Tag Archives: Facebook

I Hate To Say I Told You So But… I Predicted #DeleteFacebook

OK, I love to say I told you so, but I will say that I didn’t nail this one exactly or in the time frame I imagined, but I got it close enough that I’m taking credit for another correct psychic prediction.

1. Facebook will die a very sudden death. Millions will flee the social media empire when it’s revealed that the social network was started as an extension of the NSA to monitor people and collect personal data. Zuckerberg is earning approximately 10 billion a year to sell us out to the man.”

I was close. Zuckerberg was selling our data, but not to our own government. He was selling it to those that sought to influence our election and government and now, as you’ll see in many articles across the internet, millions using the hashtag #DeleteFacebook, are leaving Facebook. Zuckerberg made money selling our data and when it was discovered people left Facebook in droves. I got that right didn’t I?

Having all this psychic stuff in my head is a burden, but it would be wrong not to share my gift with the world. My next prediction is that you’ll come back here tomorrow and discover that my Saturday post is hilarious. Have a great Friday! ~Psychic Phil

Throwback Thursday! Facebook or FaceCrook?

(02/18/17) Clever title, right? Take that Mark Zuckerberg you evil twerp. Based on that last sentence and my title I’m pretty sure that the Facebook algorithm will find a way to bury this post waaaay down people’s timelines.

icontexto-inside-facebook

We’re all doing it. Sometimes we do it in the privacy of our own home. Sometimes we do it in our cars, sometimes we even do it at work. It takes only a few minutes if you’re good at it. We “Facebook”.

‘Facebook’ has become a verb. The grandfather, or maybe I should say Godfather of social media is ubiquitous. (I like using the word ubiquitous because it sounds smart. Not when I say it of course. I sound like an idiot, but if you use it in something you write it’s one of those smart words that make your point seem a little better. Obviously, there aren’t enough smart words to help this blog out). As smart people say, I digress. (look at me go with them there smart word thingies) My point is that Facebook is almost universal. What started out 13 years ago this month as a geeky college student’s way to meet chicks (and I say chicks with the utmost respect for all chicks) has become almost a worldwide registry of humanity. Those of us that are on it think it’s weird when we find people who are not.

26_funny_pics_to_post_on_facebook_to_get_more_likes-ls

Typical conversation:

Me: Hey, can I find you on Facebook?

Other Person: No. I’m not on Facebook.

Me: Uh, what’s wrong with you? How do you talk to people?

Why am I talking about FB today? Two reasons: 1) Last night when I sat down in my recliner with a glass of wine to start writing today’s Phil Factor, I put in a Google search for “trending topics”. On one particular sites trending topics page was 9 articles about Facebook. If Facebook is the top trending topic how can I ignore it? Apparently Facebook admitted that it’s human editors suppressed articles expressing conservative views in it’s trending news feed. So of course Facebook decided to replace human editors with an algorithm to determine what news we will see on FB. Yes, people replaced by machines, again. Thank God for that. Way too many people are super annoying. I know this because I’m friends with them on Facebook.

mr-bean-facebook-comment-meme-funny-image

Some statistic somewhere says that 98.5% of people get their news from Facebook. Is it good that Facebook has a computer program deciding what news we see? Because Facebook is so universally used, their algorithm has the potential to sway public opinion. Who cares?!!? We know where to get our real, biased news if we want to. We know the liberal news shows and websites and we know the conservative news shows and websites. Get over yourselves everybody. News has been biased since the first cave painting depicting Grog taking out a woolly mammoth with a coconut. (Shocker, the mammoth actually tripped, fell and broke it’s neck. Grog is a liar. Fake news! Sad!)

After reading my last point, I guess Mark Zuckerberg isn’t really an evil twerp. He might be for other reasons, but not because his website controls the news you see. Perspective is like a telescope; you only see what you point it at. Look at a different website, like #ThePhilFactor, if you want a different view. Two paragraphs ago I said I had two reasons to talk about Facebook today. I can’t remember what the other is now. Maybe I’d better go check Facebook to see what I should be talking about.

If you all want to be ironic and vex Facebook’s algorithm you can share this to FB by hitting the share button below. Have a great Thursday!  ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Facebook Just Might Save Your Life

(11/5/2016) In all likelihood, my blog is more likely to save your life, but this week a study was released implying that moderate use of Facebook leads to a longer life. That’s hard to believe, because seeing posts that say, “Only my real friends will copy and paste this into their status…” makes me want to shorten the life span of so many, many people. Oddly, I went to WebMD and it says that Facebook causes cancer. Of course WebMD says everything causes cancer. I know I have a lot of blog friends and followers in the UK. I wonder if there are cancers specific to different countries? For instance, might my UK friends be more prone to Tea & Crumpet cancer? I hope not. I’d better go check Facebook to see what it has to say on the matter.

849d82106d306c6f0af1f9ca3f028af8

It seems that, according to the study, those that receive the most Facebook friend invites are social media whores more likely to have a lower mortality rate than those with fewer. How can they possibly know that? Because their account is active longer? Maybe it’s active longer because they died already without deleting their account. Maybe the people with fewer invites are actually out Facebooking in person, outside of the house, with real people. Hey, I think that’s a thing I’m going to start. Facebooking in person. When I leave the house from now on I’ll say, “See you later. I’m going to go Facebook in person with…”

images-4

Listen Mark Zuckerberg, just slow your roll. You and your website aren’t the panacea for everything. The study was nice, but guess what? Give somebody about 6 months and they’ll find a way to identify a Facebook cancer. Also, the kids and millenials aren’t using Facebook because us “old people” (meaning anyone over 30) have ruined it. In about ten years when all the old Facebook users die off, there will be a whole generation that grew up on Snapchat, Kik, and Twitter and they won’t be using or investing in Facebook. Did I just say “millenials” back there? Ugh. I’m an awful person. Also, if I said that, I’m an old person, apparently. That is the most overused word in the world and it’s idiotic. You know who never uses the word millenials? Millenials.

The bottom line is that social interaction of any type, with millenials or anyone else, online or in person leads to a longer life, so if you want a longer life you should comment on this post and then to be ironic, and because your life just might depend on it, share it to Facebook using the share button below. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Facebook Just Might Save Your Life!

 

facebook

In all likelihood, my blog is more likely to save your life, but this week a study was released implying that moderate use of Facebook leads to a longer life. That’s hard to believe, because seeing posts that say, “Only my real friends will copy and paste this into their status…” makes me want to shorten the life span of so many, many people. Oddly, I went to WebMD and it says that Facebook causes cancer. Of course WebMD says everything causes cancer. I know I have a lot of blog friends and followers in the UK. I wonder if there are cancers specific to different countries? For instance, might my UK friends be more prone to Tea & Crumpet cancer? I hope not. I’d better go check Facebook to see what it has to say on the matter.

849d82106d306c6f0af1f9ca3f028af8

It seems that, according to the study, those that receive the most Facebook friend invites are social media whores more likely to have a lower mortality rate than those with fewer. How can they possibly know that? Because their account is active longer? Maybe it’s active longer because they died already without deleting their account. Maybe the people with fewer invites are actually out Facebooking in person, outside of the house, with real people. Hey, I think that’s a thing I’m going to start. Facebooking in person. When I leave the house from now on I’ll say, “See you later. I’m going to go Facebook in person with…”

images-4

Listen Mark Zuckerberg, just slow your roll. You and your website aren’t the panacea for everything. The study was nice, but guess what? Give somebody about 6 months and they’ll find a way to identify a Facebook cancer. Also, the kids and millenials aren’t using Facebook because us “old people” (meaning anyone over 30) have ruined it. In about ten years when all the old Facebook users die off, there will be a whole generation that grew up on Snapchat, Kik, and Twitter and they won’t be using or investing in Facebook. Did I just say “millenials” back there? Ugh. I’m an awful person. Also, if I said that, I’m an old person, apparently. That is the most overused word in the world and it’s idiotic. You know who never uses the word millenials? Millenials.

The bottom line is that social interaction of any type, with millenials or anyone else, online or in person leads to a longer life, so if you want a longer life you should comment on this post and then to be ironic, and because your life just might depend on it, share it to Facebook using the share button below. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

The New Facebook Emojis: Dislike!

Picture courtesy of Facebook Inc. and techcrunch.com

Picture courtesy of Facebook Inc. and techcrunch.com

If you live in Spain or Ireland you’ll soon have the privilege of telling someone that their Facebook post makes you angry or sad or if you love it or laughed at it. Perfect! Just what we need; more ways to express our imaginary feelings with fewer words to our imaginary friends! Instead of actually using words you can now show your friends your feelings with “emojis” that accurately portray the whole range of complex human emotions. Apparently Yay and Wow are very important emotions and obviously too long as words for people to type.

First of all, why do Ireland and Spain get to be the test markets? I have nothing against those two wonderful countries, but why are they the test markets? Hey Zuckerberg, how about you use that big brain of yours to figure out a way for each country to have their own emojis appropriate for their own culture. That doesn’t sound too hard does it?

Secondly, there’s a whole range of other emojis that I’d love to see on FB. How about a WTF? emoji? I can imagine that one would get a lot of use. Or maybe the I had no idea you were a radical political nutjob emoji. That one would come in handy a lot. Or maybe the STOP SENDING ME GAME INVITES OR I’M UNFRIENDING YOU!!!  emojiHow about the Holy crap! Enough pictures of your dog/cat, don’t you have anything else in your life? emoji.

What I’d really like to see though is a feature where you can take selfies of you showing different feelings and then you can dial those up and put a little emoji of your own face with the appropriate emotion. That would seem far more personal than the plain smiley faces.

Picture credit: randomoverload.org

Picture credit: randomoverload.org

What really gets my goat (where’s the getting your goat emoji?) is that because Zuckerberg is a high I.Q., high end of the spectrum Asperger’s guy he’s created a website that forces the rest of the world to interact emotionally in the same limited way as him. Most people have heard the term Asperger’s. It is a disorder with a very wide range from autistic people with no ability to communicate at even the most basic level to high functioning, very intelligent people who have difficulty interpreting the emotional cues of others such as tone of voice, posture and facial expression.

To be honest, I have no idea if Zuckerberg is Asperger’s in any way, but he did develop Facebook so he could talk to girls in college. Now he’s trying to boil all our emotions down into five simple smiley faces. But for someone with Asperger’s, that might be perfect because that’s how they interpret emotions, broadly without a lot of nuance.

When I started writing this today I had no intent of getting preachy or educating anyone on Asperger’s syndrome. My intent was to point out that social media of all types may connect us with more people, which is great, but if we lean on social media as a relationship surrogate we are crippling ourselves emotionally as a society. I can imagine a future in which people have lost the ability to have genuine emotions because of a lack of real, face to face interaction and we’ll just marry the people who gave us the most “likes” or heart emojis.

So who wants to hit the WTF? emoji now? And what Facebook emojis would you like to see?

If you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share it on Facebook or Twitter (ironic, right?) by hitting the share buttons below. Have a great Saturday and get out there and emoji the hell out of someone you love! ~Phil

Zuckerberg: Facebook’s Evil Overlord

Remember about ten or fifteen years ago when chain letters/email were the bane of our inbox? Well, them and that poor Nigerian Prince who needs help transferring an enormous sum of money to your bank account. Last weekend I reached my breaking point and it wasn’t because, brace yourselves, I found out that the Nigerian prince is a scam. No, it was because not one, not two, or not even three, but several of my Facebook friends posted the “Facebook Chain letter.”

63324731

No, that picture below is not it. That I did copy and paste. We’ve all seen the Facebook chain letter. I tried to find one on someone’s “timeline” but couldn’t. It’s almost as if someone removed or hid them. I smell Zuckerberg! That little weasel has been hiding and deleting evidence ever since me and Snowden caught on to his little scam. What’s his little scam? First, he’s the Nigerian Prince. That’s how he got the seed money to start Facebook. But secondly, once Facebook became popular he signed a very lucrative agreement to allow the government’s Central Intelligence Agency to monitor and harvest our information. You think that’s a crazy conspiracy theory? The cell phone companies were giving our info to the government, why wouldn’t Facebook?

The Facebook Chain Letter goes something like this: “I know most of you won’t re-post this, but I know that my true friends will. If you really care about others…”  Really? That’s how we show we care, by copying and pasting? How does the other person even know? Because we “tag” them?

FacebookSun

Is this what our relationships and self-esteem have come down to? A copy and paste? Is that how we show we care? Thank God it’s finally defined. For years men have been trying to find ways to definitively show people that we’re thoughtful and sensitive. Now, thanks to Zuckerberg we can! Man, how did we meet and have relationships before Facebook? Geez, I may have to Facebook stalk my wife to see if she had a secret life before she met me. If she didn’t I’ll wish her a Happy Anniversary on Facebook.

All these years I thought Zuckerberg was a complete tool! Oh wait, he is. But he’s a complete tool with about a billion dollars of government money in exchange for our lives. He created a website because he didn’t know how to have real, human relationships. He has single-handedly ruined the world. Now relationships are created and judged by likes, shares, and comments. Maybe that’s the way it should be. How many of us have had relationships where we wished we could have researched our partners history first? See? We’re all acting and thinking like Zuckerbergs now! (also, I am hereby copyrighting the phrase “Zuckerburger” just in case I decide to open a Facebook themed burger restaurant)

2176

But back to the chain letter…I’m pretty sure that some code is woven imperceptibly into the text that allows a government server to reach into and monitor our Facebook posts, connections and activity. No, they don’t read everything we write or do. They have filters that are set to detect certain words or themes. Don’t worry. If you’re not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about!

How do you feel about the possibility of the government monitoring your online or electric communications? Some people that oppose it talk about our civil liberties and privacy. I don’t really mind. If it keeps another 9/11 from happening I’ll cc all my texts and email straight to the government if they want. I’m pretty sure that my life probably bores the crap out of the people looking for terrorists or criminal activity. Of course the fact that I linked to the C.I.A.’s website and followed Edward Snowden on Twitter today probably raised some eyebrows somewhere. I just want to say a big Happy Saturday to all my new readers from the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the N.S.A.! Thanks for all you do to keep us safe. Just don’t let your supervisor see you reading #ThePhilFactor at work.

If you enjoyed The Phil Factor and wanted to spread it like a chain letter please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below.  Have a great Saturday!

The Anti-Social Network: Let’s Fix Facebook, If Only For a Day

This is sort of my Throwback Thursday post, but I’ve decided to make this an annual thing. Two years ago I started the Facebook National No Re-Post Day and, in spite of my much smaller number of readers at the time, the idea caught on and was shared across the interwebs. Like the Groundhog, it’s time for it’s annual appearance. Read the rest and share.

Facebook

Just last weekend I noticed it. I looked at my Facebook page and I thought, Facebook is broken. This isn’t the Facebook I signed up for. When I joined Facebook I wanted to talk to people. I wanted to share with family and friends. I wanted to know how many kids you have and if they made honor roll.  Is junior in the school play or did Susie make the soccer team. I wanted to see your vacation pictures. I wanted to know what everyone else is doing this weekend or if you saw that movie and liked it.

What I did learn when I looked at my Facebook last week was that Alan likes Tough Mudder. I also found out from Joni’s  your-ecard  that sometimes she takes baths because it’s harder to drink wine in the shower. I also learned from Facebook that there are a lot of kooky pictures in favor of gun ownership. I discovered that Larry is really good at Candy Crush.  Apparently Samantha has a gambling problem because she goes to the Facebook casino almost every day.  I also had no idea Michael was a farmer that needed me to buy him a pig. Apparently George Takei has a lot more friends than I do. Whether I wanted to know or not, I now know that three of my friends like Dick’s…. Sporting Goods.  Occasionally you may even see stuff about a friend being an indie author and posting the link to his blog all the time.

download (20)

Facebook used to be the social network. We would actually post things about our lives and comment on or ask questions about the pictures and stories our friends and family posted. Now when I visit Facebook all I seem to see is an endless string of  re-posts and advertisements my friends have signed up for.  I’m as guilty as anyone. Some days I want to join in the Facebook fun but I don’t have anything new going on in my life so I’ll gladly borrow a bit of brilliance from Sulu or an e-card and re-post it on my wall hoping to get a laugh or a like.

In my title I suggested that we fix Facebook, if only for a day. My idea is the Facebook National No Re-Post Day on Facebook. It will be a day when we as the citizens of Facebook get back to our roots. Let’s take one day, on a weekend, when we do most of our online communicating, and spend the day not re-posting or liking ads but sharing on Facebook. Let’s post pictures of ourselves and our kids. Let’s talk about memories of high school. Let’s tell everyone where we’re going on vacation. Maybe we could even share our mood using words instead of a emoticons.  This year the date is this Saturday March 21st as Facebook National No Re-Post Day. 

Irony of all ironies though, if we’re going to make this work we’re going to have to re-post this a lot. Enough to get a viral thing going in two days. I will personally take responsibility to post this to George Takei, because if he’s on board it’s a done deal.  I need all of you to do the rest. Below this hit the Facebook Share button and encourage your friends. If you’re on WordPress hit the re-blog button. If you’re on Twitter please re-tweet. Follow me on Facebook or follow my blog for reminders for the big day. You could even start a Facebook event and invite all your friends as I did the  last two years. With a few clicks we can all take back Facebook this Saturday March 21st.  (Yeah, I’m completely serious. Let’s do this)

Hey Facebook! I’ll Feel Fat If I Want To

images (24)

According to USA Today “Facebook is replacing its “feeling fat” emoji with “feeling stuffed” after thousands of people signed an online petition to protest that it promoted online body shaming.”

Apparently now Facebook is telling us how we can and cannot feel. If I want to feel fat I’m going to feel fat. And if I want to tell all my friends that I feel fat, I will. I don’t need Facebook or a bunch of self-righteous jerks with an online petition telling me that my feelings might hurt someone else’s feelings. Zuckerberg you moron. Are you going to change Facebook every time “thousands” of people sign an online petition? I could start an online petition saying Facebook is stupid and thousands of people would sign it. I could start an online petition advocating any number of stupid ideas and thousands of people would sign it. Hey Mark Zuckerberg, guess what! I think the “feeling sad” emoji is shaming people with depression. You’d better remove that right away before someone gets offended.

thumb-down-emoticon

From USA Today, “Catherine Weingarten of the group Endangered Bodies started the Change.org petition last month.” “When Facebook users set their status to ‘feeling fat,’ they are making fun of people who consider themselves to be overweight, which can include many people with eating disorders,” Weingarten, a graduate student at Ohio State University, told ABC News.”

So Catherine Weingarten, a graduate student who is probably no more than 24 years old, thinks she knows what’s best for everyone. Yeah, thanks Cathy. Not that I use emojis anyway because I’m an actual grown up who uses words to express my feelings, but I am not taking life advice from someone who just three years ago was probably worrying about whether she could find a hair clip that matched her sorority sweatshirt. Guess what Cathy Weingarten? When I eat a big meal and I feel fat and I tell my Facebook friends, I am not making fun of you or anyone else. My feelings about my body are mine, not yours or anyone else’s. If you feel bad about yourself because I expressed my feeling online using a tiny cartoon face that’s a you problem, not a me problem. In fact, I encourage everyone reading this to click on the link to the petition and read it. As you read, notice how many times Ms. Weingarten says the words me, myself, or I. If you don’t want to read it, I’ll give you a hint, it’s a lot. The online petition is all about her feelings.

Cathy Weingarten, you and everyone who signed that petition are immature, online keyboard bullies. Because a small fraction of Facebook users didn’t like something you wanted to change how everyone else in the world expressed their feelings. I hope you feel good about eradicating an emoji, but guess what? If it’s not another emoji today, it will be a billboard tomorrow or a song on the radio next week that offends. Start all the petitions you want, but nobody is going to bubble wrap the world to make it perfectly safe for you. That’s a you problem.

And Cathy, you are also an exclusionary jerk. Your petition specifically asks Facebook to “stop encouraging negative body image among girls.” Just girls? Why not guys? Don’t overweight guys have feelings too? By specifically saying “girls” you’re excluding half of the overweight population.  I’m offended by that. I think I’ll start a petition.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech? It’s not that I don’t care about other people’s feelings, I do.. I don’t think that hate language towards anyone is ever acceptable, but expressing my feelings about me is not hate language. I don’t think I need anyone else legislating what I say about how I feel about myself. That becomes a slippery slope towards censorship. Everyone who has read this far, please consider this as my online petition for sanity in social media. If you wanted to share this on Facebook by hitting the Facebook share button below I wouldn’t start a petition to stop you. In fact, go ahead and share this to the point that it gets back to Catherine Weingarten and Mark Zuckerberg.

Twitter People vs. Facebook People

Yes, this is my Throwback Thursday post. When I posted this a year ago I thought it was a good post, but I had no idea the interest it would draw. Over 17,000 views in one day. I hope it’s as well received this time.

FBvsTw

Since 2004 Facebook is the brand name associated with social media. Twitter has been something of a much maligned younger sibling in the social media world since it stumbled home drunk two years later.  That is the difference between Facebook people and Twitter people.

On Facebook everyone is a polished, Cosby Show/Brady Bunch version of themselves. On Twitter everyone seems to be the sarcastic, hungover,  Jackass version of themselves.

There’s a chance Mark Zuckerberg will sue me for using the word Facebook 800 times in this blog post. Twitter will buy me a shot and retweet the link to this 800 times.

If Facebook and Twitter were movies, Facebook would be The Little Mermaid and Twitter would be The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

On Facebook you can follow all manner of celebrity but you’re still held back by a velvet rope. It’s a one way street of communication. On Twitter, if @AmandaBynes says she just set a fire in her driveway I can suggest she throw water on it and she might even thank me.

Twitter-vs-Facebook1

@shaylamaddoxTwitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life

On Facebook if George Takei posts a hilarious picture of Spock and Captain Kirk engaged in relations I can’t ask George where he got it or if William Shatner would mind if I posted it. Doing research for this I used Twitter to contact the artist, Kiersten Essenpreis,  of the cartoon above and the person Shayla Maddox, another artist, who actually tweeted the caption inspiring the cartoon. That’s Twitter, where everyone gets down in the mud and wrestles with everyone else. Click their names to check out Shayla and Kiersten’s websites. They’re both very talented artists.

On Facebook I post pictures of all my festive holiday ties. On Twitter I wear a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off to show off my tattoo.

Typical Facebook status by me: Only 8 hours until I’m on vacation!

Typical Tweet by @FunkyFresh_79: I just saw a pancake in a tutu outside of IHOP and I’m not sure if aroused is a strong enough word for what I’m feeling right now.

Don’t get me wrong. like a parent with two kids, I love both Twitter and Facebook equally, but in different ways. On Facebook you find old friends and on Twitter you make new friends. Facebook is a class reunion while Twitter is the first day, or maybe night, staying in a college dorm. You have to be invited to the Facebook party while on Twitter, party crashing is encouraged.

SquirrelArmy Tornado @MikecanrantStuffing a bag of live chickens in the microwave for 3 minutes does NOT make popcorn chicken. In fact, it makes a mess. A horrible mess.

Before you get the wrong impression about my thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, let me tell you how I got sucked in. A year and a half ago I set up a Twitter account but rarely used it. Then I tuned into Twitter during the Super Bowl and it was like a great big conversation about the game; like you’d have in a bar talking with friendly strangers.  A few months after that I was on a business trip to Florida when suddenly I felt a little buzz in my pocket. A Twitter notification? I had never gotten one before! I only had 34 followers at the time. @GregoryGAllen, an author and HuffPo columnist whom I had never heard of, was tweeting out to his over 3,000 followers that he was reading my novel White Picket Prisons. I was stunned and amazed. I had no idea how he found me. I messaged him to ask and it turns out that a blog post of mine had gained some viral traction and had been shared by one of his Facebook friends. In that instance, without any crude jokes, Twitter and Facebook came together to make something amazing happen.

This is a perfect example of Twitter:

Chris Sherk @TheIronSherkAll of my life has led to this moment, trying to write the perfect Meatloaf tweet Once I do, everything else will be gravy.

That’s Twitter for you. Not everyone will get the joke, but the right people will.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by clicking the Facebook, Twiitter and re-blog buttons below. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursdays! The Facebook Funeral

I post this with some sadness as it reminds me of the recent 1 year anniversary of a high school  classmate who passed on far too soon.

facebookgrave

Technology is the opiate of the asses” I thought I was clever when I wrote this back in 2006. Now I’d like to admit that I was wrong. As many of you remember, I attended my high school class reunion about six weeks ago. I had a great time reconnecting with old friends, catching up, reliving old memories, and talking about our families. One moment however jarred me emotionally a bit.

Over to the left side on a table by the wall there was a large sheet cake with a celebratory greeting to our graduating class. The cake looked delicious and full of the promise of sugary butter creme frosting. I was looking forward to getting a piece later. Then I noticed a piece of plain white paper sitting unobtrusively on the tablecloth beneath the cake. Typed upon it were eleven names. The single, simple sentence at the top of the page calmly explained that these were classmates who had passed away since high school.

A couple were friends with whom I had spent significant time with in high school and who I had looked unsuccessfully for on Facebook over the last few years. I was sad. I was sad for two reasons. First I was sad about the loss for me, the family and other friends of those that passed away. Then I was sad that I had missed their passing. Sad that I didn’t know. Sad that I couldn’t have touched base with others to share our sorrow. I was sad that I hadn’t been able to share a word of condolence with their families and to tell them of my fond memories of their loved one.

This past week another member of my graduating class passed away. Sara had a bubbly personality and a smile that lit up everything and everyone around her. A large majority of our graduating class is connected on Facebook and there has been an outpouring of both sorrow, condolences, and a sharing of stories and pictures.  People have written on her page and those of her family members to express thoughts and share memories. The best part is the pictures. Not everyone could, would, or should go to her wake, but Facebook has been filled with pictures of Sara happy and celebrating life. Pictures of Sara as we will always remember her, smiling. Chances are that those pictures on Facebook have brought many of us some smiles through the tears this week.

Earlier this week a friend from high school messaged me on Facebook to ask if I would write something on The Phil Factor related to our classmates passing. I replied that although I knew her and was friendly with her I didn’t consider myself a close friend and that I might not be the appropriate person to write sort of an online eulogy. He replied that he didn’t want me to write a eulogy, but that he wanted to hear my perspective on life and death.

I may not be a great philosopher, but here is what I learned this week: Technology may still be the opiate of the asses, but in some instances it has made the world a smaller and closer place for us all and for that, I am grateful. If I ever die, or more likely when I fake my death, I hope you all enjoy my Facebook Funeral. In fact, I may have to fake my death so some people on Facebook will stop asking me for Candy Crush lives.

As always, if you enjoy what you read on #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook and Twitter share buttons.