Tag Archives: friend

What Does Your Facebook Page Say About You?

I have been both fascinated and repulsed by Facebook.

Strong words? Maybe. But let me explain.

I first began a Facebook account because my daughter wanted a MySpace account and I said, NO! I explored Facebook and tried to become adept at it, to stay one step ahead of my teen. Ha! She’s now had her account a year less than I have and she is light-years ahead of me in skill. We call her Tech-Support.

Sure, I connected with many people from my past that have been so nice to touch base with. Yes, it’s been so easy to check in with friends and family who live far away. I kind of like the little sound bites (every now and then) of what my friend is up to: how she’s buried in laundry or he just witnessed his daughter’s first step or letting me know of a great film I should see.

And then, an amazing thing happened to me with Facebook.

A dear, dear friend from high school and swim team popped up. We friended each other. We started catching up. And discovered that we live only 45 minutes away from each other, even though we grew up together 1000 miles away.

Freaky coincidence.

Our friendship is renewed. We crack each other up, just like old times. And marvel over the amazing thing that is Facebook.

I honestly don’t know how we would have found each other without it (or something like it.) Both sets of our parents have since moved away from our hometown. Friends are scattered far and wide. We may have been able to find each other another way, but it wouldn’t have been easy.

Not as easy as the click-type-click that it is on Facebook.

That’s the fascinating part.

What is repulsive is the self-absorbed culture it is turning us into. I don’t care about the minute by minute updates. You think you’re funny? But you are funny only about 10% of the time. In our neighborhood, Facebook has become a popularity contest. It reminds me of high school – the public bragging about vacations and which party you just attended and the great time you had with Biff, Skip and Buffy. 

I now hide certain people (because I don’t have the guts to unfriend them) so I’m not tempted to fall into their trap.  Wondering why I wasn’t invited to the girl’s night out. Or pool party. Wondering why we can’t afford the cruise or trip to Europe or new car. Reading their brag posts, I find myself slipping into a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality that I abhor.

So I hide. I ignore their posts as if they didn’t exist. I stick my head in the sand and create my own little bubble.

And then there’s the trick of people finding you on Facebook when you don’t want to be found. A dark period of my past came up and almost bit me. I ignored the friend request and panicked. How much had he found out about me and my adult life? Did I have all the right privacy settings in place? Why oh why was it so easy for this stalker to find me again?

Tech-Support (dear daughter) assured me that he only saw my name. And then she taught be how to disappear from him and any of the close friends I could remember that he had by blocking him and the rest of his posse.

Close call.

Rogue Pictures

NPR had an interesting review of two up-coming films about Facebook. Catfish (about a Facebook friendship) and The Social Network (about how Facebook got started) They both sound very interesting and I look forward to checking them out. But what interested me more was the way in which Bob Mondello (the NPR reviewer) chose to describe his “like” of the films. It is a clever review that is worth the listen.

And like Bob, I don’t want to say much more than that. But it got me thinking about how our lives have changed forever with social networks and how we now operate. How soundbites and friending and unfriending have become normal, every day behavior that influences how we operate and what we expect. The sense of immediacy it creates. It cultivates impatience and unnecessary worry. Yet it connects us in ways we never imagined it would.

Facebook is here to stay. Fascinating or repulsive, we’re left to use or abuse its abilities. I only hope we become bored with the mundane updates and more sensitive about what we post on our profiles. After all, our Facebook pages are an extension of who we are and how we want to be perceived.

What does your Facebook page say about you?

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Filed under How We Roll, Observations

There’s A Fresh Coat Of Paint At Jane’s Today

Things were getting a little dull over here. I took a look around my blog and I thought, “Hmmm. New curtains? Maybe a fresh coat of paint? What would this chair look like over here?” And then Kristen from Motherese came to my rescue.

“Let’s trade spaces,” she suggested. And I heartily agreed!

As a part of Amy’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” meme, we decided to switch things up a bit together. It always helps to have a friend’s discerning eye and gentle charm to spruce things up at your blog. And Kristen is just the blogger to help me.

You can find me over at her place, sharing a favorite post. And just a few lines down you’ll find her wonderful words. Her blog is a welcoming place that shares the joys and strains of motherhood.  She encourages frank, honest discussion and loving support. One of my favorite daily reads, I just know you’ll love her, too.

Please give a warm welcome to Kristen.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Have you ever played the Game of Life?  My older brother and I played constantly, both of us longing to land on one of the squares at the beginning of the game that entitled us to a career as a lawyer or a doctor (and the $50,000 annual salary that went with it – I guess lawyers and doctors weren’t making the big bucks back in the 80s).  In the Game of Life – and probably in more lives in general a few decades ago – you steered your car along a predetermined course, collecting paychecks and children, all the way to retirement (at which point, if I recall correctly, you could trade in your kids for cash…but that’s a topic for another post entirely). 

Yesterday I read a version of a statistic that I’d seen before, but it surprised me nonetheless: according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American worker will change careers 3-5 times during her lifetime.  Not jobs.  Not 9th grade social studies teacher at Franklin D. Roosevelt High, then 10th grade world history teacher at Oak Hill Regional, then 12th grade economics teacher at Shelburne Community.  Careers.  Teacher.  Then Astrophysicist.  Then City Comptroller.  (Okay, maybe not exactly, but you get the picture.)

As a kid, like my persona in the Game of Life, I often defaulted to the idea of being a lawyer.  All of my dad’s siblings were lawyers.  They liked to talk.  I liked to talk.  I also liked the idea of making $50,000 a year and wearing suits to work.  I liked the show L.A. Law.  But in college I passed that torch off to many (most?) of my friends who headed off to law school after graduation while I headed instead to a different sort of classroom – one in which I’d be a teacher instead of a student.  That’s where I went and that’s where I stayed until Big Boy was born.  A few different jobs, but the same career.

And now I’m 32.  I’ve had one career so far.  I liked it.  I even loved it sometimes.  But right now I don’t see myself going back to it.  And, according to the Labor Department, I need at least two more careers to qualify as average.  So I have to ask myself: What do I want to do when I grow up?

And you know what?  I have no idea.  No clue what I want to do next.

Right now I’m a mother.  And that certainly takes a lot of doing.  But what else do I want to do?  Well, I want to read the stack of books that’s been sitting on my bedside table since last Christmas.  I want to wake up one morning to something other than the sound of a baby crying.  I want to go back to Paris – with Husband, but without the wee ones.  I want to get a massage.  A long massage.

Actually, most of my want-to-do’s have to do with states of being – how I’ve been in a different place in time, how I want to be – rather than what I want to do.  And I realize that maybe the question that matters isn’t, What do I want to do?, but rather, What do I want to be?

And what do I want to be?  I want to be present.  I want to be satisfied.  I want to be fulfilled.  I want to be heard.  I want to be happy.

I still don’t know what career space I want to land on in my own personal game of life.  I still don’t know how the doing can get me to the being.  No, I still don’t know what I want to do, but I’m getting closer to knowing what I want to be.

What do you want to do when you grow up?  What do you want to be?

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Filed under Growing Up, Moms, Observations