To friend or not to friend…

 

Facebook. You may love it, hate it, be afraid of it or think it’s a total waste of time but whatever your feelings are…Facebook is here to stay (at least for the foreseeable future).
While I do understand all the feelings and emotions that can arise when discussing the social relevance of many new social media platforms, I would be remiss in my Technorella duties if I did not try to at least provide you with one more perspective on the subject.

A dear friend of mine celebrated her 80th birthday last month and has been talking to me about her grand daughters. She was upset at all four of them for not picking up the phone every once in a while and calling her (these girls are in their 20’s). One just had a baby, one is in college, one is working and the last one, finishing her senior year of high school and like most families these days, are sprinkled all over the place. I suggested at that point that maybe she should look them up on Facebook. Oy…oh no…Facebook…never…it’s all I can do to check my e-mail and my girls don’t even send me those. I said no…most twenty somethings don’t. Email is so NOT what they do. They text, FB , Twitter, Stumble Upon, Tumblr (no not a typo that’s how it’s spelled), Digg, Ning, and infinite combinations of all of those and more that are popping up everyday on the internet. But most, I explained to her have a FB account.
So I went over to her house and spent the afternoon showing her how to stalk her grand kids on Facebook. As soon as we pulled up the first one, she squealed with delight. ” That’s her…that’s my grand daughter”, as she beamed with Grandmother pride, her excitement grew with each one we found. She saw the baby, and saw that one of her grand daughters had actually posted a picture of them together on a recent family outing. She was quite touched by that. Yes, I can make a case either way for FB and people abuse all forms of technology but at this moment, to watch my friend’s joy as she became that fly on all of her grand daughter’s walls, I thought to myself, this is technology at it’s finest hour. I of course walked her through the account process with a complete tour of the security and privacy sections, very important to setting up and maintaining a FB account. She did admit that it was fun but that she probably would never use it and that she was sure that most her friends were not on FB. I am thrilled to report that as of today, one month later, she is a thriving member of the FB community. Not only does she use it, she has 16 friends!
Here is a slice of life:

FB may not be for everyone but it’s importance and impact can not be ignored. It connects many families, friends and communities in an increasingly disconnected and fragmented world. Most of my immediate family live in Ohio and I have friends scattered all over the world. I am grateful to social media tools like FB and Skype as they allow me to feel a part of their lives. Whether people are sharing triumphs or tragedies, accomplishments or disappointments, these social media, when used responsibly, allow us to feel that we are not alone on our journeys and in tumultuous times like these, I’ll take all the friends I can get. Even…Facebook friends!

 

3 Comments

  1. Peddie Arneson, March 23, 2011:

    Stacy you’re sooo right AND sooo sweet to take this women, gently in hand, and help her connect to parts of her life she was missing out on. And who knows how many new friends and experiences she will have because of you. You took the time. Good soul you. xo

  2. Amy Wigton, March 23, 2011:

    This is encouraging to read. I get a little weary when I can never seem to reach people via phone anymore, some don’t ever pick up, but when you text, boom, they’re right there. It’s nice to read about your friend feeling more connected. That is good. I’m not good about using facebook myself, it just feels like such a time suck. While I myself benefit from the virtues of technology every day I do believe in the power of connecting either in person or with the voice. It’s like we are living on another plane in our own cyberspaces. I get concerned that our computerized worlds are effecting our ability to navigate social situations. especially children. Today a sweet old man was at the gym trying to converse to a woman wearing earbuds. He was very cheerful and at 81, I bet he may have something interesting to say. I think if we unplug a little bit we may be graced by an idea or who knows inspired by a stranger standing next to you. I’ve learned some things that still inspire me from complete strangers at a coffee shop or even by (dare I say) eaves dropping. Sometimes the dynamics of our culture make me cringe. My 13 year old is mortified by the idea of calling someones home because someone (other than the intended) will most likely pick up and then he’d actually have to talk to them. It’s these basic skills that I’m sorry to see go, but I’m trying my best to keep what seems to be old traditions alive. Our world has changed, for better or worse, we are in the cyberage.

  3. Technorella, May 1, 2011:

    So right you are about taking time out of each day to unplug! As far as your 13 year old…that’s just being 13.


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