Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Facebook has a “memory” feature. It notifies you with this message, “You have memories with “so and so ” to look back on today.” There is an “On This Day” tab on your Facebook home page.

Not sure how they choose the random postings or the years.

But yesterday’s memory included one from six years ago. An exchange between co-workers.

Work friends are interesting. You’re thrown together in what sometimes feels like a totally random roll of the dice. Quite a bowl of soup. End up spending so much time with them that many end up occupying a special place in your heart. I do a pretty good job (pat on back) of keeping up with some of my old co-workers but I have to give a shout out to Facebook for making that a bit easier to do.

I consider many of these folks to be cherished and dear friends. Those shared hours and many experiences built lifelong connections.

Here is yesterday’s memory.

Bob C. to Mary

December 14th, 2011

“Mary, I was looking at some of the pictures you have posted and I have one question. Are you ever going to look older than you did when we worked together?”

Chris B. “liked” this comment.

Mary to Bob C.

December 14th, 2011

“Dang, Bob, can you say BEST BOSS EVA??? It was a near tie between you and Brian R. but you just forged ahead and won! You are very sweet but keep in mind photos can be very deceiving!”

Brian R. to Mary

December 14th, 2011

“Well, Mary, apparently C. (he called Bob by his surname) has learned to be a suck up as he got older, while I’ve become more of a curmudgeon!  

Why would I share this with you? Definitely not for any additional banter. I certainly look older than I did when I worked with Bob, Brian and Chris.

But because things change in six years. Shoot, things change in six minutes.

Bob passed away of a heart attack on May 29, 2016. Chris would die from cancer six months later on November 17th, 2016.

Brian is still, thankfully, alive and kicking. And not the curmudgeon he makes himself out to be.

A boss of mine in Dallas just died this past week. And I’ve lost other work friends over the years.

A Facebook notification like this causes one to pause for a moment. To take a trip down memory lane. It also makes a person consider what they write, text and post. What it reflects. And the lasting legacy of those words. It reminds us of just how fleeting life can be.

On this day I wish you all a season of fond memories. Of those who are no longer here and of those who continue to be a special part of our lives. I wish you wonderful words.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday morning I checked Facebook. Saw that a new friend request was pending.

The name was Veronica Victor.

Hmmmm. I don’t know anyone by that name.

So I hone in on the photo. The profile picture is a lovely shot of my friend’s mother. Whose name is not Veronica Victor. I check the cover photo. Again, a nice picture of my friend’s mother and father with their beautiful grandchildren sitting on a sofa and smiling.

But I am already Facebook friends with her.

Time for a little recon work.

I check the “About” page. Says from Trinidad and Tobago. Okay, that would be correct.

There is also a “Studied at West London School of Dance” or something like that. This could also be correct.

I scroll down the timeline to look for more clues.

This is what I found.

#feeling #myself

If you’re gonna say bad things about about me at my back, come to me and I will tell u more. Living ma life without anybody’s permission. 

Pretty sure that the very proper Judith is not going to be writing this. Ever. I’m also quite certain that seventy-four year old Judith doesn’t know what a hashtag is.

My friend asks me to report it to Facebook if I know how. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what a hashtag is either.

I give Judith a heads up and I reported that it was a fake.

Facebook gets back to me thanking me for reporting it.

But sort of creepy when you think about it. Someone stealing a photo of your family and using it on their profile and background cover.

Wait, the friend request is still pending. The account is still active. The person has changed the profile photo (no longer Judith-thank goodness) and has updated their information. Single and lives in Ogun, Nigeria.

I texted my friend.

“Do you think it would be alright if I call your mom Veronica Victor from now on……?”

She said, “Sure!”

LOL

Have a great day everyone! And watch out for the fake friends.

Me?

I’m just gonna be living ma life without anybody’s permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We’ve all heard people say that Facebook is so fake. That the lives presented and wonderful photos are not a true (or I should say full) representation of the people who are posting. And that your list of “friends” is also fake. Most are not your real friends.

I agree with some of this. The part about most not being real friends. But I don’t agree with all of it.

A Facebook page can be a true representation of the person. Their loves and passions. Oftentimes their foibles. But one can still be genuine and not post every little thing, right?Isn’t that why kids (and adults!) are told to be careful what they post? There are future employers and admissions officers out there just ready to take a glance and make a judgement based on what they see. You don’t need to share every aspect of your life even if the red plastic cups are totally real.

I can pretty much predict what my FB friends will post. There are obviously some things that cannot be predicted like the loss of a loved one, an illness or a move. But everything else is just about a sure thing based on the past Facebook postings that demonstrate the interests of my FB friends.

That doesn’t mean those who are posting actually share every aspect of their lives.They share only what they want you to see. And that might be positive or negative. But not fake.

Facebook can be just like real life. We don’t always share everything with our friends in real life. We share exactly what we want to share. And that might be positive or negative. But not fake.

Which leads me to something else. What some people choose to share on line but might not share in real life. It’s quite surprising and this makes Facebook an interesting thing. People share things on their wall that they never would have shared with you while you worked together in an office. Or at the neighborhood block parties. Or at the church picnic.

Facebook provides a platform for folks to put absolutely anything out there. They are making the choice to share. Good or bad. My husband (not the biggest FB fan) likens it to writing on a bathroom wall.

Those filters that were firmly set in place at the workplace or at the church? Gone.

The platform became a regular Pandora’s box with an unleashing of all sorts of things. And none of it fake.

Like the over posters who have a rhythm and a choreography of their own. Almost oxymoronic. Ugly rant. Ugly rant. Ugly rant. Ugly rant. Insert beautiful Bible verse. Ugly rant. Ugly rant. Ugly rant. Ugly rant. Have a nice day! Ugly rant. Ugly rant.

I can’t imagine hearing all of that in real life. In the office? Oh my gosh! But it is still real, isn’t it?

And that leads to this.

Defriending. I’ve seen the FB postings,”I would never “defriend” anyone over politics!” That’s really lovely of them. But what they don’t understand (or can’t) is that most folks aren’t being deleted because of their politics but because of the deplorable way some people present their politics, views and postings to their on line audience. They are being real but it doesn’t make it palatable or even acceptable. It’s all in the presentation, my friends. Always has been.

Maybe those who choose to present negatively are seeking validation from like minded people or they really believe their posts will change opinions of others. Spoiler alert: That never happens.

If I read a posting and it sort of makes me sick to my stomach I probably shouldn’t be FB friends with them. Right? They’ve crossed some sort of line. We all have our lines. Doesn’t even have to be political. This does not mean I won’t still have fond memories of those people from a different place and a different time. Just no more FB memories.

This blog posting was probably a long time in the making but prompted this week.

One of my FB friends died a couple of days ago after a battle with cancer. We worked together back in Providence many, many moons ago.

I was thinking about his postings and how I enjoyed them because they were a reflection of his life and what obviously meant the most to him. His moments with his kids and wife. Friends around the pool. Photos of childhood friends. Photos of adult friends. Many sports references. BBQs with his extended family. His love of New England even though he had moved to Florida. His heritage. The beloved dog. Favorite music and bands.

He never posted about his illness. Because he chose not to share that. And probably many other things. What he did choose to post was very real.

Because Facebook isn’t fake. I’m thinking what you see on a wall is a pretty good indicator of the type of person sitting at that keyboard.

Yep, your list of friends might be fake. But the walls? Not so much.

Of course, this is totally my opinion and in the end not much of it matters.

But.

If it’s on our wall we have chosen to make it real.

Most will not litter their walls with red, plastic cups overflowing with vitriol. Most will choose a reflection of their love. That’s my hope.

 

 

 

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I was sifting through Facebook today and saw a notification. On a page I created for AT&T folks that worked in Providence.

Someone posted that a former colleague had died.

Fifty-five years old. That might seem old to a teenager. To most of us? Not so much. Doesn’t seem old to me at the ripe old age of fifty-one.

I was shocked. It seems like he just posted on Facebook a few days ago.

He did.

His name was John. I met him when we were in training at AT&T many moons ago.

I remember our training sessions and the following days and months. Dropping him off at his home that he shared with his wife at the time.

We reconnected in 2010. He was happy. Divorced. No kids. Living the life in New Hampshire.

Was even helping me try to find employment for my brother at Nokia some years ago.

Had a horrible year in which he lost his dad and sister. He inherited a lake house in New Hampshire and knew that is where he wanted to be.

I’m sharing a correspondence with him because I think it’s important.

Commuted from Bethlehem, PA and absolutly hated it. I lost my Dad in June 08 and my Sister in Aug 08 (horrible year) and inherited my familys Lake House on Ossipee Lake in NH. So I decided last summer while sitting on the porch overlooking that georgous site (the lake) that I could not just do two weeks a year there. I decided I was going to try to get back to New England

Sometimes we are sitting on a porch overlooking a gorgeous sight or site. But it might be something different that triggers a life change.

Hopefully, we know what we hate. And more importantly what we love.

John’s postings (once he figured it out) only proved that he made the right decision. He loved life in New Hampshire and his summers on the lake. Always positive postings.

Just a reminder that none of us know the moment we leave this world.

He died of a massive heart attack. With no warning or chance to say goodbye.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be reading this should realize we have moments and opportunities that many others do not.

The opportunity to change our lives. The moments to extend love and appreciation. And to say goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

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My fingers kept typing like it was a Ouija board so forgive the ramblings. Hope you can follow the thread of this.

I keep seeing these postings on Facebook.

The ones that state, “Where’s the outrage now? A white policeman is dead and there will be no looting and rioting in the streets. Because everyone knows that a deranged shooter alone is responsible for it and no one is blaming his race.”

What are they really saying? Are they saying that white people are more civilized and discerning? That it’s just bad odds that black men are the ones being shot or hurt by white police?

Ironically, these are usually the same people that want to blame every single Muslim (not a race but a religion) in the world when someone with an Islamic sounding and/or Arabic surname commits a murder or an act of terrorism. And wants you to get worked up about Sharia Law that could possibly be embraced by our very own Muslim president. 

Or blame every Mexican (a race) immigrant for crimes committed in Texas and California by those who share their heritage. Let’s send them all back and build a wall. 

Here’s another posting. “Thank you, police officers. There are still people out there that support you.”

The insinuation is that the police does not have the support of the people. Or that folks aren’t allowed to be angry at past injustice. You’re considered almost un-American if you question this authority. And especially in the wake of a recent crime committed against a police officer. Somehow, you’re made to feel as if you are somehow disrespecting the dead.

It’s so manipulative.

Most people do and/or want to support and respect their police. They want to trust them. And tell their children, “If you’re in trouble just go and find a policeman.” That’s why there has been the anger.

No one policeman or anyone with authority is above the law. I believe this and it doesn’t make me non supportive of the brave, hard working men in blue that go out there every single day to protect us.

A horrible, despicable crime recently took place in Houston. A black man unloaded his gun on a white police officer who was just filling up his car with gasoline. Execution style. Absolutely heinous. I cannot imagine what his family must be feeling.

Was the policeman targeted because of his occupation? Maybe. He was in uniform.

But a fact of this matter, in this particular case, is that the murderer was declared mentally incompetent in 2012 and committed to a mental hospital. 

He was a man who had mental problems who had access to a gun. So he could fire multiple bullets (possible 15) into an innocent police officer. A husband and father.

These same people that keep posting are the ones that will spout out with their dying breath that there should be no gun control.

Yes, and this is just after another black man, a disgruntled employee, killed two people on live television. With a gun.

These are the same people that are posting about a black Sheriff quoting, “Stop trying to fix the police. Go fix the ghetto.” So, it’s now totally okay and it totally affirms their beliefs because we have one black man telling us the problem is with the ghetto. See, it’s not just the white people. Black people are saying it, too. So, it’s got to be true. They’re saying it, too!

Do we really want to trust just one mouth piece speaking for an entire race?

Bill Cosby comes to mind. A black celebrity and one of America’s beloved.

But then he started ranting about black folks (poor black folks) not taking responsibility for themselves, not getting educated, the dangers of drinking, drugging, sex and crime.

Lots of people loved this. See, Bill Cosby, a black man saying the same things we’ve been thinking! He’s right. Pick yourselves up from the bootstraps and get on with it. Use Bill as your example! You can do it!

Only to find out this highly educated, black man has raped countless women, after slipping them drugs. And then did not take responsibility for his crimes. If that is not the pot calling the kettle BLACK, I don’t know what is.

Thanks for the role modeling, Bill.

You do not speak for an entire race.

I have never been afraid of the police. Some of my friends are police officers. They are the first ones I would run to or call if I felt unsafe. They’d be the first ones I’d call if Bill Cosby invited me out for drinks.

But that’s me. I can’t speak for everyone.

A few things bother me. Let’s see if I can suss it out of this diatribe.

We have a huge problem with guns. These horrible examples cited were all crimes committed with guns. Domestic violence, mental illness, racism, etc. will always exist. It always has. Early intervention could bring the numbers down but these issues will always be there. In some form or fashion.

We can, however, reduce the number of murders in the United States with stricter gun control.

I cannot, right hand to God, even remember the names of all of the men who went on mass shooting sprees in the last five years. There are that many. Worse, there were over seventy one mass shootings since I graduated high school in the early 1980s. Most obtained the guns legally.

I can recall, however, the feeling I had, upon hearing that my niece had to hide in a cubby and my nephew was under his desk while their entire school was in lockdown mode. Because in the next town over, at Sandy Hook Elementary, twenty little angels-the same ages as my niece and nephew-were being systematically slaughtered by a man with a gun. I remember this killer’s name but I find it unnecessary to type it. Yeah, he had mental problems also. Obviously.

Another issue is the vitriol spewed out by these Kool-Aid drinking followers of a certain news channel and questionable politicians. They are so dogged and unyielding in their beliefs. Hmmm. They remind me of someone. Oh yes, that’s right. Bill Cosby had that same “holier than thou” attitude.

The third thing that bothers me is this. The reason for the uproar about the police shooting black males is/was because the police are the authority. We need the police. They, in my opinion, are the only ones who should have guns. As long as they are not shooting innocent folks.

But just google, when you have time, “Police shoot unarmed….” and see how many hits you will get. Is there an issue?

Do we have problems in the poor neighborhoods? Oh, yes. Especially in the poor, black neighborhoods. The black sheriff is 100% correct. We certainly need to fix the ghettoes. Address the poverty, unemployment, and education.

But we also need to address cases of injustice. And if some of the police forces need fixing then lets take care of that also. Ensure diversity training is available. Hire and increase the percentage of black officers.

Most of those who protect and serve are there because they want to make the surroundings a better, safer place. For us.

Police lives matter. Of course they do.

Black lives matter.

All lives matter.

But you actually have to believe that. For it to actually matter.

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Last night, some neighbors and I were discussing the world. About how big it is. And being a continent or day away from family.

It’s true.

But I got to thinking a bit more about the topic this morning. And I’m totally doing an about-face. After discovering a shared connection among some friends.

The world is small. Very small. It may be vast but it is a very small world.

One past example. Some months ago I was visiting with a neighbor (here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) on my front patio. She would soon be moving back to the States. Houston was home although I don’t think her family was originally from Texas. I had mentioned the name of the town where I had lived for twelve years. Usually I just say “Dallas” because everyone gets that. But for some reason on that day I mentioned the actual town in Dallas County.

The neighbor says, “My sister lives there.”

Well, you know me. Of course, I asked more questions!!! What’s her name? Does she have children?

She told me the last name. And it sounded familiar. I asked if her niece ever played soccer. She said, “No, I don’t think so.”

Sounded like maybe she was more into the arts. But the first name was nagging at me. It wasn’t very common.

That evening I checked Annie’s first year soccer team photo. When she was four years old. I sent a copy of it to my neighbor asking “Is your niece in this photo?”

She immediately responded,” Oh my goodness! YES! That’s her.”

So weird, right?

Annie and her niece played on the same soccer team. More than ten years ago. And just maybe this neighbor and I crossed paths in that suburb.

Here’s my very recent example of the small world thingy.

This morning I hop on Facebook to read who is doing their usual kvetching and whining.

On my main page (Facebook is always wanting me to update my personal information) it says, “Mary, where did you go to school?” And it shows schools that groups of my friends have attended.

Appeared that three of my friends attended St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas. Two were no surprise to me. I knew they were in high school together and that they both ended up moving north to the Dallas County suburb where we happily resided.

But the third one is a woman who I met through mutual friends here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She used to live here but now lives in Dubai. A friend had shared this woman’s blog with me. And also shared my blog with this woman. So we were introduced on-line. I finally met her when she visited before the holidays. And we are back and forth on-line about various things.

Today, Facebook tells me that she went to school with two of my friends. A woman who was in my monthly book club and also a woman who was my dear neighbor. 

Isn’t that the craziest thing? Me from Rhode Island. Moved to Texas. Make friends with a couple of Houstonians living in North Texas. I move to California after twelve years. Then few years later move to Malaysia. Get introduced to a Texan that used to live in Malaysia and now Dubai. Who loves Rhode Island. Her daughters attended/attend college there. She even spent Xmas in Rhode Island while I was sweating in Asia!

And I find out that the three of them were in high school together more than thirty years ago.

Ummm, can we all repeat after me? Small world. One big circle.

Isn’t it just fabulous????

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I was reading an article brought to my attention on Facebook. It was about an overweight girl whose unflattering photo had made the cyberspace rounds. It was hurtful and her self-confidence took a huge blow. The comments were so ugly.

It got me thinking. When did we forget to think? To be compassionate? Does the anonymity of the internet make it just a tad easier to be cruel?

This is not just about pictures of a person struggling with their weight. There are folks sharing photos of everything. Naked pictures. People at their worst. Fashion sense gone wrong.

And every time that happens people feel this overwhelming desire to comment on these photos. To be incredibly mean. Under the guise of being witty. Or above it themselves.

It is about everything in which we feel we need to comment. Whether on the web or not.

A fire only continues if it is fueled. There will always be fires. We just don’t need to keep it going.

A reminder to me. For self-examination. I should ask myself, every time I open my mouth or set fingers typing, “What is my motive?”

Am I spreading joy and goodwill? Or am I being an agent of harm?

I personally would rather be an agent of goodwill. And I am going to try my very best.

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