It was nice to learn this week that Barack Obama, three quarters into his presidency, has finally gotten a Facebook page. Which means that, yes, your grandma Esther who lives in a singlewide at the end of the dirt road really is the last person in the world to sign up.
As a “journalist,” I thought it was my duty to check out Obama’s new page. In its first week, he already has 45 million followers, or, as Dr. Ben Carson might put it, “roughly 200 billion.”
Despite the fact that the president has a 20-person social media team, I have to say that the page is a bit of a snore and could use some tweaking.
For instance, in his first post to Facebook, he takes us on a video tour of the White House lawn. The rambling walk starts out pleasantly enough with observations about squirrels and foxes but then morphs into a lecture on climate change.
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It was like being at Thanksgiving dinner and having to sit beside the well-meaning but socially clueless bachelor uncle who wants to whine about the GMOs in the green bean casserole.
Which reminds me, there wasn’t a single picture of Obama’s lunch, something we would all truly enjoy seeing. More important, he had absolutely nothing to say about the Starbucks cup controversy, which was at its height the day he signed on.
By now, I thought it was a law that anyone with an above-turnip I.Q. was required to post a thoughtful tirade against the Starbucks haters who believe that coffee cups without snowflakes make Jesus cry. Or every time a godless solid-red cup is sold, an angel loses her wings in a horrible bar fight with, you guessed it, Dr. Ben Carson. Who will then apologize, perform lifesaving surgery on the angel and write a book about the whole experience.
Also, Obama could use more levity on his new Facebook page. Nowhere, at least in his first week, was there a single quiz asking me to copy and paste the color of the bra I am wearing today or answer a few fun questions to determine my “Disney porn star name.” (Since you ask, it’s “Sleeping Booty.”) And whither the weirdly passive aggressive post that so many experienced Facebookers use to “weed out” their true friends? For instance, where was the petulant “I’m deleting people so, Vladimir, if you see this, you made the cut!”) Obama’s brand new Facebook page didn’t contain a single humble brag about his school-age daughters. (“Sasha and Malia always get A’s in their Mandarin classes, but they spend so much time studying, their rooms are always a little messy! LOL!”)
Mysteriously absent was any mention that Obama is worried that Facebook is going to start charging his page’s users. He’s new to Facebook: I get it. But I better see a link to a YouTube video of a dog driving a riding lawnmower soon.