You Might Be Addicted to Facebook

It has come to my attention that some of us may be spending a little TOO much time on Facebook, sacrificing sleep, meals, etc. to type something funny so that someone else will laugh, or play the games that Facebook has to offer, or chatting. Those of us that have Blackberries and/or cell phones strapped to our hips, who have to look at our phones every time it vibrates, may be taking the love of Facebook a bit too far. But we are not alone in the euphoric feeling that comes from the “someone wrote a comment on my post” high. Many people are addicted, and to those folks, I applaud you; I support you; I want to be your friend. (Sssspppttt, hey listen, send me a friend request later, ok? :-))

But maybe there is some truth to spending a little too much time on Facebook. So, to help my fellow addicts, in the same manner as Jeff Foxworthy‘s "You might be a Redneck" routine, I have come up with a list of indicators, red flags if you will, that will help you diagnose if YOU might be addicted to Facebook. Some of you are in denial so maybe this will be like an intervention for you. For that, I'm sorry.

Here goes:

  1. If you take your cell phone/Blackberry/Iphone to the bathroom with you so you can catch up on Facebook, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  2. If you have to leave your job to go home for lunch so you can post an update from your computer, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  3. If you're driving down the street with one hand on the wheel, and the other one doing thumb maneuvers to type "LOL" on your phone, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  4. If you need to submit a weekly report to your boss and you label it "Status Update", you might be addicted to Facebook. (Did it!)

  5. If your phone is sitting next to your knife, fork, and spoon at the dinner table, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  6. If you tell your spouse that you need to do some work from home and that's why you're on the computer at 11:00p.m. and when they come in the room, you minimize the Facebook window really quick so they can't see that you're really on Facebook, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  7. If you wake up at 2:30 a.m. and have to boot up your laptop to check for comments/updates, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  8. If your laptop crashes, and you find that going to the library with the kids is NOW a priority, all so you can check Facebook on the library’s computers, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  9. If you find that you're on your 10th anniversary with your spouse on a romantic getaway, and your priority is to take pictures of the room, THE BED, etc. to share with your Facebook friends, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  10. If you've set your phone to ring a special code to let you know you have a notification, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  11. If you decide to go cold turkey and give Facebook a rest and not check it for a few days, then spend all day Sunday looking back at what you missed, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  12. If you're typing something on Facebook and your child interrupts asking you, "Can I go shoot up some heroin?" and your reply is, "Yes, dear. Go right ahead." You might be addicted to Facebook.

  13. It's 1:00 a.m. and you just remembered that you forgot to eat dinner. You might be addicted to Facebook.

  14. If you're at your child's event and you missed that he/she scored a goal, hit a homerun, scored a touchdown, you missed his/her dance solo in the recital, or missed them taking their wedding vows, because you were typing a comment, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  15. If you pose for every picture with the thought of how it will look on Facebook, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  16. If you get excited to see friends have a green dot by their name, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  17. If you haven't seen someone in years and instead of chatting with them and catching up, you direct them to Facebook and tell them to look you up, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  18. If you find yourself paying closer attention to song lyrics in the hopes of creating a good update, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  19. If you find that your priority is to type the following status update: "The house just caught on fire and I need to call 911 after I log off", you might be addicted to Facebook.

  20. If you go on a cruise and are willing to pay the overseas/land rates to connect to the internet to check Facebook, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  21. If you’re willing to take off your gloves in sub-degree temperatures to type a comment on your phone, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  22. If you have to borrow someone else’s computer because yours doesn’t play videos, you might be addicted to Facebook.

  23. If you and your spouse are in the house, and you're typing to each other on Facebook stuff like, "What's for dinner" or "Is the laundry done", you might be addicted to Facebook.

  24. And finally, if you get deleted by a friend on Facebook and your reaction to it is to commit a federal crime, like let’s say, blackmail, you might be addicted to Facebook. (Actually on this one, you might have lost your sense of reality and need to seek help immediately!)

    (Disclaimer: Being a friend (or antithesis) of a writer has its definite disadvantages. However, nobody knows it’s you I’m talking about, so be cool, fool! You don’t have to out yourself as an addict…unless you don’t care, like me. Then, by all means, shout it from the rooftops. Say it with me! “My Name is Sharon…And I’m a Facebook Addict!...(Hi Sharon!)” Or laugh to yourself that you did these things and say nothing to nobody. It’ll be our little secret. I won’t tell, if you don’t tell. ;-) By the way, some of these things are just made up and not to be assumed that anyone actually did them. Smirk.)

If you recognized yourself in 15-24 of these, you are definitely a full blown addict, and I recommend you get help immediately…by sending me a friend request if we are not already friends. (I like you already and we're going to get along just fine.)

If you know you've done 8-14 of these, you’re an addict alright! No more sailing down that river in Egypt for you, baby! There’s only one thing left for you to do, and that’s to get a job working at Facebook so you can at least get paid for spending all that time on it.

If you found that you laughed at 3-7 of these out loud because they were true, you’re an addict, but not a serious one yet. You like to dabble in it, but are not fully committed. There’s hope for you yet!

If you found 1-2 of these mildly amusing, or not amusing at all, you’re either 1) Living on another planet, 2) Lying in bed by yourself, lonelier than Tom Hanks in the movie “Castaway” and talking to a volleyball head, 3) You’re just a newbie and haven’t caught the bug yet, (but we’ll give you time to catch up) 4) You are Amish, or 5) You detest Facebook and anyone that uses it for enjoyment, and in that case, you are welcome to continue to read my blog, but you might want to stay away from the Facebook section where we talk about people like YOU. I’m just sayin’.

My Kaneclusion - Listen Folks. Don’t let anyone steal your joy. If you are addicted to Twitter, Facebook, My Space,, eHarmony, or any of the social networking outlets that have become the craze of this millenium, drive on! You're not doing anything that millions of other people aren't doing. Think of it this way. It’s healthier than what we did in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s which was sitting in smoky bars, drinking, trying to connect to people that way. If that’s how you choose to connect still, then that's okay. If you're not on the streets drunk driving, inhaling second hand smoke from bars (although that has changed now due to the no smoking in public places law), if you don't have a needle hanging out of your arm, if you're not hurting anyone or your self, then what's the big deal?!

So, I'll see you at Facebook Anonymous tonight then? (Say, do you want to skip it and meet me on Facebook instead and we'll chat? Great! See you tonight! :-)

Please feel free to leave a comment if you enjoyed this article. Or if you have other “addicted to Facebook” entries of your own, post them in the comments section of this blog by clicking on "Comments" below.

If you laughed at this entry, your friends will laugh too. So send them the link!.

The Other Stuff

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Links to my other blog entries, Let’s Get Started and Introduction to Facebook.

Copyright © 2009 Sharon Kane
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Angels Come In All Shapes and Sizes

     I live on a street that has a cemetery at the end of it. About a year ago, I drove by the cemetery and there was a funeral taking place. For the first few months after the funeral, there were always people gathering at that particular grave site, either paying respects or just visiting. Every time I drove by on my way to work, there seemed to be people there doing something. Over time, the site has become adorned with candles, flowers, marble benches, and plants. Time has passed. The crowd that once gathered there has dwindled. Recently, for the last few months, only one last mourner, a woman, has been seen there, sitting on the marble bench that is strategically placed facing the head stone. I can only imagine that she can’t let go; that she didn’t get to say all she needed to say to the one that passed; that she is tormented by an early demise of her loved one; or worse, she suffers from some kind of guilt.
     One day a few months ago, I drove by and noticed nobody there. I took the opportunity to drive into the cemetery to see who had been buried there. Call it morbid curiosity, but for some reason I had to know. I had done a Facebook update that had stated that the person that was buried there was the daughter of the woman sitting there on the bench every day. I made mention that I would love to stop by and talk to this woman who is obviously grieving. But being a coward, and not knowing what I would say, I would keep driving.
     Flash forward to today, October 5.
     Today, on my drive back to work from lunch, I drove down the hill as I normally do. As I got to the bottom, I spotted the woman sitting on her bench all alone, as I have seen her do several times. It was a beautiful fall day, a spattering of leaves blowing through the cemetery, some trees with a sparse color of orange, red, and yellow in the distance. A nip was in the air but the sun was shining so bright that the inside of my car was toasty warm.
     Normally, when I get to the bottom of that hill, I take a left. Today, I found myself taking a right, pulling into the entrance to the cemetery, on the road heading to where this woman’s van was parked. This was all somehow out of my control. I should have been going to work. But there I was, in the cemetery. As I slowly approached in my car, the woman didn’t look up. We were the only two cars and the only two people in the cemetery. At this point, most people would have turned their car around, talked themselves out of it. But I didn’t.
     As I got out of my car, I had no idea what I was going to say to this complete stranger. I had no idea if I was disturbing her solitude; what kind of reaction she would have to a complete stranger approaching her. Some other force was guiding me. It didn’t matter. The thought of her possibly macing me never entered into the equation. Not even the big black dog that was in the car that had leaped out and was sizing me up, deterred me from my mission. Rather, I found the latter to be the perfect ice-breaker.
     As I approached I caught a chill from the breeze moving through the vast openness with the only shields blocking the wind being those of marble, knee-high head stones. I shivered a bit while I walked towards her.
     Referring to the dog, I said, “Does he bite?” Looking down and wiping tears away from her face with a tissue she held tightly in her hand, she softly said, “No.”
     The dog stood at attention watching me. I said, “Is he tied to something?” She nodded. I walked over to the dog and after letting him smell me, he allowed me to pet him. He was mostly black but had the signs of an aging dog. Around his mouth and nose area he was graying. While petting him, the woman still didn’t acknowledge me completely. She appeared to be deep in thought, and not concerned that I was there. She had rosary beads in her hands and I immediately apologized for interrupting. She shook her head indicating that I was not interrupting and that it was ok.
     "You keep this up so nicely, I felt compelled to stop and tell you so” I said, getting a glance upfront and personal of the shrine that I had admired from afar. From the street, I couldn’t tell anything about the woman that I had seen there day after day. But now up close, I can tell she is Asian, older, maybe in her 70’s, maybe 4 feet 10 inches tall, wearing a goose down vest. It was obvious that her hair had not been combed at least for today but no telling how long it had been that way because it was short and in disarray as if she just got out of bed. It was after lunch time.
     “The rose bushes don’t seem to be growing” she said. Maybe she thought I was a landscaper or grounds person, although I was dressed for work in slacks and a blazer, so I’m not sure what she thought.
     “Rose bushes are hard to grow. But this is all very lovely.”
     Previous to this I thought it was her daughter that had been buried there. When I had stopped there on the previous occasion, the head stone that I saw indicated a young woman but the date of death had not been inscribed yet. But on today’s impromptu visit, it was clear now that the gravestone had a picture of this woman with her husband which had not been there before.
     “Someone very special must be here for you to come here all the time.” I probed.
     “Yes…my husband.”
     “Do you mind if I ask, how did he pass?”
     In broken English, she replied, “Cancer. He die of Cancer.” She lifted her sunglasses and wiped her eyes again.
     “I’m very sorry to hear that.”
     The dog, comfortable that I was not going to attack what was now his sole remaining owner, climbed into the open door of the van and lay down on the seat, facing us so he could keep an eye on things.
     “M.D. Hmm. He was a doctor? What kind of doctor was he?”
     “Did he work locally?”
     “Yes, at the Backus Hospital,” she said, although, being a doctor was not his claim to fame. “My husband. He such a good man. He establish a foundation for the poor in the Philippines. His life’s work. All he wanted to do was help the poor people of my country.” Looking at the picture on the gravestone it was clear that he was not Philippino. But she was.
     “And now I’m all alone because he is gone.”
     “Do you have children?”
     “Yes, two daughter. Both live in Boston. Both doctor.”
     “I see.”
     The marble bench is in two sections that are adjacent to each other, making one long bench. The woman was sitting on one section, leaving the other section empty. There was a chill in the air that wasn’t detectable while in my car. I indicated with my hand a proposal for me to sit. She obliged me with her hand indicating a green light. I couldn’t tell if she wanted me to or if she just didn’t have the energy to stop me so she gave me the go ahead.
     Upon sitting, I could see more clearly that there were lit, covered candles surrounding the site. “Who lights all these candles?” I asked.
     “I do. I light them. They last 5 day.” A breeze blew by, but sitting down it seemed to be warmer than it was when I was standing. Yet, I still kept rubbing my hands together as if I was freezing, just for something to do.
     “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it? It’s so peaceful and quiet here.”
     “Yes. Yes. My husband and I live up the street and we always loved this cemetery. This section of cemetery always so empty. We bought plots before it got too crowded. My husband. He a good man.”
     Sitting, I could easily read the other gravestones implanted into the ground. It now made sense that the daughter was not buried there, but only has a plot with her name on it. So does the woman. Inscribed on her plot it reads “Joan R.N.” I thought to myself, how unnerving it must be to sit and look at the spot where you know you are going to end up for all eternity.
     “So, you’re a nurse?”
     ”What do you do now?”
     “Retired many years ago. I like to stay home. Cook and keep house for me and my husband. My husband do everything else.” Another tear fell down her cheek and she wiped it away.
     “Like what? What did he do that you can’t do?”
     “Oh heck, H & R Block can do that for you!”
     She lets out a laugh at the boldness of this stranger who is now giving her advice on where to get her taxes done. The laugh gives way to permission to say more.
     “He did all paperwork for me. Pay the bills. All I did was cook. Now, no one to cook for.”
     “How long were you married?”
     The little Philippino woman replied, “47 year.”
     I started to tear up. 47 years! Being the cook in my house, I know the importance of creating a good meal and the accolades that follow from putting dinner on the table for the family. I tried to imagine living without that. The depth of emptiness brought on by a house absent of compliments or appreciation for a dinner well executed. The all out effort of having to cook for one and eating the meal by one’s self.
     Trying to contain my own unimaginable sorrow, I said, “Maybe you should go back to work, become a nurse again?”
     “No. I like staying home. Don’t like having to be in certain spot at certain time.”
     “How about volunteering? It does the soul good to get out of the house and be with people.”
     “No. Still a commitment to be there and sometime, I don’t want to get out of bed.”
     I could relate to that, but not on the same level.
     “How long has it been since he passed?”
     "One year.”
     “Do you think he would want you hanging out in the cemetery every day?”
     “No. No. He a good man. He would want me to carry on his foundation work.”
     “Then that’s what you should do.”
     She nods, but in a patronizing way.
     “He can’t continue it. It’s not finished, right? You should continue and do more.”
     She nods.
     “You know, this is none of my business, but I drive by here all the time and see you sitting here. Is this what your husband would have wanted you to do?
     “No. He would want me to continue his dream of the foundation.”
     “Well then?...I see you were doing the rosary when I walked over. So I assume your belief is that he is in heaven, right?
     “Oh yes, he in heaven. He a VERY good man.” More tears.
     “Then your belief also needs to be that you will see him again in Heaven someday. But your life is not over here yet. There is more for you to do here. And if you don’t mind me saying so, sitting in a cemetery isn't living your life. This is beautiful what you have done here. But you need to live the rest of your life.”
     She nods and sniffles. I can tell she feels a little silly when she says,“You would think I be over this by now.”
     I tried to let her know that it’s okay by shaking my head no.
     “You may never be over this. But I know for sure that you are still here and you need to live your life as God intended.”
     A complete stranger and I’m holding mass with her. Had I known I was going to be preaching that day I would have bought a bottle of wine with me and made it official. (Always looking for excuses to drink wine!)
     “I know he would have wanted me to carry his dream on.”
     “Yes, and that is what you should do.” Noticing the time, I said, “I have to get back to work now.” Sensing my departure, the dog got out of the car and came over to me for a last pet.
     “I bet he makes a great companion.”
     “Yes.” The woman and I sat on the marble bench petting him together, finding solace in his fur.
     “Where do you work?” she asked me.
     “Foxwoods” I said, “But I don’t work at the casino, I work for the Tribe.” She told me of the people she knew there that had contributed to her husband’s foundation. I knew some of them and felt that we had connected on some level. That I wasn’t just some stranger and that she had ties to the community I work in.
     It was a good time to exit. Whatever my purpose was for stopping there today was complete. I stood up from the bench.
     “What your name?” she asked me.
     “Sharon.” I hesitated, not knowing if I wanted to give my full name then decided that not giving my name was ridiculous. “Sharon Kane. I live right up the street. For some reason, I needed to stop and talk to you today. I don’t know why but I did and I’ve been meaning to several times. But today I had to. I hope that whatever the reason was becomes clear to you.”
     She grabbed my arm and said, “Thank you. Thank you very much for stopping.”
     I, in turn, patted her on her sleeveless down jacket and said, “No problem. Now, don’t sit here all day. Go do something you’ve been meaning to do. It’s a beautiful day.”
     She nodded politely.
     As I walked away, I glanced back at her. Her dog, their dog, her and her husband’s dog, was watching me walking to my car. His tail was wagging and I swear to God he was smiling at me as if to say, “Thank you. She needed that.”
     I drove to work wondering why that was important for me to do. I was surprised at how easy it was. Yet how many people drove past her, including myself for a year, never stopping to lend an ear. I may never know why or what impact I had. If any! Or maybe the compelling factor was the fear of becoming like her and hoping that someone would stop and talk to me if I was ever in that same circumstance. The possibilities of my impact range from, possibly saving her life to being just an annoying person that interrupted her. Just like so many other things in life, I may never know the reason or the impact I had. I’m not a social worker; not a bereavement counselor; not particularly religious or spiritual. But I was called upon that day to stop and talk to this woman. It crossed my mind, could it be that I was her angel? Who knows. But I stopped and I’d like to think I helped her. I’m glad I did it.

My Kaneclusion is this. As much as I'm pretty certain I don't have wings on my back, we all have the power to help each other. It is now two weeks later after stopping that day and I have not seen Joan, the Philippino nurse, wife of the radiologist, pursuer of Philippino philanthropy, sitting on the bench in the morning. As I drive to work, I like to think she’s home, brushing her hair, and getting ready for the day that awaits her.
Click here to read the article, "After a Death, the Pain That Doesn’t Go Away" and other articles that pertain to grieving. If you know someone that is grieving, or if you are grieving and need help, you may want to read this article. Courtesy of The New York Times, September 2009, and Thank you to K. McEvoy for posting it on Facebook.

Introduction to Facebook 101

Welcome to my blog!

In continuation from my last post,
Let’s Get Started (a pre-requisite for this post), I’d like to think that SOMEONE out there followed my previous advice and actually created an account on Facebook. If you did, this post is dedicated to you! Because anyone that does what I tell them to do Rocks! You created an account so I feel indebted to you, a sense of responsibility that Facebook needs to be everything I said it was. So, my friends, in an effort to not let you down, I want to give you some pointers. Here is what I came up with:

Starter kit for Facebook (fb)

As a newbie on fb, which is an abbreviation for “Facebook”, there is certain etiquette that goes along with using it. I’m here to teach you that etiquette because I wouldn't want people to un-friend you (remove you from their friend list) because you didn't know what you were doing. So here are some guidelines.

First, let's start with a list of acronyms. These acronyms are not only used in fb, but all over the web, in emails, chat rooms, texting, et cetera. They are commonly used for people who are too lazy to type the full words (Me!) Some people have even carried the abbreviations over in to their every day running speech. They actually say the letters /O/M/G/ when they want to say "oh my god". I’m not sure this cuts down on anything. But you know the people that do this are so addicted that they don’t even know that /O/M/G/ isn’t a real word.

Here are a few acronyms to get you started:

LOL = Laugh Out Loud

LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off - you will be using this one quite often when reading my updates on fb and/or on this blog. So get used to it!

OMG = Oh My Gosh, or Oh My God, or Old Man Gone, no wait, that last one isn't right.

WT? = What the?

WTF? = (Figure it out.)

Some more abreviations to help you cut down on the risk of carpel tunnel syndrome:

J/k = Just Kidding

Def. = Definitely

TTYS = Talk To You Soon

TTYL = Talk To You Later

TTFN = Ta Ta For Now (None of my friends say that to me in person so I'm not sure why they type it. If they did say that to me, I'd say, wtf?)

Character expressions. Character expressions help people know how you are feeling. Are you happy? Sad? In love? Learn these sets of characters and you’ll be able to let people know what kind of mood you're in.

:-) = turn your head sideways to the left and you will see that those 3 characters make a smiling face. Use this when you want others to know you just slammed them but you're just kidding. Well, that's what I use it for. You can use it to let people know you're smiling or that you like something they wrote. This sign can also be used to make us all wonder what the heck you're up to. On fb, there is also a "thumbs up" sign which can indicate that you like something that someone typed without having to type any words whatsoever. I mean, if you are THAT lazy, you can do that. If someone likes what you type, they may just click on the "thumbs up" link. You know they're not actually sitting at their keyboard doing an actual thumbs up. But one of my favorite things to do is actually picture them giving me a big smile and a thumbs up which usually makes me laugh.

;-) = If you change the colon to a semi-colon, that indicates you're winking.

:-( = Use the other parenthesis to indicate you’re sad, unhappy, clinically depressed.

"<" "3" = typing these two characters together will translate into a heart shape on your post automatically. But be careful who you get a heart on from. ;-) (perfect place for a wink!)

Who made this stuff up? Don't know. But we all do it and we all use these funny little shortcuts to express ourselves.

Moving on.


Fb is supposed to be fun. Although there are times that someone states an opinion that you don’t agree with. And that’s okay. As long as you express a difference of opinion in a respectful manner, you should be fine. For example, if you say, “Are you out of your ever lovin’ mind? Did you get your degree in stupidology?” that might be an inappropriate way to say that you disagree. I find that people who say “I agree with you, but…” last longer on fb. It’s up to you on how you want to approach that. But I think you’d be an idiot not to follow my advice. (See? How does that feel? Not too good huh? So don’t do it to others!)

Speaking of diplomacy, sometimes what people type is funny. But sometimes it misses the mark. Never, EVER, say something isn't funny on fb. Keep your disgust, dismay, repulsion, shock, loathing, whatever, to yourself. Nobody wants to hear it. Unless you put a :-) at the end. See at this point, if you were paying attention to what I’m trying to teach you, you would type back to me in fb or on this blog, "LOL".

Status Updates

Can I be frank with you? Great, I thought I could. We don't care that you're doing your laundry right now so don't type that as an update. Fb isn't Twitter! If you want to tell everyone that you are going to the bathroom right now, go create an account with Twitter. But on Fb, there is a higher standard. The only time I want to hear about you in the bathroom is if there was a nighttime of partying preceding it, and you’re on the floor and can’t get up, but have managed to type to us all from your cell phone to tell us all about it. THAT'S an update!

Actually, all kidding aside, updates can be anything you want to type, but be careful because people like me will have something to say about it and will "comment" on it. Which is the whole reason for posting updates - for people to comment.

A status update can range from being funny, or not. It can be sad, like the passing of a loved one, and people will offer you support. It can be a story to see if others commiserate. It can be a story to see if others have had the same experience as you. Or Not! (I was attacked by a person in a wheelchair once. Have you ever been? Yeah, neither had anyone else. But it sure was fun talking about it!)

Had a bad experience at a mechanics garage, post it on fb, so we can boycott the place. Status updates can also be prose, poetry, quips, quotes, anecdotes, daily routines with different views, exercise accomplishments, current news events, political stances, celebrations of births, anniversaries, marriages. Although I have yet to see someone do a status update while taking their vows. But you know darn well SOMEONE is going to do that and it’ll be on Youtube. "Do you take this facebook addict to love and cherish..."

Those are just to name a few updates that people have posted. Everyone gets something different out of using fb and you make it what you want it to be for you. Understand upfront that not everyone is going to agree with you; not everyone is going to think it’s funny; not everyone is going to cry with you; but that's ok. Some people may never even comment on your updates. I refer to them as “lurkers” (props to C. Pryor). Sure, they want to READ your stuff and see what you’re up to. But they don’t have the guts to comment about it. Lurkers. But they do increase the number of friends you have listed, because let’s face it. You don’t want to just have 2 friends showing up on your list when your ex-boyfriend looks you up, thus proving what a loser you are, do you? No. So keep the lurkers around, at least until you can replace them with people who will comment. If you find the lurkers take away from your enjoyment on fb, at that point, you can decide whether you want them part of your fb world or not. And if not, you just delete them by clicking on the big “X” next to their name. (NOTE: If I am a friend on your friend list, it is a fb rule that you can not delete me. Read it in the fb guidelines. It's there. Ha! (Oh, Ha! = someone laughing but it's not as funny as an LOL. And then hahaha is somewhere between the Ha! and the LOL. Have I lost ya? Do you sound like "ha" when you laugh? Me neither. But just play along.)
"You may start to find that, as events happen in your day, you are trying to shape them into a paragraph that is elaborate enough to fully describe, but also succinct enough to not exceed, the character limit for a status update.” – D. Stone, Fellow FB Addict.

Should you exceed the character limit for an update, the first thing that happens is fb inserts an annoying “read more” link. Every time I post a long-winded update, I am convinced that people don’t click on the link, making them think I blacked out mid-sentence. I have also tried to extend my novella-size updates into the first comment section. And when that doesn’t work, I turn to writing a Note. (This will be covered in my next blog entitled, “Intermediate Facebook 201”.)


I touched slightly on this in
Let’s Get Started, but I’ll go more into depth here. The goal of posting your picture on fb is to post the very worst picture of yourself. Just look at mine for instance. On a serious note, any pictures you post to fb become property of fb. So if you don't want a certain picture of you or your kids on some commercial on the internet somewhere, don't post it on fb. That's why I post my worst pictures, on the premise that nobody will want them. Of course, that could explain why I only have a few friends on fb. Ha! Hahaha. (Nope still doesn't sound like me.)

Looking Up People - AKA Stalking

THIS is what fb is all about, people. You click on "Find people" and then type the name of the person you are looking for in the "Search" box. For example, if you type my name in, you will get all kinds of people with my name. One being a porn star. That isn't me, btw (by the way). As if I have to note that. Just didn't want you to be reaching out to the porn star and being disappointed to find it isn't me. ;-) (turn head sideways, remember?). Ok, back to stalking. If you get a list of names that match, you have to scroll through to find the exact person
you're looking for. Hopefully the person has a real picture and not something stupid like say a wii character or something. (Guilty.)

And sometimes, even if they DO have a real picture, it's hard to tell if it's them or not. Let's face it, other people, not us, are aging not as well as us. So you have to kind of squint and imagine that person years ago and see if they actually could be them. If it is them, Score!

Friend Request

Ah, the friend request. Sometimes, depending on how people have their settings, you can't see their information unless you are friends with them. Which means you have to send them a “friend request”. This is similar to being the new kid on the playground and asking another kid if they want to be your friend. In real life, the response is normally within seconds. "Sure" says the other kid and off you go to play. In fb world, it can take a second, an hour, a day, sometimes a week. The emotional stress of wondering, "do they NOT want to be my friend?" can kill ya. Not to worry. Most people WILL accept your friend request and if they don't, you have to wonder what kind of idiot they became in life to not want to be friends with you. (Or maybe they're just on vacation. So be careful before judging.) :-) (Getting the hang of it?)

Once a friend accepts you as a friend, then the fun begins. You get to read all their stuff on their "wall" (another lesson for another day.) You can look at pictures of their families, vacations, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's stalking at its best! But keep in mind that once you're friends with that person, they can see YOUR stuff too.

You can send private messages as well to just one friend and yourself by clicking on the "Inbox" and composing a message. Keep in mind, the updates, wall stuff, comments, everyone can see if they are friends of yours. If you want to say something to someone privately, use the "message". You'll get the hang of it.

This just scratches the surface, my new fb account users!

My Kaneclusion for this week is that you may not find the humor in any of this right now. But in a few months from now, you will be sneaking away from your desk to check your fb notifications. You'll be excusing yourself from business lunches to go to the ladies room to check your fb. You will be booting up the computer at 3:00 a.m. to see if anyone posted something. Trust me, others are laughing at this right now because it's true.

If you did indeed join fb because of the peer pressure I inflicted on you, 1) I’m sorry and 2) Welcome to Facebook! And where the heck is my friend request from you? :-(

See you next time when we discuss rescinding stupid comments you’ve made on fb and what you can do about it. This isn’t just for the newbies on fb. Some of you long-time fb users could use a lesson in this too! :-)

So come on back!

Let's Get Started!

Hello All,
Welcome to my Blog!

I've decided to make my first post about one of the phenomenons happening in the world today. In years past, people would connect in various ways: by sending letters and cards via the USPS; placing a call using rotary dial phones and stretching the phone cord into closets for privacy; and going way back, connect by sealing letters with wax and having it delivered by the pony express. Unlike any other time in history, people are connecting with each other more and more and this is mainly because of the Internet. Email has made it so that you can type a message to someone, send it out into cyberspace and have it delivered to their computer within a millisecond (if you have a fast computer connection, that is). One reason for this new need for instant communication is that more people are leaving the towns they grew up in to seek employment elsewhere. Years ago, people worked in their jobs for 40 years then retired from that one job and stayed in that town. With the ever increasing need to stay in touch with people as their careers change and locations change, so increased the demand to be able to locate people and track where they are and what they are doing.

In this new millennium, one of the primary sources to satisfy this need is via a web application called Facebook. Facebook is a way for people to reach each other and catch up on each other's lives. The only thing needed is access to the Internet and an email account. And the best part is, Facebook is Free! Therefore so many people are doing it.

I, myself, put this Facebook thing off for a year. Friends would say, "Hey, are you on Facebook?" "Nah, I don't have time." I had very little interest in "connecting" with people. It's bad enough running into High School classmates in the grocery store or in the mall. Never mind put a picture on the Internet to show everyone how I've aged. But like all peer pressure, the more people kept asking me if I was on Facebook, the more I felt like I was missing out on something, so eventually I gave in.

I sat down one day and created an account. I was faced immediately with all kinds of dilemmas. What name should I use? Do I use my real name so people can find me? Do I want people to find me? Do I answer the profile questions? Do I want someone that I went to grammar school with reading about what movies I like? The list goes on and on. I decided for myself that I would leave mostly everything blank and make it as vanilla as possible by just answering the 'must haves' to open an account.

Facebook. Why is it called Facebook?
Through the course of setting up the account, it asked me to upload a picture of myself. Oh, wait right there, mister! There's no way I'm posting a picture of myself! Nope. No can do. I'm just going to skip that question all together.

And I did for a few days. I was quite content with having the little blue silhouette guy representing me. (I want to know who posed for the placeholder picture and how many friends he has!) But as I became more acquainted with Facebook, I did a search on my name, and realized that there were 154 results that came up for Sharon Kane, and they, like me, were using the generic blue silhouette guy too! Peer pressure being what it is, I took the drug. I drank the Kool-aid. I got my camera out and made a friend of mine take 431 shots of me until I got the right one that was publishable. A picture that made me look 25. So I uploaded a picture of Megan Fox. Who would know the difference? People would know. I reviewed all the shots and decided that I would settle on at least one that didn't make me look like Marty Feldman (the actor that played Igor in "Young Frankenstein".) I uploaded the picture and there I was, on the Internet, for the world of Facebook users to see.

A friend of mine, who had not taken the plunge into Facebook world either, had the idea that we could get started together. She sat in my living room while I sat in my bedroom. God bless her little heart, she figured it out and sent me something called a friend request. The friend request requires you to "confirm" that person as a friend, or you can choose to select "ignore". I've always chosen my friends wisely, so this was not as quick of a decision as one might think. I sat in my bedroom weighing the pros and cons to this proposition. Do I want to be friends with this woman sitting down stairs in my living room? Hmm. There was that one time where she...Oh, what the heck, I clicked on confirm. She'll be good to practice with.

We wrote on each other's "wall" as if we were thousands of miles apart and could hear each other giggling in the other room as we typed stupid stuff to each other in messages. We clicked here and there, trying to figure it all out. I admit, I found it intriguing.

Before long, I was reconnecting with kids I went to grammar school with, and high school, co-workers, relatives, parents of children in my kids' classes. The possible networking and connections were proving to be virtually endless.

And that is where it all started, my addiction to this thing called Facebook. Since that day, there has not been one day that I haven't been on Facebook for one reason or another. I have had every emotion on Facebook as I have in real life. I have cried, laughed, gotten angry, felt compassionate for other people's causes, the list goes on and on. And the nice thing about Facebook, and this is where I think they have captured the essence of why people are attracted to it, is this. With AOL chat rooms , for instance, the down side is you never really know who you are talking to. It's all anonymous. If you want to see a picture of the person you're chatting with, you have to ask the person to send you a picture. But with Facebook, you actually KNOW the people you are typing to and connecting with. And they can't really send you a picture of a guy from GQ magazine with ripped abs because after all, you know what they look like!

My Kaneclusion for this week is if you have not opened an account with Facebook yet, you need to do so. Right now. What are you waiting for? Why are you still here on my blog? Go! If you don't, you'll get left behind like an 8 track tape. I hate to break it to you, but your kids are using Facebook and soon they'll be off to college or married raising their own families. You'll be sitting by the phone waiting for them to call and you'll be disappointed when the phone doesn't ring. It's not that they don't love and care about you. It's that they don't know how to dial a phone. They only know how to "logon" and do "status updates". So to stay in touch with them, you're going to have to get on board. (Warning: Some of your children's updates you won't want to read, causing you to wonder what happened to the child that you sent to parochial school all those years. And who are these friends he/she has?? But it's okay. You'll be staying in touch.)

My blog will not be primarily about Facebook. But there is just so much material to be had in and around Facebook, that my first few posts will be about this new communication tool. For a sampling of things to come, I will be giving an Introductory class in Facebook and the lingo that is used. For those that take Facebook more seriously, an Intermediate class will be posted for your entertainment. All tongue in cheek, folks, so don't be looking for manuals or real step-by-step instructions from this blog. However, if you know of a site that offers real classes for Facebook, or have tips for the rest of us, feel free to post it.

Come back soon!