I Don’t Care About 3D Mascara, Jamberry Nails, Facials, ITWorks Wraps, or Beach Bodies

That may sound a little harsh.

i-dont-always-do-my-hair-makeup-but-when-i-do-i-make-sure-to-post-it-on-facebook-d8951Of course I care about mascara, I wear it often enough to. Not often enough to obsessively buy your Younique 3D lash mascara that comes out with something new every two months. Not often enough to suddenly abandon my go-to make up brands for the occasional times that I wear a full face-worth of the stuff. As though Benefit and Smashbox weren’t good to me all these years. As though because someone I once knew of in high school selling Mary Kay cosmetics or Younique fiber lashes is going to erase all of my previous and perfectly acceptable experience with Revlon.

And while I definitely like for my nails to be well-kept and nicely polished, I heretofore politely decline any and all invitations to your Jamberry Nail Parties.

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What I don’t give a flying fuck about is getting facials. I’m a stay at home mom and a writer – I can’t afford that bullshit. And anyway, I must have magical skin made out of unicorn puke and Carebear stare juice – because I have literally never considered doing anything other than washing my face with some basic ass soap every morning, followed with some moisturizer I got on Clearance at Target that has an SPF in it. I have no wrinkles. I have no frown lines. I have no cystic acne. My skin does not flake or peel. I am perfectly content with my skin and do not need Rodens + Fields or Nerium or Beauticontrol that all cost a hell of a lot more time and money than my bar of Dove.

I have no interest in wraps, either. Whether ITWorks or not, I don’t fucking care. As I scroll through my Instagram feed and see photo after photo after photo of people’s before and after ITWorks shots – bulbous legs, arms, and bellies suddenly made ultra thin by a piece of miracle saran wrap – I am more compelled to sign off social media altogether than at any other time in my daily social media usage.

That is how much ITWorks annoys me. Be it the photos, or the fact that one person selling ITWorks follows you, and suddenly you’ve got forty-five spammy ITWorks people sending you messages about how you too can sell ITWorks and change people’s lives!

I have a way to change people’s lives and help them get skinny: eat a fucking apple and get off the couch.

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The newest thing showing up in my Instagram and my Facebook and my Twitter and my email and in just daily life is the Piyo. The 21 Day Fix. The Beachbody. The Shakeology. I don’t know if these are all the same thing, or if they’re different, but I do know one thing: you people drank the Kool-Aid. Drank it. Drank that shit right up, probably out of your Shakeology blender while posting thirty selfies of your post-work out sweat.

I do not begrudge anyone getting in shape. I do not hate people eating healthy.

What I can’t stand is when they’re shoving it down my throat, trying to force me to drink their Kool-Aid too. What I do begrudge are the people suddenly becoming Beachbody consultants – or whatever the fuck they are – and making a little fan page on Facebook and asking me to “like” it, when just a few, short years ago NONE OF THEM would “like” my fan page for my WRITING CAREER.

I am like an elephant – I have an exquisite memory. When I was doing my undergrad, I worked full time at a pharmacy, and I had a disturbingly uncanny ability to remember all the customers, recognize their voices over the phone, and even some of the details of their medications and insurance claims. The manager of the pharmacy used to say that it was like Cheers: everyone came to our pharmacy, because when they walked in the door I’d always shout “Norm!”

I remember who was supportive of my writing career from the get-go. I still have the unfortunate and recent memories in my mind of all the people who said they don’t read books and don’t like blogs, and don’t “DO” fan pages.

Well guess what? If you were supportive of me, and continue to be supportive of me, I will cheer you on to the end of days as you sip your kale smoothies and make your pastas out of ground up beans, because the 21 Day Fix told you to. I will “like” your fiber lash updates, and politely and quietly just ignore your attempts to sell me make up. I will attend your Jamberry Facebook parties, and even though I won’t buy anything I’ll at least be supportive.

Because I really and truly think that’s what people should be doing for one another – supporting each others’ endeavors, no matter how few fucks they give. That’s what friends and family are for, right?

But just know that deep down I don’t give a shit. My level of shit-giving is currently at -15, and it gets lower with each invite to sell ItWorks or to join a Piyo training session.

Congratulations if you have figured out a way to make some extra money off of your lifestyle choices. Kudos – really! I am genuinely happy for any and all people from my past, my present, or just in general that have been able to balance life, health, happiness, and to earn a little extra cash doing so.

But that doesn’t take away the sting when many of those very people were so unsupportive of my own endeavors just a few short years ago. I’m suddenly expected to jump on board with their shit – which I do, to the extent that I can be supportive without having to buy anything – while they continue to tell me that they don’t “do” blogs or “do” books. But could you give me advice, Heather, about starting a Facebook fan page? Oh and could you make sure to please “like” all of my many weekly Runkeeper updates?

Life and relationships are a two-way street, people; and at the end of each road, you won’t always find a set of Jamberry Nails.

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4 Things You Can Do Instead Of (Or In Addition To) Participating In Vacuous Social Media Campaigns

First, I’d like to get something out of the way:

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry if you participate in social media campaigns; if you participated in today’s big social media campaign (#bumpday).

18j2p8l1obzyxjpgI’m sorry if you posted in a vague Facebook status where you put your purse when you get home in the evening to let people know breast cancer is out there.

 

I’m sorry if you did the Ice Bucket challenge or posted a #nomakeupselfie or whatever.

I’m sorry.

I’m not saying you are vacuous. I’m not saying you are lazy.

I’m saying your campaign is vacuous and lazy.

I’m not saying you sit behind your computer and do the easiest things possible, without ever actually lifting a finger or volunteering your time or donating even just a dollar to really help those in need you claim your social media challenges and campaigns help.

I’m saying that a lot of people – in the general sense – are.

A lot of people are posting their social media challenges and literally doing nothing else.

They posted pictures of their favorite childhood cartoon character on their Facebook status to raise awareness of child molestation – and really thought that stopped molesters and helped children. And really did nothing else but pat themselves on the back for their high level of philanthropic outreach.

They did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to get out of donating money. Sure, the Ice Bucket Challenge did raise an obscene amount of money for ALS research – from people that didn’t do it. (It was either do the challenge, or donate the money; and while a lot of people did both, a lot of people sincerely thought taking the bucket of ice was an adequate contribution).

So today is Bump Day – a day to raise awareness of motherhood and growing healthy babies. A day to support mothers – new, old, to-be; and band together for the overall health of moms around the world. I get it, and a lot of people I know have done it. Some are pregnant right now, some recently had babies. Some haven’t had a baby in over a decade.

I get it. But I’m also fucking sick of it.

One of the women that posted a photo in my Instagram feed is 8 months pregnant. She posted her #bumpday pic with a little caption about it being in honor of maternal and prenatal health. I happen to know she’s smoked cigarettes for the entire 8 months.

Another “friend” (read: person I knew of in high school over 15 years ago) posted her “bump” 6 months postpartum. It was a flat stomach shot. In the comments she rambled on and on about how she’s glad she isn’t a “fat fuck anymore,” like she apparently felt she was when she was pregnant. Sort of missed the point.

And then there are those with bump loss, and by that I mean #bumpday is just another fucked up reminder that not everyone is destined for an easy path to first time or repeat motherhood. If I were to post my bump photo, it would be for the multiple miscarriages I have had over the last few years, the most recent being just three months ago.unnamed

The point is this: for every well-meaning and good person out there participating in these vacuous social media campaigns, there are so many others just participating with no good intentions whatsoever.

Too many.

The bottom line is that if you want to participate in these social media campaigns, the important thing is to follow up the photos and the posts and the Tweets with actions. Here are just a few suggestions.

1. Donate Money

This is the easiest thing you could possibly do in addition to or instead of participating in social media campaigns.

Donate money.

You can literally do this while sitting on your ass, binge watching Orange Is the New Black, eating pizza directly from the box because you’ve given up so much that you can’t even be bothered to walk 10 feet into your kitchen to get a plate.

Some social media campaigns have even made it so easy that you can just text a number from your phone – it isn’t even usually a full length phone number – and they automatically tack on $5 to your phone bill, which gets donated.

You literally only have to hit five numbers on your cellphone keypad and click send.

2. Donate Time

 This is obvious. Every charity needs volunteers. Every organization needs people to help. Sometimes it’s as simple as making an hour’s worth of phone calls, or stuffing envelopes.

The only caveat is that this will require you to get your ass off the couch, if even just for long enough to sign up to help from home.

3. Learn About the Cause You Are Supposedly Supporting

I guarantee you that a vast majority of people posting their #bumpday photos haven’t a single fucking clue what it’s about.

I also know from personal experience that a lot of kids who were participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge had no idea what the hell they were doing besides pouring ice on each other and laughing.

And this it the ultimate folly of social media campaigns: they often don’t raise awareness about dick.

I still have no idea what the #nomakeupselfie thing was about, and while I didn’t participate in it I should have at least taken the time to get to know the issues at hand. It seems as though we – collectively, as a world – have forgotten that knowledge is power. Or we’ve somehow confused our Instagram photos and bullshit Facebook status games with knowledge and understanding.

4. Listen To Someone You Know That May Be Affected

We don’t always know people that are affected directly by the issues having to do with the campaigns we portray to support in our posts on social media.

But we all know where we could find one. We all know someone that may be, but we just haven’t taken the time to learn about them and their experiences.

I feel as though people don’t communicate with others in their lives anymore, particularly about things that matter in the world.

They don’t know enough about each other – the big stuff.

They don’t ever ask “how are you doing,” rather they sit and talk about themselves.

Unless you know every single aspect of every single person’s life, they may be affected or afflicted by one of the many causes out there on social media daily – and you could never have a clue, because you never stopped to listen. You won’t know unless you ask, or communicate, or just listen to the people around you.

The problem with social media campaigns is that it’s all about you, when you are often nothing more than a casual supporter. It isn’t quite the same as going into your community and listening to survivors of domestic abuse, or volunteering to sit with cancer patients during their treatments.  Whenever I say these things to people, they say they only have so much time in the day. Then they promptly change the subject to what happened this week on The Bachelorette, or what they’ve been doing at work lately.

There’s more to life than selfies and TV and Facebook and workplace drama. Maybe – just maybe – all these social media campaigns wouldn’t be vacuous – so empty and meaningless – if there was more of a discussion and more action behind every post.

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To All You Jerks Looking For Something To Be Thankful For…

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In the previous two years, I’ve made it sort of a tradition to talk crap about people that do that daily thankful post on Facebook.

See post one here…

See post two here…

It always goes the same (the posts on Facebook):

Day 1

Day1

Then by a week in, Day 7

Day2

Somewhere around Thanksgiving, they’ve run out of ideas, Day 20

Day3

And finally, of course, after all this gratuitous thankfulness, December returns everything to normal

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To quote my 90s self: gag me with a spoon.

Here’s the thing about these thankful posts: if you are thankful every day of the year, that’s awesome. You don’t have to post about it on Facebook to prove it; you can if you want to. Doing it just in November for the occasion of Thanksgiving, when you can’t even come up with things that you are sincerely and unselfishly thankful for, only to turn right around and return to being a blazing, ungrateful asshole every other day of the year … well, it stinks.

What stinks even more than that is how frequently people come to my blog looking for things to be thankful for, during the month of November.

As I said before, I’ve made it sort of a tradition to talk shit about those thankful posts over the last two years on this blog. That means that over the years, the more people have read and searched out the keywords used in those posts, the higher they’ve been indexed on Google.

Translation: a lot of friggin’ people are Googling “things to post thankful on Facebook” and landing on my blog as a result.

To All You Jerks Looking For Something To Be Thankful For …

Just. Fucking. Stop. It. NOW.

If you have to Google things to be thankful for, chances are you AREN’T ACTUALLY THANKFUL FOR THOSE THINGS.

If you cannot come up with shit that is original, real, unselfish, immaterial, and sincere, chances are you SHOULDN’T BE THANKFUL FOR THOSE THINGS.

If you need a month and a holiday, and a holiday that celebrates gluttony and the slaughtering and genocide of entire nations of innocent people at that, to remind yourself that you should be even the slightest bit grateful for the things you have in your life, chances are YOU’S A DICK.

Here’s the moral: we should all be grateful for what we have, every day of the year. Even if it isn’t much. Even if it’s a lot. It could all be gone in an instant, and it is usually the self-aggrandizing November Facebook thankful posters that don’t seem to realize that. If you want to do your little tradition of posting crap on Facebook you are thankful for, fine – by all means, it is your page. But be sincere about it. Don’t post thankfulness for things like your cellphones and your unmistakable talents in whatever you seem to think you are so talented at.

And for God’s sakes, jerks of the Internet: if you have to Google it, you have some major reevaluating of your lives to do that goes well beyond just finding things to post on Facebook.

5 More Pieces Of Crap On Facebook

There is a lot of crap on Facebook. It’s bad enough that Facebook often doesn’t work. That Facebook doesn’t let followers of your “like” pages see half your shit. That Farmville and Cafe World still exist. But man there is a lot of other crap on there – crap people use and share and burden us all with.

They should really just call it Crapbook already.

The “hide all updates from…” feature is pretty much my favorite feature on Facebook now. That’s really saying a lot. And I’m sure many of you have used that on me; in fact, I’m sure many people that should be taking a lesson in crap on Facebook aren’t even reading this blog because they’ve used that feature on my updates, and thus have forgotten that I even exist.

In any case, there are five more pieces of crap on Facebook – beyond your excessive foodie posts and Farmville goat requests; five more pieces of crap on Facebook that have begun to grate at my ability to keep my mouth shut in an effort to keep my enemies to a minimum. What I’m saying is that as I scroll through my Facebook Newsfeed every day, I say aloud to myself “crap… crap… who cares… no one gives a fuck… more crap… seriously, get a fucking life…” and I wish I could say that all out loud in the comments and not lose friends, but obviously I can’t do that. People don’t often take truth well.

For now it will be in the “hide all posts from…” feature. And, of course, this blog post. Here are the five more pieces of crap on Facebook, as I see them from least offensive to absolutely most atrocious.

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#5 Keep Calm… Memes

keep_calm_and_derp_on_by_sakiera-d4leus4Can we just all agree to stop with these fucking Keep Calm… memes? The Keep Calm and Carry On was cute at first. Then a couple of the spin offs were sort of adorable. I will admit that I bought a package of the Keep Calm and Carry On kleenexes at World Market.

But at some point it got old. Really really … really old. As in if I see another one of these Keep Calm… memes I may go postal. I may just tell the person to get a brain. To get some originality, you know? How about you come up with something new? Or even a meme that has been more recent than, say, a year ago.

Until then, I’ve had to “hide all posts from…” about five people that just won’t stop with the Keep Calm…s Ironically, they are the last people on the planet that take their own Keep Calm… advice. All five of them. Interesting.

#4 TMI Photos

Some of my friends have posted the most horrifying photographs recently.

I still harken back to when my friend Kristin posted a photograph of her baby’s shitty diaper. Not sure what that was all about, and I continue to have nightmares about the image nightly. But some of the recent posts have beaten that into the ground, in terms of TMI factor. Ten hundred fold.

The worst are the ones that elude to a TMI update. You know, like it doesn’t outright say what is really going on, but it’s obvious by virtue of the image and the vaguebook caption included in the liner notes. For example, the six boxes of Preparation H that were posted in a photo with the caption “rough night” from one of my gay, male friends. Could have done without that one. Another was a photograph and a check in at some oyster house from one of my pregnant friends. The caption said “hopefully this plate of oysters will help him keep up … pregnancy hormones are making me wild!”

Seriously, bitches. No one needs to know any of that shit. Any of it.

#3 Status Updates About Vaginal Itch

When did it become socially apropos to post about your vaginal issues on Facebook?

Maybe it’s because so many of my friends are becoming moms, and babies are coming out of their vaginas (most of them). Since everyone knows you just squashed a human body out of your lady hole, I guess now it’s OK to ask everyone publicly about conditions that may follow?

I’m a pretty personal person when it comes to my vagina. As well as anything that goes in or out of it, and it’s surrounding areas. Maybe that’s just me, but I think I speak for most of society when I say that I never want to log onto my social network of choice to see updates asking questions like:

I think I just pooped out of my vagina. Is this normal?

Not the thickest pad in all the world could control this flow! Anyone else go through this when you get your first period after having your baby?

Any new moms experiencing postpartum itching down there?

I will hold while you all go vomit. I sure did when I read those – actual questions posted by friends on my Facebook page.

#2 Sad Cancer Shit

Look. We all know that cancer exists. We do. It sucks. Hard. Many blog about it often. Many have lived through it. MANY have lost loved ones to it.

And I know, I know: people with cancer don’t get a day off. They live it all the time. Every moment of every day. At least that’s what the sad cancer shit posted on Facebook says. Must be true, right?

So my dad has had cancer. He is still in treatment to keep him in remission from prostate cancer after a total prostate removal back in the late 90s. When you ask my dad about his cancer, though, he says that it isn’t who he is, it doesn’t define his life, and even when he was first diagnosed and going through surgery and treatment, he thought about it infrequently. You know why? Because people with cancer don’t obsess over it. They obsess over living life to its fullest while they have the remaining chance to.

Stop posting your sad cancer shit on Facebook, people. Please. I just had to delete a friend from Facebook because of it, about a month ago! I just couldn’t take it anymore – her constant guilting and posting that people should be doing more. She’d comment on my Facebook page and always bring up cancer, how this and that is irrelevant as long as people have cancer. I’m not talking about people that have cancer and post progress updates, or people that participate in fundraising drives. I mean the people that post those shitty memes or the bullshit awareness statuses that no one gets. The “97% of people won’t repost this… will you?”s.

On the most serious note I will probably ever make on this blog, I think we should all take a lesson from those with the actual disease: stop letting it control our lives and every waking thought. And that includes on Facebook.

#1 Candy Crush Saga

You know who you are.

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STFU Fridays: Political Posters

I’m not sure if I’ve talked about political posters before, but we’re going to have a little elaboration today for STFU Fridays. I mean it seems only appropriate now that the conventions are officially over and the vitriolic hate-mongering from both sides of the aisle is about to begin.

Facebook Political Posters:

Shut the Fuck Up

Yeah, sure – everyone uses Facebook for a different reason. Don’t think I forgot that I just talked about that a week or two ago. But at some point, you are going to be permanently hidden from my newsfeed if you continue to post meme after meme after meme after GODDAMNED MEME about your political views, most often in the most radical way possible.

Here are a few of my most recent favorites:

(Posted by four friends)

(Posted by nine friends)

Here’s the thing, Facebook friends: I want you to stay on my newsfeed. I want to hear about when you buy your new condo. I want to know when you get engaged. I want to see the photographs from your beautiful vacation in the Barbados. I want to see all 790 Instagram photographs you post this week of your kid. I want to see all of that and be a part of your life because, after all – we are friends.

What I don’t want to see is your political nonsense being shoved down my throat every time I log onto the computer to congratulate people for their life updates and new pregnancies and amazing jobs.

Shut the fuck up.

Twitter Political Posters:

Shut the Fuck Up

So despite the fact that I hate politics, I do often watch political commentary and the news channels, and I read the Google News Aggregate daily. This political season, I may not pay too much attention because it is usually a lot of frustration for naught, but what can I say – I like to know what’s going on in the world. Typically I watch and read about it all just to find out what else is happening around the world – health, war, entertainment, and other such news.

I also have an humongous crush on Wolf Blitzer.

This is probably the case with a fair number of people that use social media (the wanting to know about what’s going on in the world part). It’s probably the case with a fair number of people that have the Internet. And it’s likely so with probably the majority of people that have televisions. And I think it’s probably safe to say with at least a few of the remaining people that do not have the Internet or do not use social media or do not have a TV, but still have a pulse and read the newspaper.

That means that when I go on Twitter, it is entirely unnecessary for people to be Tweeting the quotes that I just saw someone say on CNN or MSNBC or Fox or whatever channel I am watching over and over and over again, with no other substance in between. I watched the President give his speech this evening. Why was it necessary for me to then read the entire thing quoted on Twitter? I get it: the quote inspired you. THEN SAY THAT!

Or shut the fuck up.

Email Political Posters:

Shut the Fuck Up

I don’t get too many personal emails anymore. Now that we have social media and unlimited texting plans, it looks like email is going the way of the stamped letter.

When I do get emails, they are generally one of two kinds of emails:

(1) Some stupid shit animal or angel photos that have glitter and prayers and chain letter crap on them about how if I don’t forward it to 20 people I’ll die in the next week; or,

(2) Political diatribes.

These upset me because I feel like if you send an email to someone you know, it should be a little more personal and “how are you”/”I’m doing great!” Not a bunch of biased crap about, or in most cases against, any given political ideology. It hurts my feelings, actually. There are some people that I don’t hear from all year until it’s election time, and then they send me forty damn emails a day, my email included in the list of 200 others cc’d, with a bunch of impersonal, political crap.

Seriously, email political posters: take the time to send a sincere email to me once in a while amidst all your politico crap, or shut the fuck up.

That about concludes our Shut the Fuck Up Friday! Now that the games have officially begun, may we all bury our heads in the sand until November 6th has come and gone. I’m sure by now you are all wondering where I stand on the issues, despite my disgust for political posters. Because I’m a woman and pretty mouthy, am I a Democrat? I used to work for them. When I quit because of the local party’s corruption, did I become a Republican? They’re just as bad. I’m not really sure where I stand. Maybe on the issues, where we all should.