Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I was a late adopter. But hooboy, once I adopted I was all in. And now? Now I have 87 friends. I need to break up with about 40 of them. Or, more accurately, remove them.

You know what I’m talking about right?

At first I was only friends with my friends. Then I was friends with people I used to be friends with. It was all good. I looked at pictures of people’s babies, I saw that people were alive. I was happy for them. And then slowly I began comparing … why is he friends with her and not me? what are they talking about on their walls? why don’t I have the decoder ring?

The final straw was when someone that I am friends with in real-life, or at least am friendly with (I handed down boxes and boxes of baby clothes to her, so she’s not a stranger) had a status of “is sad that people are so mean” the same day that she sent me a message saying that if the baby clothes I had inquired about were so important that I would unfriend her then she would get them back. Of course, I took the status personally. Of course I get my knickers in a knot about why doesn’t she give me the benefit of the doubt. In short, she and I had been unfriended. I didn’t do that. I had no reason to. I had asked her about some baby clothes and when she said they were onto another friend, I replied with “if they’ve already found new homes, then awesome – no worries! I’m glad they’re getting another go-around.” And I thought it was over.

But my knickers were knotted.

This leads me to thinking that that particular medium isn’t a healthy social networking platform for me. I compare. I feel less than adequate. I wonder what people are thinking about me. And you know what? I would guess about half my friends are not people that I would choose in my current life. Sure, they’re great people. But we have our own lives. We’re not who we were at 16. And now that I’ve seen their baby’s pictures and been assured that they haven’t died of some horrible accident – my curiosity is satiated.

I’ve already set my security in such a way that I’m pretty hard to find. I block most applications (I have no garden, am on no mobs, won’t give flair). I won’t be friends with anyone I work with (they don’t need to know I’m swinging from a chandelier). I’ve kept it compartmentalized.

<like 2 minutes later>

I just did my first, and maybe only, prune and only got rid of 19 friends. Maybe I wasn’t as over-extended as I suspected. If I unfriended you and we really have a relationship (even if it’s all virtual) email me. I’ve been drinking. We might could get back together.

But really what is it with that damn application? Why is it so addictive?

Web 2.0 in a Family Crisis

In the wee hours of Friday morning my cousin was in a car accident 1,000 miles from where I live. By that evening I had an email telling me about it. The next day I talked to family and offered the only thing I could: build a website for family to post updates so that my aunt didn’t have to tell the same story over and over and over.

Saturday night I shopped for domains while chatting with another cousin through FB. That same day a friend posted on my cousin’s FB wall that she had been in an accident.

Sunday we bought a domain and Peter brought up another WordPress instance. I created new email accounts for the editor accounts I needed. I wanted all the email to forward back to me, not my aunt. Some because she didn’t need the additional spam, some because she’s not blog savvy and I knew I was signing up to admin the site and some because I’m trying to protect my cousin’s anonymity to some degree, having generic emails on the site supports that goal.

By Sunday night an aunt was posting.

Monday morning I put a link to the site on Mary’s FB wall.

Monday afternoon another aunt decided a PayPal donate button is needed. All I have to do is go to PayPal’s site plug in some information and all the HTML will be generated for me. I’ll paste that HTML into a widget text box and voila, a donate button linked to an account at a financial institution that I’ve never been to.

Comments have started to come in. The blog has been up for 36 hours and word has spread.

We plan to extend the site to include a google calendar that will track all the people that want to bring food and offer help to the family; that’ll be maintained by a family friend.

My aunts can post updates without my intervention and without having to know how it works. The calendar can change and the site will stay up-to-date. People who want to help, want to do something now, can donate on the site.

No one has to be a web developer (I chose a WP theme that supports widgets). All of this is possible because of the interoperability of the web components. I don’t know how to write a shopping cart, or a calendar control, I don’t even have to know HTML, CSS or PHP. Yet we have a password-protected blog up and running with an easy to remember domain that will be the central point for Mary’s updates. It was mostly free too. We bought a domain and that’s it.

In ye olde days, how long would that have taken? It would have been a major time-consuming, expensive project by knowledgable, web-savvy people.

We would have resorted to a phone tree.

Kids These Days

We took the kids camping overnight. As a social experiment fun thing to do. And all next week you’ll get to read about it and look at cute pictures. I promise.

While we were sitting at a picnic table enjoying our bounty from the Marina store, Peter and I were doing our usual bit of “I heard this on NPR,” “I read on so-and-so’s blog.” Elliot chimed in with, “I want a blog.” (Oh! how I love him.) I told him as soon as he can read and write I would let him have a blog.

I’m an awesome mommy like that.

Then he said, “I’ll need an iPhone for my blog.”

Kid – we all need an iPhone. Too bad my addictive personality cell provider doesn’t support that.

Me and Grover

My chest contracts a little every time I watch it. I have no idea how TV people do it. But! I did meet Abby Cadabby’s puppeteer and asked her if she ever imagined that *this* would be her job. She was so genuinely excited that she gets to do this everyday. Before working on Sesame Street she was a puppeteer at a children’s theater. Meeting people that are living their dream is inspiring.

And yes, I do believe Grover is a natural Blue.

50 Book Challenge

When asked about the new Amazon Kindle product, Steve Jobs CEO of Apple computer had this to say:

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

Welcome to the the 50 Book Challenge, where we fly in the face of Steve Jobs.

Basically …. the challenge is to read 50 books in one year. OR … establish a goal for yourself more or less, it’s up to you, just because we say 50 books doesn’t mean that has to be your goal too.

I don’t think I can do 50 books in a year, maybe I can do 20? Should we all join Shelfari’s group or make one of our own? I’m already on Shelfari, so if you are too, friend me. Or link me. Or … I don’t know the Shelfari lingo (crap this is becoming a common theme with me and Web 2.0)

I’m not currently reading anything so I’ll start Great Gatsby this weekend. What will you commit to? I’ll tag my posts “Book Challenge”. How can I follow your progress?

If I Tweet and No One Follows Me, Am I a Twit?

I don’t know what Twitter is.

There, I said it.

I mean, I’ve heard of it. And I could maybe BS my way through a conversation about it. Assuming I was talking to the Amish.

I don’t know what Twitter is used for. Would I use my phone for it? Do standard messaging fees apply? What would I say? Who would listen?

KellyGo thinks I should Tweet. She leads a cool kid life and I would like to do that too. But the noise. Oye the noise. Not the noise of my phone (at this point I’m assuming that’s the Twitter device) but the noise in my life.

Would Tweeting bring us closer together or just put more minutia between us? If I Tweet all the interesting bits of my day, what would we talk about over drinks?

When I read something like this, I’m resolved: oh dear NO, I cannot invite that stress into my life. The commitment! Do you see I just signed Elliot up for Karate? How can I fit that AND Twitter into my life?

I know it’s leave-no-man-behind, but you all are going to have to forge ahead on this technology without me. Just don’t roll your eyes when I ask you to tell me about your day even though you already Tweeted about it.

And really, do you do this on your phone?

Also, my resolve is pretty weak – so don’t make too much fun of me when I ask to follow you on Twitter next week.