. Facebook says I have 443 friends. Facebook lies. I can count the number of actual friends I have on one hand and have at least one finger left over to pick my nose. I have “friends” on Facebook I don’t even like. If you think I am talking about you in that last sentence, you are probably right and you should just unfriend me now.  I probably need to go through and get rid of the people I’m friends with who don’t interact with me regularly and who I don’t really remember at all. That would leave me with a nice manageable 25 or so friends, I think.

I get friend requests every now and then from people who can’t possibly know me. I know I don’t have a clue who they are even though we have some mutual friends. I don’t get it. Why do we need to be Facebook friends just because we work together, went to the same school or are  distantly related? I mean, I get why you want to be friends with me. I’m funny. You, on the other hand, not so much. Follow me on Twitter of Friendfeed if you want, but I think I want Facebook to be a more personal place. Random strangers and acquaintances don’t need to see my vacation photos I post and I don’t care about theirs.  I don’t want to worry about random coworkers misinterpreting my posts and thinking they are about work. Here’s a tip: I rarely post about work.  So, if you send me a request and I deny it or if you see we are no longer “friends”, it may actually be because I despise you, but more likely it is because I don’t really know you.


Lemming Nation

The current craze on Facebook is changing your profile picture to a cartoon character because somehow that will draw attention to the problem of child abuse.  Actually, the new trend might be people reposting a rumor that the cartoon picture thing is a scam by pedophiles to somehow lure kids in with pictures of cartoons.

This is nothing unusual. My feed is usually filled with reposts of status updates about sisters, brothers, moms, 3rd cousins twice removed or whatever random relative someone has decided to “honor” that week.  These are then reposted by half the people on their friends list.  Possibly more active are the status updates that basically tell you that you are not a true Christian if you don’t copy and repost a status update about your belief in God.

Away from Facebook, there are the fun emails forwarded from friends and family about scary, untrue news stories easily debunked by a trip to snopes.  Unfortunately, no one takes this time because they must follow the command to forward this to all of your friends.

I don’t get any of this.  Why copy and paste these status updates or forward the emails?  Why change your profile picture for some random internet meme?  Are we all just lemmings now who follow along because it’s easier than actually having a distinct personality or thinking for ourselves? Do we think people will think less of us if we don’t do it? Do people think I hate kids because my profile picture is not a cartoon character?  Do people question my faith because I don’t repost religious statuses? Do I care(I don’t)?