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Old 10-07-2011, 03:39 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
Reputation: 32309


Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
Facebook is incredibly shallow.
I was blown away by this Krishnamurti quote and think it applies here:
"It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
I am responding not just to Jazzcat (above) but to several recent posts in this thread. And it is not so much that I disagree with Jazzcat per se, but I would change that first sentence as follows: "Facebook can be, and often is, incredibly shallow". But Facebook is actually whatever we make it. Those who post that they are about to got out for pizza obviously need to get a life. I have had a Facebook listing for about three years now, and I do not post shallow things.

As far as Facebook "friends" not being real friends, well of course not, but so what? When a person has 400 "friends" isn't it obvious that a lot of those are very casual acquaintances? Some of my Facebook "friends" are colleagues, ex-colleagues, relatives, former hobby-mates from long ago times, etc. Most of them I am not real close to, but it is nonetheless a fantastic, quick, and convenient way to keep up with people. It is interesting to see a recent photo of an old friend and realize how they look now. It is interesting to note the changes in people's lives. And I have re-connected with some people through a Facebook search that I never thought I would be in touch with again.

Poster Zarathu talked about preferring real, face-to-face relationships. Well sure, so do I. But it's not an either/or situation! I have meaningful face-to-face friendships which I value highly, and in addition I keep up with other people through Facebook, and I also value that.

I do not understand why Facebook has to be good or bad when it can be both or either depending on how it's used.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:51 PM
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
6,488 posts, read 6,956,214 times
Reputation: 17366
I have only 12 "friends" on Facebook and they are all family that live out of state or real friends I grew up with. Facebook is an easy way to keep up with everyone and see pictures of what's going on with my nieces and nephews, new babies, and such. For instance, I just now found out my brother in Little Rock is in the hospital.

Facebook is what you make it and does not have to be a time suck.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:57 PM
Location: too far from the sea
19,855 posts, read 18,874,270 times
Reputation: 33780
I'm on FB and I check it every morning. It's brought me closer to relatives whom I seldom see and it keeps me in day to day contact with my sister and also overseas friends who I hardly ever see. People post jokes so I can get a laugh from it.
I do have a friend about 71 yrs old who is always on or off about whether to get a computer. Last year she went to FL and made a new friend who could not BELIEVE that she didn't even have an email address. So...then she wanted a computer again. Then she heard someone complain about computer problems so she didn't want a computer again. I don't think she'll ever get one. It does annoy me though--she constantly wants ME to look things up for her on the internet, we order vitamins online and I am the one who has to write the order and be responsible for it. Many times I've received a cute joke and wanted to forward it to her--but she's not there!
I was almost like that though. Horrors. Back in the mid '90s I was a techniphobe and the thought of sitting in front of a computer was terrifying. I was afraid of even turning it on, thought it would explode or something. If my husband hadn't gone out and bought one and if I hadn't turned it on and been able to take a "tour" of a great art museum, listened to the one BBC station that was then available, and get sucked into an amazing and rewarding family history project.......I might never have gotten hooked! You can learn so much. You can keep in touch. I'm so glad I didn't wait until I was too old to appreciate it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:37 PM
Location: Location: Location
6,353 posts, read 7,833,116 times
Reputation: 18590
For the record, I don't view FB as "bad" or "evil". If it works for you (the "general" you), that's fine. I have a FB account. It pretty much is the same as it was the day I started it. And it will likely remain that way. It is of no interest to me. I feel the same way about football, video games, vanilla ice cream and special effects movies. Doesn't mean that no one else should enjoy these things. Or that I should be ostracized because I don't. My laptop is a remarkable tool that does what I want it do and not what others decree I should want.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:21 PM
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,862,561 times
Reputation: 8956
So much judgment about Facebook. I love it. I only allow people I actually know to be friends . . .and it has deepened relationships tremendously. It is lots of fun to share photos and videos, as well as inspirational quotes with people.

I think it is helping society be more connected.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:25 PM
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,940,197 times
Reputation: 14983
Some of you are misunderstanding, I think, the place that technology can have - how it can ADD to keeping in touch rather than be an either/or issue. Facebook can be IN ADDITION to other means of contact with family - but how wonderful it is to have the daily contact of FB with my grandkids rather than the once a week phone calls my kids had with their grandparents.

Something no one has touched upon that really can be a lifesaver - or sanity saver - for elderly is the internet and including FB. So many of us elderly are or will be hearing impaired. In my case, it started long ago and I have now reached the db level where I am considered deaf - without my aids. What that means is that communication is painful at best, frustrating more than not, and sometimes leaves me in tears. I'm not generally an emotional person: I'm a strong, independent woman - and a large part of my remaining independent is the internet. Facebook, as some have said, is what you make it for yourself. For me, it's my social time since 90 out of 91 people cannot remember for 5 whole minutes that I cannot hear even though my speech is better than 99% of the population in terms of clarity - that's where the frustration comes in. So absolutely, it is essential to have some community and contact with others especially in the worst of times - like when I have an ear infection/head cold and cannot wear my aids.

It frustrates me no end that my younger sister is so dead set against even having an e-mail account - although I gave her a computer. We have little communication and are far enough away that we cannot see each other much. She wants to talk on the phone but I cannot.

I have a cell phone - finally - one that works for me anyway. It was way more expensive than most people believe, but it became an essential for my independence: I cannot use public phones or anyone else's cell phone. I had an incident about 11 years ago which involved me trying to reach the police for assistance on a public phone. I was in an industrial area on a Sunday morning when my car decided to quit. There was no one around to help me - and i'm not sure I would have accepted the help of those I did see. I dialed 911 - but the person speaks softly - and FAST and I couldn't understand the mumbles, so I kept repeating that I was hearing impaired and needed help. It took me 30 minutes to get them to stop hanging up on me - by the time the police arrived, I was in a major panic. So a cell phone became a standard part of my car - I called it my carphone and it was for ME to call home/friend/family for help. I couldn't hear on the thing no matter how loud it was set - 3 phones later still no 2-way conversations. Fast forward 10 years later to new technology that enables my new hearing aid to become blue tooth connected. Yeah, new technology isn't cheap - cost me $3K for the equipment including only 1 new hearing aid - but it works - and it's already saved my bacon.

I have had to let some old friends go because they will not understand that my main means of communication is through new technology. I had 2 dear old friends who own computers but insist on calling me on the phone. I say "aha, yes, sure, ok" a lot but have no idea what is going on. It hurts me that they won't accommodate my needs, so I send them e-mails when something important happens that I think they'd want to know, and I follow up with snail mail now and then, but the frequent communication - 2way - that we used to have is gone because they just will not change.

I am a strong proponent of keeping up with the technology that can make life richer. I started with computers and the internet back before most people even knew it was possible - I used telnet before there was an aol or compuserve - I'm not a techy or a geek. We don't have blueberries or pads or booklets - although it would be great to be able to download some books from the library.

I've been making the trip from NY/NJ to RI/Mass for over 30 years - at one point it was monthly so I didn't need any help from a gps - I thought. The last trip we headed to Boston and there was a serious accident blocking the highway, causing a detour. Having our gps was a huge help and I found a shorter route! Now we are moving to a new state where there's miles and miles of farms - I see so many possibilities for the gps that I wonder why it took us so long to get one.

My mind is open even though my ears are closed. I believe that we need to use technology rather than letting it control us. I would be a very unhappy camper if my family called me daily wanting to know where I was or relate all their problems. Good grief, it's a cell phone not your personal problem solver. Mom/Grandma has her own life. If my kids called me everytime the cat got lost or the kid couldn't find a shoe, I'd change my cell phone number and not tell anyone what it is. It's a tool not a way of life. Oh heck, I don't answer it lots of times but then I don't answer the landline when I don't want to either.

And for those of you singles who think the internet is a waste of time or to only talk with those you already know, I met my husband in an online chatroom 14 years ago. We became friends online and then decided to meet in person. The rest is history. I just met a CDer in person last week - she lives on an island in the Caribbean. I think we will be friends for a long time.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:36 PM
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,862,561 times
Reputation: 8956
And don't forget streaming movies and TV series with Netlix, right on your computer . . . love TIVO, as well. I think technology is great.

I would hate to be an "old school" senior who is satisfied watching three channels on local TV, listening to a.m. talk radio, and using an old dial phone, or something.

Thank God for technology!!!
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:01 AM
Location: Location: Location
6,353 posts, read 7,833,116 times
Reputation: 18590
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
And don't forget streaming movies and TV series with Netlix, right on your computer . . . love TIVO, as well. I think technology is great.

I would hate to be an "old school" senior who is satisfied watching three channels on local TV, listening to a.m. talk radio, and using an old dial phone, or something.

Thank God for technology!!!
I agree, curious. I wouldn't want to be without my laptop. It allows me to connect to people whom I've never met but who are interesting, nonetheless. It feeds my yearning for learning and takes me to places I'll never actually get to see. It offers some wonderful respite from the hum-drum. I have a land line for incoming calls. But my cell phone is with me when I go out, or even just down the basement stairs. Living alone, a fall in the basement would most likely be the end of me. My debit card is what I use most for shopping. There has been a rash of miscreants snatching purses from elderly women, often causing broken hips or shoulders in the process. No purse, no drama. I like having hundreds of TV channels to scan. Most of them have nothing I care to watch, but I like having the choice. Besides, I can always power off and read my Kindle.

Technology is a wonderful thing...here it comes...BUT it also comes at a price. I'm fortunate that I'm able to afford to pay my $150./month for my land line, internet, cable services. The cost of my cell is not prohibitive, being roughly $110./year. Thus far, I have loaded my e-reader with free or almost-free books, paid for with Amazon gift cards from my children. Add to this the expenses of day-to-day living, food/utilities/medicine, my Medicare supplemental plan, taxes on my home, gas for my 21-year-old car and I'm happy to have my small savings to help with some of these. Many elderly are not so fortunate and are not in a position to afford the cost and upkeep of all the technology. Additionally, many of them are shepherding their money so as to have something to leave to their children.

@NY Annie - yours is a situation that makes it necessary that you have the technology. Unfortunately, your sister and your friends cannot understand. Too bad, I say, for them. My high school friend still works (we're 76) and uses a computer on the job. But she doesn't have internet at home. I don't know why. I don't ask. So our communication is limited to phone call marathons a couple of times a year and snail mail on a frequent basis. I "talk" to people I don't know all the time. Like now. And I still have no interest in FB. Doesn't make me a bad person.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:28 AM
5,397 posts, read 6,540,598 times
Reputation: 10477
can't say I am resistant to change, it is more that things become harder to do as you get older. For one thing, it is harder to see, harder to move you fingers fast enough to text, and so many of the technologies are made for the two thumb texting generation. Predictive text drives me crazy. And if you are removed from the technology driven generation if may be difficult to try all the latest and greatest.

So probably what I will end up doing, when I fully retire is hire geek squad type thing to come in and fix me up with the latest and easiest every 18 months or so.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:41 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 23,676,966 times
Reputation: 35449
I have noticed a difference of attitude between younger people and older regarding electronic devices. The younger people where I used to work seemed to feel compelled to have the latest and the greastest in technology whatever it may be. They loved to come to work and show off their latest acquisitions.

The older folks I know usually choose what they need and can afford. It isn't such a status thing. Of course this is a generalization.
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