While catching up on reading the blogs listed in the left-hand column, I saw on another blog that I was six days old. Oops!
Truth is I've been busy entertaining as my mother was in town for a few days, and I'm getting ready to be in Boston for almost a week for work (first time I've used the phrase "for work" in a long, long time...and I don't like it).
But while it says I've been absent six days, it really has felt much longer than that. I'm out of rhythm. And I don't know what to write about as I've also been out of the foreign service loop for most of a week.
So I've decided to ease myself back into the routine by bringing back my old nemesis, technology.
Going all the way back to day one, I've been outspoken of my hesitancy to embrace technology. It's nothing personal against technology; it's just that the new stuff tends to be expensive and doesn't really seem to offer that much benefit for the price. When the latest and greatest becomes more mainstream and more affordable, that is when I make my move.
facebook (with a lowercase "f") is free. But you won't find me on it. Ever. I'm not on Linkedin, either. Yet. twitter (with a lowercase "t"; what is it with online networking and fear of capital letters?)? Forget it. No chance in hell.
I don't get these Web sites, especially the lower-cased duo of facebook and twitter. Linkedin at least feigns some professional usage, and between that and the fact there is a foreign service spouse network thingy, I can see myself joining.
twitter is the bane of my existence. Does everyone who uses this service suffer from such illusions of grandeur that they think their friends/family/unknown followers care about what they are doing every moment of the day?
As for the facebook monster, I think it is the gateway drug to twitter. The cult of celebrity has made us all too willing to overexpose ourselves on the Internet.
I do see a little irony that I bemoan the voluntary sacrificing of privacy and my writing a blog. But let's be honest. This blog is only a little about me. Other than a picture, limited biographical info and the fact that you can relate to me as a fellow foreign service spouse, you don't know much about me.
I stopped by facebook as I was writing this to steal a logo or something (it also has been a while since I've used any art). And I found this expression: "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life." (Interesting they chose to capitalize facebook in this sentence; probably because it is the first word, or they don't adhere to their own style.)
Perhaps, but so does e-mail, phone calls, postcards, and <gasp> letters. If anything, I'd argue all of those other methods are better at connecting and sharing with the people in your life because you will be connecting and sharing while enjoying a little bit of privacy. A little privacy will give you the peace of mind to share more intimately than anything that ought to posted on the Internet.
What facebook is good at is allowing you to connect with the people that, more likely than not, you made the decision to disconnect from your life. Sure, sometimes that decision is made gradually overtime, but if you really wanted to keep in touch with your grade school crush, chem lab partner or a college acquaintance, you would call or e-mail occasionally. Right?
I've read enough of other's thoughts on facebook to know that many will disagree with my sentiments. And maybe when I'm living elsewhere and phone-communication is more infrequent, perhaps I might be swayed. For one thing, while many complain about parents finally learning how to use facebook, I think this actually is a benefit as fewer people are posting embarrassing and/or incriminating photos as in the early days.
Time will tell, but don't waste your time looking to friend me because as far as facebook and its ilk is concerned, I don't exist.