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TMI

By Roger Clark

October, 2018

As I sit high above the 4-wheelers, protected by my OVERSIZE flags & banners, the challenge is to process their actions in a coherent flow of information. My objective is to deliver intact, on time, and free of debris. To accomplish this, I am constantly factoring in the speed, weight, and potential impairment of those around me.

Consciously or not, we have to think about the motives, agendas, intentions, and expectations of others. We also must telegraph our own intentions, simply and quickly as a turn signal, headlight flash, or individual finger. There is a pact, of sorts, between road warriors for exchanging information.

But I’ve noticed a curious phenomenon. As the CB gets quieter on the big road, and headsets replace dangling microphones, there’s a significant increase of information I can’t use and don’t want. It all originates with something call Social Media, which is neither social nor media.

Now instead of receiving traffic movements, road conditions, weather advisories, and ‘Smokey’ reports, I am the unwilling recipient of internet updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now instead of a heads-up for pot holes, fender benders, desperados, or chicken coops, I am the undeserving target of personal Facebook posts. Instead of noting the weight, speed, size, and risk of passing traffic, I’m faced with a rash of TMI, or Too Much Information.

You want to be relevant. I get that. So do I. But you’re not the least bit interested in my indigestion, unruly neighbors, colicky toddlers, or missed dental appointments. I would bet my next paycheck you couldn’t care less about my backaches, lapsed insurance, coupons that failed, or crabgrass which didn’t. I can’t imagine why you would want to know about my gallbladder, grandchildren, truck payments, or political affiliation.

Well, okay, I’m sure you want to know about my exceptionally beautiful, loudly opinionated, and incredibly gifted granddaughter, but the rest—-not so much. She’s brand new this week, vibrant and curious as most seven-pound human beings. But her parents—-not so much. They’re still in a state of shock, and awe. But I digress.

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and et cetera, I can learn about your phobias, grievances, pet peeves, and dirty laundry. I will find out about your favorite bar, highest score, lowest cholesterol, and bestest BFF. I will see, along with everyone else on your status update or tweet, where you’ve been and when you were there. I will be aware of everything you post, whether it’s personal, professional, irrelevant, or bail bonds.

If I can see what you’re doing on Social Media, then so can your boss. If I can read about your exploits and escapades, then so can your pastor. Or the local forensic taskforce. I see a news story every week where some politician, preacher, or pillar of the community is busted for posting things that are illegal, insensitive, or ignorant.

It’s not new. Back in the days of cabovers, ten-hundred tires, and fifteen-cent postage stamps, we had everything from bumper stickers to birth of the internet. Someone even tried to invent a wireless phone you could carry on your belt. I know—go figure!

Before you know it, people would’ve been on the phone in restaurants, church pews, boardrooms and restrooms. They could even end up driving that way. Don’t laugh—it could happen! But not with me. I’m Old School, and fully intend to use the USB connections in my truck for the purpose intended—-lighting cigarettes.

People will do anything, it seems, or invent anything to broadcast their professions, accomplishments, confessions, and connections—only to wring their hands in despair when they get hacked, robbed, exposed or arrested. But not with me. When my identity was stolen recently, they hacked into the bank account and deposited money, I was so broke.

Thought for The Day: I don’t know if I found this rope or lost my horse!

You can reach Roger at rogerclark437@gmail.com