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Jim Beam

Hello there, it’s been a while. My last blog went out at the end of 2017. I had intended to take a break for the holidays, stay off Facebook for a while, and generally coast comfortably into the New Year. What happened? Well, I found that I kind of liked being off Facebook. Not that I was a hard-core addict, mind you, but I did find that whenever I had a spare moment, I would spend a few minutes perusing what my “friends” were up to. My dad used to say, “You don’t have a lot of friends. You have a few friends. The rest are “acquaintances.” Considering the fact that there are plenty of people on my Facebook “friends” list I’ve never met, I’d say my dad was probably right. So, what was the result of this experiment? Well, I found myself with a lot more time, and… Facebook lost forty million dollars. I don’t take full responsibility for this. I believe at least some of the financial loss can be attributed to Cambridge Analytica. I know for sure I didn’t glean any private information, give out any secrets or influence any elections. Although, considering last year’s election results, maybe I should have.

Years ago, a friend in Germany told my wife and me that she would never ever go on Facebook. She said there was no way she would let her personal information be mined. I won’t give her name, (for obvious reasons) although I will admit her last name is Trumpp. (Kind of ironic, huh?)

Sure enough, my friend Gertrude Trumpp (I made up Gertrude) is nowhere, nowhere at all to be found on the internet, God bless her little privacy-seeking heart. The fact that this whole Facebook/Cambridge/information-piracy/election-meddling nonsense exploded like a mega-ton bomb makes her look like a friggin’ genius now.

According to reports, Facebook is monitoring content more closely. That may be true. After my “break,” I went on the website the other day and everything looked pretty much the same as I remember: People posting family pics and fun stuff, other friends doing their political rants; in other words business as usual, except - there was less in the way of “news” stories popping up from weird websites I’ve never heard of. In one of my earliest blogs, I suggested avoiding putting too much faith in online “information.” I rest my case. Good for Facebook. I hope it helps. To my real friends - I’m sorry if I happened to miss something important in my absence. I’m still here if you need me. Just in case, if something does comes up - send me a private message. Or better yet, do something really dated and old-fashioned - call me. That goes for you too, Gertrude.



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