Tag Archives: Social Networking

World Traveler

Me Playing Mandolin

Happy trails to you, wherever you may go!

An unexpected perk of having a blog on WordPress is the feeling of excitement from seeing different countries highlighted on the status page when a viewer outside the U.S. has been reading my posts.  As a soldier I  claimed bragging rights as a world traveler because my flights to and from the Middle East landed for layovers in places such as Scotland (go Ross Clan!), Ireland (yum, Guinness), and Germany (Guten tag, chocolate!).  That counts as “visiting” right?  Anyway, now my blog is doing the traveling for me and I can happily add Canada (although I was there for Spring Break once — long story), Italy (thanks to a high school friend who is having a blast there now), and Japan (my current dream PCS destination)!  Who knows where this writing will take me tomorrow…

Thanks for reading,

— G

Later that day: add Poland to the list!  Dziekuje!

Facebook for Dumb Me

 

G-Raffe MOD

Just when I thought I had gotten the hang of Facebook, I was turned into a giraffe because of a silly riddle!

Being on Facebook the last few weeks has been an incredible learning experience.  Besides being an inexpensive and lightning quick means to connect — and reconnect — with old friends and scattered relatives, Facebook is also a source for the hilarious, ridiculous, and yes, often annoying paraphernalia that seems to keep our culture rolling.  So my most recent challenge has been to ‘develop’ my persona through my timeline and create an image of what I want to communicate to friends.  I don’t want to become that lady who constantly posts every asinine thought on the status line: “don’t you just hate it when you have your coat on and you’re ready to head out the door to go to work and suddenly you have to poop really bad?” Or “Hey gals out there, anyone else on the rag today?  Let’s start a club!  We can call ourselves the Menstrual Mommas! LOL!!!”  Or “Got back from work and immediately unbuttoned skirt but was too lazy to take it off so just safety pinned it to my tights so it would be looser while I ate my stir fry on the couch.”  Actually I really am doing this right now.  It was an issue of time; the stir fry wasn’t going to wait and the skirt was digging into my waist.  Yeah, I have thought this through carefully because while I didn’t see anything nearly this gross or stupid (yet) on Facebook, I really don’t want to subject my Facebook friends to any of my crazy.  The neighbors get to see enough of it.

When I expressed consternation about wanting to learn to use Facebook properly, my sister gave me a quick crash course in the Dos and Don’ts according to her.  She has been on Facebook for years now, has seen it all, and has some great advice to share.  So, without further ado, these are my sister’s Facebook rules for Dumb Me and any other Dummies out there.

  1. Facebook is what you want it to be.  Your Facebook page is your own, you post and share  the content that you want.  You can project the persona that you choose.  You can use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family, show off cherished photos, promote a business, post news and political opinions, or even be ‘that person’ ranting about things that bother you, if you want.  Your page is your space to create the image that you want to show the world, and what you post will be thrown out there for the world to see.  That being said…
  2. You are not obligated to get into a fight with someone on Facebook if you disagree with their content.  There are many reactionary options when encountering content you don’t like, but the first option does NOT need to include inflammatory replies or online harassment.  My sister has had problems in the past when friends saw something that another friend posted on her timeline, didn’t like it, and took it upon themselves to harass the friend through her Facebook page.  Keep in mind, these people didn’t personally know the ‘friend’ they were harassing, and it became very ugly.  So I reiterate: there are a lot of things that we see online everyday.  It is easy to find things to dislike.  Unfortunately the Internet is making it so much easier to make personal attacks from behind a computer screen.  So my sister’s advice in a nutshell: you don’t have to ‘Like’ everything; you also don’t have to attack what you dislike.
  3. Don’t believe everything you read on the News Feed.  I have already had this conundrum.   I cannot stress this enough, if you find something in the feed that seems really intriguing, that many people have liked and commented on, often vehemently, and something about the story seems off, check it on Snopes.com to verify before you make a comment.  It will prevent you from A) looking like an ass for spreading a rumor and B) getting worked up over something that isn’t true, or C) it will prove that the story is true and worth your getting fired up.  Then comment all you want.
  4. Be proud of what you post and own it.  My sister and I actually have diverging thoughts on this.  My thought is that I don’t plan to put anything (hopefully) on Facebook that I wouldn’t be proud to show my grandmothers.  My sister on the other hand told me “I am actually shocked that some people haven’t un-friended me because of the horrible shit I have put on Facebook.”  After this I am going to go look at her timeline and see what she’s talking about.  But the point is, whether it is sweet, family oriented content that would make Grandma chuckle or X-rated shenanigans that would make Mormons cry, you have to really own your content.  From the time you click that ‘Post’ button, you are affirming a responsibility for the content, so know what you are doing.

I want to thank my sister for taking the time to give me her perspective on Facebook and sharing her tips for usage.  I will be a giraffe until Thursday because I overestimated my intelligence on the Facebook riddle this morning and had to change my profile picture.  Another example of stupid-fun things in the news feed…

—G-Raffe

Facebook Verdict: Like

Me2MOD

After years of avoiding Facebook like the plague, I finally took the plunge! Will this be my undoing?

Well it has been one week since I started my blog and also since I joined Facebook.  I have learned three important things:

  1. Almost everything from the Ellen sitcom of the 1990s is back in style again.  That has nothing to do with my blog or Facebook, but I have been watching that show lately and it interesting that styles from the ’90s are once again so popular.  Who else is loving their soft flannel grunge tops and combat boots?
  2. I am really enjoying writing this blog.  I don’t know if I have found my niche yet, and I still need to figure out how much cursing is the proper amount for this site, but otherwise this is quite thrilling!
  3. Facebook is incredibly addictive.  I had to establish ground rules when I chose to ignore the tornado siren because I was reading a particularly interesting post.  It turned out to just be the monthly test siren, but I decided to impose Facebook rules to insure personal and family safety, cleanliness, and overall wellbeing.  To that end I only check my account after the children are fed and we all pass the minimal hygiene requirements established for our family.  So I am sitting on the couch with no makeup, hair un-brushed, and  a box of crackers at my side – super classy.  But I am fully clothed and my kids are at school so I can be glued to my computer all day.  Rock on!

I really had no expectations about my blog when I started writing posts.  Just the goal of getting something written was daunting enough that pushing the ‘Submit’ button was a triumph in itself.  To see that people are actually reading the blog is very flattering! At this point it is too early to speculate whether it will eventually lead to a new career or end up as just a fun hobby, but it will be a healthy way to express all the energy bottled up inside through hilarious, touching, gut wrenching, and super weird stories that are trying to burst out.  Because without a hobby of some sort, I am basically a disgruntled, overly frazzled, frumpy housewife with just enough spare time to write these super weird stories and release them into the World Wide Web to live on in infamy.  So to those of you who have been reading this past week, thanks for sticking with me.  I promise to try to get better, or worse if that helps.  You, my friends, are my motivation to keep going.

I would like to prattle a bit about Facebook, because it is incredibly fascinating!  I had no idea how much FUN it would be to reconnect with people from my past simply by creating a profile page.  I don’t know why it took so long for me to do this.  Contrary to popular belief, my husband and I are not cave dwellers and we do use technology extensively; we are just super choosy about what and how we use it.  And my husband (who is not on Facebook) is still not completely convinced that Facebook is not the work of the devil.  Actually I am also not completely convinced either, but the fact remains that I have been able to come back into contact with so many amazing people from my childhood in the course of a week.  This feat is beyond comprehension!  Maybe I am a cave dweller…Something that touched me especially was a comment from one friend who wrote in my timeline that she had thought about me frequently over the years and had looked for me on Facebook.  It made me realize that I had been missing out on the chance to maintain friendships through continual conversations on a virtual platform of goodwill and good vibes.

As I continued to find old friends and send requests out (and confirm requests too!) I was delightfully surprised by my reactions.  I found myself smiling back at the photos of old classmates, gasping to see them with new babies, exclaiming my glee over their children’s antics, their fantastic careers, my great looking grown up re-found friends!  Then I encountered a problem.  I found people who I didn’t think I could ‘friend’.  They were people with whom I had parted ways due to some sort of drama, or they were simply people who I believed wouldn’t remember or care to know me after all these years.  Why re-hash any new drama by inviting an old enemy onto my page, or possibly be turned down by someone too cool to remember me from fifteen years ago because even back then they were too cool to be my friend?

In case it hasn’t become obvious, I have always been a tad sensitive and self conscious, and making friends has not been easy for me until recently.  I never really had a clique in high school, although I did have some wonderful friends who took me in and dragged me on many wild and crazy adventures.  Instead of cementing myself into one group of people and assimilating their ways, I sort of floated all over, absorbing a bit from every clique but never really fitting in anywhere.  Perhaps that has lent to my overall balking at getting on Facebook as well as my hesitation this past week when encountering some of the classmates from my past.  As intimidating as they were back then, with their perfect grades,  Olympian athletic graces and impeccable wardrobes, they are even scarier now!  Most have gone on to become exactly what I knew they would: Titans of creativity, ingenuity, and beauty.  I never felt like I measured up to them in high school, and this crippling revelation has resurfaced  with my rediscovery of all these successful classmates and friends from days gone by.  So, I am faced with a new challenge for the next week.  I can either be a wimp and cower in shame from the people who I believe are so much better than I simply because I didn’t know that I was cool enough to hang out with them in high school.  Or I can get over myself, extend a hand of friendship and see what happens.

—G

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