Dianne Dempsey is going live

Dianne Dempsey | Bendigo Weekly | 19-Oct-2017

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You would think you’d be safe mucking around on your phone late at night. You’ve pulled up the drawbridge, you’re not drinking, you’re not even driving, you’re just mucking around with Facebook…

Generally I just voyeuristically look at the messages. Oh, Marylou has just cleaned her teeth. Gary has left his wife and feels lonely – what did he think was going to happen? Susan has cooked cupcakes. Edgar is sending photos of his holiday in Goornong. Roger’s budgerigar has been dead for 40 years and he still misses it every day. 

These messages are interspersed by what I think of as video homilies which I’m sure are all made up.

So this particular night I ran out of things to look at. I started to press buttons, randomly. I’m always being accused of being a total Luddite regarding social media so I decided a vigorous, confident approach was called for and I would from now on position myself. Ah, ha, I liked the sound of that. Position myself.

After some more random button pressing I saw that I was taking photos with my phone but they were all of me. No that wasn’t  what I was after, I wanted to take a photo of the cat sitting on the coffee table. 

Pressed some more buttons. Saw that I was filming myself live. “Oh God,” I said out loud, “look at that double chin.” I changed the angle of the phone. 

“Now,” I muttered, “I have three chins.” Mutter, mutter, mutter.

Next moment my son came running into the room. “Mum, Mum, what are you doing?” 

“I’m filming myself.”

“Mum, you’re going live. Everyone out there is watching you.” My daughter-in-law rang from Darwin.”Di, get off the phone, now.”

Patrick took the phone off me and deleted the live post. 

Within 60 seconds I had something like 190 likes.

“What did you say,” he asked? “Did you bitch about everyone you know like you usually do?”

“No!” I said. “And how did you know I was going live?”

“Because it tells everyone Mum, all your Facebook friends got a message saying you were going out live and they watched you count your chins Mum.”

Oh bugger, I thought. Why can’t people just leave their phones alone and read or watch TV or go to bed or something...   

 – Dianne Dempsey

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