Tag Archives: facebook

I Have A Love/Hate Relationship With Facebook

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.

And for as much as I “love” Facebook, I think I hate it more. But I can’t stay away. It’s like a train wreck. I just have to look.

How bad is my affliction? Disgusted with more bragging and bad news, I signed off and raced over here to write a post about it. But I mistakenly (or was it?) clicked on Facebook again. Realizing my mistake immediately and disgusted with myself for succumbing to my bad habit so mindlessly, I move the mouse to leave again. What do I do instead? Read another sensationalized post.

I’m pathetic.

……….

I love…

…catching up with old friends. Friends I’ve lost touch with. Friends who live far away.

….how easy it is to stay in touch with people. A quick photo of my kid coming home from his first day of school. A shared recipe from a friend. Engagement news. That your son is on swim team, too. It doesn’t have to be a monumental event. I love hearing about the day-to-day. In moderation, of course.

I hate…

….sensationalized journalism. It makes my heart jump and my stomach do flip flops. As we enter the flu-season (and you all know how I wrestle with the flu vaccine. Every. Single. Year.) I’m now flooded with U.S. maps of where EV-D68 has hit (here in Georgia) and I get to worry about that, too.

…the  inflammatory posts of a political nature.

…the mundane, yet constant and excessive, “Having a drink at Applebee’s,” “Sure is sunny today,” and “Watching paint dry. Again,” kind of posts.

…the public service messages of a freakish nature. Some man, a known sleepwalker, camped near a cliff and fell off. My 11 year old is a sleepwalker. He’s a Boy Scout. They camp at least once a month. Near open bodies of water. Yeah. I don’t get much sleep those weekends. And I so didn’t need to see that post today. Or any day.

…the thinly veiled braggy posts or pictures of the latest party you attended (Yay! You have friends.) or your newest handbag purchase. Yes, I’ve heard of Michael Kors.

…the not-so-thinly-veiled braggy posts. The in-your-face barrage of photos or status updates extoling your oh-so-perfect life. Just once I’d like to see a picture of what you look like first thing in the morning. Or a panoramic view of your kids bedroom – today. Right now. Not after careful planning, a Pottery Barn decorating session and threats and screams to keep it clean 5 minutes for the picture.

…the phony “news” stories. Check with Snopes.com before you post something that sounds too good/too weird/too horrible to be true.

…the misquoted celebrity posts. John Lennon’s teacher/grow up to be happy quote – not true. And the “well-behaved woman” quote wasn’t said by Marilyn Monroe. Again. Check with Snopes before you re-post.

…the cryptic friend. “Worst. Day. Ever.” or “I hope it’s not ebola.” Really? If you’re not going to explain, I’m moving on. Attention seekers rarely get my attention. They get blocked.

Which reminds me of something else I love about Facebook that I forgot to mention.

 

I love…

…the ability to block certain people from your news feed without them knowing.

But that leads me to this confession.

I have so many people blocked on my news feed. People that violate my self-imposed Facebook Rules of Decorum. I’m beginning to wonder why I’m friends with them in the first place.

So, I’m going to have to end this post so I can go back to Facebook and do the proper research. I’ll get back to you with an answer in a few days.

See?

I’m hopeless.

 

12 Comments

Filed under Confessions, Deep Thoughts

O Come All Ye Old Fashioned. And Joy To The Handwritten Word.

The older I get, the more like my grandmother I’m beginning to feel.

She resisted change. She denied it’s existence. She’d pine for the way things were.

I have always thought of myself as someone who can roll with the changes. I may not have the latest iphone but I’m familiar enough with technology to create and maintain a blog. Okay. That may not be saying much but I still know people who use their computers for email and online shopping and that’s about it. At least I’ve taken it a step further.

I’m frustrated that a 4 year old computer is past its prime. I still have an old Blackberry and my daughter is dragging me, kicking and screaming, to update my phone. I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Sure I’m overdue for a new phone by about 2 years. But it’s working just fine and I’m cheap. (I blame my Scottish great-grandparents for that trait.)

My friend just came back from a conference about her daughter’s progress. She, like me, is frustrated with the lack of emphasis on penmanship and math facts. They gave her some hooey about critical thinking skills being the focus. That calculators and computers are where it’s at. That someday, even typing skills will be obsolete. We’ll soon be talking into handheld devices that will type for us.

And here it is, December 6th and I’ve yet to receive a Christmas card. Oh, sure. There’s still time but I remember years when receiving a card after Thanksgiving got my butt into high gear, pushing me to finish our stack. Currently, our cards are gathering dust in the corner. I’m apathetic about sending them out. I guess I need the motivation. I need to know that others enjoy the holiday card tradition, too. C’mon, people! Send me a card so it’ll guilt me into getting with the program. Someone has to keep the US Postal Service in business. Let it begin with you. And me.

I have a feeling, within a week or so, I’ll start receiving holiday ecards.  Silly elves with your faces plastered on them, dancing a merry tune. A happy holiday catch phrase. And then your e-signature. Or maybe you’ll send a shout out on Facebook or Twitter.

Today, I sit here pining for the old days. The days of multiplication facts dancing in my head. Crystal clear penmanship, in silver script, on a good old fashioned Christmas card.

Call me an old fuddy-duddy. It’s okay. I can take it.

For as connected as we think we are with all of this new technology, I can’t help but feel we are missing something. True connections to the people we love. Fine motor skills. Exercising our brains with good old fashioned memorization. Do you rely on your address book in your phone as much as I do? Heaven forbid if my phone should die. Without caller ID or the numbers in my phone, I’d be lost.

And then there’s the care and time it takes to sit down and hand write a holiday card. The delicious thrill of seeing personal mail addressed to you among the bills and junk mailers. Instead we have fallen prey to mass-emailings and status updates.

O come, all ye old-fashioned. Pick up your pens. Write a card by hand. Stamp it and mail it.

Joy to the handwritten word!

12 Comments

Filed under Deep Thoughts

A Very Merry Un-Birthday To YOU! And You! And You!

8 Comments

Filed under Completely Random

I Fear The Internet Will Burst From The Sheer Weight Of All The Egos

I’m slightly irritated.

And I’m losing my Pollyanna zest for browsing the internet.

Facebook statuses. Blogs. Youtube videos. The 200 word quick clicks provided by the media of the next regular Jane or Joe making the news. The Pin It! buttons popping up on blogs. The thinly veiled and not-so-thinly-veiled shouts of “Look at me! Over here! Look at me!” or “Please! Make me popular! I must fund my fantasy lifestyle!”

It seems everyone out there wants to be noticed and they don’t care how it’s done. Stupid human tricks on video. Filming your children high on nitrous oxide. Pimping for comments or votes for a contest on a blog. (I’m not immune. I admit. I’ve done this, too.) Slow news days with stories about fake lottery winners wanting a bit of the spotlight. Creating a blog around a novel idea (pun intended), not a real blog but one that is supposed to jump start your book/movie pitch/services.

It’s to the point that whenever I click on a new site or read a news story, about three words in I’m wondering: What’s the angle? What do they want? What are they promoting?

Sometimes I think I’m back in high school. Facebook pages with 500+  1500+ friends. (Really? You honestly have 1564 people you need to keep up with on a daily basis? Wow. You must be really popular.)

Can the Internet hold all of the egos? Will it burst from pride and self-glorification?

And how does this shape our views of others? Will it jade us? Will it cause us to approach each other with caution and mistrust?

It seems rare anymore that I stumble onto the kind of blogs I enjoy and love. But YOUR blogs. The dear ones that comment here and check in to see if I caught my son’s flu. (I did. But very mild.) The ones who write because they have to write and share ideas. Real people trying to make real connections. The down-to-earth, sending thoughts and ideas into the internet, hoping to catch the eye of a like-minded, thinking, intelligent individual kind of blogger.

Your blogs are the ones I crave.

16 Comments

Filed under Observations, Soapbox

Former Hot, Hunky Jock Becomes An Actor. Surprise!

He was a jock.

He was hot.

And he knew it.

And all through high school he’d hang with his posse. They’d sit on the floor of a well traveled hallway and rate the girls with flashcards. When a 9 or 10 would walk by, the lucky girl would giggle and blush. When a 6 would walk by (me), she’d hang her head in shame and wish she could disappear. I have no idea how the ones or twos got to class. Luckily, the teachers got wind of what was going on and ended the game.

He and his friends made fun of the choir geeks. No slushies in the face (it would have been Slurpees) but they wouldn’t be caught dead at one of our concerts. And the plays? Even when we needed hunky, athletic types for Grease they were too cool to try out.

I remember him making a disparaging comment about one of my friends. One of my gay friends.

“I’m in that play, too,” I said.

“No you’re not,” he shook his head. “You’re a swimmer.” (Our school often won State Championships in swimming so it was a cool sport back then.)

“Yes, and I’m in the play and the choir and the select ensemble,” I waited for his response.

There was none. He brushed it off. In his cool, dismissive way.

“Sorry about the other day,” he said, barely audible, and he walked away.

I suppose he was referencing the day I was rated a six.

We never really spoke again. He was an upper classman. Friends with my upper class friends on the swim team. I ran into him a few times before he graduated at hockey games or football parties (he played) but we barely said hello. And that was OK with me. After his comment about my friend, I no longer thought he was hot.

He had been popping up on my sidebar in facebook. For over a year.  Fifteen friends in common. I’ve ignored it. But I wondered if he even remembered me. I sent a friend request. Just to see what would happen.  And now I’m part of his other 1,886 posse members.

Guess what? He’s in Hollywood. And he’s a hot, hunky actor. Making a fairly good living at it. I’d heard this but didn’t believe it. I’d seen him, thought I’d recognized him in a few television shows, but dismissed it. I thought he went to Cornell University. Majoring in business or some other predictable pursuit. It couldn’t be him. He made fun of us acting geeks, the songbirds singing with the queers.

Guess what? He did attend Cornell. Majored in business. Then, I guess he figured out acting would be a more lucrative career for him than business.

And there he is. On the small screen. Making a living as an acting geek. A hot, hunky acting geek. With fans. An L.A. home. A rock ‘n roll lifestyle.

Well. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected anything less.

7 Comments

Filed under Growing Up, Observations

The Exercise Braggarts On Facebook. Tell Me Again. Why Are We ‘Friends’?

Who are these people that I’m friends with on Facebook? All of my Facebook friends are people I either went to school with, taught, is a neighbor, etc. In other words, people I have encountered in real life. No friends of a friend of a friend of a friend. Real people I’ve interacted with in real time.

In real time they seemed…..normal.

On Facebook? Aliens. Not from my world.

“So glad I got to the gym at 5am this morning. I’m leaving at 6 and there are 3 people fighting over the cardio machine. Ha!”

“Last run before the big race. An easy 5K in 23:12. Now my left calf hurts, left knee. But I feel great!”

“Just finished a great 18 mile run. The 30mph winds? Not so great.”

“It’s cardio time! What are YOU up to?”

Me? Wow. It’s so sweet of you to care.

I’m more of an introspective and private exerciser. I love my quiet yoga time. Walks with my dog. Sometimes we walk with my neighbor and her dog. And swimming, of course. My therapy. Lap after lap.  But apart from broadcasting my exercise exploits here (for the purpose of this post, of course) I don’t feel the need to shout my daily (OK, sometimes every other day) sporting accomplishments from the rooftops.

Who are these people?

And why am I friends with them again?

19 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious, Observations

Getting Your Blog Posts Via Facebook: The Ultimate Lazy Writing Move

One of the things that annoys me about television journalism is “man on the street” interviews about important subjects. First of all, I live near a big, metropolitan city in the south. Oh heck, I’ll just say it. I live near Atlanta. Watching the evening news is painful. When the Michael Vick story was big every stereotypical impoverished white person or black person was on the news giving their often inarticulate opinion. And then, because the station is based in Atlanta, their clip would make it on CNN.

So embarrassing.

I sometimes wonder if the producers are just having a little fun, spicing up their already boring day, by choosing the people with the heaviest southern accents, or poor grammar, or ridiculous comments regarding les news du jour.

And then, of course, there’s Fox News (not based in Atlanta, thank God) with their inane banter and shallow commentary on newsworthy events. I don’t want to hear from the man on the street. I certainly don’t want to hear the opinions of news journalist wannabes who got the job because they looked good on camera.

Just give me the news, for God’s sakes. Give me the facts and let me decide how I feel about it. I’m not a lemming. I don’t need to hear how Joe Blow feels before I can decide what I think about the situation in Iran.

So, I read most of my news. But even that can be tricky. I’ll be reading along and mid-way through I realize I’m reading opinion, thinly disguised as fact. By the end of the article, I’m both sure that it’s opinion and I’m disgusted. If the topic really interests me, I’ll Google it and sift through fact and fiction until I get a clear picture. But what a pain in the fingers.

Imagine my surprise when I find an article, online, promising The 13 Things That Blah, Blah, Blah (I’m not going to name it. It wasn’t that great of an article and I don’t want to hurt the blogger’s – dare I say writer’s? – feelings.) 

The article gave a cursory overview of the topic in one or two paragraphs and then……

…wait for it……

…wait for it…..

Facebook fans wrote the rest.

Oh, sure. The writer (I use this term loosely) compiled the responses. But items #1, #2, #3 and so on were quotations via Facebook.

An entire article based on Joe and Jane Blows from Facebook. Their opinion. Not even a collective study of the most 13 Blah, Blah, Blahs. Just 13 random opinions that were gathered from a Facebook page.

Now that’s the ultimate lazy writing move.

And if I ever get a case of terminal writer’s block?

Hmmmmmm……..

She might be on to something.

8 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Observations

Facebook Status Updates I Wish I Had The Guts To Post

  1. I’m just a lazy @$$, sitting on my couch eating Cheetos and watching TV while the rest of you are running marathons and getting your best time. Ever!
  2. You have your health, a job, your kids aren’t doing drugs and your husband is faithful. Quit your whining!
  3. What a busy weekend! There isn’t enough room to list all the parties I was invited to and you weren’t!
  4. I honestly don’t care about what computer game you are playing or what your top score is.
  5. If you just posted that you’re at the local pub, the newest gourmet cafe or snazzy boutique and you didn’t ask me to come along? Please. Just stop typing.
  6. I’m in the grocery line. The woman in front of me is paying with coupons and exact change. I forgot laundry soap. I don’t want to get out of line. Still waiting for the lady in front of me. Boy, I’m so hungry. Oh yay! It’s my turn. Great. There’s a price check. So, I’m still waiting. Is this boring for you? Yep. Me, too.
  7. You’re having a fight with your boyfriend. Fine. I get it. It happens to all of us. But if you’re not going to tell HIM how you feel, please don’t tell all of us.
  8. Just a little unsolisited advise. Their is no spellchek or grammer chek on Facebook. Proof you’re posts.
  9. Boundaries people! I don’t want to hear about your day 0n the toilet.
  10. OMG. If you have time to post your time at the 1/2 way mark of your marathon maybe you should put the phone down and try to beat the course record. You might have more to brag about at the end of your race. Just sayin’.

9 Comments

Filed under Completely Random

What IS All This Brouhaha Over Facebook Changes?

Sipping tea, watching Headline News yesterday morning, I hear Robin Meade mention the changes on Facebook and how everyone’s panties are in a twist.

I think, “Oh no. Not again. Not something new for me to get used to.”

So, I rush up to my computer and log onto Facebook to check it out.

Changes? Huh?

What changes?

Oh, sure. There’s a little ticker on the right sidebar that shifts every so often. (No different from the little ticker at the bottom of the television screen on most news programs.) And now there’s a handy, dandy little blue triangle located in the upper left hand corner of homepage posts. (What it’s for, I have no idea. And I don’t care, either.)

But people tweeting and twittering decrying these changes? Or, shouting out to fellow Facebook friends with evil status updates belittling Facebook powers that be?

Silly.

A little change never hurt anyone. (Except when they messed around with the formula for Coca-Cola, of course. But that’s for another post.)

Change keeps us young. Change challenges us to adapt. Change encourages problem solving.

Change is good!

All this crying about change reminded me of a pithy comment I saw on a church sign recently:

“If you are resistant to change just remember the beauty of autumn.”

Truer words were never spoken.

14 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious, Deep Thoughts, Hey! That Reminds Me!

Back-To-School Traditions Shared. (I Hope)

When my daughter first started school, 14 years ago, we started a tradition of dinner out at the restaurant of her choice on the first day of school. It was a tradition born of necessity. I was teaching at the time, a single mom, and was completely overwhelmed and frazzled on that first day of school. She had no idea she was saving me from having to tackle dinner.

She thought it was all about her.

Which it was.

And continued to be.

We’ve done that every year as our little back-to-school tradition. Not very original, though. Especially when I read a Facebook friend’s little shout out: “Just finished our end-of-summer-back-to-school tradition of ice cream for dinner! Yum! Yum!”

So cute. A little too sugary for my tastes. (Ba-dum-bum! Chhhh!)

 But original. And a lot more exciting than our boring ol’ go-out-for-dinner-on-the-first-day-of-school.

There must be other traditions out there that I hadn’t heard of.

So…..

Shout them out in the comments section below.

Please?

I’m looking for new material!

14 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious