There is a blank space at the top of everyone's personal Facebook page that asks the question, "What's on Your Mind?" It's called a "Status Update." People report, often daily, everything from the completely mundane: "Planning to cut my nails later today, God willing," to the deeply personal: "Third round of chemo for my mother starts today."
There is also, of course, lots of comedy: "Which part of 'Don't spray the whipped cream in Grandma's face' didn't you understand, Emma?"
And the ever self-reflective, meta-Facebookians: "I am paralyzed by the pressure to publicly declare what's on my mind."
Finally, of course, the religious folks often chime in: "May ye that riseth up aboveth in the skyeth, blesseth all ye that heareth." Give or taketh. Jesus sometimes factors in. Nothing against religion, it's the "th"s and "ye"s that usually throweth me.
The average user sees hundreds or even thousands per month of these personal "slices of life" from their extended Facebook family of friends. (Some of us, perhaps, only read the updates of certain people, either because we know them and love them more, or they tend to be funnier and more entertaining.) I have 321 friends. Some people have 30, some 3000. I could have had a lot more, because I often get asked to be "Friends" with people I don't know, and I ignore them. However, since I'm a sub-minor, semi-public person who has written a few books and blogs, I should probably be a more ambitious if not gracious self-promoter, and round up as many Facebook friends as I can, to better serve my viral marketing needs and get people to buy my book (click here: The 99th Monkey) but I tend to shy away from that kind of shameless use of social networks merely for personal ends.
At some point I decided that since my fellow Facebook users were called "Friends," I wanted them to actually be my friends! What a concept. So while there are still some people on my Friends list of whose identity I haven't the foggiest idea, from a certain point onward, nearly everyone I welcomed to my page are actually real live people I have met in person that I know and love. (There have been exceptions, of course: what, was I really going to say "no" to Penelope Cruz? I don't think so.)
Why did I really draw that line? Because in my mind it somehow meant that I still had the freedom on Facebook to be the same idiot I can be with my closest friends, who tolerate and love me anyway. Otherwise I imagined I'd be stuck in some "public" persona who's not allowed to screw up or say the wrong thing, or try to be funny and fail, or reveal some personal foible that I'm obviously not that embarrassed about, but don't necessarily want to share with complete strangers. (Though obviously, if it's on the Internet, it's fair game; it's out there.)
My first spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, used to have huge hippie gatherings on his father's farm in New Hampshire back in the 70s. I went to one. Ram Dass's father was from the old school, and had more of a capitalist perspective on things than did his guru son. He asked "Dick" (Ram Dass's pre-Indian name was Richard) how much he had charged people to come to the event.
"Nothing," Ram Dass replied.
"Nothing? Why even if you had only charged $10 a head, you would have brought in over $2000!"
"Dad," Ram Dass countered, "Remember when Uncle Henry asked you for some legal advice? How much did you charge him?"
"Nothing, of course. Henry's family."
"That's my problem, Dad; to me, everybody here is Uncle Henry."
In the spirit of Uncle Henry, I suppose I should just welcome anybody and everybody who wants to Friend me onto my Facebook page, and just trust that I can still be an idiot when necessary. (But in front of Penelope??? See what I mean? It's not so easy.)
Of the thousands of Facebook updates I have read for about two years now, it occurred to me today that not once had anybody responded to the question, "What's on your mind?" with the simple answer, "Sex." I mean, research supports this. Studies have shown that on the average, most men experience 42,745 sexual thoughts a day. (I made that number up, but there were such studies and it was a huge amount, trust me.) Women on the other hand, were found to have far more thoughts about children, Oprah, and shoes than sex, but it still seemed to cross their minds periodically, though perhaps not every month.
As one prime example of a man, here I stand, 57 years old, exclusively together with my wife Shari for 13 years, who I love and adore without measure. Yet if you stopped me on the street randomly, any time of day or night, and asked me what was on my mind, assuming I answered truthfully, you'd have at least a 50-50 chance that my response would be "sex," and that's a very conservative estimate. This can be very annoying, distracting and not at all in alignment with the person I imagine myself to be -- a respectable, decent, grown-up, mature man who is not undressing and fantasizing about making love with any and every woman I see that I find sexually desirable. It's simply the residue of arrested adolescence, the never-fulfilled, ever-frustrated inner teenager. It is a completely automatic process, and, like it or not, it's how a lot of men are. I mean, somebody has to be keeping the multi-billion dollar porn industry going.
Perhaps this obsession men have with sex goes all the way back to our ancestors. It's just possible that Abraham was checking out every female nomad that passed his tent, not to mention the occasional camel. And there's just no way Adam wasn't spying on Eve changing her fig leaf while he hid in the bushes. We're talking about some very deeply rooted issues here, of Biblical proportions.
I propose, therefore, that all male members of Facebook agree to make "Sex" their Status Update this week, until further notice. If we reach a critical mass, we'll pass over a tipping point and suddenly, overnight, perhaps those men who are not "getting enough" will start getting lucky. Everyone knows that for each man who gets his sexual needs met, there is one less jerk out there wrecking the world in one way or another, at least for a few minutes. And as the '60s Make-Love-Not-War peaceniks used to point out, if every human being who was with another person right now was making love at this very moment, there would be far less war and violence in the world.
So who's on board? Let's do our part for world peace.