Tag Archives: friendship

“like” not being owned

how would i feel about being owned by mark zuckerberg?  maybe . . . creepy?  or maybe like . . . none too happy?  this week, facebook users have had to consider this question

i don’t presume to know mark personally, but it strikes me that he wouldn’t be the sort of dude who could own a woman–or a man for that matter. just a little too geeky. p.s this is NOT a picture of me.

when i made a new year’s resolution in 2011 to meet all 325 of my facebook friends, i was frequently asked if i understood that facebook owns the copyright on all posts, pics, comments of all of its members.  i always thought the original terms of use applied, namely that each member owns the copyright to the content of their profile but that facebook has a license to share that profile information with user’s friends.

but over the weekend, as some facebook users noted facebook’s announcement that it was amending and altering some of its privacy conditions.

this post has been showing up on a lot of timelines, a declaration that the user claims copyright to the profile’s content and that facebook can’t “own” the profile. this seems mainly to concern my american and european friends. copyright has become incredibly burdened by the freewheeling internet.

 

however, mark and facebook haven’t actually amended and altered its policy to change copyright claims.  it would be silly to do so because copyright isn’t something that someone can appropriate like that.  instead, facebook has declared it wants to change voting rights for its users.  facebook has been forced to publicly announce it was never its intention to make any appropriation of copyright.

but the point remains that facebook and mark have been announcing policy changes so frequently that users can’t keep up.  so i gotta ask–

in the meantime, i need to get the visual image of being mark’s sex slave out of my head!


thank you for reading

albert einstein claimed he said it a hundred times a day.  i try to aim for just ten, but then i am not trying to create a unified field theory of the universe.  it is two wonderful words that are so powerful just saying the changes your day, your attitude, your life.  and today is made for those words.  well, i guess every day is.

the words are thank you.

thanksgiving is a november american holiday that commemorates the safety and security of early settlers in massachusetts. it has come to be a holiday of saying thank you for all our blessings but sometimes it is considered a holiday of eating too much turkey, of being with contentious relatives, and the opening bell on christmas shopping.

 

i’m not particularly good at prayer.  i never know what to say to God and i’ve never particularly thought that God was talking to me.  rosaries make me fall asleep.  when a priest intones a prayer at church, i start to fidget.  and when anybody wants to hold hands and pray with me, my hands get sweaty.

but i have stumbled upon a way that i can pray just like albert einstein did.  i say thank you.  i’m not quite sure who i’m thanking but i figure they know who they are.  so every morning i write down ten things i am grateful for.  today my list is

my sons joseph and eastman, my ex-husband stephen, bright red lipstick, diet coke, the pink highlights in my hair, the neighbor making me tacos last night, my facebook friend reggie serving in afghanistan, my garmin gps because i get lost everytime i visit facebook friends, the furnace working, my mini coup, a somewhat inappropriate text that made me blush but was utterly flattering, the gal who works the counter at caribou because i am not good at seven a.m. and the raspberry latte she recommends, the fog opening up to sunshine, my new socks, paper white lilies

weirdly, i’m grateful to facebook and to wordpress for the opportunity to meet new people, make friends, see those friends, and then express what i feel and think about those friends.

today i have dinner with my ex-husband and my sons.  it is written into our divorce agreement that we share thanksgiving, christmas, mother’s day and father’s day.  i am already exchanging texts and messages of thanksgiving with friends (i will work on this all day and never get to every friend)  and of course, this being the modern age, i will post a facebook thanksgiving message.

this is t!he one day of the year i wish i had a twitter account because i would just say “thank you” which is quite a bit shorter than the 140 characters the medium allows

 

and you?  i just want to say thank you for reading.  okay, i might have gone over my ten things.

we’re entering a strange season of excess: thanksgiving an excess of eating, christmas an excess of gift giving and new years an excess of champagne. not that i’m complaining about any of that because they’re all good!

 

 


gravity settings on facebook accounts to change, sun to rise in the west

mark zuckerberg is possibly satan.  at least, some folks feel that way when they find out the terms and conditions on facebook have changed or that timeline is mandatory or that privacy settings have suddenly shifted so that your mother now sees all the pictures of you passed out on your friend’s couch with a case of empties on the coffee table in front of you.

it’s possible that mark is satan because he has defied the essential laws of nature.  including the most basic economic law of supply and demand.

the dismal science of economics’ first principle is that if there is more demand (people want) for any asset (beer, gold, oil) the price of that asset will go up. if there is an increase in the supply (more more more) of any asset, the price will fall. but get out a six pack and look at this chart and you can figure out the implications without having to shell out tuition money to the university of chicago business school.

on may 18, facebook went public in one of the most anticipated initial public offering ever.  this meant that you didn’t have to be a facebook employee or a real not just facebook friend of mark zuckerberg in order to make money on the one billion member online nation.  the stock price on that first day was $38 and when mark zuckerberg wed priscilla chan that same week, it seemed as if everything he touched would turn to gold.

but that spring of his content was made inglorious by the summer’s discontent.  facebook’s stock price plummeted to an astonishing record breaking low of $17.55 per share.  facebook was washed up.  couldn’t compete with other social networks in the mobile device market.  had an eye popping 9% rate of profiles useless to advertisers.  some early investors in facebook, including cofounder paul thiele, sold what stocks they could–suggesting to the marketplace a sort of no confidence vote in facebook.

this past wednesday was predicted to be a bloodletting:  852 million shares in facebook, nearly as many shares as the pre-existing 921 million shares, would be released for sale.  past and present employees and early private investors were not allowed to sell these shares under legal trade restrictions that expired at midnight.  the morning bell at the new york stock exchange was to be the death toll as the shares were added to the already bloated supply of facebook shares.

more facebook shares.  lower price.  law of nature.

instead, wednesday’s trading on the new york stock exchange in facebook shares was as bizarre as if mark zuckerberg had declared that gravity would not be enforced, that one should look westward for the sunrise and that thing where your older brother told you santa doesn’t exist?

better watch out, better not cry!

by the end of trading, the facebook shares were settling into a nice 12% INCREASE to a price of $22.22.  this makes no sense whatsoever.  unless . . . well, sure, the rational explanation is that there is a class of investors who decided they would wait, that they would hold back and forbear until the trade restrictions expired.  smart investors.

and those folks who purchased on may 18 thinking they were in on the ground floor?  suckas!

or perhaps there’s something larger at work.  maybe mark has created something so magical and wonderful that it is beyond everything we have ever seen.  maybe he’s not satan.  and maybe his next trick . . .

or maybe he’s just an ordinary guy who came up with an idea in his harvard dorm room and turned it into a billion nation empire in less than a decade. i could have done it too, but i was using my dorm room for partying, sleeping and playing james taylor on my eight track.


the only alternative is to break up

so you met your one and only (let’s leave polygamists and scoundrels out of this for the moment) and you want to make it official.  it used to be that you’d have to shell out for a diamond  and a justice of the peace, but on facebook, all you have to do is change your status from “single” to “in a relationship”.

when you’re in a relationship on facebook, the two of you get your very own “us” page.  it pulls the status updates, tagged photos of you and all your friends and pools your friends list.  with the new timeline feature (love it or hate it) you  are officially brangelina, tomkat, or bennifer.

two out of those three entities became “it’s complicated” and then the letters of the alphabet were realigned.

bennifer (ben affleck and jennifer lopez) created the 2003 blockbuster hit gigli. whaaaa. . . ? you didn’t see it? the tender love story between a mobster and a lesbian. includes the immortal dialogue about cunnilingus. jennifer: it’s turkey time. ben: what? jennifer: gobble gobble. really, bennifer was robbed of an academy award!

 

so maybe you’ve been listed as in a relationship or even (gasp!) married.  facebook has already created that couples’ page.  log into your own account, then visit facebook/us.  voila!  it’s all there, your entire relationship.

but maybe you don’t want to have a couples page, you want to believe that you can have a bit of your own space to play farmville and mafia wars.  right now there’s only one thing to do–break up.  change your status to “single”. . . there’s going to be a broken heart posted on all your friends’ pages and you’ll get all kinds of texts and messages from friends wondering if you’re all right,  if you’re going to return wedding presents because that lismore crystal was damn expensive, and whether you’re chill with your best friend asking your ex out on a date because there’s always been such good chemistry between them!

 


facebook sex facebook sex . . . you decide

so i’ve been thinking about the great decision that we as americans have made.  particularly the women vote.

no, no, no! not the presidential election. that’s over. here’s mitt having a final peanut butter and honey sandwich on air romney. he was vociferous in the battle and gracious in defeat.

 

the academic and quite erudite journal of sociology cosmopolitan magazine has released a survey of women (that would be me) and their internet habits (uh oh).  an astonishing 57% of their respondents would rather give up sex for two weeks than stop using their internet social networking site of choice.

quel horreur?  no facebook for two weeks?  well, it’s not like i’ve been getting regular sex so my response would have been more like “oh, okay, another two weeks of thinking everybody else is having great sex but i’m the total loser OR i have to give up facebook?”

cosmopolitan magazine was created by helen gurley brown who advised women to sashay out into the world and get it all–money, sex, love, career–AND enjoy it! every month the magazine promises its readers sex tips that will drive a man crazy, how to’s on the perfect coif, and how to get ahead in business. i might be fifty two but i don’t feel too old for this advice!

 

the strangest part of the survey was that two percent of women have actually stopped in the middle of doing the nasty in order to tweet or check their facebook status.  and this study had over a thousand respondents–there’s only four kardashian sisters!

so i have to ask you. . . .

 


my staten island miracle

i was in a hotel in brooklyn.  wrappers and empty bottles of mini-bar extravagances on the bed and my laptop in front of me.  i was furious at mapquest.

mapquest said that it was impossible to go from 235 meeker avenue to the address on 63 westbrook to see my facebook friend michele piersiak if i used a car.  and yet, when i looked at the map, it looked fairly straightforward to me.  cab it to the manhattan ferry station, take the ferry and take another cab in staten.  somehow mapquest seemed to say with a frisson of nearly gallic contempt:  mais non!  i then asked mapquest about public transportation.

“Non, Non, Non!”  mapquest squealed.  “quel horreur!”

so i said please, mr. mapquest, what if i walked to the staten island ferry station and took the ferry and then walked from there to my friend’s house?

“Four hours seven minutes,” he replied.  “Nine miles.”

“I betcha i can do it in under three,”  i said.

i wasn’t figuring on getting lost, sidewalks closed for construction, my feet hurting, my bag heavy, and then there was the williamsburg bridge:

and after i got across the bridge it was just a matter of asking ten different new yorkers where the ferry station was.  ten different new yorkers, ten different answers.  i was starting to think that mapquest had severely misunderestimated (to use a bushism) the travel time.

however, i got to the ferry station and determined that the ferry is a pleasure never to be missed.  and it’s free!

once on the island, i walked through the downtown, through quiet neighborhoods, through little Sri Lanka, past a muslim day school, a golf course, and a river.  by the time i reached my facebook friend michele piersiak’s house, i had done my time just as mapquest had predicted.

i might have regarded this as a failing.  i had destroyed my feet.  i had been stubborn when i should have known that mr. mapquest is always right.  i should have taken a cab.

but now i don’t regard that as a misadventure.

hurricane sandy has destroyed the ferry station.  island residents have no gas, their homes and businesses are flooded, the power is out, there are buildings that will never be rebuilt.  i was privileged to get to see staten island as it was.  so i look back on a miraculous walk.

although next time maybe a more comfortable pair of shoes.


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?


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.


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.


no facebook friend left behind

i woke up thinking–i cannot leave her behind.  miss x was crying when i left her.

“i feel like i made and lost a friend in the past couple hours!”

“no, you haven’t,”  i said.  “you made a friend on facebook and you still have a friend.”

she wasn’t convinced when i pulled out of the driveway. she sat on the porch bench, crying. i felt awful.  i was tired, i was scared, i was driving so many hours.  i had so many more to go.

miss x is the 331st facebook friend i have visited since my 2011 new year’s resolution.  at that time, i had 325 facebook friends and i resolved to meet and spend time with each one during the course of the year.  i mean, who are all these people in my little solar system of mark zuckerberg’s virtual universe?

but as the year progressed and in this year 2012, i have been meeting newer friends.  miss x had seen a bit of news about me, had friendshipped me, and we’d been corresponding.  she thought she was inviting me to louisville, kentucky to give me an opportunity to test out my fearlessness against agoraphobia.  instead, we faced an interesting problem:  she drinks.  a lot.  much more than i do.  when i showed up at her doorstep at one thirty, vodka had been two glasses ahead of me.

we all find ways to quell the pain.  whether it’s prescriptions, meth, alcohol, video games, hoarding or the carbo load of a dozen doughnuts in front of the television set, we do it.  we have to.  times are particularly tough right now.  miss x lost her job fourteen months ago and has pretty much given up on getting another for the moment.

are you better off than you were four years ago? asked ronald reagan when debating then president jimmy carter. it’s a question every voter has to ask. in miss x’s case, the answer is decidedly no. she has unemployment benefits, but she would rather have a job. and her drinking–popov vodka mostly–has ramped up. jobs often give us purpose, which gets us out of bed and away from our poisons.

the breckenridge inn of louisville, kentucky had generously booked my room next to the “can’t sleep without the television on, argue at two a.m., have makeup sex at four” couple.  i so got to appreciate the room decor.

was it a good idea to go back?  to meet miss x again?  but i was haunted by the crying galpal.  and by something she had said.

“i started drinking because i thought i was too boring when i’d be with people, you know, at parties and such.”

i was thinking “that’s me”

i have often felt like a wallflower who can only manage with a glass of white wine.  and then i can talk with people.  and then another glass of white wine.  and i can sit still through dinner parties.  and another white wine.  i can be funny or witty or amusing.  one more white wine.  and i’m smushy in my thinking and scattered in my speech.  but i don’t notice by then because i have white wine saying “it’s all good.”

i messaged miss x at six a.m.  total long shot.  if she was up, i would return to her house.  we’d go for a walk.  i wanted this facebook friend visit to end well.  she had drank and fallen asleep and had awakened early.  i was packing up for the next facebook friend adventure.

i checked out, went to her house.  and that’s when i really met my friend.  the day before, i had met alcohol smothering my friend.

the facebook friend who opened the door, the three hundred and thirty first friend i have recorded about since i made that resolution, is bright and funny and witty and engaged in the world.   she looks sort of like lana turner or maybe jennifer coolidge.  she has a gift for seeing beauty and translating it into home decorating.  she has an empathy with cats and although one of her own is dying, she has a sense of humor.

jennifer coolidge is the actress who played stifler’s mom in american pie. this is sort of what miss x looks like. she would be chill with being identified by name but she wants to protect her husband.

we walked and we shared a morning ritual.  it is how i pray these days, having figured out that rosaries and om’s sometimes seem hollow for me.  we exchanged lists of ten things we are grateful for.  i was grateful for coffee that morning.  she was grateful for her husband and mother who are both loving.  we were able to exchange gratefuls for each other.

there are many days in which coffee has made my list.

we said goodbye.  well, goodbye sounds more final than what it was.  we hugged and kissed and i will see her again.  and i’ll even take up the offer of the manager of the breckenridge inn for a free upgrade because of the couple next door.  really, i should just remember that maybe the couple was celebrating and happy and . . . well, actually, i know they were pretty happy at four a.m. roughly thirty seconds apart from each other.

no secret–i love the white wine. we’re having a break up. i am using a drug that is weaning, subtle, strange. i am not a believer in twelve steps because i think we do all need something to get us through the day.

i strike north for bloomington.  i thought i would be aiming for tennessee but my friend in cookeville has distractions.  i drive.  i meet my facebook friends. i ask for their friendship to be in person.  mark zuckerberg introduces but there’s nothing better than right there, right now.