One More Facebook Foible – Another Rant

There’s and old joke that goes like this; a man and his son are walking down the street, and they see two dogs having sex. The boy points and asks what’s going on there? The father is a little embarrased, so he says, “Oh, the dog in back hurt his front paws, so the one in front is giving him a ride home”. The kids replies, “Ain’t that the way? You try to help someone, you get screwed every time”.

Yeah, Facebook is a lot like that.

Case in point – when Rita and I moved to Ecuador a couple of years ago, like many people in a new land we had a little trouble adjusting to the local microbes and bacteria. We saw a doctor, who gave us the usual advice: wash the food you get from the mercado in a certain solution to clean it, try not to drink water or use ice that you do not know came from bottled water, and boil any water you use from the tap. He also recommended we pick up a two-step preventative from the farmacia. Every 6 months you take one pill to kill the beasties, and 24 hours later you take the second set to clear them out. For those 48 hours you should not drink alcohol.

We adopted his advice, and have not had that type of problem since.

We take them in May and November, and this May when we went to the farmacia, they did not have it under the name we asked for. We tried two others, before one of the pharmacists took the time to explain that it was no longer being marketed under the brand name we were requesting. She showed me the new brand, and pointed out the medications and dosages were the same – el mismo. Important difference from one of the places we stopped, who said they could give us something similar.

Anyway, once we had our meds, I thought, “Gee, that was a lot of effort for something simple. I bet other expats who take this preventative (because I had seen posts about it after we started taking it) would appreciate knowing the brand name has changed, might save them some time and trouble”. So I took a picture of the new box, wrote a short description starting with the sentence “If you take this preventative”, posted it on a couple of groups, and did my good deed. Happy ending, right?

Wrong. Not in Facebook Land. Yes, I did have some normal human beings leave comments like “Thanks, useful info”, but that was the minority opinion.

I got blown up with the following types of comments:

  • You should be ashamed for taking drugs when you are not sick
  • Stool samples! You must get stool samples!
  • You are irresponsible to recommend a drug without researching it
  • You are putting a horrible strain on your liver by swallowing 3 tablets every 6 months.
  • You are a tool of the pharmaceutical industry
  • Papaya seeds, bitch!

To which of course I must respond:

  • Look up “preventative” in a dictionary. People do take vitamins before they are vitamin deficient as well. They also get flu shots before they get the flu.
  • Eww
  • I didn’t recommend it. The first sentence, for those who learned to read, was “IF you are already taking ….” Also, bite me. Bite me hard.
  • Yes, stop by any expat bar and talk to people about how important their livers are to them
  • A tool? Moi?
  • All right, granted, papaya seeds are totally boss.

What is it about Facebook that makes people jump up on their soapboxes to pontificate about the moral and sociological ramifications of everything from vaccinations to your choice of TV viewing material?

Another totally annoying aspect of Facebook is the TMI affect. Too much information provided, for what was a simple question. For example, my wife and I own a one bedroom condo in our building that we rent out. When we were setting it up, we knew we would have to offer some sort of TV service. Since we did not know if our clientele would be Ecuadorian or North American, we wanted to know how many cable TV channels were in English.

“I know”‘, I said innocently, “I’ll ask on Facebook!”

I asked how many channels of a particular service level were in English, and received a slew of comments telling me what I should do is get a Roku, jailbreak it, and reprogram it to get such and such internet feed.

Exsqueeze me? This is like asking where is the bathroom, and being told what you should be doing is donating your precious bodily fluids to the UNESCO relief fund.

Okay, mea culpa, I admit, I foolishly tried to provide information to a small subset of intelligent people without considering the political-sexual ramifications of how this might affect the mouth-breathers who form the wad of Facebook users.

But at least I’m not bitter about it …

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  • Jo Alice Mospan says:

    This is why I now carefully consider what I post on FB and/or how/what I respond to a post. Loved this article also.

  • Lori Bonicelli says:

    People attack in hopes that others will join in and confirm their beliefs/pseudo knowledge. Everyone is so insecure and need reassuring. I think telling people of a brand change is a brilliant idea.

  • Jay Steichmann says:

    Words of Wisdom. I haven’t had this sort of problem on FB in a while (but then I don’t have many FB friends that I don’t already know, I HAVE had that sort of response, on steroids, from the friendly sorts on Expat Exchange, Ecuador Division. I don’t post there anymore, but I do visit on occasion. After all, everyone looks at the train wreck, don’t they?

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