Response: Facebook

Editor Kirsten Larson, Editor's Choice, September 28th, 2015

"All that you knew in your mind sent out over copper wires..."

people on couch in puddle on cellphones
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In our monthly Response Column, NAILED asks readers to respond to a particular word or topic. We are seeking raw, honest personal responses that aim less to answer questions and more to raise them. Responses in the form of art, photography, essay, story, poem, and rant will all be considered for publication. October’s topic is BROKE, please email your responses to Kirsten@NailedMagazine.com by October 19th, for publication at the end of the month. (Word count limit: 1,000 words.)

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Response: Facebook

 

This Kind of News, by Adam Strong

 

I wasn’t supposed to find out this way. This kind of news in my newsfeed. On Facebook I check my newsfeed. The endless scroll of other people’s lives. I check this so often sometimes, it’s like breathing. My news feed is mostly trivial things, things friends post: dog and cat video loops, outrage at a bill being passed or not passed, not supposed to have big life changing events on Facebook.

The questions I ask every time I swipe or scroll my newsfeed down: Shouldn’t I be living my life, shouldn’t I be calling these people on the phone?

You there, and the photo of you I saw on my newsfeed. Your skin and how yellow it was, how the more I scrolled on your profile, the more I saw.

You and me, we used to work together. You went on shift when I got off shift. Every afternoon. You told me:

  • About the recessed tooth in your mouth because you didn’t have any dental health benefits for 12 years.
  • About the girl you met who might be the one.
  • How you hoped she’d be the one because you didn’t want to die alone.

When you were healthy you never posted to Facebook. You didn’t have an account until your wife posted it.

You didn’t have a wife.

Until you got sick.

Until I scrolled down.

In Facebook we live from top to bottom. How backwards in time was scrolling down, the edge of a cliff feeling in my stomach. Your photo, your skin. Two words. Cancer and a pancreas.

Your pancreas. Your face. Your wife.

You didn’t have a wife.

Until you got sick.

A week later, a new photo. In the photo you were in a cave. You had a helmet on with a lantern. You were smiling. Your name, your birthday, your day of death. You died that day. The photo, you never posted it to Facebook.

You wanted to live your life, offline.

I never had a chance to say goodbye.

The only inkling I ever got that you saw my message, before you died, when I posted that message wishing you good vibes, and that I missed you and that I loved you. And I knew you heard me because you “liked” it. A like and what the “like” was.

Our friendship, stretched across two jobs.

That one job we had, we were across from each other, your long rave t-shirts, bright tide colors, baggy flared jeans. A long cord from phone to your face, the long goatee you had.

On the phone, with a customer. We were always on the phone. You used your hands when you explained things. You drew out long circles, processes of internet not working of page cannot be displayed.

All that you knew in your mind sent out over copper wires, over phones. We were technical support.

Your helmet, your light, your smile, the light in the dark of that horrible job. Technical support.

The two of us, our jobs, our friendship, those years, my goodbye to you and all it used to mean, reduced to a cartoon thumbs up image, a “like.”

Which meant you heard me, before you went.

Before you died, before it all got too much.

You reached out with your phone or your mouse.

You hit “like.”

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Adam Strong has worn glasses since he was four. Adam Strong is a High School Digital Arts teacher. Adam Strong’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in City of Weird, Our Portland Story, and Intellectual Refuge. Adam Strong lives and writes in Portland OR.

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Conservative Meme (with characteristically poor punctuation)

conservative meme facebook nailed magazine

Open Letter to Those Who Post Conservative Memes on Facebook, by Michael Henry
I’m getting tired of being told that I’m a piece of shit.

Some days, Facebook is nearly all I have during the day. I keep in touch with friends and family. I post news and science.

Some days, it nearly kills me, because you get to post “news” and “science” that interest you, too. And you post these horrible memes about people who collect unemployment and bilk the system and take your money.

You don’t know my story. You don’t know anyone’s story.

If I’m having a good moment and you can’t see my cane, you might, depending on where I am and how I’m dressed, and based on your inclinations and biases, see a middle aged biker with some tattoos and a Harley tee buying a six pack, or a greying dad buying a book at Barnes and Noble. You might see a guy in a coffee shop banging away at what he hopes is the next Great American Science Fiction Novel, geeky Tolkien runes tattooed on his arm. You also might also someday see me standing in line at Walmart using Government Assistance to get me through the week.

I didn’t plan on being forty-five, crippled, unemployed, and divorced from a twenty-five year marriage. A car accident damaged my back badly enough to keep me from working for good. It created permanent chronic extreme pain from the waist down. I daily have long periods during which I can’t get up off my back or sit up for more than an hour at a time. I often can’t get it up; my dick feels like cardboard. Unless you live my life, you can’t see most of this if I’m feeling well enough to be out for a short period to get my essentials.

You want a sob story? My marriage began to end when my ex-wife was a child, probably less than three, and her father began molesting her. Of course, I didn’t know this when I married her eighteen years later. She didn’t know it to tell me, either; several mental health professionals dragged it out of her in diagnosing the resulting emotional and intimacy issues that troubled her throughout our married life. It was too much for her to handle my injury and the change in life on top of her rancid memories, so she fled the scene, leaving me unemployed and pissing myself while I recovered from surgery. You can’t see this shit history when I’m buying milk.

I used to be a serious weekend warrior biker. I put tens of thousands of miles on my last motorcycle, which I had to sell after my injury. So, I still sometimes pull on my boots and I have tattoos and I wear Harley Davidson tee shirts. You’ll see me rough looking from being unable to put effort into shaving for a couple of days due to pain and very necessary prescribed narcotics. I’ll be haggard and drawn and strung-out-looking because the pain has kept me awake for three nights in a row. Fuck you for judging me if I use government help to buy groceries and yet also find that I’m able to scrounge enough to buy a six-pack of beer. That’s about what I drink a week, and it’s all I can drink in a week on top of the medication, and it helps a tiny bit with the pain.

When you stand there looking in my cart and at my Daytona rally tee shirt, judging me, you won’t know that I worked in and managed bookstores for two decades, or that I used to read several books a week or that I can still write well during the few hours a day when my head isn’t foggy from pain medicines and sleeplessness. You won’t see the scenes in my head as I relive the accident that sharply divides the before and after of my life. You can’t tell that I didn’t just let life slip by and choose to rely on handouts.

You won’t see the fear in my brain as I watch the little bit of money I collect from Worker’s Comp insurance drizzle away, hardly enough because I live in a Red state that protects the insurance company rather than the insured, and I have to pay for some of my drugs and all of the simple commodities that make living in Hell a bit easier, like a massager, out of my own pocket. If you hear me talking to my daughter about a show on Netflix, you won’t know that I rely on that ten dollar service for most of my monthly entertainment and that the TV and devices I watch it on are leftovers from before the accident.

But you’ll be fuming. You’ll be jealous that I’m “getting stuff” and you aren’t. Your rhetoric only demands that you deserve to have everything I do. You can’t see your wealth of potential that I don’t have anymore. You don’t hear or read the jealousy in your voice or your social media posts. Your every post on Facebook is “look at people getting what they shouldn’t!” and never “look at the unfortunate, help them out!” When you post I see constant jealousy, selfishness, and a severe persecution complex. I guarantee that at some point in a conversation in which I pointed that shit out, you’d puff up and say, “You can’t say that, you don’t know me.” Yet you can know everyone else so well, and judge. Go back through your Facebook posts right now and compare the number of complaints that you are being oppressed or that someone else is getting something to the number of posts that plead for others to help those in need or to stop oppression of groups you aren’t actually a part of. Go ahead and do it now. You go out of your way to show people who you are.

Me? I’m just fucking buying beer.

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Michael Henry tries to think of himself as lucky to have had a car accident that freed up a lot of time to write, so when he can create, he does. He doesn’t always find that argument convincing, but apparently many social programs haters would gladly trade health, ability and potential for the disability and pain associated with some “free stuff.” Forced to live in a haze as he is, Mike can’t imagine using narcotics recreationally. He is a motorcycle, Tolkien, and Weird Fiction enthusiast whose first novel is progressing at a snail’s pace.

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 teens on bus on cellphones Anton Krasnikov photo

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Anton Krasnikov began shooting in 2014 when he got his first DSLR. To achieve the gritty warm character he was after, he quickly decided to explore capturing his work on film and now works exclusively with the analog medium. He currently lives and works in Kiev, Ukraine. To view his Photo Essay, “Speak it Easy” for NAILED, go here.

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Birthday at Spiral Jetty, by Adam Todesco

 

I’m the grit pearl tongue wipe

of sand before that glassed patch

of self its opposite space face

dark tree stars climb across

parish walls combustible

 

You’re the poem I really wanted

to write what’s that that

asks for nothing lying

on a stoned beach of guilt

and human smells everything

I collide myself for inside

a bluff a cooking brain

wrapped in riprap

lute strung loose

like noose

before new

sun sets

a bomb

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Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, and as cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. He conducts interviews and analyzes dreams for the online literary journal Drunk In A Midnight Choir. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Funhouse, Cosmonauts Avenue, SouvenirHobart, The Nervous Breakdown, and elsewhere.

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Recent Selections from Facebook Updates, by Matty Byloos

 

These days, for me, Facebook draws me in primarily for work. It’s become an indispensable tool for digital marketers, working to humanize and extend a brand’s reach in one of the (sadly, seemingly, unfortunately) most important and influential social spheres we have at our disposal today. And too often, I get sucked in to my feed, ruthlessly checking on the updates of others, paying attention in a way that the algorithm deems most appropriate, as a very strange selection of updates gets paraded through my “Home” channel on Facebook.

Typically, I don’t like what I see. I find it self-congratulatory, or I think it’s too private and the information seems drained of its meaning when it’s digitized and liked and shared and trumpeted through the forum the way that it is. Or it seems needy and desperate, the way we all are insecure and in need of constant attention, from the time we’re babies to the day we die. But mostly, I don’t like what it does to me.

Facebook makes me feel anxious, petty, and competitive in the worst way. Guilty that I’ve not done enough for friends or that I’ve made the wrong choices in life, and that I put my attention in all the wrong places at times. Sad that people have let themselves be taken over by this social experience. Hopeful for one second when someone does something awful and people on Facebook share it and point it out and we can all have a moment to digest and think about something that might once have been an awful secret — and then ashamed and heartbroken when the equally hateful mob justice wields its mighty hand, and some stranger who made a mistake is singled out and swiftly ruined.

But every now and again, like that phantom golf shot on the driving range that sings into the air rocket-like, straight and long and in some glorious trajectory that I can only hope has something specific to do with me, well, someone will post something on Facebook that makes me feel like we’ve all still got a chance.

Here are a few of those posts that went up in the month of September.

“I’m 87 years old…I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive.. The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there’s nothing. Like there was before I was born. I’m not really into religion, they’re all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.

“The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.

“Anybody else you’ve interviewed bring these things up? Hang on, I gotta take this call….. Hey, brother. That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m being interviewed… We’re talking about nothing. I’ve got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He’s stopped asking questions.”

—Harry Dean Stanton

Shared by D. Foy on FB, 9/1/15

 

“My problem is not with the lack of books about people who look like me. Publishing has come that far. I can find a few. My problem is with the lack of books about people who look like me but aren’t like me. For a bookish white kid, there are stories about daredevils or magicians or even animals who look and act like him, in any style, in any genre… I am begging for more diverse diversity. I choke up because of how similar marginalized desires are, how they don’t go far enough, how they want so badly to get minimal representation. Imagine, though, how different a kid’s sense of the world, and of herself in it, would be if she had diverse diverse choices? If she could imagine herself as a Native American pop princess or a black transgender dragonslayer, or so on? Surely that power of imagination, to see oneself and others in a variety of different stories, gives an Asian kid in a white family the power to see himself as worth imagining. When I go to the bookstore hungry for possibilities, and I face the choice between two Nigerian-American authors or three Korean-American authors or one Venezuelan-American author or shelves upon shelves of white American authors in which I can find a book for almost any fancy (as long as I take sexual orientation—and sometimes gender—out of it), is that choice? Is that diversity? I want so much more.” —Matthew Salesses

Shared by Matt Bell on FB, 9/1/15

 

“So I read this … Survey? What’s passing for ‘articles’ these days? Saying jazz is now the least popular music form in America. But I’m listening to A Love Supreme right now, and yup, just like always, it makes me thrilled to be an artist and not anyone else. If that’s America now, my suspicion that I should just stay in the imaginal has been, again, confirmed. Good bye reality, you never made me feel real anyway. Meet you in our better world, misfits.” —Lidia Yuknavitch

Shared by Lidia Yuknavitch on FB, 9/20/15

 

“Bailed Dr. King out of jail almost every time he was in it. Put in more money to the civil rights movement than any entertainer without demanding a lick of credit. Fostered an idiomatic style that oozed black vaudeville and night club. Call Sammy Davis Jr. a sellout, and you don’t get to sit at the adults table when grown folks is talking about black history.” —Robert Lashley

Shared by Robert Lashley on FB, 9/11/15

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Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born seven days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of two books, including the novel in stories, ROPE (’14, Small Doggies Press), and the collection of short stories, Don’t Smell the Floss (’09, Write Bloody Books).

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#thebaldfacedlieofsitonmyfacebookvalue

or

How Dark Schmuckerberg Jacked Us Into Digitized Memes of Electrified Thorazine, by Jason Elliott Budd

 

But it’s all a FUCKING LIE!!!

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, born 05/12/1984 in Plain White, New York, born of imperialistic and genealogical filth, born of technified funkity spunk; frothing furiously forth of dastardly, digital dalliance in demonseed.

It’s all a part of the rub-a-dub-dub! Feel how softly the matrix club! It shatters brow, and bruises brainpan.

All in trillifragments of time! While Muthahfuckahberg winds up owning our identities, and all we provide; so he can algorithm us up, and sell our data off; to make even Billions and Billions of $$$s more, besides. FedGov’s got yer buddy on the payroll. Yer page AIN’T yerz, and you don’t own SHIT!!! Open up and suck the crumbs off that sandwich of the Ruler’s Platinum Plate, dawg!!! See you at the shopping mall! See you at the ballgame! See you at the Bar! Oh… That’s right! I’m wet-wired into this plastic fucking box, sitting on my plastic Ikea desk, that I bought with my plastic fucking plastic, online!!! I’ll be jacking my dick to Oculus Rift in no time! Look! There’s a sperm bank deposit slot where my USB used to be! I’m NEVER leaving home for anything, anymore!!! Like Bradbury used to say, “There Will Come Soft Rains…”

The following communiqué, was recently delivered by Mark Zuckerberg, with United States Congressional Approval, on www.darkfacebook.com:

www.facebook.com has recently applied for reclassification as an extension of the Fourth Estate, of the United States of America – (and will operate in conjunction with black operations performed by: the NSA, TSA, FBI, and CIA); and has been reclassified as such, under the current Law of the United States Constitution:

Facebook is now, from this day forward, of September 21st, 2015, a Federally-funded Agency, under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government of the United States of America; in compliance with, and obedient to: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of said government – that are, and will remain, under absolute control, by the Supreme Oligarchic Class (SOC) – comprised of the United States Corporatocracy, Bankster Cartels, and War Profiteers, who truly own and run this Motherfucker!!! This Official Decree will remain the writ of Law, until SOC declares to alter such classification otherwise. Bow down, and worship, slaves!!!

Without Facebook, you would not be reading this right now…

#sitonmyfacebook

#smothermeintoobsolescence

#delusionofchoice

#imamerkin

#soareweall

#soshallweperish

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Jason Elliott Bud, is an actor, artist, and writer; freelancing and starving in, Los Angeles, California. His formal training and background rises from the visual and performing arts; having clocked in excess of $130,000 in Federal Student Loan debt — through our Privatized Education System of Indentured Servitude. Jason is originally from the Midworst; having been born and raised in, the State of Misery. He claims it’s a great place to leave. Jason remains darkly vigilant towards authority and imperialism. You can view some of his artwork: here.

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painting of girls posing for facebook photo

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Karim Hamid (1966) was born in Los Angeles, CA to a British mother and Palestinian father. Moving quite a bit between England and the USA, he received his BFA in 1990 from Sussex University and his MFA in 1994 from the San Francisco Art Institute. To view his Artist Feature for NAILED, go here.

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Things I Wish I Had the Guts to Post on Facebook, by Shenyah Webb

 

  1. Did anyone ever tell you that you look like a blow up doll? Seriously, its super crazy!
  1. #Doyoureallythinkpeoplearegoingtosearchthathashtag
  1. Expand on this DMV experience of yours. It’s just been too long since I paid my own visit and need a refresher on just how shitty it is.
  1. Knocked up AGAIN!?
  1. I bet you that headache you keep complaining about would go away if you weren’t on FB all day.
  1. You are so much better than everyone else.
  1. Wait, didn’t you just get married to someone else!?
  1. Weird, I just saw you last week and you looked nothing like this. You chameleon, you!
  1. So, I saw the picture from week 7 and week 9 of your pregnancy but somehow missed week 8. ☹ Re-post please!!!
  1. That quote is so deep. You must be a really deep person.
  1. No filter, really? You are so much more talented than I thought before the filter!
  1. It is pictures like these that lead to the unrealistic expectations of a woman’s appearance. Simply put, you look plastic and it’s creepy.
  2. I know, I know. You are so much smarter because you are older than me. My opinions mean nothing, I know nothing, all because I am younger than you. Fucking Ageist!!
  3. Do your research.
  4. Thanks for airing your relationships dirty laundry. You both are assholes in this one.
  5. You just checked in at the dentist! Cool!
  6. I saw that you read my message.
  7. Are you fucking serious? 42 kittens are going to get pummeled by a truck in 2 hours if I don’t re-post this? Dammit!
  8. nar·cis·sismˈnärsəˌsizəm   noun: excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. Psychology: extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

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Shenyah Webb is the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. She is originally from Detroit; she studied Psychology at Michigan State University, and later finished in Industrial Design with an Art Therapy minor at The College of Creative Studies. She lives and works in Portland with her husband and son. She is a visual artist, and musician under the name Lithopedion. Her self-titled EP was released in 2013.

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For the Record: I’m in love With Facebook, by Hobie Bender

 

Twenty-five years ago a dear friend of mine and a beloved friend of my community at that time, was murdered. Jimmy was shot in the head on the job as a cab driver.

I lost my shit.

Months and months went by and I couldn’t get on with my life. I noticed that my friends, who loved him as much as I did, were going on with their lives.

What I didn’t know at the time, is that the violence of how Jimmy died put me back, deep into my childhood shit. I didn’t even know I have post traumatic stress from the violence that happened around me when I was three and four and five and seven years old.

I was frustrated with myself for my inability to let go of my initial grief over Jimmy and get on with the process, get on with living.

I was a crazy person.

I had Demetra George do my astrological chart and give me a reading. I called a meeting of my Jimmy Community and offered up the proof of it: See? I’m not crazy, it says so in the stars. My friends were loving and tolerant, but they thought I was fucking nuts.

After Jimmy’s murder, I walked down streets angry at strangers and thought, How the fucking hell can you look at me and not see the huge pain inside of me? Probably how I looked at my father when my Aunt Jamie gave me the deep wound that came from her cruelty and violence. The wound she gave me when I was four years old. The wound I was so disconnected from with the passing of years of my life where I got up in the morning, and played, and laughed and loved.

What I did was, after Jimmy was shot in the head, I walked away from my life. I disconnected my phone, I moved, I didn’t say goodbye to the man I love.

I didn’t respond to people who tried to contact me.

I ran off the stubborn friends that tried to stick around. The few friends I kept were not friends in my Jimmy Community.

I gave away most of my stuff, or dumped my belongings at the Salvation Army down on Burnside Street here in Portland.

I got rid of my cowgirl shirts and my riding pants. I quit saying the things I used to say like, Honey, I called everybody Honey. I quit saying, Rope and Ride, and I’d fuck a rock pile if I thought a snake was in it.

I didn’t know who I was anymore.

I said, “I’m having kids now.”

I did, I had two daughters and took child development and parenting seriously. I mommed like my life depended on it.

It did. My life depended on it.

When Jimmy was murdered, my insides hurt so bad I wanted to kill myself.

Walking away from my life was an attempt at never having to feel that terrible, physical pain pushing me from the inside out, again.

I wouldn’t understand what happened inside me when Jimmy was killed for another twenty years, when another event in my life caused me to lose my shit and to go back to my therapist.

I told my therapist Nadine, “I feel as bad as I did when Jimmy was murdered. I want to kill myself.”

“Really?” Nadine said-asked. She reflected back to me in her tone that my reaction to the current event, the one twenty years after Jimmy died, that I’m not going to go into here, was incongruous with how I was feeling.

I had had enough therapy with Nadine and understood she knows me well enough that I could hear what she was saying to me. I trust her. How she said that to me, grounded me. It was the thing that pulled me out of my emotions a little and made me think.

The hugeness of my reaction to something that was egregious, but not something a person might want to kill themselves over, that was a mystery Nadine and I unraveled together over the next couple of years.

Twenty five years ago, when I got rid of my shit, I had the wherewithal to hang onto some things that mattered: a few paintings friends had painted, some photographs, a really ugly skirt that a friend made lovingly for me, a box of old letters.

In therapy, I started to understand that it was weird how I’d abandoned my old life before I had children.

I went back to the box of old letters and read a twenty year old letter. In the postscript it said, “I hear Jimmy Carlton is working in a restaurant in LA.”

Jimmy Carlton. My ex gay boyfriend. I had been so in love with him.

Yes, there were two Jimmies. No, In fact, there were three of them. The man I loved, whom I didn’t say goodbye to is a Jimmy too. Three Jimmies.

When the universe delivers three Jimmies who I love as much as I love the three Jimmies, well, I think the universe is trying to teach me something I don’t even know I’m trying to learn.

When I read that post script, I jumped up off of my bed, slammed my bedroom door open, my feet hard on the wood floor, “Fiona!” I yelled for one of my daughters, “Fiona, get on Facebook and look for Jimmy Carlton in LA.”

She did. Fiona got on Facebook. She found the gay Jimmy.

“I can send him a message and friend request him if you want,” Fiona said.

“Yes,” I said. “Tell him, I’m sorry. And tell him I still love him.”

A couple days later, there was a message from Jimmy on Fiona’s Facebook, “Tell your mother I forgive her. And tell her that I love her too. And tell her to get on Facebook so we can talk.”

I did. I got on Facebook.

Me and Jimmy Carlton had a big ole love fest reunion on the Facebooks.

I found the Jimmy I didn’t say goodbye to. He’s happily married with three grown children.

I got on Facebook and I rode hard to catch up.

I got on Facebook and I went back into my past, and I grabbed all the love I could get my hands on.

I got on Facebook and I brought all that love up here into my everyday life.

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Hobie Bender is a Portland, Oregon writer. She studies Dangerous Writing with Tom Spanbauer and the Dangerous Writers. And, she’s made a few pies.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I’m old enough to remember my grandmother complaining about the intrusion of the telephone. This was before answering machines, before caller ID, before you could walk away from the phone farther than the cord would stretch. She had a party-line, which meant if you were sneaky enough, you could listen to other people’s conversations. I was sneaky enough, (hold down the plunger, put the receiver up to your ear, and then slowly lift the plunger. Make the least possible click). I spent a lot of time listening to other people’s conversations. Maybe I’m nosy, maybe I’m curious, or maybe I just love people. I imagined worlds for those voices: what they looked like, where they lived, and who they were to each other. I was already deep into my love of stories.

A lot of people complain about the intrusion of Facebook, but I think social media is here to stay, just like the telephone.

Scrolling Facebook is like strolling past people’s front porches. Some people sit with their animals, some with babies, flowers, some people are waiving their political signs. Some are having fights with friends or family. Some are more private; they don’t reveal much they just watch others. Some sit with their shotguns, fearing something they have will be taken away or they will not get something they think they deserve.

People reveal a lot of fear and call it something else.

There are lots of opinions. I don’t know what makes people think complex, long-standing social problems can be solved in 4” of electronic space. The meme after the first story above, was shared by a friend of mine and Michael Henry, the author of the second piece. This friend is a self-proclaimed conservative. Michael wrote comments that were articulate, intelligent, raw, and honest, so I asked him to write for this column. I was pleased he sent a rant.

To me, the plea at the end of the rant says it all, “Go back through your Facebook posts right now and compare the number of complaints that you are being oppressed or that someone else is getting something to the number of posts that plead for others to help those in need or to stop oppression of groups you aren’t actually a part of. Go ahead and do it now. You go out of your way to show people who you are.”

People show you who they are on Facebook: they judge, educate, delight, explore, brag, love, get revenge, connect, support, worship, create. They hurt others with thoughtless words. We are funny, sad, angry, lonely. Holier than thou, ignorant, shy. Human. My friend Matty recently said of social media, “We all need to be nicer to each other.”

I’ve been on Facebook since 2008. I get tired of it when people are mean, or stuck in their narrow views. I don’t mind pictures of pets, food, coffee, the routine. I like seeing my friends live their lives. I like the balance of deep and funny and mundane. I like knowing when someone needs help. Mostly, I love it when a bunch of people get together and help another person. When I cry, I cry most often from displays of human kindness.

I hope you enjoy this response column. The variety of stories, humor, sarcasm, poem, and art are as varied and fascinating as we are.

– Kirsten Larson

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Header Image courtesy of Isaac Cordal (1975) is an installation and street artist who lives and works in London. His work has been installed in urban areas of Berlin, London, Brussels, Liege, Barcelona, and Columbia, among others. To view his Artist Feature for NAILED, go here.

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Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson is a Contributing Editor at NAILED. She lives near Portland, Oregon. She loves words and is very curious. She received her MFA in writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She writes for The Huffington Post, and is an Adjunct Instructor at Portland State University. Her work can be found in NAILED, Huffington Post, Pathos, M Review, and several other places. She is currently working on two books.