I am going to enjoy life after 50 if it kills me!

Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

Social Media and My Birthday

This will be a short post as I’m basically waiting for my clothes to dry so I can get dressed and go to work.  Ya gotta do whatcha gotta do, ya know?

 

My day is starting off quite nicely, thanks to my smartphone and facebook.  You see, it’s my 53rd birthday today.  As I live alone, there is no one wishing me a happy birthday as I awaken in the morning.

Or so I thought.  Silly me.  At 5 am, when I woke up (I hate it when I do that), I discovered a text message on my phone-slash-alarm clock from my youngest, wishing me a great day.   After fifteen minutes or so when it became clear I wasn’t going to go to sleep, I checked my facebook.  There was a birthday message from my son, who wanted me to know that since he was the first to wish me a happy birthday, he won the best child award for the year.  Apparently he edged out his sister by two minutes.  Big sister got a pass since she has an infant to deal with.

At six another text message arrived from my cousin, wishing me a happy birthday.  More birthday wishes from friends have been appearing on my facebook page.  And it’s only 7 am now.  I know some people find facebook an impersonal way to communicate such things, but I think it’s lovely.  And way more personal than a greeting card with a greeting card writer’s sentiments in it.

One of the nicest wishes came from my old friend Chuck in Japan last night.  Of course, it was already my birthday there!  I’m all about social media!

To Facebook or Not to Facebook

courtesy of fourteencreative.com

For those of us of a certain age, Facebook seems to bring about strong reactions.  My brother refers to it as “drinking the Koolaid”.  I think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Of course, I’m right and my brother is wrong, but that’s to be expected between siblings.

Actually, I’m sure both of us are a little off.  Well, I know we’re “off”.  But that’s another topic altogether.

I came across this link this evening which supports the use of Facebook among middle-aged people.

One of the benefits stated is that you can reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with and I can attest to this.  One of the greatest joys I’ve had recently has been reconnecting with people I went to elementary, middle, and high school with.  I was a particularly shy, unsure child, and it’s great to get to know these people again as a confident, outgoing adult.  We recently spent two days commenting on a fourth grade class picture one of my classmates posted.  It led to great stories about teachers and classmates from long ago!

Another benefit for those of us baby boomers who graduated from college and headed for adventures that took us away from home and family is that we now have a way to stay in touch with the family and friends we left behind.  I have watched my great-nephew grow from baby to toddler to little man from 1500 miles away.  And now I’m witnessing his beautiful baby sister transform from a newborn to a happy healthy baby girl.  My daughters and I have regular conversations, both by phone and by Facebook, whether we’re in the same town or a thousand miles apart.

Facebook has also provided me with an amazing network of colleagues, some from work, some who are family, and some I’ve met through other family and colleagues.  What a great support system  to have!  We share our experiences and I find myself relieved to hear others with the same stresses and triumphs as mine.

If God and I are on the same page, I plan to retire and travel extensively in an RV sometime in the next decade.  This will take me away from my children and grandchildren for months at a time.  I am counting on Facebook, or whatever social networking giant is in place at that time, to keep me in regular contact with my kids, my grandkids, and my local friends.

Like anything, Facebook has its downfalls.  It can be a huge time suck.  If you friend everyone who knows someone who knows you, you can end of with hundreds of “friends” who are total strangers.  And if you aren’t diligent about your privacy settings, strangers will have access to information you never meant to share.

Having said that, TV is also a huge time waster, going to parties where you know one person just so you can say you mingled with lots of people is just as ridiculous, and people who leave their cars and doors unlocked, or fail to shred sensitive documents before putting them out in the trash provide dangerous access to themselves every day.

All in all, I think the benefits make Facebook worthwhile for those of us over 50, especially those of us who have moved a time or two.  I keep in touch with people across the country.  In fact, during our little Facebook elementary school reunion, I had a two-day long conversation with former classmates living in New York State, California, and Japan!  Not bad for a service that is free to use for as many minutes or hours I’d like, twenty-four hours a day.

Memory Lane

It’s almost time for bed for this little chica, but I have to share the wonderful fun I’ve had the past two evenings.

One of my best friends from childhood, Barb, posted a class photo of our 4th grade class.  What a blast from the past!  Several of my old schoolmates are also Barb’s facebook friends, so an entire thread was developed from this photo.  Who’s the girl in the third row?  Who is that next to Deb?

Some of us have been amused to find their haircuts are still pretty similar.  My own daughters realized that they not only look just like each other, they also look like the 10-year-old me.

The best gift of this thread is that I have reconnected with some smart, genuinely nice people from my childhood.  And now that I’m no longer painfully shy, I am looking forward to sharing great conversations with these talented people!

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