Facebook Decoder Ring

I click on Facebook more often than I should. I admit to having a burning desire to know what that girl from my 5th-grade Earth Science class is up to now that she’s in her mid-50’s.  From what I understand, she’s unhappily divorced and living with her elderly parents and a three-legged cat named Squiggy. For the detail seekers amongst you, Squiggy was diagnosed with a rare feline circulatory disorder just over a year ago. Despite the prayers and smiley-face emoticons sent his way, Squiggy lost the wheel anyway.  For his part, he doesn’t appear to miss the leg too much, though it’s hard to tell from the pictures.

Squiggy lays on the floor in the most hazardous spots.  It's only a matter of time before he's going to get tangled up in Dad's walker.  (Image from echeng dot com)
Squiggy lays on the floor in the most hazardous spots. It’s only a matter of time before he’s going to get tangled up in Dad’s walker. (Image from echeng dot com)

That’s the thing with Facebook – you can’t always tell what’s really going on.  There are posts and photos galore, but sometimes it’s hard not to imagine that there’s more to the stories.  With this in mind, I’m developing something called the Social Network Objective Reinterpretation Tool, or SNORT.  When completed, this tool will be able to take a standard Facebook post and reinterpret it to give the reader the  poster’s actual message.  The results look promising so far, but I’ve still got a few bugs to work out.

Here are a couple of quick SNORT interpretations.

Original Post:  “I’m going to miss my son/daughter when I drop them off at college for the first time next week.”

SNORT version:  “That’s right bitches, my kid is going to college!  You whispered behind my back that he looked “a little slow” at that birthday party back when he was turning 6, even though I had already explained that it was because he was taking allergy medicine.  I knew you didn’t believe me.”

Maybe he'll make the dean's list, or maybe he'll find a market for those allergy meds.  (Image from quickmeme dot com)
Maybe he’ll make the dean’s list, or maybe he’ll find a hot market for those allergy meds. (Image from quickmeme dot com)

Original Post:  “Congratulations to my daughter Savannah and the rest of the Pikesville 8-and-under swim team on another great season!  Go Pikers!!!”

SNORT version:  “Savannah can swim, just not fast enough to get a medal.  I hope this post soothes the sore feelings about my forgetting to bring brownies to the Tri-County qualifier meet.”

Original Post: (Inspirational Poster).

SNORT version: “I’m feeling like this quote from some guy I’ve never heard of is right along the lines of how I’m feeling today, but there’s a strong possibility that I posted it because I like pictures of unicorns and rainbows.”

Why ruin this illustration with an attempt at a witty caption?  (Image from demotivational posters dot com)
Why ruin this illustration with an attempt at a witty caption? (Image from demotivational posters dot com)

Original Post:  “If you’re against child molestation, you’ll repost this.”

SNORT version:  “If you were a child molester, posting something like this would be a good way to make people think that you weren’t.”

Original Post: “This is a test…this will determine my future on FB
Don’t often do this but….It occurs to me that for each and every one of you on my friends list, I catch myself looking at your pictures, sharing jokes and news, as well as support during good and bad times….[blah blah blah blah for a ton more words, then ends with the following:]… So, if you read this, leave one word on how we met. Only one word, then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you.”

SNORT version:  “A clever vehicle constructed to help people with failing memories remember how they ever came to  know their “friends” on Facebook in the first place.  Sadly, the use of a one word clue for the real-world connection is often insufficient to give the original poster enough information to actually recall meeting the friend.  For instance, ‘church‘ is nowhere near as descriptive as ‘we used to go sniff glue together out behind the church’.”

Original Post:  “Joe Blow is listening to Nickleback on @Okeydokey Internet Radio – you should too!”

SNORT version:  “Joe Blow’s taste in music is nearly as horrific as his taste in TV reality shows.  If you join him, all your friends will see what hideous taste you have.”

Several major college football teams have changed the names of the positions in their defenses due to no one wanting to play "Nickleback".  (Image from nashvillescene dot com)
Several major college football teams have changed the names of the positions in their defenses due to no one wanting to play “Nickleback”.(Image from nashvillescene dot com)

Original Post:  “Joe Blow is watching the “Say Yes to the Dress” marathon on TLC.”

SNORT version: “Joe Blow’s taste in reality TV is even worse than we had originally thought.   If you want to watch this crap, it’s your business, but letting everyone on Facebook know about it is just a bad idea.”

Original Post: (Biblical quotes, requests for prayers and/or offerings of blessings)

SNORT version: “I may not attend services with any regularity or behave in a very pious manner, but I’m hoping Jesus is on Facebook.  If he is, I’ll try to friend Him .”

I saw what you wrote on Facebook - you're allowed into heaven now. (Image from popejokes dot com)
I saw what you wrote on Facebook – you’re allowed into heaven now. (Image from popejokes dot com)

Original Post: “Hey everybody, click this link to see my latest blog post.”

SNORT version:  “Thanks to this blog, I can tell people that I’m a struggling writer and not a middle-aged loser.”

Obviously interpretations like that last one are examples of the kinks in the program which still need to be ironed out.  I’m thinking once I get this working well, I can create an app with it and sell millions of them.  Once I’m rolling in the bucks, I’ll quit my dead-end job and maybe get myself a Trans-Am and some hair-plugs.

R.I.P. Skippy! We miss you!!

Let me start this with a disclaimer.  While many people close to me know I’m not the world’s biggest pet lover, I understand that even the most cynical among us get attached to our pets.  When they pass away (see I didn’t say “die” – I’m sensitive that way), we miss them and mourn them like they were members of the family – because they were (kind of like that odd, flatulent aunt who sleeps on the floor in the sun and sniffs at herself).

Okay, that’s out of the way.

Just outside of the frame on the left, the Yeti was coming. Too fast, too hungry, too sad.

I re-activated my Facebook account to try to build my blog readership.  Self-serving, I know, but it’s Facebook – not the Little Sisters of the Poor.  In truth, the account was never deactivated, it will be active forever.  You can’t kill a Facebook account, believe me, I’ve tried.

I found the world of Facebook to be chugging right along without me.  When I suddenly reappeared on the site after more than a year away, there was no fanfare of trumpets or any such big deal.  Many of the same people who were posting what they had for breakfast or other such trivial blathering, were right there where I’d left them.  They were gloating about having just eaten the best bowl of steaming oatmeal known to man (Allow me to take a brief moment to “Like” Jimmy’s Diner in Newark, Delaware, home of the famous Bottomless Bowl of the World’s Best Oatmeal).

While I know I can’t change the way people use FB, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to make fun of some of the nonsense I see on there.

Today I went on and found the usual suspects, playing games and yakking about their grand kids, their breakfasts, their spiritual journeys and their grand kids’ breakfasts and/or spiritual journeys.  One post I saw caught my eye.  A friend of a friend (who wasn’t actually my friend), had posted something.  The adage about “any friend of so-and-so is a friend of mine” doesn’t apply to online friends in my humble opinion.  This person’s being a friend of a friend makes it permissible for me to find fault with how they live their FB lives, without actually insulting them, since they don’t know me.

Got it?

Not so??

Well, deal with it, because I’m doing it anyway.

Where was I?

This person posted that they missed their dog, who had passed away a year ago today.  They wrote something along the lines of “R.I.P. Skippy! We miss you!”.  I won’t bore you with a lengthy philosophical discussion about the canine afterlife.  Suffice to say that, as a hopeless romantic, I can only hope that doggie heaven is filled with rolling meadows, unlimited tennis balls and no shortage of decomposing possums to roll around in.  Come to think of it, I may have just stumbled upon what possum hell is like.  Further discussion of possum hell will have to wait for another post.

One thing I know with an egotistically high degree of certainty is this; even in doggie heaven, dogs can’t read.  Even if they could read, they would have a hard time getting the computer to go to Facebook – paws just don’t work that way.  I know this is getting increasingly far-fetched – yuk yuk!  Even if they could read, get onto Facebook and follow their former masters without technically friending them, why the hell would they?  I thought doggie heaven was filled with old slippers to gnaw on and various unlimited butts to sniff.  If Skippy has the option to be chasing squirrels and Buicks with Old Yeller and Rin Tin Tin, why in the world would you want him tied to a computer following you on Facebook?!  Your poor, deceased Schnauzer-mix is finally off the leash and running wild in doggie heaven and you’re tethering him to the laptop like the rest of us?!  You cruel bastard!

It doesn’t help your case that Skippy knows you went out and got that new puppy 3 months after he went onto the big kennel in the sky.  Did you think he’d see your R.I.P. note from doggie heaven and not see those cute puppy snap-shots you posted a few months back?  A Labra-doodle?!  Seriously?!  Skippy is barely cold and you went out and got that bitch?!

I hope you’re happy with yourself.  It’s people like you who are causing a huge upswing in dog-related poltergeists in this world and the afterworld.  Poor Skippy, he’s spinning in his grave out behind the garage right now. Rest in peace, my ass!