Posted in Fun

Don’t cut off your nose to spite your Facebook


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It is hard for most of us to imagine a world without social media.  We tweet, post, link, like and when we’re through, we retweet, repost, and share again.

What is the first site you think of when you think of social media?  Chances are, you think of Facebook.  There’s a good reason for that.  Everything we do, from stopping for coffee on the way to work, to picking up take-out on the way home, is linked to Facebook.

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The movies I watch, the theaters I watch them in, the music I listen to, and the stores I frequent all have pages on Facebook.  There was a time when buying merchandise was thanks enough, but now they want me to “like” them, too.  It was fun for a while.  One of my favorite pizza joints posts coupons on Facebook.  I used it a couple of times.  Now it just tells me which nights to avoid so I don’t hit the FB coupon lines.

My soda has a Facebook page, my permanent markers have a Facebook page, and yes, I have a Facebook page.  I have 227 Facebook friends.  The last time I saw that many people all at the same time was probably at my wedding.  And I didn’t really know half of them, either.  As friend lists go, mine is pretty short, and I could probably cull it even further.

Typically, 70% of the posts are not original, but simply reposts of what someone else posted.  Maybe this is true in real life, too.  I mean, maybe I’m coming down too hard on my FB friends.  How much of what we say in person is original, either?  Personally, I just don’t have time to sit around reading all the stuff that other people post so that I can repost it on my timeline.  To be fair, I don’t spend a lot of time on FB at all, and it’s not a place I like to share my deepest thoughts, my every move, or my drama.

Yes!  I have drama in my life.  Who doesn’t?  I make a choice to keep my life private — both in Facebook and reality.  Posting my drama just leaves me open for pity or those who want to one-up me, neither of which is better than the other.  Keeping my drama on the down-low allows me to seek guidance from those I select, while putting up a classy don’t-you-envy-my-life front for the rest of the world.

ecard

If I’m on Facebook, I am most commonly accessing it from my phone.  I could put the phone down, but what fun is that?  Me and my Smartphone rule the world, and FB just wants in on it.

  • Notification:  You have an 1 event pending!
  • Notification:  Friends have sent you 3 game invitations!
  • Notification:  You have 1 friend request!

This event invitation is one I’m too honest to accept, and too compassionate to decline.  It’s an invitation to send a Christmas card to a  little kid with Cerebral Palsy.  I agree with the concept, but here’s the thing . . .  The invite says “our address is . .”  so whoever created this lives with the kid and is looking forward to all the warm fuzzies of watching the child be buried in his own Christmas mail.  There’s also the part about sending mail to a child I don’t know.  How would I sign it?  Love?  Sincerely?  Yours Truly?  I’ll probably give money to my local food shelf and click “tentative” on the invite just to make it go away, and hope the FB Friend who invited me will forget they did.

The game invites I will delete, only to have them pop up again tomorrow.  There are three games I play.  One is a quick timed word game, another is a zone-out bedtime number game.  The last is a virtual reality that feels more like a grown-up dollhouse.  I talk about them like they’re real, and mourn them briefly when they die.  It freaks Bubba out and that’s enough for me.  None of these games require Facebook, and I stopped posting my high scores there as soon as I figured out how to adjust the setting.

English: Woman in bikini.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The friend request will be accepted, providing her name isn’t Brandi and wearing a bikini.  That happens.  It’s not that I’m opposed to a girl wearing a bikini, it’s that she spells her name with an “i” and wants me to spend money getting to know her.

A bit of advice for those losing passwords.  Do not click the option that says, “We don’t recognize your username or password.  Would you like to sign in using Facebook?”  Clicking OKAY will not direct you to your original account.  It will set up a whole new account.  You will now have two accounts.  One with none of your history, and the other with no way to get into it.

Why would Facebook and your favorite app want you to sign in through FB?  Because they share your information like two biddies down the street over a cup of cheap coffee.

“She likes browsing sexy lingerie!”

“Are you serious?  Wait until I tell the other sites about that!”

“Oh my!  Do let me know which sites are interested!”

“You’ll be the first to know!  Have some more coffee . . . sugar?”

” . . . and cream, if you have it.”

I know it’s all in the name of suggestive marketing.  The grocery store does the same thing when they place ping pong balls next to the 3.2 beer.  But Cub Foods doesn’t send someone around to watch what labels I’m reading for the sole purpose of suggesting I buy something else.  That would be nosey and I’d stop shopping there.

So why do I continue to shop at Facebook?  I treat it like a party hosted by a friend of a friend of a friend.  I don’t really know the host, but I respect the space and everyone there.  It’s a good place to reconnect with lost loved ones, and see how their kids have grown.  There are a lot of different conversations going on, so if I don’t like one I can join another.  I try to keep it generic, because there are a lot of people attending from all walks of life.  It may not be the best party going on, but you’re bound to see someone that makes you smile.

Like any party, it’s better after you’ve had a few.  So if you see me there, I’m likely to have a drink in my hand.  I won’t be driving, but if you’re a good friend and I’ve had too many, please tell me to put the phone down . . .

Peace . . .

Posted in Fun

25 Days, 25 Songs (Day 1): A Song From My Childhood

I was waking up with my morning coffee, minding my own business, and a Tweet came across my phone:

That Montreal Girl
 
@ThatMTLGirl
25 Days, 25 Songs — Day 1(A
song from your childhood) http://wp.me/p35uqm-Ws
..
In Twitter language this notified me that my WordPress/Twitter/Instagram friend had published a new post and the title, “25 Days, 25 Songs” enticed me.  While her Day 1 song was playing, I clicked the link that transferred me to Twindaddy’s site, Stuphblog, where she found the challenge.  It might be important to note that he found/borrowed/stole the challenge from someone else.  You can research further if you choose.
..
A little conversation took place in my head:
Me:  Oh that might be fun!
Me:  Who are you kidding?  You can’t post 25 days in a row.
Me:  Ooh!  I wonder what song I would choose from my childhood.
Me:  You can’t even think of a first song.  How are you going to come up with 25?
Me:  I wonder if there is a time deadline for the challenge?
Me:  You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?
..
Realizing my WordPress addiction . . . er . . . hobby had me running late for work again, I closed down my computer and hustled off to my car.
..
Every morning it’s the same thing.  I push the radio preset buttons one after the other . . . sports . . . stupid hosts . . . elevator music . . . stupid call-in show . . . and about every other day I find a song I want to hear to the end.  This morning I was belting out along at the top of my lungs.
..
Weeeee are the chaaaampions, my friends . . . .
 . . and weeee’ll keep on fighting . . . till-the-end . . .
dun dun dun . . .
..
And that’s when I realized I had to see if I could get in on this challenge.  Music is a time machine.  This morning, in the car I was a teenager again.  My parents signed me up for a bowling league.  They thought it was a good way to get me into sports.  Yes, I know that’s funny.  I wasn’t exactly cool.
..
Not only did my parents sign me up for a bowling league, but I was the last one to join.  All the other teams had formed, and they would have to find a team with only three players that needed a fourth.  There were no girl teams that needed a fourth.  They placed me on a team with three younger boys, all behind in their development.  Not only was I older than them, I was quite well-developed for my age.  We were an odd-looking team.  I didn’t talk to them much, but they learned to accept me, because I was a good bowler.
..
The last day we bowled together, the brackets were posted.  One by one, the teams dropped out, and we kept bowling.  When it got down to the last game of the last two teams, a lot of the other kids had gathered round to watch.  Some of the kids did the math.  Everyone knew who was up or down by how many pins.
..
Tenth frame, last player.  I picked up my grape-colored marbled ball, toed the line, adjusted, concentrated and began my approach.  I threw a strike.  The score was calculated.  If I threw another strike, we were golden.
..
Calmly, I lined up again.  My approach was strong and smooth.  Seven pins fell.  My boy-team was supportive.  “It’s alright.  It’s alright, but we need you to pick these up.  You can do it.”
..
My heart was beating.  The alley was whisper-quiet.  If I picked up the spare, we won by one pin.  I lined up.  Adjusted for the spare.  Breathed.  Adjusted again.  The ball rolled down the wooden lane and the three pins exploded.
..
Left: 1977-78 Champs Right: Top Girl’s Average

We teens, as awkward a group as you have ever seen, high-fived , fist-pumped and whooped!  One broke into song, then two more, and finally I joined in.  Within a minute the four pimple-faced bowlers were, for the first time that year, a team.  Victory can do that.  Music helps too.

..
Weeeee are the chaaaampions, my friends . . . .
 . . and weeee’ll keep on fighting . . . till-the-end . . .
dun dun dun . . .
..

Peace . . .

 

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Posted in Lore

Are Tattoos The Original Social Media?

Tattooing_in_progress

Everyone I know has either a Facebook page, a tattoo, or both.  Tattoos have been around for thousands of years.  I wonder if they were the original social media?

Be careful what you put on the internet.  The internet is forever.
The oldest tattoo known is on ‘Otzi the ice man.’  Otzi is 5,300 years old.  So when they say tattoos are forever, I believe them.  Anthropologists say Otzi’s tattoos were probably therapeutic.  Right.  So was that picture you posted from the bar last night.

DSCN0978
What do you mean forever?

Enjoy your fast food?  LIKE it on Facebook!
Tattoos have been used throughout the years to show support for tribes, countries, military branches, gangs, and any other group we belong to.  Just like on the internet, these emblems publicize who we are.  The fashion among Roman soldiers was to show loyalty to the royal house with tattoos of ivy leaves.  In effect, they were “liking” their group.

What groups are you in?  What do you like to do?  Are you political, jovial, religious, skeptical, romantic?  Are you devoted to family, your pets, or peace?  Do you believe in saving the planet, or just the whales?  Chances are there is a tattoo and a Facebook page just for you!

mc_tat

Friends proudly display symbols of status on their pages.  Lavish cruises, trips to the spa, and wild adventures are available to envy for anyone willing to scroll down the page.
Early tattoos also displayed symbols of status.  Some marked lines of decent or exploits in war and other events.  Modern inking might show how many lives one has taken, or how many children you have.

Social Media, in the wrong hands, can do real harm to a business or individual.
Tattoos have also been used to punish or harm other people as well.  Some ancient cultures tattooed their criminals.  Few can forget the permanent numbers marked on victims of the holocaust.  Slaves exported to Asia from the Roman Empire were tattooed with the words ‘Tax Paid.’  Next year I’m going to try that with my firstborn and the IRS.

DSCN1081Virtual hugs, ‘likes,’ and comments of support are restorative and contribute to our sense of well-being.
Amulets or images of protection were sometimes tapped into the skin of those going to war, or who were sick or pregnant.  Some of us wear elaborate crosses, stars, or angels to remind us we are part of something bigger.

Choose your privacy settings.
Privacy settings are important to consider on both social media and body art.  A design on the neck has been marked as ‘public.’  A tattoo on the breast is ‘private.’  If you can see the wearer’s tattoo, he is speaking to you.  Is it peering out from under the cuff of his business shirt?  It is not an accident.  He is speaking to you. Is it taunting you from her lower back?  She is whispering to you.  Is it blaring you right in the face as you speak to him?  He is shouting at you.

DSCN1088A privacy setting can tell us more about what is trying to be said.  A heart on the shoulder says “I am romantic.”  A heart on the derriere says, “I want to be romantic with you.”

Leave a comment.
It is interesting to note that while we have all been taught that it is impolite to stare at others, most tattoos cannot fully appreciated without being stared at.  There are women who wear their neckline down to there, and then complain that someone is staring at their cleavage.  I have yet to hear someone complain that their tattoo is being stared at.  One cannot wear a tattoo and claim it is not there to be seen.  Is the popularity of tattoos a movement toward rejecting the polite mannerisms of our parents’ generation and daring others to stare?

DSCN1089Or are tattoos a way of getting around the disconnectedness of social media and other electronic communication?  Are tattoos our way of asking people to comment?  Are we using tattoos to help us state our status, support our cause and ask others to add us as their friend in real life?

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