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Give Me My Friends Back (a ballad)

We used to meet for dinner
Or sometimes just for tea
We'd talk for hours and hours
'bout friends and family

"We're busy", now they tell me,
"My Facebook friend you'll be
I'll post updates and photos
It's fun, it's fast, it's free"

To see what you are doing
A fan I'm instantly
Instead of being my old chum
You're a celebrity

"I've got over a hundred friends"
You brag about with glee
"Some childhood pals I haven't seen
For years, since we were teens"

But are these really people
You'd tell about the scene
The day your husband left you
For someone twenty three

I won't be joining Facebook
Online insanity
So while you're busy painting walls
I'm writing poetry

I'd rather meet in person
Your face and smile to see
And hear your gentle laughter
A hug on parting feel

This Facebook, they make billions
That's with a cap'tal 'B'
There's no charge for their service
To him or her or thee

Remember that old saying
The lunch, it's never free
If you're not paying with a card
It comes indirectly

They skim the walls with filters
Bits gathered piece by piece
They sell it for to advertise
There's revenue, quite big

Another place for scandal
First sexting and then tweets
Too many holes in Emmental
And Facebook privacy

You say you changed your settings
Friends only, you believe
What's only in the fine print
A friend for life they'll be

They keep your notes and photos
Locked up with their own key
And even though you press delete
You're saved eternally

They don't care 'bout your friendships
Connecting Jan to Eve
They want your private data
The whole world to perceive

If someone doesn't stop him
That Facebook guy Mark Z
He'll spread your dirty laundry
From sea to shining sea

Now Facebook's set to IPO
There'll be a buying spree
It is my hope it also brings
More government scrutiny

So put an end to Facebook
And their hypocrisy
I'd rather have my friends back
Not Photoshop'd, but real

Return me now those people
No more just on a screen
We'll meet again in person
For sup or simply tea

I'll hear familiar laughter
Their gentle smiles I'll see
And just before we say goodnight
I'll hug them close to me

Written 02/2012

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