Blog: Our Reality Show

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  • The Status Update

    Status updates on Facebook are endlessly fascinating, stretching from the mundane and ridiculous to the witty and profound. The genius is the connection it helps you make to others.

    I guess — no big surprise here — that’s why they call it “social” networking.

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of what people are cooking for dinner, unless they are willing to share or — at the very least — provide the recipe. I’m genuinely not interested in someone’s obsessive chronicles about walking the dog, or how drunk they are (unless pictures are included, and they never should be, if you think about it). Status updates that take the form of a sermon or are overtly political also are a turnoff.

    However, there are times when you bond with a person after years or hear about someone’s achievement or tragedy that affects you in ways you never would have realized without the almost instant, real-time connection. Sometimes I have laughed out loud; others have left me with tears in my eyes.

    Most of the time, I look at status updates as a fun writing challenge, a way to push out a one or two-line description of the day, the punch line without the long-winded set up, or life’s simplest truths in just a few words.

    Here are some of my favorites from the past few months:

    • Favorite line of the day (paraphrased): "Your lives are a reality show. The sad thing is nothing gets eliminated."

    • Since when did customer service become an oxymoron?

    • For every drop of rain that falls, another Northern Virginia driver loses an IQ point.

    Of course, because your name is at the beginning of each update, you really should start your sentence with a verb. That presents a challenge as well, if you think about it.

    On that front, here are some more favorites that started with my name first and then moved quickly toward the punch line. So you say, “Glenn Cook…”

    • Is in NYC with four kids by himself. To quote the father of our country at the start of the war: Gulp.

    • Has a stuffed up nose and the back of my throat feeling like an all-you-can-eat raw bar buffet.

    • Was reminded again tonight that the only thing getting thinner on me is on the top of my head.

    • Is happy that I don't have to dress up tonight. Any more weeks like this, and I will officially pull the dry cleaning business out of the recession.

    • Is waiting at the Z Pizza in Lorton to pick up dinner. An hour ago I was told it would be 25 minutes. Should have picked the Over instead of the Under on 2-for-1 night.

    • Needs to reintroduce his daughters to each other: Oil, meet water.

    • Can't believe it's been three years since my father died. He's gone from having a ringside seat to a spot in the upper balcony, but I'm sure he can see just fine.

    Have you ever given this any thought?