I’ve been on Facebook since 2008. In other words, I joined when it was fun.
Indeed, back then, folks concentrated on sharing random facts about themselves and creating something called Flair, which was basically buttons you made that represented people, places, and things you liked and/or loved. I devoted serious time and attention to choosing just the right pieces of Flair that represented my personality and interests.
Of course, I can’t remember specifics about those buttons because one day circa 2009, Facebook decided to rid the world of Flair boards. Soon after, people started using Facebook to try to sell me on commerce and/or ideas.
Oh, yeah, and to try to teach me math.
If you’re on Facebook, then you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not on there, here’s a synopsis: A wiseguy friend will share a long-expletive math problem that contains addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and parentheses. Said wiseguy will also share the answer to said problem whilst simultaneously mocking anyone who doesn’t know the answer. The wiseguy will be joined by a chorus of other wiseguys who will belittle anyone who doesn’t follow the order of operations to arrive at the right answer.
Spoiler alert: I never know the answer. I don’t even guess because I also don’t know what the order of operations is. What’s more, I’m not sure why people of an advanced age are bragging about remembering this order of operations. If they want to impress me, they can share scenes from Duran Duran videos or dialogue from “Family Ties.”
Of course, if these wiseguys were posting quizzes that asked us to determine whether to use their, there, or they’re, I wouldn’t be complaining. On the other hand, everyone speaks and, thanks to social media, email, and texts, most everyone writes on a daily basis. So, people need to know when to use their, there, or they’re.
But who’s doing math that requires them to reminisce about order of operations? I’m not talking about balancing a checkbook or handing out change. I’m talking about figuring out the answer to eight plus four divided by two subtracted by one (in parenthesis) multiplied by zero?
I’m bringing this to everyone’s attention because I need to know which occupations and activities require multiplying anything by zero or inserting random parenthesis into math problems so I can avoid these occupations and activities. After all, if working these math problems was a requirement of my employment, I would have already died in poverty. And if the bank had asked me to solve such a problem before giving me a mortgage, I would be homeless.
But if they ever ask me to create some snazzy Flair, I’ll be all over that.
This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.