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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Wasting Time on Facebook

I got sidetracked this morning and didn't get anything done. I'm always getting sidetracked lately. It's Facebook. What is it that makes it so addictive? It is not as if I need any more distractions. There are plenty of them already to keep me on the computer wasting time.

Everybody belongs to Facebook. Even my boss at work belongs to Facebook. Is there anyone anywhere that does not belong to Facebook? And they all want to be your friends. "They like me", your brain says. So, of course, you click "accept" and continue to waste time.

And then it begins, check-ins from people that you hardly know. "I'm at the dentist." Do people really think I care about their dental problems? But there are enough funny and thoughtful posts to keep me reading, enough interesting and intelligent posts to make me think and forget about how much time I'm wasting.

So, I keep coming back to waste time, even though I've not figured out all the features completely.
In the Facebook world most of the news is good, or at least expresses a point of view that the writer believes in strongly. If you agree, you can "like" their comment. Affirmation they called it in psychology. Or, you can comment on a post -- instant feedback -- another good way to waste time.

I don't like one or two word comments. When I see those, I have to wonder why they didn"t just "like" it and move on. People don't usually make negative comments, and if they do, you can "unfriend" them and not see their comments ever again. That's what they get for wasting your time.

There is one thing that I've never been quite sure of. If you unfriend someone, do they know? Do they get an email saying so-and-so has unfriended you? If I have to unfriend someone, I would rather just slip away quietly into cyberspace. I've only had to unfriend a few people, so I still have plenty of friends to waste time with.

And then there are pictures. They make your posts more interesting, and you can send them to Facebook right from your cell phone. Or you can post them on your "wall" where your messages are. I'm not a big picture-posting person. Thinking that everyone wants to see pictures of your grandkids is sort of in the same category as thinking everyone wants to know you are at the dentist.

Probably the most popular feature on Facebook is the link-sharing feature. If you see something online that you like, you can copy the URL and post it as a link on Facebook. It not only posts the link, but it pulls in the headline, a picture, and a lead-in to the story. Many sites have a Facebook icon on them to expedite the process of wasting time.

As you are probably beginning to figure out, people on Facebook often have an agenda. They have a commercial product to push, or, as in the case of celebrities, just want to push themselves. They have marketing managers or publicists that post for them and thousands of "friends." I'm not really sure if
that is better or worse than wasting time posting pictures of your dog, or checking in from WalMart.

That explains most of what I know about Facebook. There is much more that I'm still trying to figure out. All and all, I'd say it's probably the biggest waste of time there is on the internet, at least until someone figures out a better way to waste time that is more fun.

Gotta go now and see if anyone has posted on my wall. Send me a friend request and I'll see you on Facebook. 

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss


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