About-Face (Book) (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

I'm finally one of the 300,000,000 or so.


I'd been stubborn for years, refusing to cave to the pressure to be part of facebook.  A few weeks ago I did an about-face (book) and I joined and I'm glad I did.  If you're on the facebook fence...do it!  You'll be glad you joined, most of the time. 

It's been about three weeks and I've got about 170 friends or so.  They're all people I actually know, from high school, college, my career or some other way.  One of my concerns about the whole thing was having to say no to people.  I'm over it, so If I don't actually know someone, person-to-person, or I can't remember how I know someone (sorry) ..I just say no.  I'm sure a few others have done the same to me, I think that's reasonable.

I don't really understand all the hugs, and snowball fights, and cyber-animals in the zoo updates??? I just ignore those and move on.

Facebook is is great vehicle for getting a piece of personal news out to many friends, quickly.  

I really like that.

I've reconnected with the kid from across the street who I last saw when were 9.  He runs a tie-dye business back east.  As he put it, our lives took very different paths.  I replied that any path that keeps us happy and healthy and productive is a good one. Neither one of us would probably trade, and that's fine with both of us!  Now we're back in touch.

I really like that.

I wrote a blog months ago my about little league baseball experience when I was a kid in Illinois, and one of the other kids who was the real slugger for the team.  http://www.kktv.com/blogs/blogwithdon/51142757.html.  I'm back in touch with him now.

I really like that.

I have several friends who have placed themselves way at the far ends of the political spectrum...way at the far ends - on both sides.  They often post links on facebook to one-sided diatribes found on-line that either support their views intentionally, or do so unintentionally by representing other side in a way that my friends find ridiculous.  They get really angry about this stuff.

I don't really like that. 

It seems to me that spending any part of every day seeking out information that makes your blood boil can't be healthy. Boiling blood can cause severe headaches and fever, as well as major organ failure.   I might have made that last part up, but ......it's in a blog, so it doesn't have to be true, or fair, or fact-based, or even remotely objective...which is kind of my point.  

Life's too short to get ourselves in a lather over the rants of others, which may or may not even be true.  Yes I do get the irony of bad-mouthing blogs in a blog. 

This blog, however, is never political. I don't think throwing a foot-stomping-Yosemite-Sam-style tantrum on a website is really going to change the world.  Our nation is so divided right now that I doubt it could even change anyone's mind.  Now, information presented in a way that dresses it up as news-based, yet makes absolutely no attempt at objectivity...be it on TV, on the radio, in a documentary or on the Internet....now that makes my blood boil. 

Great, now I've got a headache and possibly a couple of failing organs. 

Now to be objective, supporters of posting links on facebook to anger-inspiring one-sided blogs argue that by getting the word out, they're increasing our collective level of being well-informed, and letting all of us know exactly how they feel...oh, we know..

Oh well, it's my problem, not theirs. I can always scroll past that stuff from both sides of the spectrum, so I do, to get to the good stuff.  There's plenty of good stuff, personal stuff, real stuff that people post.  It's about their families and their kids and their careers, and music they love, and movies they hate and sports teams that won or lost, or something they overheard, or someone funny they work with, or a hilarious video on youtube.  The problem is I know friends who've now blocked all content from other friends simply to avoid the angry stuff, and so they're missing all the good stuff.

I figure you're now accusing me of being shallow or trivial on facebook....you know what?  It's facebook.  It's not a hearing before a Senate committee, it's not a speech, or a book, or a newscast...it's facebook.  I love facebook, but if I have something really, really important to say to a real friend, I'm probably going to pick up the phone or at least send a personal e-mail.

So, facebookers, when something, anything, happens in your life, good or bad, silly or profound or profane, happy or sad...please, post it.  THAT I will read eagerly.  I can't wait to hear all about it, honestly. 

That's why we're facebook friends....that's why we're friends. 

We'll talk again soon.


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