...Facebook is the biggest barroom on the planet.
They say Facebook is a like a drug. No. It's much more like a fifth of whiskey. Why? Because Facebook is one big barroom and the drinks are a'flowin'.
It has many of the same problems and the same cast of characters as you will find in your average watering hole, and being online, strangely seems to have some of the same effects as being under the influence of alcohol.
Let's take a look by comparing your barroom regulars with your facebook friends.
The tough guy*
There are guys that are legitimately tough and that's OK, especially if they use their toughness to work hard labor and rescue kittens from trees and damsels in distress. To hold his own, but not act like a 'roid-raging fool, makes a man manly, and I like that.
Then there are "tough guys" whose strongest muscles are located in their jaw and operate their constantly open mouths.
You've certainly heard of "beer muscles" - the false bravado many portray after knocking a few back - well, let me introduce the "Facebook brawler." He is just like the guy with beer muscles in the bar, but instead is rumored to have huge monitor muscles and hangs out on Facebook behind the confines of his keyboard.
Oh, you've already met? What a surprise.
He is always "calling someone out" or, better yet, passive aggressively laying a spineless smack down on someone who probably has no idea it's even happening.
I'd have to guess that 90 percent of the time it's over a girl (or any of the various combinations of gender in couples, I don't discriminate) and it's basically useless.
However, in the event the party being called out decides to engage in a comment cage match, it, at least, provides good entertainment for the rest of us. However, it will never solve anything to argue on Facebook or a in a bar, so grow up, talk it out like adults or get over it and move on.
The emotional girl
She either just broke up with her boyfriend or the guy she never established a real relationship with is talking to another girl.
Cue the emotional girl.
Oh, the tears. The whining. The plea for attention. If she (or he, because this one goes both ways, too) happens to sit next to you or catch you in line for the bathroom, you're going to end up an unlucky audience of one to her theatrics.
And much like alcohol seems to increase the gravity of her situation, so does Facebook. After all, isn't it your own personal audience? Isn't everyone just waiting with baited breath to see what you say next?
Listen, even if you like techno music or think you are an adult baby, never is it appropriate for an adult to have a pacifier in their mouth. And when you whine about every blessed detail of your life on Facebook, I picture you sitting there, typing with a pacifier in your mouth, and that's not OK.
You may get sympathy and administer guilt, which is your obvious intention, but you aren't going to solve your problems by making the whole universe aware of them.
Again. Grow up.
Conversations in barrooms vary in relation to those involved; you can't talk rocket science with someone who has the intelligence of a rock and you shouldn't talk cheese with the lactose intolerant.
If the bar is dead, a lot of times everyone is involved, including the bartender. Conversation keeps the day rolling, keeps everyone entertained and is good for the brain in general. However, if there is one know-it-all present, prepare to have your frustration button pushed.
Nothing is worse than a know-it-all, especially the most common of the species: the loud mouth know-it-all who knows very little. They spout off and try to school you on every subject in an attempt to join a conversation they know nothing about.
If the bar is packed, and the jukebox is blasting, your audience is restricted to those within earshot, which is probably the safest route in avoiding the chiming in of the know-it-all.
But on Facebook, hundreds, if not thousands, of friends are involved in conversations that anyone can jump in to at any time and, unlucky for us all, it seems everyone is an expert on everything.
If you'd like to contribute to a conversation, be it online or in person just be courteous and don't try to turn it into an argument. There is a forum for that kind of behavior and it's called the comment section on any Internet posting anywhere in cyberspace. It's where the spineless go to pick on other people and pretend to know everything.
Have at it.
Hurricane season is pretty much over, but now we're in the eye of the political storm as we near Election Day.
It wasn't until recently when a political argument was brewing in a barroom, that it hit me just how parallel the bar and Facebook really are.
There is the age old rule that you should never argue about politics or religion in a bar, or anywhere, for that matter.
And for good reason.
Politics and religion are both very personal matters.
A lot of people get that and truly respect each other and I think that's great. It's basic respect for other human beings and their right to be an individual with an opinion.
Others feel that the way they personally feel is right and everyone in disagreement, even if they have a valid argument, scientific evidence or a deity hovering over their shoulder to prove otherwise, is wrong.
Are we really still that close-minded?
Without identifying myself with any political party or religion, I can tell you that I do, indeed, have a political opinion and a belief system. I also respect everyone's right to their own spirituality and their right, as an American, to cast a vote for who they feel is suited best for the job of running the country.
So, how do I express that if I'm not constantly arguing with others?
Politically, I vote. End of story.
Spiritually, I live my life trying to do what's right as opposed to what is wrong. I try to help people instead of hurting them, and I accept the fact that people may have an opinion that is not the same as mine.
Simple as that.
What I don't do is try to shove down the throats of all opposed what I have chosen as my own doctrine and ridicule and berate them for what they have chosen as theirs.
It's rude and ridiculous.
That night in the barroom, I whispered to my friend who I plan on voting for Nov. 6 and he just about bit my head off before I got the words out of my mouth.
It's like me whispering that I like the color orange. It's my opinion that I may have based on facts like, well, I find oranges pleasant and I enjoy a good sunset, so I like the color orange.
Orange may remind you of a time when you slipped on an orange and fell on the sidewalk at sunset, and you may subsequently hate orange, but that doesn't mean that I'm wrong or you are right. It just means that we have a difference in opinion about the color based on life experience that are unique to each of us as individuals.
Fact versus opinion. Look it up in the dictionary. They are two very different concepts.
And I don't get what's not to get about that, but that's alright, too.
Feel free to continue this behavior if you're guilty of it.
Because if I'm in the bar, I can leave or play music on the jukebox to drown out the noise. If I'm on Facebook, I can navigate away from the page, play music and drown out the desire to hit my head against a wall. And if I'm in your presence, I can pretend I have to pee, walk away and go home and play music and forget the conversation ever happened.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)
*Feel free to replace "him" with "her" and so on at any point in this column. Many of these instances are no longer gender-specific.
The bar and Facebook also share their fair share of the following: creepers, floozies, infidelity seekers, obnoxious drunks, sports enthusiasts, oversharers, money braggers, stuck up girls and more.