One Reporter's Ramblings: I don't get the message...

I have a few friends who communicate mainly through Facebook. 

That wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t mean that I have to use Facebook to talk to them at night and during the weekends.

I check it often during the work week because it is almost a requirement of being a reporter. That makes it far less desirable during my off hours, especially since approximately 99.999997831 percent of my feed is news and advertising and not updates about my friends and their lives. (The percentage may be slightly lower but not by much.)

This leads us to New Year’s Eve as Katie and I are planning to attend a party. I go out shopping and pick up some food and text Katie that I have got some snacks.

“Great! Send a message to the group.”

I try to do so but first, my phone spits back, “You must install Messenger.”


I notify the group of the snacks as soon as it is installed.

Then, my phone explodes with chimes. Apparently, the entire world was “waving at me.” Would I like to wave back?

That’s a nice offer, Facebook, but my paranoia is still a little triggered because almost all of my online friends immediately knew I had joined Messenger.

It turns out that wasn’t the case, but I didn’t know until later when Katie told me that the app sends these notifications on my friends’ behalf just so I can see who is using Messenger. 

That’s handy, but I would find it more useful to see those people marked on my friends list rather than triggered with a Facebook-approved action.

By the time she has told me this, I had been randomly messaged by a few people I don’t talk to often. I realized that Messenger must have said I was waving at them.

I wasn’t, though. Not that I have anything against waving at my friends. If I saw them in public, I would definitely say hello.

Their phone probably went off, especially to say that I was waving like a madman at each and every friend with the program.This meant they had to guess whether I was actually waving or Facebook was just letting them know I was on. I meanwhile was guessing whether they were messaging me because they wanted to or Facebook had initiated it.

This led to a few random conversations where the subtext was ‘hello, did you need something?’
‘No. Did you?’
‘Okay then.’ 

It was a little awkward, even though it was nice to catch up.

Paul Gaudette is a staff writer at the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and

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