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!


Anonymous said...

Great post! LOL at the Megan Fox picture! Out of the 431 shots...I think that you picked a good one.

Its hard to believe that facebook has become so much a part of day to day life isn't it! And I think that I only use a fraction of the features! I look forward to reading more of this so I know what I am missing!


Anonymous said...

Facebook is definately the way to communicate with friends/family. However, I prefer the personal call for the "I'm moving out of country" or "I'm pregnant" or "I'm getting married" or other big news (only one of three is applicable to me). Who can afford a land line call overseas, and why would one even think of it? There are programs such as Skype where you can see the person you are speaking with, and it's free.

If you have kids, you have to keep up with the ways to communicate with them.

Great first post!


Anonymous said...

What a great way to kick off your blog Sharon! I really enjoyed reading it and seeing you date yourself by bringing up something called 8 tracks ( I had to google it to see what you were talking about ) I'm too young to remember such things. Keep up the great work ... I'll be checking for new entries ... : ) Joe

Anonymous said...

ok....that was totally enjoyable. I will trickle into this facebook world and do my best to leave the 8track world behind. Thanks for the intro did you say intermediate....ouch.