Category Archives: technology

I gave up Facebook, and I feel fine.

Yes, at first the habit of signing in and seeing what everyone I know (knew?) had been up to while I slept, made itself felt.  But I was spending far too much time there, so I stayed away.  After approximately two weeks I forgot about FB, except when something I’m interested in wants me to sign in through FB, or worse, my favorite local nursery’s website is a FB page.

Posting on FB had ups and downs.  Do I always post happy stuff I wondered.   I survived lectures about posting protest types of comments.  One was said with a little laughter at my expense, suggesting that I wasn’t enlightened enough.  A lot of my acquaintances were in the realm of woo-woo, which can be wonderful, until it isn’t.  Until they tell you the things they see in your aura without having been asked, and it’s never good.

Every time the news posted something about the lack of privacy on FB my inner Ron Swanson would go on high alert.

Do I care how many people “Like” a particular post?  Sometimes, and I questioned that and was not thrilled with my answer.  More frustrating was the lack of human responses beyond a “like” or an emoji.  I also don’t appreciate seeing other people’s food that doesn’t involve a professional food stylist.  Don’t they see that it looks like dry vomit or fresh road kill?  If it’s delicious, tell me about that, with words.

I’m happy to say I never developed an inner grammar police.  I’d see the typos or errors, stop, double check I understood the meaning and keep going.  Not everyone got an A in English.  Some folks speak several languages, but English wasn’t their first so naturally, there are mistakes.

Then there are the comments I didn’t post because, well, family.

It wasn’t just my family, it was his family too.

FB was useful for instant messaging, but then I found myself using that more than the main page.  Don’t I have a phone that can text?  Why yes I do.  And all the while FB is prodding me to update photos, to post a new comment.  It dawned on me that I had more acquaintances than friends.  I started a new job and life got busier.  My writing time dwindled.

Finally, someone shared that FB is keeping tabs on my account by having a “friend” hiding in the shadows.  One I could not delete.  It is, after all, their service, I’m just the squirrel trying to get a nut.

It’s been since the end of February.  I write more, I call or text friends, I read the newspaper when I want to know what’s going on in the world, and I feel fine.

how true can you get?

Is it me or my social networking site?

There’s speculation that because we can tell our large, or small world, of family and friends what we’re up to at any given moment, that we aren’t really making meaningful connections with one another.  We no longer have person to person, face to face conversations that matter.  I did agree with that idea, but woke at one a.m. thinking, it’s not the vehicle, it’s the people.

If I don’t have or make connections with people every day or even once a year, that doesn’t preclude that I never will or never have.  I have a grown daughter who does not allow ‘parental types’ on her FB page.  That’s alright with me.  When we see each other, I make a point of sharing with her a bit of who I am, what I think of outside of being a mom, and the work I love.  Wonderfully enough, she returns the favor, trusting I will listen, and not rush to judge.

However, that doesn’t happen simply because we are face to face.  We have meaningful conversations over the phone as well, because we’ve built a trust enough to say what’s really in our thoughts.  I can and do have similar conversations with other people in my life, who happen to be on my social networking site, and, a couple of them I have only met once, and one or two I’ve yet to meet.  We have built this for one another and use it to bridge any distance.  Sometimes it will be months between nice long chats or emails, but when these communications happen, they mean the world to me.

That’s when I realized it doesn’t matter if I literally see a person once a week at a family dinner, or everyday at work, or only in person once a month.  How honest we are about what we love, and how we support each others goals in life, is up to us.  Before all of the technological goodies came along, people could have stood around the town hall, saloon, or sat in a knitting circle and talked about a whole lot of nothing.   I’ve decided to converse with people on a particular level, in any forum, takes cultivating.

e-book vs paper – round three

When e-books first came out, I figured that if I dropped a paper book on the floor, it would work.  If I got it wet, it wouldn’t be pretty, but it would still work.  If I left it on a table in a shop, it won’t likely get stolen.  These scenarios are not as likely for an e-book.  As to the reasons they put on the commercials, where the woman is weakly stating her love of turning a piece of paper or, gasp, dog earring it, those points are moot.  I’m assuming that turning an ‘e-page’ isn’t an issue for even the most technically unaware person out there (raises hand).

I’m told an e-book can hold over 300 books, of course my mind instantly thinks, since when do I need 300 books with me at one time?  At most, I’ve taken three on a trip, and those were tour books ripped into sections.  I travel light.  As far as going somewhere on holiday to read, that idea blows my mind.  Go to Hawaii to read a book?  Are you kidding me?!  I’m there to watch the sunset, people, learning to hula, snorkeling, hiking, surfing . . . maybe write.  Reading I can do at home.  I don’t commute long distances via train or plane, leaving me with yet another reason not to need an e-book.

Lately another thought has crept into my mind.  There are a lot of books I’m interested in reading, but won’t find most of them worth owning a paper copy of.  That’s not sacrilege, honest.  I love books, and have shelves full of them, but there’s a limit.  After moving several times, only the ones that fall into the category of, “Books I Love Enough to Schlep Around” are kept.  All others end up as donations to the library, or em, in a stack by the side of the bed awaiting their fate.

The big change now is I’ve been looking at my book wish list and thinking, if I had an e-book, I could download them all for a fraction of the price of the paper versions.  Especially now that they’ve lowered the price on one e-book to $80. For $80 to $140 I could buy what, ten books at fifteen dollars a pop.  Even if I buy used books, the cost of shipping alone is often more than the price to download a book.  At least, a lot of the books I want to look into aren’t super pricey to download.  If I read a library book and want to own a copy, I buy it.  I can do the same with electronic versions.  Now I’m thinking I’d like an e-book.  The math and my curiosity to read some new fictional pieces wins out.  Guess what’s going onto the top of my wish list?

If you have any advice or favorite aspects of a particular e-book, feel free to share.