Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.
What is a friend?
A friend is someone who puts up with your nonsense because they know that at heart you're a lovely, if wayward, human being. They also know that you'll put up with their nonsense too.
What is a Facebook friend?
A Facebook friend is someone who enjoys being associated with you in public but might privately think that you're an unbearable windbag who deserves nothing more than eternal misery (which they'd like to witness on Facebook).
I mention these definitions because of the socially networked plight of Jade Ruthven. She is a new mom who lives in Perth, Australia. Like many new moms, she likes to post Facebook updates about her baby Addy. Lots of Facebook updates about her baby Addy.
It seems, though, that her Facebook friends have finally had enough. As the Daily Mail reports, an anonymous somebody, busybody or everybody sent her a prissy note to tell her to stop already.
It began: "I have got over together with a few girls and we are all SO OVER your running commentary of your life and every single thing Addy does."
The spirit didn't improve: "Look we all have kids that we are besotted with -- guess what -- every parent thinks their kid is the best ever. But we don't ram it down everyone else's neck!!!"
I bet they do. Perhaps they don't do it on Facebook, but there is little duller than a proud, new parent.
"She crawls off the mat -- we DON'T care!!!!" said the note. (Five exclamation points means they really, really don't care.) It said that Ruthven was "pissing a lot of people off."
These friends wanted to add that they hope the 33-year-old Ruthven would go back to work soon, so that she wouldn't post so often on Facebook. (Want to bet?)
Ruthven expressed her surprise, horror and, of course, determination to carry on posting. She said: "I was shaking with anger and shock to think a so call friend of mine could be so heartless and gutless to not even sign their name."
This is true, but I still find this less slightly interesting than the note's last line: "We're doing this to let you know what people really think."
These words bear within them a glorious, beautiful and cowardly truth. If you really want someone to know what you think, you don't display it on the PC coffee morning that is Facebook. No, you do it privately. You do it personally. You do it, in this case, on creased parchment.
Facebook is a bragging board and occasionally a nagging board. Like a reality show, it shouldn't be mistaken for reality. At least not yet, though Facebook is trying very hard to be the only reality in town.
I cannot confirm that this note is entirely genuine. This appears to be Ruthven's Facebook account and its settings are very private. I have contacted her to ask whether she now knows who sent the note and will update, should I hear.
Ruthven told the Mail that she still has no idea. She did, however, pass it to comedian Em Rusciano, who penned a long piece about it, describing it as "next-level mean."
I had always thought that Twitter was next-level mean, but that generally is true when it comes to "next-level mean about people you don't know."
Untraceable privacy means going back to ages some refer to as dark. Spies use flip-phones or even pencil and paper, which they then eat.
True, personal, biting honesty -- when not delivered face-to-face -- has to be delivered by hand. This assumes that you actually want the other person to know what you really think.
Some, though, might have sympathy with Ruthven's friends. Once, you see, it is no more.It removed those annoying baby pictures from your Facebook feed. Sadly,
So all we're left with is direct human contact. At least for now.