To Facebook or Not to Facebook

My best friend in Canada bugged me for years about joining facebook. Apparently it caught on in Canada before it got big here. I never really got the point since not that many people I knew were on it. Then one day I was urged to revisit it by another friend. Low and behold there were several people I knew on it. When did they show up? Out of curiosity to view other people’s profiles I set one up, friended one person and, seriously, within the hour, three other friends popped up. How did they find out so quickly? So much for lying low…

It has been a couple of years now and I still have mixed feelings about facebook.

First, the good. I am an introvert with loner tendencies. Facebook helps me stay plugged in with others in a way that e-mail never did. Especially ones who aren’t near. The sharing of photos, the knowledge that someone I care about is doing well, or not so well, prompts me to take action. They, in turn can see what I’m up to, watch my kid grow up (at least in photos) and can encourage or support me with just a simple “like” comment. It’s nice to know someone is hearing you.

Here’s the bad. Safety can be compromised. If you don’t learn all you can about how to use the privacy system, your identity can be at risk. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take rather than abandon the whole thing:

  • Never put the year of your birth on there, say the cops.
  • Don’t list your current city.
  • If you don’t want strangers viewing pictures of your kids (perverts are out there), make sure you choose the “friends only” option on all your photos.
  • Try not to list your kids’ names. This one is tough because you get tagged in photos where you can‘t control if the name is listed. Also, people who write on your wall tend to use the child’s name when talking about him/her. I don’t want to walk on eggshells about this so I let that one go but don’t list his name on my profile.

Beyond safety issues, there are facebook etiquette issues. You may agree to friend someone and discover too late that she is a serial poster. Do you pretend to care what this person eats for breakfast every day or risk the friendship altogether by clicking “ignore” or unfriending? Perhaps there are some relationships you wish to keep separate from your fb ones. Like relatives. Or old friend’s mothers. The crazy aunt that no one talks to because, well, she’s a little loca. How to get around this one without hurting someone’s feelings? I’ve heard there is a way to separate family and friends or co-workers but I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. I’ve also been on the receiving end when requesting so called friends who confirmed me and then never said a word to me. They gave me the privilege to look into their world but never gave a damn about mine. I, too, have been guilty of this. In this instance, better to just say no and get it over with. What about ex co-workers you barely knew? If they keep the comments coming, should you then take an interest in them? It’s a strange world. Speaking of which, did anyone see the South Park episode where facebook was featured? It’s hilarious. Facebook is definately not a good thing for our youth as far as socialization skills go.


I’ve decided to stick around for a while and we’ll see what happens. I won’t be posting my every move but I can keep track of my, let’s see, 72 friends! Clearly, I am not aiming for numbers. Baby steps. Oh and another plus is the birthday wishes you get because your date pops up on others’ screens to remind them.

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My Random Thoughts on This Tuesday

I finally discovered Greek yogurt.  I don’t mean I just found out about its existence – just that I finally decided to try it.  I don’t like the taste of plain yogurt and assumed that I would also find Greek yogurt too tangy for my liking.  However, as I type this, I am enjoying a cup of Voskos Greek yogurt blended with honey.  The honey offsets the tanginess just enough, and it’s not as sweet as many other non-fat yogurts, so it doesn’t seem as dessert-like.  Excuse me while I get another bite . . . yum! 

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I was just talking with some other moms about Super Nanny, and an excellent question was posed.  If your kids were really that discipline-challenged, would you want that broadcast to a national television audience? And, why would you argue with Jo’s advice, when you’re the one that asked for her help in the first place?________________________________________________________________________________

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed the networks really trying to fill the summer TV void by actually airing original summer programming.  I’ve enjoyed it.  The shows aren’t as compelling as in the regular season, but it’s nice to have something new to watch as you’re rocking your baby to sleep.  Unfortunately, this year, I think the shows aren’t worth watching.  In the past, I was a fan of America’s Got Talent, but I really, really don’t like Howie Mandel.  And, I miss the Hoff.  I have found myself getting sucked in to The Bachelorette this summer, instead.  As someone who married her high school sweetheart, I have a hard time with the whole dating around the world concept of the show, but I can’t stop watching!  I have to know who Ali chooses – and if they get engaged!  It’s so awful!________________________________________________________________________________

We enrolled the Big Cheese in swim lessons this year (for the 3rd summer in a row).  This was her first stint without a parent in the pool with her, and it went pretty badly, to be blunt.  She really didn’t like it at all, and she screamed or cried before, during, and/or after almost every lesson.  We were thinking that she must really just not like the water and that swimming just isn’t her thing.  But, then we took her to a pool party, where the entire family was in the water together, and she had a blast.  Yesterday, she was at a party, playing in small kiddie pools on her own and didn’t want to get out of the water – even to eat ice cream.  The lessons were along one side of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and I think it just boils down to comfort for her.  She was really afraid of that massive pool and never got comfortable there because she really, genuinely, wasn’t having any fun.  I’m happy to know that she does like the water after all and that it’s just a matter of finding the right setting for her.  She may turn out to be a little fish after all.  Maybe we will still enroll her in lessons next year, just somewhere else.

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I just met a Facebook friend in person for the first time yesterday.  Interesting how the concept of “friend” is so different in social media than in real life.  I am happy to report that she is very nice and someone I will happily call my friend in real life now, too.  We may have started our relationship a little backwards, but, it’s nice to know it worked out.