Monday, September 13, 2010

Mr. Nice Guy

When I poke fun at the foibles of my fellow man, I hope to do it in a spirit of fun. Yes, I may laugh at you. The jibes will be gentle. I hope you will laugh, too, or at the least, forgive me. Should I happen to inadvertantly stick a finger in your eye, I hope the sting will not last long.

It is ridiculously easy to make fun of each other, because we so set ourselves up for it. Often. And regularly. Thus, since it is so easy, I attempt to avoid it for the most part. But sometimes I just can't help myself. Hence, I find myself once again looking at the utilization of "social networking" via Computerland Express. The last time I wrote about Facebook, I was not in an amused state of mind. In fact I was a bit sore. This will be gentler.

Funny (amusing, odd, weird, what-the-heck?) stuff I've seen on Facebook.

1. Facebook games. How you use your time is your prerogative, and I don't fault you. Seriously. But when I play solitaire, I have no need for an announcement of my "score" to appear for all to see. "Farmville" seems to be some sort of let's-pretend-we-are-doing-something-productive thing, wherein weird and unexpected creatures wander in and out of the domain. One "builds" something, begging his friends for parts and pieces, boards, wire and what-not, with which to complete the project. If games are your thing, enjoy. Better yet, come on over! BBBH and I have a board game, Scrabble, Rummikub, or a deck of cards laid out on the dining room table all the time. We can play. We'll visit. It'll be fun!

2. It seems to be a "game" for some participants to see how many "friends" they can get. There are two acquaintances of mine whose "wall" I check each week or so just to see how they are doing. At last count, one led the other 2392 to 1672. Come on, Nellie. I don't even know sixteen hundred people and I had a thirty-plus year career in the public arena.

3. This one really knocks me for a loop. People seem to write whatever pops into their heads, posting their notions unfiltered and unthought. We have developed such a penchant for the protection of our "privacy" that we will receive pages and pages of privacy policy from the organizations with whom we do business, if not on a daily basis, certainly frequently. Then we will post the most intimate details of our day-to-day lives on Facebook? Surely, I will awaken from this nightmare. The ones who are most flagrant about it are the same ones who take umbrage if a "friend" suggests that they might reconsider the sort of thing they post. "It's my page. 'I'll say what I want to say." Pick up the phone, Sweetie. Call your mother.

4. This one is the champion, earning points for categories 1, 2, and 3. This character posts as many as 30 times in a 24-hour period. When does s/he sleep? Oh, wait: "3:12 a. m. I just woke up and hadda go pee." Here's the championship part: the posts are delivered from the subject's HHD. (HHD. I made that up. I think. It means 'hand-held device'. We can't call it a phone, because it is much more, nor can we call it a pda, which is passe; nor can we refer to it as a Blackberry or I-device, for those are brand names. Gooseberry, maybe, since the user is a goose, but I will kindly stick to HHD.) So, anyway, we know where and what s/he eats, how many gallons of fuel went into the tank, blah, blah, blah. No, we don't. We tuned out long ago.

I've got more, but the time/word limit has expired.

Yes, I am aware that I don't have to look at Facebook.
Posted from my Gooseberry.


Sailorcurt said...

Is it a sign that we have raised/are raising entire generations of narcissists?

What would possibly possess our youth to believe that anyone is interested in or cares about the minutia of their daily existence.

The worst thing for me is that I feel I have to maintain an account on Facebook in order to have any regular contact/communications with my kids. They're not as bad as some, but it's getting to the point that phones are becoming passe as direct communications devices.

We don't communicate any more. We don't converse with each other.

We talk at each other and then get indignant if "the others" prove not to be paying attention: "What do you mean you didn't know I'm getting married...I posted about it on Facebook???"

I wonder if our elders had the same types of complaints when those newfangled telephones started taking over from written communication and face to face meetings.

Lin said...

I'm always amazed at the silly things post on Facebook. I'm mostly a lurker there--seeing what's up with friends and my kids. It's amazing on what I learn there, so I gotta keep up with technology and those social sites.

I came into work the other day and had a co-worker standing there with arms crossed. "You unfriended me on Facebook!" He screamed. Yeah. I did. (although I didn't admit it) I didn't think it appropriate now that you went from intern to manager to see my personal doings and friends there. I just don't 'friend' my manager--it's wrong.

But I didn't say that because it was really awkward. Instead I made up some lame excuse and re-added him as a 'friend'. What else could I do??? I hate facebook.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I'm with you! Next time I come through Indiana I'll find out where you are and stop for a game. I'm on Facebook, but it's sort of a must do thing to stay in touch with some.

Grace said...

Re: #4 - Don't they know that's what Twitter is for??

Secondary Roads said...

And that's just a tiny portion of the many reasons I don't do Facebook. Sylvia does and has reestablished contact with old friends.

Vee said...

I'm thinking you might do well where Dale is living. Facebook is blocked by the government as are Google and iTunes. I do know my FB "friends." One can't have over 100 students in college classes every semester for eighteen years without knowing a lot of people. I also have friends from churches Elvin pastored (seven total churches) plus relatives and people I knew as a young person in grade school and high school. (This includes a general superintendent of the Wesleyan Church who calls me when she comes to our city on church business.) I enjoy the posts and the "chatter."

I also enjoy seeing the pictures when my former students post snapshots of their children at their HS graduations and weddings. With most of those former students the last time I saw them was when they went across a stage to receive a college diploma.

And by the way, in China when the founder of the university sends a Rolls-Royce to pick professors he has invited to dinner with him, a platter of fried scorpion, locust, and locust larva will be the first dish brought out. Saying "No, thank you, I don't care for any," is not an option. So, you might just want to settle for all of us Facebook nuts. Just sayin'. (Too bad I don't have one of those little phonie/pda/ipod thingies to pick up and notify everyone when I have to get up and go "pee" during the night. With the over seventy crowd having to sign onto the internet each time would constitute a full-time job.)

Vee said...

I'm thinking maybe the Rolls-Royce would " pick up" the professors rather than "pick" them :)

vanilla said...

Curt-- Facebook does have its uses; and if it keeps you in touch with your kids, that's a good thing! Yes, each generation of parents is probably as befuddled by the technology of the next generation.

Lin-- Totally amazing. As for the manager/friend thing: I got nothin'. What a dilemma.

Shark-- Thanks. I needed validation. Looking forward to the game!

Grace-- Is that what twitter is? I'll suggest it to some of the offenders with whom I am acquainted. TY.

Chuck-- I dare say you could come up with a list!

Vee-- Indeed you have valid uses for the thing; but darned few of us are as well-connected as some of the others of us.
I'm projecting that the young man is going to have an extremely interesting, if also frustrating, time in China!