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Amy Patterson – “My Thoughts”

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 11:36 am

I like to think of myself as a pretty independent young woman. Yes, there have been times when I’ve had no other choice but to crawl to Dad and The Mom to beg for $3 so I could buy toothpaste, but I try my best to limit these occasions.

Disclaimer: Those of you who don’t agree with or like my rants and raves, this is your chance to stop reading. Can’t say I didn’t warn you…

Facebook is killing the work ethic of today’s society.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. I appreciate the idea that a single site can allow me to maintain relationships with friends and family that live hundreds of miles away, watch their children grow up when I wouldn’t have the chance otherwise, and network with some of the most interesting people in the world.

On the other hand, this social media site is just another example of a catalyst we’ve put in place to extend and enable the habits of the lazy and entitled.

During a brief Facebook scan one day, I came across a post in a local “buy/sell/trade/exchange/etc.” group by a young woman. This post, which couldn’t have been more than a few lines, quickly made me picture cartoon steam coming out of my ears.

The girl began her plea by introducing herself as a “young, single mother of two, having a hard time making ends meet.”

Stop there.

If you’re broke and having difficulty supporting yourself and your family, why are you on the internet? Why are you not putting together a garage sale, trying to pick up a second job, etc.?

No, I’m not a mother, but yes, I’ve been broke. I can tell you there are few things that feel worse than looking at your overdrawn bank account without an idea of how to put that number back in the black. But you know what? I figured it out, and I sure didn’t do it with help from Facebook.

Moving on… The rest of her post was a barrage of begging and pleas for handouts.

She said she was looking for “preferably free, or very cheap” home goods. She needed two bedside tables (if you’re single, why do you need two?), a toy box for each of her children (haven’t you seen the $5 plastic totes at Walmart?), and a living room furniture set, among other things.

Imagine my thrill when I saw this young woman telling all of Facebookland that she “needs” a couch and loveseat, two side tables, and a coffee table. What’s best? She needs the tables to all match (“no junk!,” she added).

I like to think I have a pretty good head on my shoulders. I don’t spend unwisely (most of the time), and do my best to save where I can, as often as I can.

Despite all that, do you think each piece of my living room furniture matches? Nope.

I thank God for my dad and The Mom for kindly giving us our hand-me-down leather couch and chair. We’re now living (sitting?) in the lap of luxury, by my standards.

Take a look at any of the other furniture in that room, and you’ll see it doesn’t match.

Without studying it, however, you wouldn’t notice. Know why? Because I’m good at being broke and can disguise and transform what we have to make it look better. It’s a skill many not-wealthy people learn over time. This skill has also enabled me to hide my months-grown-out, not-highlighted hair — Yay, me.

On top of asking for hand-outs, young women and men are flocking to the Facebook groups looking for the career of their dreams.

Of course I commend these people for actually hunting for a nine-to-five, but since when did Facebook become a serious job-finder?

I understand friends will point one another in the direction of an opportunity, but taking to the “buy/sell/trade” pages, resume in hand, is a bit odd.

Before I moved to Bowling Green, I dedicated a week to job hunting. I drove over here from Columbia several days in a row and made my way about town. It makes my hands cramp to think about the number of applications I filled out.

Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be, though? Aren’t we supposed to hit the pavement, work for what we have, and find career paths the hard way? That’s what I thought, before Facebook took care of all of that for me.

If nothing else, I guess at least these posts on Facebook are teaching me how not to raise my (“maybe we’ll have them someday”) kids. There’s always that.