November 20, 2009

What is it with computerized social networking? Why do we need to let everyone know what we are doing every minute? Why would anyone care? Yes, I’m ranting again.

Facebook. Twitter. I’m sure there are others. We go on, create a page, and then make friends. Everything we post is shown to our friends. Everything they post is shown to us. I can see this for certain things, but for most that goes on there, it just seems so silly.

You are reading this journal (at least if you have gotten this far in the post I assume you are). You have found something interesting that I have decided to share. I’m glad that what I have written has caught your interest. Hopefully it is something you can learn from, or learn about based on what I have done or experienced. Or maybe it is something you can laugh about.

But how often do I post? I put these out on the web every other month if I’m lucky. And there is usually no more than 20 of them (and lately, 20 is a lot). These entries I put here are of interesting things that have happened, or I have done. And this is here as a learning tool, not a personal gratification journal.

But on Facebook, I have friends that post something several times a day. Sometimes they are important happenings, or information. But for the most part it is just comments that other friends comment on. And Twitter is worse as you are keeping the world informed in “40 characters or less”. My life is not that interesting. I mean I experience some truly amazing things, but not enough to put out 40 characters worth several times a day.

One friend I have likes Facebook because unlike me, most of her friends post regularly. She can go to one place and see what all her friends are up to.

But what is this missing? Personal contact. The computer has made it so easy to keep in touch with all your friends without actually having to talk to them. Now is that neat or what? More like “what” I think.

I have one friend that posts several times a day, and I think it is just comments to get people to comment on and produce opinions. I have another that posts several times a day, to some end. And the ability to do it now with your iPhone just makes it more silly. One series went like… I’m going to this event tonight… I’m sitting here waiting for it to start… It’s intermission. If anyone is here, come see me in section XX (like they will all be checking Facebook to see if something has posted)…. We’re eating at a restaurant after the event… Uhhh, TMI!!! (In case you are not enlightened, TMI means Too Much Information.) I’m actually surprised it didn’t go into what everyone was eating and how they liked it.

Unfortunately, I can see this on Twitter with sending out tweets. Tweet: I just got up. Feeling good. Tweet: I’m having breakfast, bacon and eggs. Tweet: I’m taking a dump (no details available… yet).

Now admittedly, I love gadgets. I have a fancy cell phone that does lots of stuff from take pictures to quasi surf the web. I like it because it has a full keyboard so it is easy to type text messages. But I don’t pay for the full data access because that is an additional $45 per month. Maybe I need a better plan, but right now I am happy with what I have. I carry a Palm PDA for the calendar and such (which they don’t make anymore because everything is going to cell phones). It can connect to the web through any wi-fi connection available, but I don’t carry it with me everywhere. I use it primarily for my scheduling and to do typing and such when I can’t be at a computer.

But I see that the first thing someone will go to when they want to tell someone something is the computer. I, personally, go to my cell phone and place a call.

This is scary. A close relative had taken another close relative to the emergency room late one night. I found out about it when I turned on my computer in the morning and saw the Facebook post she left from her phone while sitting in the waiting room. No one else in the family knew. Is this how we should handle important things like this? I think not!

Come on people! Get a life!

The computer, with all its chat sites and social networks has made it possible to keep up with everyone without ever having to talk to anyone.

But there are things that are missing, like real human interaction, the ability to hear someone’s voice, and get a feeling for how they truly feel. Granted, a few years ago, someone taught me to connect with someone and feel what they are feeling. It is all energy, and I don’t do it often at all since I feel like it is invading someone’s privacy, at least to a point. If I see something posted, I can go to see the true feelings behind it as opposed to guessing based on the text. But I don’t unless I really feel a need for it. I probably haven’t done this in a year or more. But that is me. For most people, they have no clue. Someone could post something that could be happy or sad and no one would know how they truly felt, something they could do with a phone call.

It is because of things like this that we don’t know how to deal with one another on a real basis. It’s too easy to hit the delete button rather than deal with it.

So, call me old fashioned or whatever you want, but when I want to talk with someone, and it is available, I think I’ll pick up the phone and call. It is so much nicer to hear their voice and let them hear mine. Yep. Phone call. Easiest option.