Social not-working

Too long I’ve lain here, unremarked, in quiet obscurity.
No more: I want my fifteen minutes too. It’s time for me
To take this show out on the road, break through these prison bars,
And see my name in lights, high places, headlines, and the stars.
I realise I’ve been selfish, blinded by a foolish pride:
I’ve kept my movements secret, locked my private thoughts inside
When I should have given freely, told my guard to take a hike,
And made Friends of perfect strangers. Turns out all you need is Like.
Am I so high-and-mighty I can stand aloof, declare
I’m remaining off the radar; that I have no wish to share
My whereabouts, with whom, and what I’m doing, day and night?
This is the way to go. A billion people must be right.
Just pick a snappy user name, sign on the dotted line.
A keystroke here, a mouse-click there, and all the world is mine.
Maybe the moment’s come to blow my cover, show the light
Beneath that bushel. Brother, can you spare some dynamite?
Can I persuade myself my life’s a story fit to tell?
If so, I’ll lay the charges, light the fuse – then run like hell.


People keep telling me I should join Facebook, Twitter and the like. They’re probably right, too, but as this poem suggests, I’m yet to be enticed by the whole social-networking brouhaha. I can see the potential benefits, of course, and I’m sure that, to some degree, I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face by staying out of it. I daresay I’ll surrender to the inevitable one day, but I’m not going down without a fight! All thoughts and suggestions welcome. N.

14 thoughts on “Social not-working

  1. Facebook is a nice way of chatting, that is what I use it for mostly, (private messages) it is free. And I like to put my photo’s there, a reason the more to do my walks. (I am a fb friend of your spouse btw 🙂 ) It is nice to keep up with the latest news of people. You can just try it? x

  2. Nick, I’m on facebook, primarily because of my oldest daughter. She thinks it’s a hoot that a 67 year old is on Facebook. The only thing I ever put on it, though, are postings from wordpress. I have that set so that my postings automatically show up. I do, on occasion, respond to posts others put on. I am afraid I’m not too much on bird talk, so I don’t use twitter. I’d much rather listen to the birds that Ethel has coming to the feeders in the yards or that we hear on our walks into the woods.
    This poem did do one thing for me. I have been trying to write a poem for a week, but failing miserably. I filled up pages of work that I did not feel comfortable with. Reading this, though, I went and tried couplets and, whoa and behold, that worked. I’ll be posting The Eagle and the Pelican tomorrow. Long poems, as you know, in spite of the huge effort that take, don’t do well of wordpress generally, but I’ll post it anyway.
    So, thanks for this.

    • If it’s any comfort, my daughter thinks it’s a hoot that a 45-year-old ISN’T on Facebook! And I absolutely agree about the bird song: there are already way too many people putting the ‘twit’ in ‘twitter’ without my adding to the general clamour. Lookginf forward to reading your poem, and seeing rhyming couplets done properly!

      • Nick, if you weren’t doing rhyming couplets properly, I can guarantee you that The Eagle and the Pelican would not have come out in rhyming couplets. You are a fine poet who is a master of sonnets and iambic pentameter. I’ve enjoyed your free verse too, although I highly respect master craftsmen.

      • One more thought, Nick. If you do look at the rhyming couplets tomorrow, could you tell me what you think of my efforts to break up the sing-song aspect of the couplet using commas, periods, and continuing thoughts seamlessly on the next line? I’m not sure I pulled that off, but it feels like I pulled it off. I tried reading the poem outloud, though, and, at least the first time through, felt a little awkward.

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