Commentary

Snow: Why I don’t twitter, tweet or do Facebook

August 25, 2012 

I am a rare oddity who neither twits nor tweets and has never joined Facebook. Should I feel out of touch and left out of the mainstream of life?

Once on a trip abroad with my wife, the tour director instructed us to move forward one seat each day on the coach “so you can make new friends with the people across the aisle.”

“I don’t want to make more friends,” my wife murmured. “I can’t properly take care of the friends I already have.”

“But these are friends you’ll never see again – low maintenance friends,” I said, referring to the international nature of the tour’s makeup.

When someone travels with a group for two weeks or so, it’s natural to develop a few low maintenance friendships.

I once exchanged e-mails with an Australian, primarily because he was from the small town of McKay, where I spent a wonderful week of R&R while serving in the South Pacific. Eventually, we ran out of anything to say.

Several people, including some of you, have invited me to be your Facebook friend. While I am flattered, it seems that even though I’m retired I don’t have time to keep up with the detritus that already keeps me occupied.

I do try to read and respond to my readers’ e-mails, as I consider you members of my extended family.

Strange things can happen to you on Facebook, according to a Raleigh friend who finally joined the popular social network at his sister’s insistence.

“Pretty soon I was hooked on it,” he said. “ I then went into rehab and cut back on my usage. Then, out of the absolute blue, a former lover from my college days contacted me via Facebook.

“We exchanged e-mails. We talked on the phone. She said she was unattached. So was I. We agreed to meet for lunch.

“I should have known not to believe in fairy tales. She had just had bypass surgery and was suffering from several other afflictions. She looked to be 85.

“She wanted to know if I wanted to re-establish a relationship. I respectfully told her I had more problems than she had, kissed her on the cheek and wished her well.”

Today’s culture apparently thrives on Facebook. So be it. But don’t let Facebook become so addictive that you lose the ability to communicate face to face.

Volleyball to remember

During the Olympics, a reader called my attention to the arrest of a 26-year-old Marietta, Ga., man, Joshua Benathean Mcdonald, who was charged with following women around in a Target store, bending over and taking pictures with his cellphone up the women’s skirts.

Meanwhile, Target security cameras were photographing his activities.

“Poor guy,” my correspondent wrote, “He should have just watched women’s beach volleyball in the Olympics. He would have gotten a far better view of what mostly naked woman look like.”

He’s right. From where I sat in my family room, it appeared the players were wearing thongs. Obviously, women’s beach volleyball has come into its own as a spectator sport.

Terse movie review

We all love critic zingers.

Since Andy Warhol movies rarely made it to Raleigh, friend Bernie Cochran attended a matinee showing of one entitled “Trash” during a visit to New York.

“There were five people in the theater –including two winos, one snoring loudly, who had wandered in out of the cold,” Bernie recalls.

Next day’s one-sentence review in The New York Times read, “The title says it all.”

Not many moviemakers are so obliging as to label the content of a movie in its title.

Where’s the okra?

For me, a visit to Farmer’s Market is a trip to my farm boy childhood, and the summer vegetables we enjoyed. But we never grew okra.

I overheard two women discussing the local scarcity of okra.

“It should be plentiful,” said one. “It’s a Southern dish, you know.”

“Aha, you’ve hit on it!” her friend replied, “There’s no okra around because there are no Southerners left in Raleigh.”

Snow: 919-836-5636 or asnow@newsobserver.com

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