Facebook – Do you overshare?

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This week on Facebook, I ran across a post that made me chuckle to myself.  It was  a cleverly written piece of satire pointing out just how absurd we’ve all become with oversharing our lives on social-media.  (Satire – a genre of literature or writing in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals.)

I showed it to Clark.  He chuckled.  I showed it to my friends.  They chuckled.  I showed it to my kids and they chuckled.  In conversations all week, I mentioned it to my friends and acquaintances.  Everyone chuckled.  And, everyone commented similarly.  Well, that certainly isn’t me.  I don’t overshare on Facebook.  At least not to the point of  Ad Nauseum…….. (ad nau·se·am (ăd nô′zē-əm) adv. To a disgusting or ridiculous degree; to the point of nausea)

That same thought ran through my mind.  That certainly doesn’t apply to meeee…. Or, does it? (millisecond of doubt)….. Nah.  So what.  So my Facebook page is covered with massive amounts of selfies.   And, updates on what I’m doing & where you can find me most hours of most days.   Just because I’ve posted 52 photo’s of my dog in the past few months, all basically in the same position with the same look on his face, that doesn’t really mean I’ve share too much.  (He’s sooooo cute!)

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It’s not like I’m one of those overbearing new parents who lets us know the exact moment of conception or what the baby looks like in the womb.

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And, thank the Lord above that I was never one of those people who shared TMI about bodily functions…

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But in all fairness, I not only have the link to Facebook bookmarked on the front page of my PC,  but also on the first page of my smartphone – which is like the speed dial of the social media world!!   This gives me instant access to being *spring into action* ready to post something I find incredibly interesting.  Like, a picture of what’s sitting in front of me on my lunch plate.  Or, quoting some incredibly humorous comment that came out of one of my kids mouths.

This weekdislike, Facebook announced the unveiling of it’s new *thumbs down* dislike button.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this.  While it’s true that not every post on the social-media site always seems deserving of a virtual thumbs up, do we really want to make it easier to spread negativity online?  Don’t we do enough of that in real life?  Isn’t Social-Media the place we turn to when we want to share with everyone how absolutely (and a little unrealistically) fabulous our lives are?

What will mom’s everywhere do when they find a big ‘ol thumbs down on the posted picture of Jr.   Or, when someone gives us a thumbs down on the photo of the tuna fish sammie on our plate.  What if someone decides to tell me that they DON”T think my dog is deserving of the last 40 pictures I’ve posted of him.  (thank goodness for the *unfriend* button.)  It shall be interesting!

Until then, my Facebook page will remain discreet and humble.  Like always.  And I imagine yours will, too.


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Today is Clark’s Birthday.  Hurray!!  He’s my fabulous Hubs!  Happy Birthday, Clark!!

It’s easy to remember his birthday because, well, I’ve known him for about 35 years.  I’m also pretty good at remembering birthdays.  Sending out cards is another story.  I tend to either send them out late or not at all.  I’ve had an ongoing deal with myself for longer than I can remember to work on that personal flaw.  Each year when the New Year rolls around I challenge myself to not only send every single person I know and love a birthday card but to also send it to them on time.  And, each year I break that vow.  Not on purpose, but because I tend to be a bit unorganized.  (A sign of creativity I’ve been told – *probably by my mother*)

When I woke up this morning, I put on my robe, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed towards our basement.  I walked down the stairs into the messy, cluttered, musty space under the first floor of our home.   I needed a picture of Clark.  I needed a picture ~ or two ~ of him to post on Facebook.  It’s been a longtime tradition of mine – along with everyone in the universe – to start our loved ones birthdays off on the right foot by publicly posting old, forgotten pictures of them and attaching some sort of sentimental blurb under it.  We plaster these Jpgs (pronounced Jaaayyy-pegs) out onto the World Wide Web and into cyberspace for the whole world to see. Well, I exaggerate.  But if you’ve Googled your name recently you’ll find I’m not too far off on my statement

At the bottom of my basement stairs, I walked back through a slim, cluttered hallway and towards what was once a working darkroom that Clark and I had built in a cut off, private section down there.  I passed up stacks of stored once treasured objects laying everywhere that had once held coveted spots in the rooms upstairs.   I got to the door of the old photo room, opened it and carefully stepped into what now looked like a cluttered room where most of our accumulated treasures from 30 years of marriage had landed. I looked around and thought to myself, good grief, we’ve become hoarders…

There were boxes and boxes of photos in that room which were saved in their original envelopes and stuffed into drawers.  Jammed drawers that you could barely open up because there were heavy stacks of boxes upon boxes filled with junk and memorabilia crammed all over the place.  The walls were also filled with cabinets that held a bonanza of old photo albums.  Eventually, I got down to work and started searching for a few pictures that were Facebook worthy.

Not too far into my task I became unfocused as I sifted through what seemed like a million unorganized photos.  It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re looking at a photogenic history of your life.  The sentimentality of the task pulled at my heartstrings.  I started to examine the content of the piles of photos I was sifting through rather than finding photos of my hubs.  Photography sure had changed…..

  • The Selfie – Those popular self photo’s taken with smart phones and hand-held digital camera’s, which are usually flattering and an attempt to *appear casual*  had definitely not made it onto the scene yet.  It seems that back before the digital age and social media, people took more pictures of the world around them than they did of themselves. Clark, being the nature lover that he is, seemed to be fascinated with landscape photos.  I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at.  He also shot tons of photos of birds…..and animals at Zoos. But, no selfies.

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  • Photo Bombing – When I did come across the occasional photo of Clark from the olden days, I noticed that a few had some pioneer photo bombers in the background!  They were different though than the photo bombs of today where the pranksters purposely put themselves into the view of the photograph with a goofy smile or waving as to tell you that they’re back there and they GOTCHYA!!  These photo bombers were mostly elderly Aunts, Uncles or family members simply misplaced in the backdrop of the photo.  Often funnier than the bombers of today.

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  • Hairstyles – They will always give away what decade you are looking at.

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  • Labeling Photo’s – I was always told to label the back of my photos with names and dates because one day I’d forget that information.  I scoffed at that bit of advice knowing I’d never forget people or names or places.  So, I didn’t label anything.  And, for the life of me I could not place who half the people in the photo’s with me were.  We must have been close pals though because mostly we were hugging and laughing together.  Huh??

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After a few hours of walking down memory lane, I had finally found a handful of pictures that would work as a tribute to my Hubs.  They were awesome photos and during a time when we first met and started dating.  His hair was long and he sported a thick, full mustache.  He wore t-shirts with pictures of rock bands on them and cut off, frayed jean shorts.  He drove a convertible and had a wild streak in him that caught my eye right away.  These days he’s traded in that youthful attire and look for work slacks, ties and weekend golf shirts.

It was odd-looking back at those old photos.  It’s odd how you don’t realize how much you age and mature from year to year until you look back.  It hit’s you then and you think solemnly to yourself, wow, I’ve aged….  You wonder where the time went.  How did thirty years fly by so fast.  And, were the memories recorded in those old, treasured photo’s really as glorious as our minds would love to convince us they were?  Or, is it true what they say; that it’s fun to remember the way things used to be, but the way things used to be probably could never live up to how we recall them.  We tend to glorify the past with fabulous stories and timeless photo’s that make you think ‘all the world’s a sunny day…’


Remember These?

 

Last February, Facebook celebrated a big birthday.  As a way of saying Thank You to the millions of people who use Facebook on a daily basis, they gave each of us a short – one minute – personal birthday video.  A photo montage of highlights from our lives – starting from the anniversary of your FB join date.  The perfect minute, set to the perfect music.  They did it so tastefully.

I watched mine over and over again when it first came out.  Then the excitement faded a bit and like a beloved childhood toy, it sat dusty on a shelf.  Unwatched, but readily available for those days when you felt reminiscent.  Or in need of a little pick-me-up.

And, I do reach for mine.  I reach for it on days when I need a reminder of just how blessed I am.   It’s a constant reminder of just how much I have been given in my life and how fortunate I am to be surrounded by an amazing family and dear friends.

Are you on Facebook?  Do you remember the day you received your birthday video?  When was the last time you dusted it off and watched it?

Today is a good day to take a moment to sit back, take a short breather, and be grateful for the many blessings that surround you every single day.

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Happy Birthday Facebook!

social-media-likeThis week the country is celebrating Facebook’s 10th birthday.  In honor of this, everyone with an active Facebook account has been given a gift of their very own personal slideshow.  A Facebook movie!   It’s a composite look at your Facebook life, from the past 10 years, in 62 seconds.

What a brilliant marketing ploy!!  (not that they need it)  They’ve chosen the perfect instrumental music to accompany these award-winning clips.  Your heart will swell as you watch the short videos of your life from the past ten years flash before your eyes.  And they’ve created these for all 1.2 billion Facebook users worldwide.  Amazing!

That is, unless you are not an avid Facebook user.  Depending on how much time you have spent on FB and how much content you have posted and shared, you will either see the personalized video, a collection of photos or a simple thank-you card.  Wow, a card.  That’s kind of like winning the booby prize. Yikes!

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Clark was a little miffed that he only got the photo composite rather than the video.  Oh, he spends just as much time on Facebook as I do, but he basically lurks rather than getting into the meat and potatoes of posting.  I think it’s a guy thing.

Myself?  I am well aware that I have spent wayyy too much time posting comments and sharing pictures.  But really, who hasn’t?  It’s the tech age, after all.  We get our news and up-to-date info sent directly to our electronic devices.  Or, immediately at the click of the mouse.  We can spend a few hours or so each day on Facebook and be caught up on what’s going on in the life of our friends.  Or, non-friends.

facebook-friendship-relationship-problems-friends-sympathy-ecards-someecardsSo, These uber awesome Facebook movies have provided us with just that kind of information.  I’ve had a ball spending the past few days looking at everyone’s clips.

Some of the movies that have flooded my news-feed…..

  • The Twenty-Something Friend – This person’s video is filled with shots at parties and large gatherings.  There are lots of selfies and they are constantly surrounded by a lot of other twenty-somethings.  They help me to remember how exhausting being twenty-something was.
  • The Thirty-Something Friend – These movies are filled with shots of young parents with growing families.  These 30-somethings have morphed from a group of selfie-obsessed friends into responsible young adults.  We see glimpses of their kids sporting events and family outings.  The friends in these vids look exhausted while the kiddos look as tho their energy never runs low.
  • The Forty-Something friend – They’re married, have had children and have purchased a home.  They’re in the midst of what is seemingly a successful career.  And we’ve witnessed it all through FB.
  • The Non-Friend – This person’s movie shows up on my news-feed and I have to wonder… who in the world is that?
  • The Acquaintance friend – I really never knew much about their personal life.  Until now.
  • The Adult-Friend – OK, these are the gold medal of videos. They cause me to choke up and get misty eyed.  They are filled with shots of family and friends and grand kids.  They tend to emphasize relationships and family.  Most have pics of loved ones who may no longer be with us.  I could watch these over and over again.  And cry each time.

Love it or not, these timeline look-back videos are here to stay.  They were created in the perfect Facebook time frame and set to the perfect instrumental music.  So sit back and enjoy.  I’ve had so much fun watching them the past few days.  I happen to fall into the MOM-Group.  We Moms were probably the first ones to call our kids after seeing our vids.  “It’s Great!!  I Love It!  You’ll love it, too!..” And our kids probably smiled and rolled their eyes and thought to themselves..  “Oh boyyy….” 

Congratulations Facebook on 10 accomplished years.  And here’s to information overload never slowing down!!