Like most of us, I've discovered the on-line distractions that we've come to call "social networks". Mine is called Facebook. I created my account about three years ago, intending to use it to stay in touch with a few friends and to post some pictures.
Since I joined, I've narrowly escaped being conscripted into Farmville, Mafia Wars and Aquarium World. I've fallen for the movie, entertainment and lifestyle quizzes, and I've been sucked into the Know-It-All Trivia vortex, where I was lost for a couple of months.
Actually, those weren't too bad. Here is the problem. Frequently, my opinions don't dovetail with those of my Facebook friends as neatly as I might wish. I had no idea that so many of the people I love and care about were such stubborn opinionated buffoons!
Some of them have had the audacity to post views and beliefs diametrically opposed to the ones that I hold, and it seems that no amount of argument will persuade them to change. I'm learning to breathe deeply and slowly, and not to snap at the bait that they dangle under my nose...I'm sure they just do it to annoy me.
And I am getting better at just letting it go! I know that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, no matter how addle-brained or ill-conceived, and I'll argue that premise with my last breath, you poor saps.
Yes, I'm getting better. I'm practising Thumper's First Law - "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all". I'm pleased to say that it usually works.
Social sites like Facebook or Twitter are not the forum to debate politics, religion or ethics. They're too public. We all know what not to say, and why.
Recently, one of my friends who has a houseful of kids, dogs and cats (who knows what other varmints) posted this perfectly innocent comment in her Facebook status box... "wishes she had more than six inches in bed!"
"Don't click the 'Comment' button", I told myself, "Don't click the 'Comment' button, don't click the comment button, dontclickthecommentbutton..."
Guess what I did?