if you don’t have something nice to say. . .

or even if you do . . . . there is always a negative aspect.  which somehow will become all that is remembered.

i left my father in tallahassee and his provenge treatment went well.  i met two new facebook friends–william taylor and ron winegar.  i wasn’t able to meet others i was scheduled to see, most particularly jennifer brand clair from tampa.  jennifer built me a facebook cake to celebrate what would have been our first meeting.

the cake is like an open book, with one page about facebook and twin laptops–hers and mine. the other page has an airplane flying down to florida to meet jennifer. she sent me the cake as an attachment to a message. buttercream frosting doesn’t taste as good when you’re trying to lick it off your screen.


i flew from tallahassee to charlotte and from there to chicago–the t.s.a. were definitely more attentive and they’ve implemented the “second look” policy at the gates.

this morning, i was surprised to find the following article.  i had forgotten that more than a week ago, a reporter called and wanted to talk about my new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends.  he kept focusing his questions on the negative. . . things that went wrong, friendships that weren’t good, unfriending, disaster.  and i think i sound like i am a more negative person than i think i am.

your thoughts?

oh, here’s the link:


can i add this to the article? can i tape this to my front door? can i tack this onto the bulletin board at the starbucks? because i think words really affect us.


11 responses to “if you don’t have something nice to say. . .

  • carolynquinn

    Know what my thoughts are on that particular reporter? “A critic is a legless man who teaches dancing!”

  • William Taylor

    Miss Quinn, You are SO cool!!! And Arlynn is the furthest thing from a negative I know! Bravo!! to you! (flashback to aural photography.)

  • walicarr

    I found the article quite interesting…the writer made that case that our culture, in general, does not have a good way to end friendships. And this problem has been aggravated with social media such as Facebook where, despite statements to the contrary, a “friend” is just a “friend.” You really can’t Facebook to separate who’s your best friend, acquaintance, colleague, etc. I think that the writer narrowed his focus as part of his argument. From that perspective, he does have a point–how do we “formally” end a friendship, as we do, say, a marriage? Or mark the end, as we do when someone passes? We could wind up seeing the end of friendship on Judge Judy–or Jerry Spinger!

  • tonytyner

    I think the writer totally misses the point about you. He says, “Last year, a writer of romance novels from Illinois named ArLynn Presser embarked upon what you might call an audit of her so-called friends – the social equivalent of picking up each old gadget and scrutinising it, before keeping it or throwing it out.”

    To me, that totally misses the point of what you did (are doing). He never mentions agoraphobia. He also said, “she made a New Year’s resolution to visit them all, to find out why – or, indeed, whether – they were friends.”

    wasn’t more about physically meeting a friend rather than staying hope and doing it cyberly?

    I think he’s guilty of predetermining the outcome of his article.

  • pixygiggles

    I agree with tonytyner. The article didn’t accurately depict your resolution & experience very well. He made it seem like you set out with the sole purpose of ‘testing’ all of your Facebook friends. The author obviously had one particular direction in mind for that article and was determined to make your interview ‘fit’ into his mold of it. He does bring out some good points about social media and the impact it can have on real life interactions; but the overall negativity of the article causes me to question his honesty and integrity as a writer.

    Perhaps, his negativity stems from all of the negative comments he is receiving. I skimmed through a few of the comments people have left on that article, and even I would become cynical if I had to put up with those types of interactions on a daily basis. It’s a shame that the internet can bring out the worst in some people.

  • Don Wainwright

    What would you expect from a guy who wrote The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking.” The power of negative thinking is the premise for this classic of drive-by journalism.

    As a “writer of romance novels”, you’ve apparently turned his parliamentarian crank. Good for you Arlynn.

  • Julia Kovach

    Arlynn, the thing about that reporter is that he’s taking the easy way with his writing. I don’t think it takes any talent at all to see/report/write about the negative side of anything in this life. Everyone sees it, deals with it, and tries to overcome it…..why would we need someone else to come around and write about it? Why he couldn’t take all his energy and efforts and apply them to something positive, is just lazy. And nothing more than whining. I don’t read some of the most popular blogs out here, because I won’t waste my time listening to others vent their complaints. He should’ve just posted some Walmart people pics and been done with it. Same thing. Keep on keeping on, girl. Pay no mind to the haters and whiners. You don’t appear negative at all. That’s all on him. Be well! xoxo

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