Monthly Archives: October 2012

denzel and sandy take away my flight mojo

i think i’m scared of flying again.  i was scheduled to fly into laguardia this week to meet new facebook friends and reconnect with my son joseph.  then, as the dire predictions rolled in about hurricane sandy, i felt that familiar panic about getting on a plane.  the three days before imagining crashes,bird strikes, fuel starvation, sabotage–to say nothing of panic attacks, homicidal fellow passengers, delirious flight attendants, ebola virus transmission. .. .

i also watched the trailer for the denzel washington movie “flight” and although denzel is the sexiest man on earth, i wouldn’t recommend watching this. even if you’re the most placid of flyers or high on a mixture of ambien and margaritas, just the preview will make you think twice about anything aeronautical.

when i made a commitment to meet all 325 of my facebook friends during 2011 i was a white knuckle flyer.  okay, honestly, i was a three glasses of wine and an ativan before i get on the plane gal.  i probably was in more danger from that combination than anything else.

as the year progressed, as i got on a plane just about every week, i stopped being scared.  stopped thinking about it too much.  drank less.  didn’t even bother with the ativan.  started to feel wonderful as the plane gently or bumpily  lifted me into the air.

still, the hurricane spooked me and it’s been nearly two months since i’ve been on a plane.  i have fallen back into the habit of fear.  i’ve lost my flight mojo!

the airports of new york closed and i will reschedule.  but now i will have to teach myself again to sally forth.  at least i have a credit at delta airlines!

so here’s an experiment.  watch the flight trailer — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhUrWRV1cxs

now think about yourself on a plane.


the angels and demons in my bedroom

it’s every single morning before i even open up my eyes.  the angel i always imagine to be sitting on the window sill.  the demon lounging in bed next to me smoking a brimstone cigarette.

my personal angel doesn’t actually look like this. maybe yours does.  angels exist in the muslim, christian and jewish traditions but are ordinarily depicted as males.  is this picture a blow for feminism?

 

the angel was particularly adamant this morning:  i have finished revising the book about my facebook adventures of 2011 and had sent it to my editor at tate publishing.  but i need to sort through thirty to fifty photographic images to include in the book.  i had sold yet another book to tate yesterday.  oh, and facebook — yes, but not actually mark zuckerberg himself — had contacted me to find out if they could do a story about me.  it was a good day yesterday and included other blessings:  a friend had been nice to me, it was sunny and warm outside, the coffee was good.  and so the angel asks of me the same thing as every morning:  get out of bed.

the demon, meanwhile, has other things on his mind.

you’re fat, you’re old, you drink too much, you have a social life that is largely conducted on facebook, you’re irrelevant, you could die today and nobody would notice so why don’t you stay in bed and watch korean soap operas on hulu.com? says the demon

for a number of mornings, the demon has been very persuasive.  and i’ve watched eight episodes of season one and four of season two of faith about a korean protector of the king who travels through time to find a twenty first century doctor to save the life of the queen and then the surgeon . . . . oh, forget it.

today the angel won.  but only after an hour’s battle while i tried to go back to sleep.  the battle occurs every morning and it’s sort of the same for other people i’ve been finding.   my friends describe the enormous effort it takes to get it together every morning.

yesterday was a good day for angels watching over the facebook enterprise.  after opening at a stock price of $38 months ago, the company has lost half its value, closing at less than twenty dollars per share at one point.  the demons definitely were feeling pretty sure of themselves.  but this past wednesday, prices shot up an astonishing 19% to close at $23.  i betcha this morning when mark zuckerberg’s angels and demons were discussing whether mark should get up or declare a sick day, his angel had something wonderful on his side to motivate him.

do you have a conversation between demons and angels in your head?  is it mostly in the morning, like me?


even without the red shoes, there’s nothing like it!

i made a new years resolution for 2011 to meet in person all 325 of my facebook friends.  325 friends, 365 days, 13 countries, close to 60,000 miles on planes, trains and automobiles.

i had 325 friends–from college, from around town, from playing online scrabble, people who like my grandfather’s science fiction writing, parents of my kids’ friends, and some people i just had no idea why. i wanted to meet them all and figure out if we were “just” facebook friends or something else.

 

at the end of the year, my house sold.  my sons live in new york and ohio and neither of them really wanted me to move in with them.  i had no place i had to be and i had spent a year being everywhere so i could choose.

this past month, i took an apartment.

for most of my adventures, i carried with me a plush doll of the nineteenth century adventurer and explorer william clark. he has his own facebook page and we are facebook friends. now he resides in the bat girl cave which is very close to where i used to live.

i could have gotten one of those prefab homes in nome that i saw, or moved into the mumbai holiday inn which is the swankest place i stayed.  i could have opened a fruit stall in mexico city in the neighborhood i visited or i could rent one of those sweet apartments i saw in dortmund, germany.  but no, i ended up back in winnetka and i didn’t have to click my heels three times to know there’s no place like it.

but of course i have facebook friends to see in other parts of the world.  new friends on facebook.  i just got back from kentucky and i think the next trip is ontario and from there new york.

thursday night i went to a party in winnetka. everybody said “welcome back!” and i think they meant it. i was not actually wearing these shoes, but i felt like i was!

 

 


a guest blog about facebook depression

Facebook Depression: Much Ado About Something?

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:23 PM PDT

Facebook Depression

“Facebook Depression? Well, of course it’s real, Bill. Duh! We’re talking one billion users. Somebody’s bound to get bummed-out.”

Clunk! Well, I guess you got me there. Ah, but if Facebook – any social networking site, for that matter – and depression are pals, is it a strong enough relationship to assign a brand?

Hey, no doubt about it, the potential impact of using social networking sites upon one’s psyche can’t be ignored. Take a gander at these estimated monthly visitors numbers for the top five…

§ Facebook: 750 million

§ Twitter: 250 million

§ LinkedIn: 110 million

§ MySpace: 70 million

§ Google+: 65 million

Staggering, don’t you think?

Sure seems as though people are looking (needing?) to interact with others – even if it’s out here in cyberspace. And it makes perfect sense that potential liabilities such as Facebook Depression may drop-in at the party.

But let’s keep in mind these questions: Does using Facebook generate Facebook Depression? Or is it grounded in the maybe-fact that many who lean toward the depressive hop-onto Facebook more frequently? Hmmm…

Well, what say we dive-in and see what we can learn. Oh, given the depth of the subject matter, and volume of information, we’re going to have to handle our biz in likely three parts over the next handful of days. Okay?

Facebook Depression: Addiction Too?

As a clinician, if a client comes to me with an addiction issue you can be sure I’m going to focus upon depression (anxiety, mania, and stressors, as well) during the assessment process. Now, that isn’t to say all addicted individuals are depressed. However, in so many cases “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

So, as we consider Facebook Depression, let’s first address Facebook addiction.

Researchers at the University of Bergen (Norway), led by psychologist Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen, have come up with some first-time, and very valuable, information regarding Facebook addiction.

Check-out what Dr. Andreassen has to say…

The use of Facebook has increased rapidly. We are dealing with a subdivision of Internet addiction connected to social media.

It (Facebook addiction) occurs more regularly among younger than older users. We have also found that people who are anxious and socially insecure use Facebook more than those with lower scores on those traits, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face.

Our research also indicates that women are more at risk of developing Facebook addiction, probably due to the social nature of Facebook.

Interesting, don’t you think?

As part of their research, the team came up with a Facebook Addiction Scale. And the scoring is based upon the following criteria…

§ You spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.

§ You feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.

§ You use Facebook in order to forget about personal problems.

§ You have tried to cut down on the use of Facebook without success.

§ You become restless or troubled if you are prohibited from using Facebook.

§ You use Facebook so much that it has had a negative impact on your job/studies.

Respondents are asked to rate each item as “Very rarely,” “Rarely,” “Sometimes,” “Often,” or “Very often.” Is Facebook addiction alive and kicking? Well, the research team says it is if one rates at least four of the items as “Often” or “Very often.”

Again, the presence of an addiction doesn’t always equate to accompanying depression. However, I’m not scratching my head if they’re co-occurring. And that certainly applies to Facebook Depression and addiction.


the third largest nation on earth welcomes its billionth citizen, er, user

it didn’t exist eight years ago.  well, it did but it fit into the dorm room of a harvard undergraduate.  and now it’s the third largest nation on earth, having welcomed its one billionth citizen on september 14, 2012.  it took china (biggest country) and india (second) thousands of years to make that milestone.

the united states of america has a little more than 300 million users, er, citizens. so think about it–mr. romney or mr. obama will be president to less than half of the people that 28 year old mark zuckerberg rules, er, services.  some people doubt facebook can sustain growth and add on another billion.  but mark’s been visiting china where potential facebook citizens are blocked by the government, and he’s had negotiations with russia as well.

still, mark zuckerberg is having a rough summer.  he’s having trouble making money.  right now, facebook makes a mere four billion in revenue last year.  that’s like each of us handing mark four dollars so we can post pictures of our cats doing cute things, our kids doing cute things, and inspirational messages.  google, with about as many users, squeezes $38 billion in revenue.  the difference?  advertising and google’s better use of mobile devices.

what facebook hasn’t said is whether the billion citzens of this online nation includes the fakes.  last year, when i made a new years resolution to meet all 325 of my facebook friends, i was surprised by the number of duplicate accounts, spambots, and businesses dressed up as friends.  it was roughly ten percent of my friends list and that tracks facebook’s admission that 9.7% of its users are “undesirables” of this sort.

one of my facebook friends that i “visited” last year was william clark, the nineteenth century explorer and officer in the united states army. he’s dead, he’s a duplicate of sorts to his biographer my facebook friend lanny jones and he’s not actually sitting here in my bedroom. i think he would be technically part of that 9.7% but i think he’s adorable!

 

it’s been a facebook bashing summer, what with the i.p.o. being a bit disappointing but you gotta give some credit to a kid in his dorm room who has allowed people to make an estimated 140 billion friendship connections.  that’s quite a friendly country you got there, mark!

 


homeless no more, the things i will not take for granted

running water, electricity, heat, internet, a refrigerator, waking up in the same place every morning, a bed, hanging up my clothes in a closet, a medicine cabinet, leaving the shampoo in the bathtub after a shower, keys, neighbors, pillows, hand washing lingerie and hanging panties on the shower curtain rod. . . .

this past weekend i moved into an apartment with facebook friend william clark, pictured here on top of the piano i had had in storage. this morning, the bed was delivered. next week, a rug is coming. my ex maximilian says that i have been “officially without residence” for three months.

 

i am a very lucky homeless person:  i have a credit card, i have means, i have a car, i have friends.  the friends are the most important part of the equation.  still, i have been tired.  i have been scared.  i have been weary of being on the road.  it is good to have a place to call home  and i promise to never take for granted the things  i have been blessed with.


there’s no place like the marriott and my car. . . .

grace is the granddaughter of my ex-husband. are we nonetheless related? and what should she call me? i’m settling on aunt arlynn but i’m open to suggestions.

i left louisville and aimed north for bloomington indiana where i would spend time with two of my favorite facebook friends.  elisabeth is my former stepdaughter but now i think of her as friend.  she suggested i stay at her house but i worried that i might be imposing.  as i lay my head down on the pillow, i knew i was in the right place.  hotel rooms and cars are not quite as comfortable as a single place you call home.  i talked about traveling with facebook friend andrew pearce the next morning.


i was given a great gift through facebook today.  friends stepped in to move things out of my car and into an apartment.   it’s small, it’s over an abandoned warehouse, it makes me think a little bit about the movie flashdance, but i’m so happy and from here i will sally forth to meet new friends.  it’s good to have a place that i can say “home”. . . . although it’s been great.  thank you, marriott.  thank you, minicoop!


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