Off the Line – Karen Haviland

It’s good for the soul: I must be more of a dinosaur than I originally thought.

I must be more of a dinosaur than I originally thought.

Yes, I firmly believe that cursive (handwriting) should still be taught in schools. And, no, for the most part I don’t like today’s music in any way, shape or form.

I would still wear bell bottoms if I could find them and I fantasize about using the terms “far out” and “groovy” during normal conversation without getting looked at sideways. That, I guess, does make me a dinosaur, but being a dinosaur does come in varying degrees, don’t you think?

My true idea of being a dinosaur is when one is so out of touch with their surroundings that they might as well pack up and move to La La Land. It’s almost time for me, I think, to pack up.

As most of my readers have probably gleaned by now, part of my social life is Facebook. Don’t get me wrong; I have a healthy social life with real-time friends who I can actually talk with face to face. I prefer that to Facebook, but FB has its own redeeming qualities given that it is used in balance with life.

Anyway, the other day while on FB I came across a FB page called Sparwood Confessions. I do admit when I hear or see the word “confession” I do find it somewhat titillating. If you are honest, most of you would admit to the same. That, I guess, does make us somewhat of a voyeur, especially when one vicariously consumes the contents of that page – which I did.

So, you might wonder how one can post on FB anonymously. Well, they don’t. Evidently you post at another site controlled by the FB page administrator in which you can write whatever you want anonymously without anyone, including the administrator, knowing who you are. The Confessions administrator then transfers that over to his/her FB Confessions page.

As most of you are aware the sheer anonymity when behind a keyboard will loosen tongues and cause some people to write of things they would never say in a public setting. I believe those kind of people are usually referred to a keyboard commandos, for obvious reasons.

After spending a good portion of time on that Confessions page, I wondered if that page was an anomaly or if it was otherwise. Boy was I surprised to discover that there are numerous startling and shocking confession pages on FB. That’s how out of touch I was and why I admit I am more of a Megalosaurus than I pretended to not be.

In fact, the Kootenays has its very own Kootenay Confessions page on FB. While those who confess on that page are anonymous, those who respond to the posts aren’t.

How very interesting to see that some of Castlegar’s finest (and yes, some of Castlegar’s worst) have “liked” that page. I am one of those who clicked “like”. You can decide for yourself which Castlegar citizen category I belong to.

Getting back to those posts…the keyboard commandos are sometimes funny, highly imaginative and also hurtfully truthful at times. Some of those posts you would never dare say face-to-face to anyone. Maybe that’s not always a good thing though. I would much prefer something being said to my face than behind my back. At least then I have the chance to either defend myself or punch someone in the face (just kidding folks!).

I do find it somewhat sad that some of the anonymous posters are pouring their heart out behind the keyboard. Maybe it makes them feel better, just purging themselves of their burden. I hope so, because the other alternative is that the poster honestly believes that he/she can’t share that burden with a real-time person.

On the other hand, the Psalm that confession is good for the soul might hold merit – even if that confession is posted in cyberspace.


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