Thursday, May 21, 2015

Neighbor Bubba and Facebook

Throughout the many years I've lived at my current house here in The South, I've known my neighbor, Bubba.  He has lived in the South his whole life and much of what I ascribe to 'being southern' I get from knowing him and being in such a long friendship.  Bubba is not one to follow fashion (he wears overalls most days,) is not into gourmet food (his idea of gourmet food is delivered pizza,) and, which has amazed me more times than not, he does not use a lot of modern day technology.  

Oh don't get me wrong.  He's got a cell phone and a computer in his house, but where other people find solace in them, he considers them a 'necessary nuisance.' Where other people use their cell phone for the Internet, special apps, games and social media, I am pretty sure Bubba uses his just for checking the time and making phone calls. 

It was  his birthday the other day and I asked him if he got a lot of birthday greetings on Facebook. He looked at me like I had cast aspersions on his mother and said, "Facebook?"  He took a minute to spit on the ground and rubbed it in with the heel of his boot and continued.  "No, that face place is not for birthday greetings.  My boys know that and they know I didn't raise them that way." 

Bubba went on to express his feelings about all of social media as nothing more than a repository for dancing cats and baby pictures and though it's always nice to see pictures of his cousins and his grand-babies it's not for special day greetings.  In anticipation of my next comment, it stated flatly, "No, not even through the private messaging." He did not comment further on the dancing cats. 

"Y'see, " says Bubba, "When it's some one's  birthday, or Father's day, or Mother's day or any other day you want to HONOR someone, sitting down 'atcher keyboard and typing a line or two is nothing. That's not honoring them. That's getting an obligation out of the way. That's for you, not them. You want to honor someone, you get your keister (yes, he said keister) up offa that couch, you go to the Card Store or Dollar Store or wherever you can find the right card and  you buy that card - or mebbe (yes, he pronounced it meh-bee) you MAKE a card. And then you hand write a note inside the card and mail the card. Or, better yet, you take that card over and hand present it to them mebbe along with a proper gift to show that person how much they truly mean to you. That's how you honor someone on a special day. Even a gift card that you chose and purchased online and had delivered in their electronical (Bubba pronunciation guide: E-lec-TRON-ical) email is better'n just a Facebook greeting."

(Yes, he said both 'electronical' and 'email.'  Bubba is not fluent in techno-speak.)

"Facebook?" he ranted, "That's for those borderline people where you want to say 'Hey!*' but you don't want to say 'I just saved $5 by sending you a birthday greeting on Facebook.' For your cousin, your college room-mate or those guys you play Call of Duty with, yeah, I can see that; but for important people, people that mean something in your life? No, not Facebook.  And not Tweeter or Grouple any of them other thangs. (Yes, he said 'thangs.') I am sure my Momma raised me better and I hope I passed that on to my boys, too!"  

True to his word (or his rant,) later that day, Bubba's two boys showed up with their entire families in tow along with gifts, take out pizzas and a case (or two) of non-light beer (just sodas for the kids.) They spent the early evening in celebration and then they packed said family, sleeping children and all back to their homes.  Bubba had been properly honored on his day.

Now I have a whole new Southern Perspective on Social Media and Honoring Someone Special on a special day. You want to send greetings, that's fine. But to really honor someone takes more than social media. It takes more than a keyboard. It takes something special to honor someone special.

*'Hey' is a Southern Greeting, much like 'Hi.'  It is considered to be a shortening of the phrase "Hey, there!"

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