Saturday, February 18, 2012

ode to facebook

after resisting the suggestion for several months, i finally succumbed to facebook something like two years ago. and i was immediately stricken. it was fun to have easy access to chats with friends, family. just as neat was getting reacquainted with old friends. classmates. folks from your past. and if you're not careful, facebook can captivate you. you can spend entirely too much time there.

i think that's probably something that happens to all of us. we have fun, we spend hours at a time. then the interest starts to wane and we ultimately get back to a normal existence.

but that doesn't mean we give up facebook entirely. it's still entertaining. but mostly these days i spend maybe half hour in the morning, half hour, maybe longer, in an evening, kabitzing with "friends" on facebook. it can be fun.

and facebook has provided an entirely different meaning to the word "friends". heck, i have "friends" i don't even know. some of them i'd really like to know. they're really nice people. they're witty and entertaining. and i often think that one day i'll run into some of them in real life.

case in point: while not entirely unknown to me, hubert lives in northern california. we knew each other as kids. his brother and i were great friends, and hubert was the little punk that we couldn't shake. well, we found each other on facebook somehow, had some fun exchanges, and ultimately other "friends", as well as family members, became such great friends with hubert that our daughter asked him to perform her wedding ceremony. so, after 40 some years, hubert and i met again. and he and his wife, brenda, are two of the nicest people i know. what a treat it was having him with our family during that incredible occasion.

there's frankie in florida, cheryl in washington, kim in new york, and many others that i would really consider actual friends - if we ever met. there's jeff, an old (oops, shouldn't say "old" in reference to jeff, but i'm sure he'll understand) high school classmate who's great to chat with. and many others. then add in a good group of people that are real friends, those i really know, that also enjoy facebook diatribes and it can get to be way too much fun.

there are a few. fortunately, a limited few, that get annoying. and i've just figured out that i can "unsubscribe" to them. i don't see their posts, and they don't even know i'm not viewing. sad to say i've done this to a few. i get a little tired of those that post tons of political rhetoric. even those that pretty much share my political opinions. i just don't need to see it all. then there are those that are just bitter at the world. i got tired of seeing all that as well. i just enjoy the light-hearted conversations. you're not gonna persuade me to believe your political stance is better than mine, your religious beliefs are better than mine, your nascar driver is faster than mine, by arguing your case on facebook.

and arguing? yeah, i've done a bit of that. and i regret doing so. arguing your point on facebook, even when you're right (of course i am), gains nothing but ill will. i've stopped that. again, it's the light-hearted i enjoy.

now we have the impending "timeline" threat. like it or not, come january 5th your profile page will be changed to the timeline format, so may as well change to it now. wait, on january 20 you'll automatically be changed to timeline. and if you don't do it yourself before that, facebook will select your picture arrangement, or some such nonsense. no, it'a gonna happen on february 5. oh, now it's february 15. and guess what. it still hasn't happened.

and there are tons who've said that if facebook forces them to switch to timeline, they'll switch to . . . google plus? is that it? or some other social media venue. of course, those threats have been voiced every time facebook has changed anything. fortunately, they all seem to re-think their position and most, if not all, have stayed. and i'd guess that when, or if, the timeline transition occurs, most or all will accept it and move on.

so to my facebook "friends" who might read this . . . thanks, it's fun. hope we can enjoy each other for a long time to come. oh, and to the 2-3 who unfriended me . . . it's ok. no hard feelings. i am curious as to why (well, i can guess why one of you did), but it's ok. i'm just having fun.

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