Tag Archives: facebook

Old Faces Book

The new world of social media gives those of us who want it the opportunity to keep in touch, or get back in touch with people from earlier stages in our lives.  Locating people is fairly simple these days, compared to 30 years ago, when private investigators would be needed.

Some people use these new tools, like Facebook, to get together with old flames, which turns out not to be such a good idea much of the time, as Facebook was mentioned in 42% divorce proceedings a few years ago.

For me, it’s just interesting to see what old friends are up to.  I mostly find that I exchange one email with childhood or college buddies, and then just follow them on Facebook.

Monday was an interesting day in that regard.  Early in the day I learned that a college friend is about to move to a place in the country.  I think she lives in Washington State with her husband.  Her mother just died this year – she was in her mid-90’s.

Later in the day I learned that another college friend who had just one month ago moved to a new job in Washington, DC had resigned, and was returning to his previous job in Florida.   Tough month.

Then that night, I saw a shocking post from a woman I knew in college.  She had married a great guy who was in a lot of classes with me.  His name was Ted.  They were a really nice couple.  She wrote to report that he died of a massive heart attack at age 62.  My age.  I remember going to a Marx Brothers’ double feature with the two of them.  I was a third wheel, but didn’t feel like one.

I haven’t seen Ted since 1976, so I can’t claim to have been his friend.  I still feel sorrow for his death, and for his wife’s loss.   A loss I wouldn’t have known about without Facebook.

Three college classmates: one moving to the country, one moving back to Florida, one moving to the afterlife.  There is probably a conclusion to be drawn, or a moral to the story, but I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe this: be sure to spend time and energy with your real-world friends in case they move along sometime soon.

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Filed under 2016

Old Faces Book

                The new world of social media gives those of us who want it the opportunity to keep in touch, or get back in touch with people from earlier stages in our lives.  Locating people is fairly simple these days, compared to 30 years ago, when private investigators would be needed.

                Some people use these new tools, like Facebook, to get together with old flames, which turns out not to be such a good idea much of the time, as Facebook was mentioned in 42% divorce proceedings a few years ago.

                For me, it’s just interesting to see what old friends are up to.  I mostly find that I exchange one email with childhood or college buddies, and then just follow them on Facebook.

                Monday was an interesting day in that regard.  Early in the day I learned that a college friend is about to move to a place in the country.  I think she lives in Washington State with her husband.  Her mother just died this year – she was in her mid-90’s.

                Later in the day I learned that another college friend who had just one month ago moved to a new job in Washington, DC had resigned, and was returning to his previous job in Florida.   Tough month.

                Then that night, I saw a shocking post from a woman I knew in college.  She had married a great guy who was in a lot of classes with me.  His name was Ted.  They were a really nice couple.  She wrote to report that he died of a massive heart attack at age 62.  My age.  I remember going to a Marx Brothers’ double feature with the two of them.  I was a third wheel, but didn’t feel like one.

                I haven’t seen Ted since 1976, so I can’t claim to have been his friend.  I still feel sorrow for his death, and for his wife’s loss.   A loss I wouldn’t have known about without Facebook.

                Three college classmates: one moving to the country, one moving back to Florida, one moving to the afterlife.  There is probably a conclusion to be drawn, or a moral to the story, but I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe this: be sure to spend time and energy with your real-world friends in case they move along sometime soon.

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Filed under 2016

Facebook Words To Live By

The internet, and Facebook in particular, have both added and taken away from our lives. People without access to computers don’t know what they’re missing, which I mean in both a good and bad way.

One thing Facebook provides plenty of is interesting sayings to ponder. Some are quotes from famous people, some are quotes attributed to famous people, but are things they never actually said, and some are just interesting quotes from nobody in particular.

I’d like to share a few with you today, if you don’t mind.

*”I don’t judge people based on race, color, or religion, sexuality of gender. I judge them on whether or not they are a jerk” (not the actual word, but you get my drift).

* “When someone asks me what I did over the weekend I just squint and ask, ‘What did you hear?’”

*I have never known why it is greed to want to keep the money you have earned, but not greed to want to take someone else’s money.” -Thomas Sowell

*”A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.”

*”Always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. Then be a pirate.”

*”I don’t think its age that makes us forgetful. I think there’s just too much stupid stuff (not the actual word used) to remember.”

*“All you need is love. And a tiara. And maybe a cookie.”

*We live in an era of smart phones and stupid people.”

*A headline: “’We hate math’ say four in ten Americans – a majority.”

*”Irony. The opposite of Wrinkly.”

*”There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true, and the other is to refuse to accept what is true.” – Soren Kierkegaard

*Life is not about how much money you have. It’s about quotes and stuff that tell you what life is really all about. And here is a picture of a cat.”

So, if you can’t find any words to live by, or words to avoid living by, from all of these quotes, then I’d suggest you start writing your own!

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Filed under 2014

That’s What Friends Are For

Over the past 25 years or so a lot of words have taken on new meanings, mostly because of computers, new media, and the fact that all the good words were apparently taken.

Meanings of words change all the time, of course. That’s why dictionaries have multiple definitions for many words. Words like straight and gay never used to have any sexual meanings, and a tea party used to involve tiny cups and saucers.

In the world of computers we’ve called a pointing device a mouse, a malicious program a virus, and a brief message a tweet. Icon, which used to represent something, well, iconic, now means a little symbol on a computer screen.

I was thinking about the word “friend” the other day. Friend is a word I take pretty seriously. For whatever reason, I don’t have many friends. I have a fair number of acquaintances, colleagues, clients, neighbors, and relatives, but only a handful of real friends… except on Facebook, where a friend is basically someone you’ve agreed to communicate with.

When I entered the world of Facebook, I decided to do so for mostly mercenary reasons, by which I mean pure self-interest. I wanted a way to connect with clients and a network of people I’ve met through the years who might be of assistance to me someday. I’ve never been very good at networking, so I thought I’d try to improve on it using Facebook.

After a year of daily searching, I had accumulated over 400 friends. As time went on, I also “friended” some real friends, members of my extended family, some members of the community, former classmates, and people I find to be interesting acquaintances.

Recently, I’ve been unfriending some people. Some of them are people I hardly know and who shouldn’t have “friended” me in the first place. Some are people who I know and like, but who often write posts that make my blood pressure go up. I’m afraid that if I keep reading what they write, it will affect my non-on-line relationship with them.

A few people who are Facebook friends constantly post pictures of food or pets – both of which I like very much – but enough is enough! Some of them play various on-line games like “Farmville,” which is fine, but not of interest to me.

So, bit by bit I’m winnowing down my list of friends. But, each time I click the “unfriend” button (another word with a new computer meaning), I feel a little sense of loss. Maybe it’s the word friend that tugs at me. In the real world, I’ve lost a few friends to death, and others to the natural drifting apart that happens in life.

That drifting apart, ironically, is perhaps exacerbated by our obsession with the on-line world. Yes, it does help us keep in touch, but not in a real-world context. News reports claim that nearly half of marriages that break up do so because of relationships on Facebook. Should our spouses be our true friends?

I guess my point is that just as the word icon has been watered down by its new definition, the word friend is at risk of losing its depth and intensity of meaning. I might have been better served in the past year by making new real-world friends, or investing more time and effort in those I am fortunate enough to have.

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Filed under 2012

Social Mediocrity

Ten years ago, a twitter was, as Dictionary.com says, “a succession of tremulous sounds.”  Now Twitter is a social media tool used by millions to communicate things that, somehow, we all lived without hearing up until now.  Ten years ago a face book would be a book with faces in it.  Now it is a means for people to keep up with each other’s lives from our computer or iphone screens.  My space used to be where we’d go to be alone.  Now, Myspace is a social media platform.

People have really embraced these forms of communication.  A few months ago we were talking to an adult friend who casually mentioned that our daughter was worried she’d miss her plane that morning.  How did she know?  Facebook.

I have a Twitter account.  Honestly, it’s like pulling teeth to get me to use it.  I have so many other things to occupy my time that I’m not sure what benefit it gives me to tell people, in 140 characters or less, what’ I’m doing throughout the day.  And, I’m even less sure what benefit other people would get from hearing about my lunch, the nice walk I took, or how bad my migraine is.

Last Friday I signed up for Facebook.  It was easy to do, and while it asks for more information than I wanted to give, you can choose not to divulge everything.  I know quite a few people who are “on” Facebook, and they mostly responded favorably to my request that they “friend” me.  People share comments, photos, and even videos with their friends, and it is admittedly interesting.

I don’t know much, yet, about how it works, or all the ramifications of sharing too much on Facebook.  For example, there are surely things I’d be happy to share with friend friends, that I’d be reluctant to share with professional friends. 

I was thinking that some new social media outlets might be needed.  Couples could communicate using “Myspouse.”  Ridiculous stories could be told on “Farcebook.”  Railroad engineers could communicate on “Tooter.”  Or, maybe not.

There are those who say that our fascination with communicating by electronic devices has had a negative effect on our time spent communicating in person.  A text message is much less personal than a phone call, for example.  I wonder if a bigger issue might be that tweeters, Facebook devotees, and Myspacers end up spending more time with the devices than with people, nature, books, or their own thoughts.  But, I’m not worried that social networking and social media are a danger to society.  There are worse habits to have.

I see that the world has changed, and while I don’t want to be left behind, I’m not sure I want to come along either.  Figuring out what has real value in life is really a life-long pursuit.  And, I guess each of us has to decide that on our own.

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Filed under 2010