I was minding my own business, procrastinating as I often do on Facebook, when I saw a post from an acquaintance. “Friends,” it read, “is anyone planning to travel from City A to City B anytime soon? We forgot Justin’s iPad in City A and it’s a real tragedy.” ***
Justin is her son. He is two, maybe three.
If this post wasn’t enough to move me into a fully judgmental mode, the post that immediately followed it, did the trick. Right below this my-toddler-needs-his-iPad cry for help, was an article about the kidnapped Nigerian girls.
My first inclination was to comment with any of the following:
“Really? A forgotten iPad for a toddler is a tragedy?”
“Your 3-yr old has his own iPad????”
“Tragedy for him or for you?”
“Define tragedy please.”
Cue in a snarky emoticon for each one.
My second inclination was to snicker, roll eyes, ignore, and repeat. Then go on a rant about it in a blog post.
As you can see I went with the second one. But not before I thought for a while about what would possess someone to post that particular information. Because, if you think about it, appealing for help in bringing a forgotten toy isn’t really from “this is totally f*$%#ed up, man” category. Appealing for help vis-à-vis an expensive electronic device owned by a three-year old while declaring its absence a “real tragedy” kind-of is – especially if followed by a photo of grief-stricken mothers holding signs “bring back our girls.”
So maybe it’s Facebook’s fault. If the article about the Nigerian kidnappings didn’t show up right under her post, I’d probably dismiss it as stuck-up, conceited, and vain. But now it sounds worse. Now it sounds dickish.
Which actually presents a dilemma. Should I delete her off my newsfeed, use her prototype as a character in one of my stories, or stop procrastinating on Facebook all together?
*** (All names are changed. Obviously.)