“You’re griping my guts!”

“Foot!”

I must’ve been quite a vexing child because I distinctly remember both my grandmothers reaching the end of their patience with me on multiple occasions.  I may have gotten more than my fair share of spankings thanks to a little brother so mischievous he made Huck Finn look like a choir boy, but never did I get torn up like the time the two of us kids drove our Meemaw to tears with our constant bickering.

You just don’t make your grandma cry.  It was one of those cut-your-own-switch educative moments that left me with more than a passing respect for my mom’s sharp backswing.  I don’t think I said a cross word to my brother ever again, at least in Meemaw’s hearing. Oh, we still had plenty of knockdown drag-outs, but we both learned how to bottle up the vitriol long enough to avoid another switchin’.  That incident was well beyond the pale of a fly swatter or wooden spoon, my mom’s preferred administrators of justice.

Just the other day I was scrolling along my Facebook feed when Meemaw’s words—and that powerful lesson—came back to me.  “This just gripes my guts,” I thought. What was supposed to be a fun pastime and platform for reconnecting with old friends has become a source of exasperation.  Some folks clearly need to march out to the weeded lot out yonder and cut themselves a switch. Foot, some folks think they’re Facebooking when they’re really facepalming. So, what’s griping my guts in the exciting world of social media?

  • I love a meme as much as the next person, but misspelled words in a piddling little meme make my blood pressure rise.  Why do people keep passing them on? Do they not see the error? Do they not care? Is your vs. you’re truly that confusing? Does comedy outweigh correctness?  Methinks no.
  • Who appointed the fact police?  Slapping somebody’s wrist with a “check your facts before you post” comment gripes my guts, no matter how stupid that person’s opinion/political stance/favorite color appears.  Scroll on.
  • Every time an apostrophe is used to form a plural, a plague is wished upon the poster’s house…or a puppy dies…or someone eats all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms.  Something bad happens. For the love of Peter, Paul, and Mary: figure out apostrophes!

I have a litany of gripes about what people post on Facebook, but I suddenly realized that it would lead to nothing but a bickering battle much like those days when my kid brother and I went toe-to-toe on everything from who was the better athlete to who had the most hotdogs in their SpaghettiOs.   I will enumerate no further. You post what you want to post, and I’ll post what I want to post. If we don’t agree, that doesn’t mean one of us is an idiot. You know what Meemaw said after that monumental butt-whupping all those years ago? “Foot, there’s enough room in this world to do right by each other.”  Wise words.

I think there’s enough room on social media, too.  That apostrophe thing, though…

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