POETS Day! Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Howard Univ., Washington, D.C., ca. 1900 – class picture.
Paul Laurence Dunbar is in the upper right.

[Ed. Note: This piece was originally posted at ordinary-times.com on 8/5/22 which was a Friday. You can look it up.]

I’ve spent a great deal of energy not checking Facebook. I’d go in once a month or so and see whose birthday I missed or who’s moving on to a different job. I’m kind of a hermit so I would otherwise miss out on such things. Two or three years ago, I ran into a friend in the grocery store and asked about her family and her husband and I managed to inquire a few weeks after their divorce was finalized. That was an embarrassing in depth conversation in the produce section and well documented on Facebook had I been watching. I recently missed something else that was happening, something important. Now I’m checking in to the site every other day.

What I’ve seen has got me thinking about all the myriad life changes I see reported on the site. How can Facebook be weaponized to plausibly give credence to the great goal of Fridays: Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday?

There are all manner of minor emergencies reported on that site. People stuck with flat tires, a tree falls in the yard, a kid falls out of a tree so you get a smiling picture with a new cast. You can get creative and find a clever way to bend such posts to your purpose assuming there is one that pops up on a Friday afternoon, but the posts are tagged with a real person’s name and for all you know the boss is a friend or acquaintance or a committed bondage submissive of the person you claim to leave early to help. That can get messy. Make a fake account.

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