Monday, April 19, 2010

Sorry, I'm Falling

I know I said it would never happen again, it’s not like I planned this out. You are sitting there looking at me tapping your foot and looking at me over the rim of your glasses like this was some sort of planned event. As if somehow, some way, this was all MY doing.

Seriously?? What control did I have? I was merely walking through the doors that were open. I can’t predict what’s up the road. I’m not freaking Ms. Cleo or anything. You can’t be mad about this forever you know . . . you just can’t.

Look – what did you EXPECT me to do? Explain that to me. What am I supposed to do when I’m faced with a situation like this? I did what you wanted for awhile, and neither of us were happy, at all . . . and now you get all mad because I decide to try something different?

Don’t blame me for wanting to be happy. And don’t act like I’m not aware of what all the risks are here. I know what they are, well some of them anyway. I still remember the pain from last time. It was a long time ago, but I remember. You’re not the only one.

So here’s the deal. I’m doing this. I’m gonna jump. I’m fully aware that there is no net. You want to jump with me, your choice. But I’m not sitting this one out. I’m not going to follow the same path over and over and expect things to change. That’s insanity . . .

I’m falling.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Facebook -- Friend or "Friend"?

I read a rather interesting article from, of all places, the Topeka Capital Journal. The article (link) was about social networking and how today, people will add “friends” they’ve never met before on facebook or other social media cites (side note: myspace is creepy) but won’t talk to the neighbor across the street.

It’s a cultural shift, to say the least. There have been many (including myself) that comment on time to time on the black hole that is the ever addictive facebook. I mean, seriously, it’s on my iPhone for crying out loud!! Gracie and I blogged about it (here). The loathing seems to center around how people feel that those of the “younger” generation are not as social or connected as the “older” generation because there is less face to face interaction.

Interesting point – and somewhat valid to an extent. However, I’d like to present an argument for the other side . . . I actually feel that facebook (and other social media sites) have actually helped connect people in a different, and more convenient way. It’s also helped maintain relationships over long distances and reconnect some that had lost touch.

Don’t believe me?? I can serve as a case study. I currently have 182 friends on my Facebook. Of my list – I have met all but 9 of them in person. The nine people on my list I haven’t met stumbled across my blog (either on Blogger or on Y360 when it was up and running) and have left comments for me. I in turn, visited their blogs and did the same. Over time, we became regulars . . . and these 9 fit in a group of people that I would never have met if not for Facebook.

The rest of my friends, I’ve either gone to high school, college (either A&M or Washburn), work, dated, or otherwise hung out with at some point. And of course my family members on facebook are on my friends list. Facebook has helped me to stay in contact with all of the ones that don’t live locally here in Topeka, and even reconnect with some friends that I had lost.

The conclusion of my case study?? I’m more socially connected BECAUSE of facebook. I maintain more relationships because it’s more convenient. I don’t have to always meet up with someone face to face or talk on the phone to “catch up”. I can check out the latest goings on with the fam and friends at 2:30 am when I leave work. It saves a bunch of phone calls and the awkwardness created by working night shift. Without the technology, I wouldn’t be able to maintain the relationships I now currently have.

Key part of my case is simple – it’s A tool, not my ONLY tool. I don’t just allow random invites from someone I’ve never met (just TDd two peeps I didn’t know) or shared a thought with. I think so many articles that criticize social networking sites forget that point – that most people don’t use JUST facebook to communicate. Those people do have a pathology that needs treatment – but for the vast majority of us – it’s just an enhancement to our social network.

Now if I could just fit this entry into my status message . . . ;)