Not being on Facebook (I don't think a Facebook page called 'I Hate Ian O'Doherty' really counts, although the sentiment is admirable) can be a rather strange experience.
The phenomenon is undoubtedly a crucial part of popular culture, but being neither popular nor cultured has enabled me to so far evade its siren charms. And I reckon the last time I was 'poked' by anybody was when it was time to pay the tab after falling asleep in a Hawaiian Tikki bar.
But it appears that there is a new Facebook trend that is, for once, causing justifiable alarm – decapitation videos.
One of the great misconceptions of the corrupting moral values of a virtual online existence is the exposure to pornography. That's an argument for another day. But if parents really want to be concerned about their child seeing something that will seriously mess with their head, then the sight of someone like Daniel Pearl being slowly decapitated should be sufficiently worrying.
What was once the preserve of mad Muslims who like to show just how difficult it really is to saw someone's head off with a rusty bread knife, footage of these decapitations has become increasingly popular and that is something that really, truly and seriously should scare us all.
What is even more baffling was Facebook's defence yesterday of these obnoxious postcards from Hell by saying that the people who watch and share them are only doing so to condemn them.
Really? No, seriously, I mean really ?
This, lest we forget, is the company that refuses to allow women to put up pictures of themselves breastfeeding.
But trying to spin the presence of decapitation videos on the laughably spurious grounds that people are only watching so they can condemn them is a bit like saying that people watch dog fighting to see just how cruel it really is. We already know that it's cruel, disgusting and shameful, and people aren't watching that stuff just so they know how awful we can be as a species.
They're watching because they're getting their jollies.
As the lines blur between the real and the virtual, there has been a growing and increasingly demented argument that anything that happens in real life is somehow worthy of being posted for everyone to see. The most laughably risible argument I've yet heard in defence of decapitation videos is that no matter how unpleasant they may be, people have a right to watch.
They don't have the right. You don't have the right to watch them. I don't have the right to watch them.
Watching these videos isn't a freedom of speech issue, it is the most gratuitous and disgusting invasion of privacy one can possibly imagine.
It's not even about who has the hardest stomach – although there will be always be a percentage of empathy-free weirdos who want to plumb the depths. This is not even about the genuinely worrying desensitisation of anyone who watches.
Rightly seen as just being disgusting, for example, are up-skirt videos, where some pervert surreptitiously films some woman's knickers.
Now, compare that invasion of privacy, odd though it undoubtedly is, to people watching your last moments as some sand savage screams 'Allah uh-akbar' before holding your decapitated head aloft for the world to see.
Even worse, imagine being the loved one of the victim, grieving with the knowledge that their husband's gruesome demise was now the source of entertainment and comment (yes, people comment underneath as if it was a YouTube video).
You wouldn't make a defence for people putting up footage of women being raped in Omarska to show how horrible ethnic cleansing is. We know. Equally, you can't ban things on the internet because it just doesn't work.
But you can certainly suspend the account of any soulless, psychotic, furry-palmed little shit who passes these videos on to their mates.
Even if it is only to 'condemn' them.
AHA! WE'RE MORE PROGRESSIVE THAN THE BRITS!
So a debate is rumbling on in Britain about the two billion pounds spent on so-called 'health tourists' in the NHS, which involves recent arrivals demanding and receiving care even when there is no chance of them repaying.
This, inevitably, has led to the usual screams of racism from people who think that someone who has jumped out the back of a truck in Dover should have the same levels of care as someone who has paid taxes all their life.
It's an obviously absurd argument but the row shows how far behind us the UK is.
After all, we've all seen the specialised Roma medical facility in Tallaght hospital that gives free, exclusive treatment to a group of people who have no links to this country and who make only a negative contribution, while Irish people wait weeks for similar treatment.
Take that UK – we're even madder than you are...
IN FAIRNESS, LUCINDA, CAN YOU BLAME THEM?
Others are defending her, saying that Fine Gael's leadership is being dictatorial for demanding that she toe the line if she wants to stay a member.
As usual, we've been treated to the usual cries of 'it's complicated!'
Actually, it's not.
Let's put it this way, if I start suddenly writing endless columns about how my boss is an eejit (she's not, by the way. She's a wonderful and, crucially, forgiving, person) and how a rival paper is better, I'd be out on my ear.
What part of the word 'consequences' do Irish politicians not understand?