Friday, January 22, 2010

Social Networking

About a year ago Sue, a dear friend of mine, told me how much she hated email. “I really miss letters!” she said. I had the feeling she really meant she missed love letters. I asked her to imagine spending $100.00 to send a letter that may or may not reach its destination in a couple of weeks.

Social networking has come a long way since the Pony Express.

There is something to be said for a tactile experience. I have to admit I still have piles of old letters stashed away, especially the love letters.

Hell, even Cheech and Chong’s Big Bambu doesn’t sell on CD. You gotta have the giant rolling paper album cover.

When my friends and I first started with MySpace and then FaceBook it seemed we really had the ulterior motive of advertising our music, art, and writing.

We quickly came into contact with people from our past. Some of whom we presumed were dead. It was wonderful.

I personally belong to 3 childhood neighborhood groups. It makes me believe I’ll come into contact with people I’ve been seeking for years. I actually have found a few long lost friends.

I don’t have a lot of time to spend at my computer. When I do I usually have a lot of work to do. It didn’t take long to accumulate enough friends that I no longer have enough time to keep up with everyone.

I think maybe it was my fault my friend Fojammi joined FaceBook. I got an email from him asking how these people had so much time to spend social networking. He couldn’t begin to keep up with everyone either.

When I go to FaceBook to check in on one of my groups I always get caught in an instant chat. I love everyone there but I wish I could log in and out quickly. It’s gotten to where I’m afraid to log on at all.

I turned 52 last Monday and was expecting it to pass unnoticed. I was actually a little bummed about it. Not to mention the bones seem to be growing a little creakier and the muscles seem to be a little more stiff.

I was surprised with a barrage of birthday shout outs that totally lifted my spirits. They became so numerous that I had to copy and paste my thank yous. I’m sure it was obvious to everyone.

Then the inevitable feelings of guilt set in. I’m never going to remember to wish everyone happy birthday. I didn’t even realize I’d entered mine in my profile. Valerie told me birthdays were posted on the right hand corner somewhere but that presupposes I’ll be logging on often enough to catch everyone.

To give you an idea of how deep my guilt can run, I hate getting a massage because I don’t enjoy giving them. Don’t get me wrong, I love touching, especially intimate touching but a good massage was always hard for me to pull off so I hate getting them. It seems like everyone I know is really good at it too.

I have also always hated the idea of sending thank you notes for gifts. I’d really rather not receive the gift.

The only reason I receive FaceBook comments is they’re forwarded to my email. The problem here is all my friends contact me through FaceBook now. When I reply my letters always come back undeliverable. It’s maddening.

Ninety percent of my kids social life is social networking. I suspect it’s gotten that way for my adult friends too.

Go outside and play!!!!

Pic is the cover of my birthday card from Valerie.


...Sharon said...

On your FB page, see bottom right corner for an icon +"Chat" where you can turn your Facebook visits invisible (offline). Yeah, my kid taught me that.

I use Facebook to follow family and friends since everyone is far too busy for phone calls and letter writing.

But basically, I liken Facebook to the social lives of dogs. We greet/bark, and wag our tails to let everyone know what's up. Then we sniff around while leaving our scent on the marks of others. Clicking "Like" is just our quick squirt so you know I showed up.

I often wonder if it's the dogs who are more advanced, so I'm ok with this. Till the next game comes round.

Tony Patti said...

If I spend 15 minutes a day on facebook I get some contact and see a few things I like and I'm done. How does someone spend a lot of time of a social network? For me, it's because I work on the computer. I check my email, check a few news sites, then check facebook. After about an hour with all of that I'm done. Then, when I need a break from thinking about work, I might check it again. So a few minutes now and then can seem like hours of work to someone who checks in once a week. But it's really a break for me, not an obligation.

Dorothy said...

You need to relax David, good grief!! (I don't like IM's either, though, because I don't like to HAVE to respond, so I'll take Sharon's advice- Thanks Sharon!)Dede

Dorothy said...

In my last note I was referring to your statements that you'd "rather not receive the gifts" and "rather not get a massage"!!

But Facebook is a time vampire for me. I don't expect it to continue very long, since I've got to start working full time again soon. And because it will be spring. The strangest thing is getting requests from people that you don't know, but know someone you know, and they don't even say Hi, I liked your post... I think some people want a big friend # or something!! My college age nephew had over 300 friends and recently deleted all but 64 of them. There are some strange and oddly reminiscent of high school, aspects of Facebook. And I have made more than one person mad at me, too! For now, I find it interesting. Dede

Doggie said...

I posted on the wall last month and Tony said, "wow, Dave's on FB!" I love the folks I've found there but who's got time for Mafia Wars and that stuff? My kids love it though. I still wish they'd go outside and play. I think they missed all that. There beginning to drive now.

Valerie Pennington said...

I don't think social networking is an evil thing, it's just a different way of communicating. I've run into several old friends on Facebook that I'd totally lost track of, so that in itself is invaluable. I didn't know about the special icon of invisibilty - thanks, Sharon - I do like to chat with folks from time to time but not ALL the time, so that will come in handy.
I like to just pop in, see what folks are up to, leave sarcastic little notes to let them know I'm around, then split.

...Sharon said...

Hey Doggie... so when the kids are inside playing the games - maybe ya should just shine a bright light at the kids and toss em some dirt. You know, just to keep 'em healthy.

Tracy said...

My editorial response , not that ya asked.

David you kill me,
I have a love hate relationship with your blog. I love you but you blog can give me a headache just like talking to you in real life can, I think it’s because I have a hard time keeping up. Yet I still enjoy it. I give this particular post, of yours 4 IBs (that’s 4 ibuprofen out of 5)

I bet there was not one person out of the hundreds (or was it thousands) that wished you Happy Birthday and lifted your spirits on Face book that was thinking, "God damn it, he better wish ME Happy Birthday when the time comes or else! He owes me!" I was sincere and I'm sure so was everyone else. You are loved by many including me Jack! I wish I had your popularity problems. I didn't even mind the form letter thank you. I actually appreciated it.

I guess the main reason I have time to spend on FB is because I don't write a blog. I’m too thin skinned to write a blog and face the feedback of jerks like me and I don’t have the memory you have and not all that much to say and I say and a lot. But I do like the interaction with people however brief it may be on Face book and connecting even just a little with those I haven't seen in many years and finding out if they are well or not or whatever became of them etc, It can also be very informative, for me at least. The shared information. I like using FB just because I can, like we did when we were kids playing with cans and a string standing 100 feet from each other saying "can you hear me now?" and hoping to hear someone answer "huh?". For you’re next Birthday I will not use FB to say Happy Birthday, Instead I’m going to send you a coupon for a day at the spa. Mark my words LOL I do love you really!

Dorothy said...

I could send you some Thank you cards already filled out except for a line to fill in what the present was. And maybe Valerie could forge your signature, and you'll be all set! Sharon's got the kids covered... Hey guys! our work here is done! Dede

Doggie said...

Tracy, you're the only person that has ever made me feel like an ass!

Tracy said...

Well if that's true, we have something in common, I'm the only one that ever made me feel like an ass too. But I don't give shit to people I don't give a shit about.

Doggie said...

Just for the record---Everyone here (and a few others) got personal thank yous. I still say go out and play! Friends are the only thing that's real and we all know it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think it's fantastic that social websites enable folks to locate and contact old friends.

I, however, barely have time to keep up with your blogs and the responses from friends and I don't have a life!

Your Mom

Anonymous said...

I've been turning chat off almost the whole time I've been on facebook. I only go on for the games lol.