Tag Archives: facebook

Facebook Fantasy Land

Jane

I have been thinking about Facebook a lot lately, thanks to two, separate incidents.

The first thing that got me thinking about it was hearing a friend of mine talk about how funny it was that there was sometimes very little connection between what was actually going on in a person’s life and what they put on their Facebook wall.  I started thinking about how I selectively choose stuff to go on Facebook–the pictures that make me look good, the good news–sort of like posting in the ultimate alumni magazine for your whole life!  And that got me thinking about how I love going to Facebook and seeing wonderful pictures, funny stories, which led me to think that Facebook might be the best kind of fantasy land for people, a place where they can not only spend time with friends and family they love, no matter how scattered they are, but also where they can highlight the things about their own lives that make them feel good and ignore the rest of the stuff–and nobody has to be the wiser!

But then, there was the second incident.  I attended a parents’ meeting at my daughter’s high school, where the principal talked about how much bullying has increased in schools since Facebook–and how it no longer is contained within the school day but continues, ad infinitum, over Facebook pages, 24 hours a day–and how Facebook has made it possible for bullying to reach and hurt an individual more effectively than ever before because it can be targeted toward one person but heard by hundreds of people instantly, unlike the good old days when nasty rumors at least took a while to spread–or could be stopped by teacher intervention.

Which got me to thinking that the fantasy land that Facebook provides might be like the world of fairy tales–full of both exaggerated good and overblown evil–except that the people living there are real people, not made-up goblins or witches or fairy princesses, real people who are telling stories about themselves or about other real people, without ever having to stand, face-to-face, and make a real, live, human connection.

All of which got me worried about how much time my children spend in Facebook-land.

So, I’ll just get my worries on the table:  1) Facebook supposedly keeps people in better touch with friends than they used to be in the old days of hours on the telephone, but is it really a good thing to be in constant touch, 24 hours a day, with people?  Don’t you need a little dead time in your life?  And doesn’t the whole posting deal make it somehow easier to cut people off in a way that you couldn’t when you had to politely hang up the phone? 2) The obvious one:  kids put pictures on Facebook in order to impress their friends, and then those pictures come back to haunt them when they apply for jobs–and more and more employers are using Facebook as a screen. 3) People don’t tend to carry on long conversations over Facebook–they write little snippets, little sound bites, so what happens to what used to be called “the art of conversation?” (This one is probably not a big worry for me, since I know that my kids are still having long conversations with friends, outside of Facebook, but the potential is there.)

4) Having a place like Facebook where you can record every little detail of your life, your status (the stuff people used to write about in diaries) and know that there is a captive audience out there, waiting to hear it, might make you feel like you are a celebrity yourself (something that Woody Allen pointed out in his latest movie, the one set in Rome–the movie was awful, but it did make this point–over and over again, ad nauseum); in other words, you might get a false view of yourself which could be hard to maintain if Facebook ever went away or was temporarily unavailable due to a power outage! I’m happy to say I haven’t witnessed this last one in my own children, since they take the whole Facebook thing with a grain of salt, but I have noticed it in some of their Facebook acquaintances–both kids and adults. I guess there is always room in the world for one more narcissistic person, but Facebook does seem to bring out a huge number of them.  And doesn’t this maybe tie in to the whole bullying part?  After all, if you can build up a self-image through endless postings about worthless details of your life, what happens when people are not really interested?  Is that when, if you are insecure teenager, you go after those people and make their lives miserable?

Enough ranting.  But I’d love to hear readers’ thoughts on all this, and please remember that I am a Facebook junkie–I spend time there almost every day, and I don’t want to give that up!

 

 

Turning the Corner with Books, Recipes, and a Lesson in Patience

Annice

I hope this is the last post I write about taking care of my husband and all my tsores (yiddish for troubles).  As expected, Len turned the corner from being in pain all the time and taking lots of drugs to moving about more, going up and down the stairs, and reducing his pain meds.

Better Days

Like him, Gus  also turned the corner so we are all doing better.   I’m even back at work part-time.  Being home-bound with Len has been a true learning experience, and, as a woman over 50, I feel liberated enough to say, I didn’t like it.  It made me feel isolated and anxious, and considering I am a 7 (Enthusiast) on the Enneagram that was tough.  By the way,  if you’re not familiar with the Enneagram personality profiles, check it out!  Seven’s are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous.  At their best, they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.  At their worst, well, let’s just say that nursing would not be good for a 7, as being patient often feels like being stuck.  Needless to say, I have work to do on that one.

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Time Really Does Go Faster As We Age

Diane Puckett

Time really does go faster as we age. It has been a year since we moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina, but it seems like we just got here. The year has been quite a whirlwind of change.

Full Moon in DC

The biggest change – leaving the Washington, DC area, a place I had lived over half a century, (did I really say that?).  It’s my entire life. Though we had planned to move to Asheville for years, it was still a big deal, and happened far more quickly than anticipated. With a beautiful full moon and all the planets apparently in alignment, our house sold in two days.

Thus began the whirlwind. Three full moons later, we would move to the mountains, and there was much to do.

There were many people to say goodbye to, knowing I would never see most of them again. I closed the psychotherapy practice I had worked years to establish, bidding farewell to clients and colleagues. The local pottery studio, my hangout of kindred spirits was toughest to leave. Well, other than my sister, but that’s too tender to write about now.

We headed South on a cold December day, cars crammed full of stuff and our two beagles along for the ride. Not long after we arrived, a snowstorm followed, leaving us with no electricity and lots of tree damage. It was a tough winter, especially since we knew almost no one. Our holidays were non-existent, as we were busy moving.  The day I found myself strolling through Walmart for entertainment, I knew something had to change. Facebook provides an illusion of a social life, but it’s not reality. The North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement at UNCA was my lifeline during that long winter, feeding my brain and giving me a connection with other people.

Molly

Molly Beagle, my best bud for thirteen years, slowly wound down and passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. Our last day together was a sacred time – we cuddled up, and I talked to her about the good times we shared together.  At the end, I sang the Golden Girls theme song to her. I’m grateful Molly had some time here in our beautiful new place. We buried her next to my studio where she will have her own garden of the flowers she loved.

Diane's studio

Living here feels like I’ve finally come home. I love the spirit of this place, the creativity, the energy.  It’s been a year now, and I feel like I’m finding my niche. I’ve made good friends and know many of our neighbors.  I have an almost-finished pottery studio, a dream-come-true.

I’ve given in to my craving for a hammered dulcimer and have begun music lessons again after a 45-year hiatus. Maybe this time around I’ll practice.

Most of all, I love the magnificent mountains. I cannot even think of adequate words to describe them. May I never take them for granted or stop seeing them.

SadhviSez: Feeling Overwhelmed with it All!

SadhviI don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed a lot of the time these days. Could it be menopause? Could it be that the planet Uranus is right on top of my Sun? Could it be that there are just too many ways to communicate, and most of the time they don’t work, or no one gets back no matter how I try or which of the wonderfully advanced methods of “staying connected” I use?

Uranus

Or that my brain is too full, trying to remember who only gets email at their home address, or who only answers text messages, or who doesn’t get cell phone coverage on their iPhone to even get their emails or messages? Or even, who doesn’t respond to anything any more! It’s funny, in this age where the whole hype of social media, and how to be connected is all that people talk about–as if it’s a game to see who has the “latest” gadget–I am becoming more and more disinterested in staying in touch with “friends”.

The truth is, FaceBook was ok when I had a hundred or so friends, but now that I have almost 300, I cannot keep up with what is happening with them all. And frankly, I don’t even care.

I don’t think I will be getting a smart phone any time soon. I really don’t want to take pictures with my phone: I have a really good digital camera that works fine. And I don’t want to type emails to anyone with that ridiculously small keypad. I have a computer with a keyboard the size that I have been typing my whole life on and feel comfortable with. Why change if I am fine with what I have? And why would I want to send and receive text messages? If I want to chat with someone, I can email, pick up the phone, or if I really want to take a little vacation from my day, I can actually sitdown and write a letter or send one of the many beautiful cards I have collected over the years, or even one of my own hand-painted cards.

Here is a little clip for those that dare see where we are going, or should I say, where some people are going – because I may just stay where I am, with the technology that I have.

P.S. Oh, if you feel like it, I would really like to know where YOU are with all that is available to us and costs a small fortune, I might add! Are you trying to keep up? Have you decided that you are ok with just a computer and a cell phone too?