Fact checking and Facebook - A mostly true rant about the pleasures and pitfalls of social networking

"The problem with the internet is that 54.67% of what you read is not totally true, but 54.23% is true and of that true-ness, only 45.9% is slightly true."  Mother Theresa of Calcutta

If you have taken even the most basic statistics class, you know that finding accurate statistics to support a hypothesis isn't as easy as asking a bunch of dentists if they prefer Trident and then doing third grade math to come up with a number. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have not taken a basic statistics class. Hell, I took statistics three times and only understood 45.64% of what the professor was saying, give or take 65.235% because 23% of the time I was trying to eat a snack without getting caught and fantasizing about marrying Matt Damon while writing, "Nicole Damon," and "Ms. Nicole Kane Knepper Damon," or "Nikki Damon," or "The Doctor and Matt Damon," on my notebooks ('cause Matt Damon was super hot when I was taking stats).

I love Facebook.

THERE I SAID IT! I love it!

Yesterday I was able to see many of my friend's adorable kid's Halloween costumes and hear a bit about how my family and friends on the east coast are faring after the horrible hurricane. Joy and relief, all via Zuckerburg's creepy awesome idea for people stalking via the internet. Facebook was created to connect people, yet it has turned into much more than a place to post a virtual photo album and updates about little Johnny's progress towards regular pooping on the potty. There are millions of people who use Facebook as a one stop shop for all their news, gossip and whatnot and quite often, this is really NOT a good thing.

Not at all.

Yesterday I also had to put up with bullshit political stories that chock full of half truths and emotional rants about vaginas along with the fake photos of hurricane damage on the east coast. If there weren't a shit ton of baby kitten pics in my newsfeed yesterday, I'd have missed the cute Halloween pics, because all the nonsense was making my brain bleed and I almost logged off altogether in favor of a more reliable internet site like People Magazine. The kitties kept me scrolling down the newsfeed and I was able to force my eyeballs away from the other dumb ass biznazz. It's a good thing I possess some common sense and impulse control, because someone has to refrain from posting and re-posting heaps of unsubstantiated gibberish all over the net. Yeah, one person can make a difference!

A quick click, and a fake photo can go viral in minutes. Did anyone click and share the fake photo of the cloud over Lady Liberty?

Fake photo, suckers! SUCKERS! (I posted a link because of copyright laws and shit)

You know you either A) did or, B) wanted to or, C) considered it and then did some fact checking and found out it was as real as Kim Kardashian's marriage to what's his name (allegedly). What about that Kony business? Did you share that? I mean, wow, it was super moving and sad and very hard not to share, right? But .....we all know what came of that, right?

I have shared a good deal of crap in my years of social networking, most of it was just that though - crap.

According to Facebook, a photo I shared on my blog page on July 11th of this year reached 1,772,423 people. No, I'm not kidding.

Here is the photo:

I found the photo on the Little White Lion page, and according to the lions who run the page,(and blog of the same name) they received the photo from another source. Who the hell knows where it came from or who created it? I do know that I laughed so hard I peed in my yoga pants when I saw it. It was harmless fun and something many women could relate to. Sharing it was a no-brainer for me, that is, after I changed my urine soaked pantalonies.

Thank God this whackadoodle someecard wasn't false information. Right? AMIRIGHT? But it happens far too often these days on social networking sites - Facebook being the most prolific source of internet bullshit these days - people click and share absolute shit without stopping to think about the consequences or check the facts.

Facebook has become a force to be reckoned with, a massive source of information that is easily accessed by people whether they have taken basic stats or flunked third grade math. I can't prove it, but I'm willing to say that 4 out of 5 dentists choose prefer Facebook to MySpace (sorry Justin Timberlake, but MySpace is like fetch - it's not gonna happen).

Here's a Fetch clip for those of you sad people who didn't get the "Mean Girls" reference because you haven't experienced the pleasure of this fine film starring Lindsay Lohan before she went bat shit (allegedly).

See? It's not going to happen.

This month, I plan to blog my buns off in preparation for the new and improved version of this blog. Still Moms who drink and swear, but a slightly different platform that can support a more interactive community. A big part of this community will be the addition of regular contributors. I have chosen people who write in the spirit of good humor and heartfelt storytelling. There will not be polarized political rants that contain half truths and blow hard bias. There will be no phony pictures aside from the photoshopped pics of my head on sexy bodies with monkeys caressing my breasts.

Like this:

There will be NO bullshitical nonsense about things I know nothing about - no junk science or emotion will drive the content of the Moms who drink and swear community. NONE. However, I will continue to share my opinions as well as pithy and offensive observations and rants about the meaning of life and how to live it authentically while being responsible for other human beings. That's been my goal all along and I've never deviated from the message of Moms who drink and swear.

I hope you will LOVE the contributors I have chosen for this month, and if you don't love them, I hope they at least get your brain zinging. The theme of November is "Quotable quotes." We will all be fact checking our quotes, as best we can, and then sharing our thoughts about them with you. Today I am going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a woman who deserves mad, mad props for her unwavering commitment to helping Moms be okay with themselves - Elaine Heffner. As a mother, grandmother and educator, she's got some serious street cred and therefore deserves a look-see. Her blog might not be your cup of tea. Personally, my attention span doesn't allow for too much yapping before I'm off and clicking on pictures of dressed up puppies on Pinterest, even if I am interested in a particular topic, but Heffner hits the spot for me.

Remember that scene in the movie, "Jerry Macguire" when what's her name says to what's his name, "You had me at hello?" Well, Heffner had me at -

"Women do not have to sacrifice personhood if they are mothers. They do not have to sacrifice motherhood in order to be persons. Liberation was meant to expand women's opportunities, not to limit them. The self esteem that has been found in new pursuits can also be found in mothering."

Hells yesh, Elaine. Thanks for the inspiration and for (unknowingly) kicking off Moms who drink and swear's month of quotable quotes. Stay tuned, awesome people who read my ramblings, it's gonna be full of the kind of stuff you will want to quote as well as feel okay about sharing.

"Nikki isn't lying. November on MWDAS is going to blow your motherfucking mind (see what I did there?)" Monica Lewinsky

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