Thursday, June 24, 2010

Facing Facebook

Well I am back on Facebook. The only thing up in the air is am I going to get back on Twitter? I used to be all over both of them and then frankly got bored with them. I have this unfulfilled question lingering in my mind that relates to whether or not my not being on Facebook and Twitter is costing me business. Is someone going to hire a Realtor who is so techno-challenged that they are not on Facebook and Twitter? One of the main reasons that I BLOG is related to that if I were honest. I do these little test Googles to see where I come up when I query Realtors for Tallahassee, Florida. I guess I should be happy that I come up, out of 2,380,000 hits at #42. Man, I want to come up on the first page. I have only done that one or two times.

I have begged people to bookmark me and visit my website whether they need to or not. I have meta-tagged myself to oblivion. That is a little process on the website that is sort of like word association. It is supposed to drive me to the top of Google searches. I suppose that I am quite happy with my web presence. However, is it bringing me loads of business? Not so much. Out of 100 clients I have attracted I would have to say that 98 of them came from some kind soul referring them to me. So I BLOG just to fulfill this endemic proclivity that I have to want to express myself in the written form.

Back to Facebook. I really think that I am too old to be on Facebook (FB). Most of the people on FB post up things that are enormously mundane. " I just clipped my toenails. Now I am going to bed, after I visit the potty." Post something clever and/or relevant to something important. I have also posted up my own stuff and been too controversial. Making a comment about a particular political candidate, a sports team or a current event can bring down the scourges of the simple minded on you. To wit: I lost a friend over Michael Jackson. They had posted up some trite euphemism about how truly wonderful Jacko the Whacko was after he gorked himself to wherever they send child molesters in the hereafter. I really don't think they appreciated it when I told all my friends that I really didn't give a damn about Jackson doing himself in. He was a child molester. The world is a better place. Not good stuff to put up on your FB page. I had some of my imaginary FB friends read me the riot act. So I got off and remained off for a little over a year.

So I have to ask myself why I am so double-minded about this matter? I believe it goes back to my youth. I was raised on a farm in southern West Virginia. We had no concept of indoor plumbing. The privy outhouse seemed quite functional for all of our bio-needs. We always had electricity but not a phone. I remember clear as a bell when my Dad allowed us to get a phone. People could actually call us up and speak with us now. Nowadays we have 3 phones in our home, all cordless. My wife has a cell and I have one. I have a fax line and a line for my internet. I am filthy with lines of communication.

Yet I think back to that big black phone the size of a horses leg sitting on the table in the corner there in that little farmhouse in Hillsdale, West Virginia. Along with it was my mother or my grandmother sitting with the receiver pressed against their ear and the speaker covered with a towel held firmly in place by their free hand. What were they doing? Why they were eavesdropping. Life was boring. Hardly anyone had a TV and if you did programming stunk. We had a party line as our phone service. We shared a line with 8-10 neighbors. My grandmother and mother found it scintillatingly interesting to hear Mrs. Lugar and Mrs. Tomlinson talk about their vegetable gardens.

That, my friends, is the appeal of Facebook. We are on this big internet party line. People revealing all sorts of inner thoughts. Most of it mind-numbingly boring. However, we like eavesdropping. Mary's baby is adorable. It just spit up on her. Perry has a new cocker spaniel. If you like you can look at the 500 photos that he has uploaded onto his page. Susie has a new job. Mike just got a divorce.

I guess at the root of it all is a harmless interest in our fellow human beings. Somehow we touch each other. Sometimes it is just nice to know that there is someone else out there doing the same things that you are doing. So, what's the harm? Anyone that gets scary you can simply block and voila, no more Mike. I think I am back to stay this time. Perhaps I will do much less contributing and a lot more reading just to stay in touch with people for the most part that mean a lot to me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fire flies and Iron Man

During the summer months one of my favorite activities is going to a movie in the afternoon. It is a nice cool environment and they have yummy treats, if you can afford them and it is a great way to relax.. When I was a kid one of my favorite things was catching fire flies in the summer. Fire flies still hold a fascination to me. I love to look out out over my balcony onto the golf course and see those little flashing bugs floating through the air.

My wife, Nancy, and I just got back from spending a couple of hours watching Iron Man II. It was an action packed thriller and we enjoyed it almost as much as the original Iron Man. From the audience I caught out of the corner of my eye these little flashes of light, almost like fire flies. I finally came to realize that they were not fire flies at all but cellular phones. I watched a couple of the people as they waved their little electronic candles and I could not help but wonder why woud someone pay good money to come to the movie and then insist on texting on their cell phones. Am I just ignorant but didn't they come to escape all that stuff for a little while? Usually the plot needs to be followed. Why the need to be so connected. Most of these folks looked to be 13-16 years of age. The explanation that they were busy neoroscientists or CIA agents did not seem to fit the need to stay in touch.

Let's just face it. Utilization of phones for calling, texting, instant messaging has just become a national obsession. It is not a good one in my opinion. We are way too wired up these days. We need to turn those blamed things off sometimes and read a book or have a face to face conversation with someone we enjoy talking with. It is not just an addicition for teenagers either. A lady in her mid-50's ran dead, head on into me on the sidewalk last week as she was texting and walking. I must admit that it has done got a hold on me as well. I am all too aften guilty of texting and walking and I must admit the occassional while driving.

Now that latter one is the one that can be fatal. I was on the road for DuPont for nearly 30 years. They gave me a company automobile to drive. They were fanatics about safety because of the fact that they started thier company in the late 1700's selling gunpowder. They had all too many accidents with people not paying particular attention while they were working. When you make a mistake with gunpowder your co-workers usually end up picking up your body parts and putting them in the nearest basket or crate.

I remember that for one safe driving campaign they sent us a little decal that was to be applied to the drivers side window so that you could see it and contemplate the message. The message was " While behind the wheel, driving is your ONLY business." Boy that sure has application in today's world. I saw a young lady standing outside of her badly damaged car the other day. There was no other vehicle in sight, just a guard rail. I did not see the accident but I will be willing to bet a sizeable amount of money that text messaging while she was driving was the causation.

Several states have already enacted stiff laws to forbid driving and texting. The fines can be pretty hefty. There are lots of fatlities caused by people that insisted on forwarding the latest knock knock joke they just got texted to their buddies whilst missiling down the freeway at 80 mph. Come on folks is it all that blamed important to be that wired up? Turn those things off and listen to the radio or CD player and arrive alive.