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For us non-celebrity folks, I think that Facebook sets the cap at 5,000 as to how many friends you can claim. I have about 1,600. Wait, let me say that again. I had about 1,600. I just spent most of the morning unfriending right around half of them.
I’m almost ashamed to say that I felt a little like Thanos and I liked it. Almost.
The reward in the exercise is that I’m down to a much more realistic number. Even so, I’m hoping that I can cut into that one, too. In my opinion, it still feels a little too big. I just don’t know most of the people and I’m not so sure they’d even notice my absence from their news feed, anyway.
“So, what criteria did you use for jettisoning these digital relationships?”
Well, first of all, you need to know that it’s really no big deal if you didn’t make the cut. It’s not like anyone was on a waiting list to be my friend. I just needed to make the list a little more manageable and a little less stressful. But since you asked, I did employ a few critical filters.
For one, if you are a huge, over-the-top fan of a few political positions in particular, you were one of the first to go. Beyond that, if you had a tendency toward excessive foul language in your posts, you’re probably gone. If over half of your posts are scantily clad, narcissistic selfies, I excused you from my room. I’m no master of grammar, but if you’ve shown a consistent lack of knowledge regarding the simpler things, like the usages of there, their, and they’re, you’ve probably been banished—unless, of course, you are one of my friends from overseas. You got a pass on this one.
These types of things played into my decision-making.
“But, by doing this, aren’t you lessening your own opportunities for helpful dialogue regarding some very important issues?”
Are you being serious? Facebook is no committee table at the United Nations, my friend. It isn’t about dialogue. It never was. When it comes to the information being shared, it’s about the distribution of agreeable things that make for friends. Unfortunately, even that has become an incredibly fragile premise. When it comes to differences of opinion, it has become a field for planting snarky bombs and throwing digital punches. I mean, honestly, when was the last time you got into a discussion on Facebook about a casual or critical issue and found yourself able to convince or be convinced by an opposing side?
Never, that’s when. But still, it gets worse.
Even within the relatively like-minded circles in which I swim, I’ll sometimes find myself paddling with blood-thirsty predators. For example, I just viewed a post from a kindly Lutheran friend who shared a non-denominational pastor’s video about keeping children with their parents in worship instead of sending them along to something called “children’s church.” I’ve been writing about this very topic for over twenty years, and so the video was refreshing to see, even though I don’t fully appreciate the person in it. But what’s interesting is that my friend had to preface the shared video with a defense that she is staunchly Lutheran and is by no means a supporter of non-denominational theology. Why did she do this? By posting the video, she was merely expressing a gladness that the cookie cutter hipster in the video had finally decided to swim upstream toward truth in this particular issue. This is a good thing, right?
But her words betrayed the need to prepare for a typicality. She’d let out a little blood by agreeing with a premise from a representative opponent, and she felt the need to have her spear gun at the ready lest any sharks be lurking in the Facebook reef.
And of course, they were.
It used to be that I’d preface certain discussions in the whiskey world in the same way, but I don’t anymore. Over the years I’ve learned that while so many in the whiskey fabric have differing opinions on so many things, very few in this particular part of the digital ocean are ever willing to let differing opinions about most things be the absolute reason for cutting ties. It pretty much takes a stingingly venomous rant against a person as an individual, and even then, the target of the attack is more likely to put it aside until a later date, assuming in the moment that you were drunk. It sort of seems like we’re all just cruising around on rafts, each with its own wet bar, and we’re lifting our drams of the moment in salute to others as they float by.
I like that. In fact, if I was considering deleting you from my list of Facebook friends for any of the previously mentioned reasons, it’s likely that I relented because you are a part of the fabric and you get the whole “friend” thing.
And so the dram I lift in salute to you today is one that I believe is worthy of your time, and it’s one that I’d be happy to send along to you when we drift past one another in our rafts: The Longbranch Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon from Wild Turkey.
Having never been a big fan of the standard release from Wild Turkey, the Longbranch is an exceptional gem delivered from this well-known distillery. With a nose of cinnamon atop a sliver of pumpkin pie, the Longbranch teases a deeper well of flavors just below the vessel. And it delivers.
With individual sips, the palate calls up variant levels of spiced cream and vanilla—some samples peppered a little more than others. There’s also a fairly generous helping of citrus, barrel char, and salt. These carry over into a milder finish, one that makes for an easy afternoon down the lazy river.
Again, I like that. I like it almost as much as Thanos-like mass deletions in the virtual universe of social media.