Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Comment On Facebook

I just read an article that described how baby boomers like myself are signing up for Facebook at a rate three times greater than other age groups.

It's not that older Americans like myself have just discovered this new social networking site and are enjoying the thrill that comes with learning something new and infinitely complicated on the computer.

It's more like the article in Business Week describes it: "Older folks are continuing to join the site because they’re seeing their friends and family members living their lives on the site and don’t want to be left out."

So I see that my uncle is getting ready to take a trip to Yellowstone. I see pictures of my nephew or brother-in-law as they enjoy kayaking around Michigan. Since they live 100 miles away, it's a way of keeping up. Especially since they don't blog like me anyway (I think I'm the only one in the family, extended or immediate, who has a blog).

But what if I want to post a little note, make a comment or offer a little advice to someone in particular? You can 'write on their wall', but that sounds like something a gang member would do if he's looking for trouble. Not for me. I tried posting just a personal comment to somebody's picture, but then it turned out that EVERYBODY could see it. Not just me and him. But my friends and his friends too. Not what I intended.

Then somebody commented "Awwww, cute picture" on one of my photos, but I didn't know which one. I got the comment in my e-mail, because any Facebook comments are e-mailed to me also, but I never could find the comment on my Facebook page. Wow, so MY comment on a photo is published for everybody to see but THEIR comment on my photo I can't even see. What-ever.

Eventually, I discovered that in Facebook, there is a difference between photo comments, wall comments, and just everyday comments. Very tricky. No wonder my father's first Facebook comment published was, "I'm getting ready to throw Facebook out the window."

He had difficulty with comments too. Once he posted a comment on top of someone else's comment, so it looked like he was asking my daughter-in-law Lindsay how she liked the birthday card that my mother had sent to my nephew 200 miles away. Very confusing. When I asked my dad to clarify who he was asking, he said regarding his comments, "I write something over here, and it ends up over there." Something to that effect.

The tart-tongued comedienne Kathy Griffin recently hired her mother to run her Facebook page, featured on an episode of Griffin's TV reality series. Her mother posted a comment telling the public that they could buy Three Buck Chuck wine at Trader Vic's. Griffin consulted her friend Paris Hilton who labeled the Facebook comment "not cool." Griffin subsequently fired her mother from her Facebook responsibilities.

Hea, I think anytime one of us older folks manages to get a comment uploaded to Facebook, it's cool.


Anonymous cassie-b said...

I have a facebook account, and keep up with the comings and goings of the kids in the family, and also some old friends that had been lost to me.

But it certainly has its limits. If I want to send something personal, I check on their email address and send those comments to that email address

6:54 AM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

I really don't have any experience with Facebook. I am enjoying blogging so much and it so easy that I don't see a reason for one more thing online. I know some people who only do Facebook. So my way to converse with them is via email. This is plenty good enough for me, at least for now. Whether someone uses Facebook or blogs it is a good thing especially for the baby boomers and older to be part of the online world.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

G'day Dave, I'm like your Dad... except I DID throw Facebook out the window,
I keep getting invites to be a friend etc but it just seems to much hassle.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CASSIE--Between Facebook, blogging, e-mails, etc., it seems like I'm spending more and more time on the computer. Too much time sometimes, at least according to the missus.

TECHNOBABE--Since families these days are so spread apart, it is nice to be able to connect on-line in one fashion or another.

PETER--My dad is hanging in there with Facebook. But part of the reason is that I don't think he has much interest in blogging. He does do fantasy football with us and that is almost upon us.

3:53 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

as you know from an earlier blog-I'm on FB, I'm actually liking it. But since (again prior post)I'm technically challenged what I do is this-I never say anything that can be misinterpretted or construed as anything other than what I intend it to mean.

Now, if only I could find a way to post some pictures-omg

5:43 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Dave, I'm having the same problems with FB. I like seeing my friends, but haven't figuered out all the ropes yet.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

My issue isn't so much with understanding the ropes and gadgets in FB is that it is too time consuming and not exactly user-friendly. It's far too cluttered and I'm seriously considering dropping it and switching to Twitter, which I can feature on my blog. I find it rather annoying switching back and forth when my biggest love is my blog . . . and with all the new widgets being developed, you can feature nearly anything on your blog, bringing everything all to one place. You can even configure it to where you have "pages" on a Blogger blog.

So, I very might collect all the important email addresses from the various friends I've found on FB, then cut my losses. If FB rethinks their look and organization, I may reconsider. We shall see.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CARINE--That's pretty much all I do on Facebook is post pictures, since you're limited in what you can write.

NANKIN--I've tried looking up some people on Facebook, but most of my closest friends don't use it. So far just family.

TIM--Twitter seems like it could be time-consuming. That's the application where you're constantly typing in updates, right? Maybe if I had a mobile phone like a blackberry or something.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hello Dave ~~ I am not very fond of Face-book and don't understand it
too well. I have 10 grandchildren on it and often can see what they are up to, and sometimes I can't do it.
Thanks for your kind words about my family photo - it is over 70 years old, and I was never as talented as
Shirley Temple. Her bank account would have been nice, Glad you enjoyed the jokes and stories.
Take care, Regards, Merle.

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another place to tell you I beat you in Fantasy Football.

5:47 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~ I still have Facebook, but you have to be very carful what you say and how you say it too. One snarky comment could ruin a relationship and as with most posts... the reader may read more into the comment than was really intended. But I do like to post pictures of places I've been. Go FIGURE! ~ jb///

12:04 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, I have a facebook account...Come on over and I'll add you as a friend....Fred is one of my friends....

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I am on facebook, too, but I agree it is a slippery slope to climb. I much prefer blogging. it is somehow "more civilized".

1:58 PM  
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