note: If you have been forwarded here, it is probably because someone cares about you and wants to point out that something you’ve posted on facebook is not real.
I love you, dear facebook friends, but if I continue to fail in helping you to realize that many things circulating the internet are not true, I won’t know what more I can do.
Facebook is not going to close. Facebook is not going to charge for its use. When you comment on a public post on facebook your comment is public no matter what you tell people to uncheck on your behalf because you “want to stay in touch with friends privately.” If you do not want your likes and comments around facebook to be public then don’t comment on or like public things on facebook. Posting legal-sounding sentences on your facebook does not change the terms of service to which you agreed when you opened your account. Further, the fact that facebook is now a publicly traded company has absolutely nothing to do with your photos, which are still your photos. For example, UPS is a publicly traded company, which has nothing to do with the packages you may choose to ship via their service, which are still your packages.
While I have your attention, it’s not going to happen that Congress won’t receive their paychecks until they eradicate the national debt. Cut onions are not going to suck up viruses from the air. Consuming a cut onion is not going to give you viruses. Typing your ATM pin backwards does not send a secret message to the police. Walter Reed Hospital does not sort and disseminate greeting cards addressed to “any American soldier” to any American soldier. You are not going to get free airline tickets by liking a photo on facebook. You are not going to make a one dollar donation for cancer research by liking a photo on facebook. You are not going to help a sick baby by liking a photo on facebook. You are not going to receive a $500 gift card to Target by liking a photo on facebook. You are not going to win a chance at a million dollars by liking the picture of Nolan Daniels on facebook. No one is ever going to give you anything for liking a photo on facebook. The “Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School” thing is not from a Bill Gates graduation speech. The “I Hate the Word Homophobia” thing was not tweeted by Morgan Freeman. The picture of the shark swimming in a front yard after Hurricane Sandy was photoshopped. The picture of the 40′ tall snowbanks around a Buick from the Blizzard of ’78 (sic) was photoshopped. Rubber tires do not protect you from lightening striking your car. A dark circle around the moon does not predict acid rain. You are not going to receive free merchandise because you filled out surveys online and told a website that you are willing to give reviews of that merchandise. That Indian woman did not give birth to eleven baby boys. No one in Nigeria has millions of dollars to share with you if you will only help him move this money through your bank account. Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.” Al Gore did not claim to have invented the internet. None of the U.S. dollar coins omit the ‘In God We Trust’ motto. It is quite false that more homicides in the U.S. are committed with baseball bats than with firearms. Handguns are by far the most common weapon used in homicides. Speaking of homicide, new gang members are not initiated into their new gang by killing you for flashing your headlights to signal their unlit car. It is not (empirically) true that Fox News viewers have IQs 20 points lower than average people. Chewing gum does not sit in your stomach for seven years. Twinkies do not last forever.
And lastly, in contemplating why people so readily forward, like and share, I shall close by giving proper credit to Marianne Wiliamson, not Nelson Mandela, for writing (1992) the beloved reflection that, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us…”
May God bless you and keep you, my friends.
*Snopes.com and a number of other myth-busting sorts of websites give references for these things, and many more. Check ’em out sometime!