Friday, January 10, 2014

Facebook Deathwatch, Part 2

For the past few days, I've been reading an acquaintance's posts about his wife's aneurysm after the birth of their second child. She's now in a coma, not known whether she'll live or not.

Sorry: The post-er isn't an "acquaintance," he's the best friend of my brother, and I've known him since he was a kid in high school. When the boys were 17 and Seniors, they made a trip to Austin to visit "the cool older sister" (me at 23). This boy was mightily impressed with my garage apartment, and the fact that I knew "punks" to hang out with and bands for them to see. A few years later, this same "boy" (now a man, emotionally) hung out with me in a bar that my brother was working at; sensing my utter isolation, he invited me back to his apartment with his visiting mother to hang out and watch movies -- we all watched, and enjoyed, the very-appropriate-for-that-moment "Marty" with Ernest Borgnine! :)

In subsequent years, he eventually moved to LA and got a television job there. And now he's posting on Facebook about his wife being in a coma. Along with pictures of him painting her comatose fingernails. (He's not painting her nails for the public to be grotesque, but rather hoping that she'll get mad enough at him for messing the job up to wake up.)

Reminds me of my high-school acquaintance Patsy's public Death on Facebook a couple of years ago, in which she started posting one evening upon the taking of a potent prescription drug, then took more and more of the pills, all the while becoming less and less coherent in her posts. The next day, we on Facebook were informed by her daughter that she'd overdosed and died.

I'm pruriently fascinated by this stuff when it shows up. But I don't need to see it. It's private and personal. I'll LOOK at it, sure. But WHY is it there for ME, an acquaintance, to look at?

A person's suicide? Is Facebook really the place to "fade out"?

A person's coma? I don't want to see a Facebook photo of the comatose person's nails being done (in all good faith) by her grief-stricken husband. (Complete with a subsequent Facebook comment by a well-meaning, but extremely idiotic, friend: "When I saw her yesterday, her nails looked really great. Good job!")

"Decorum," "decency." Something. There's something missing here. STOP IT. I'll read about this kind of thing day in and day out for my own prurient interest, just because it's there and more fascinating than the day's football scores. But it's not for me to read. It's the most intimate of things -- part of who YOU are -- can't you see that? STOP IT.

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