Thursday, June 30, 2011

Face the truth about Facebook

Facebook has been an interesting part of my life for more than five years now. I head about it at Winthrop, when I went as a high school senior to visit, and I signed up the second I got my email address as an incoming freshman that summer. I was the very first person from my high school to get a page, and the only one for a while. Back then, Facebook was only available through “.edu” email addresses, leaving it a social network for college and university students and staff alone. I friended hall mates, class mates, and the random new friends I made each day as I began my life in Rock Hill. I truly did feel like I was “networking” with the people I met. Things have changed, though. While I do appreciate being able to connect on Facebook with my parents, aunts, uncles, and others who would not be on Facebook if it was still exclusive to the college crowd, I can say a lot of the riff-raff that is plaguing my news feed now would be a non-issue. Since my Daddy just recently joined Fb, I gave him a quick tutorial on how it worked, and it dawned on me recently that there are quite a number of people who need a good tutorial in Facebook etiquette.
So for them, and mostly to vent my frustration with some of the folks I know, here is my list of Facebook Dos and Don’ts.
Applications have to be the stupidest thing on Facebook. It shows, like the “inexclusivity,” that in the end, Fb is all about the dolla-dolla bills. Most applications on Facebook are crap, and more than likely, you’re gonna end up hacked… posting all kinds of spam on your friends’ walls. Now I understand that some people enjoy games. While I have NEVER been one of those people, I get it that online games like Mahjong tiles and solitaire are enjoyable to some. But guys? There’s plenty of game websites OFF Fb, so just use those! If you must use the Fb game apps, at least, for Pete’s sake, change your password often so I don’t get spammy crap all over my wall, and DO NOT send out invitations. No one cares about your fake farm, zoo, mafia, or fashion club. Jeez. Oh, and the same exact thing can be said about quizzes! No one cares! Quit wasting your life and do something!
Now, this has never been much of an issue on my page, but I’ve heard drama stories about Fb relationship statuses. I was looking on YouTube and found this video that perfectly sums up the dos and don’ts of relationships statues. Over all, just talk it out before you change your status. And for the sake of your friends, DO NOT blast crap about your ex all over Fb. What you post there is free for the world to see. You may think “Who cares? I want the world to know what a blank-blank-blank he/she is!” but really, how does that reflect on you as a person? Who would want to date or even be your friend if you turn that ugly when faced with conflict? Be classy. Be graceful. If you have some beef with someone, deal with it like an adult in person, instead of using Fb as a glorified, online bathroom wall. The same goes for friendships. Talk it out.
-Adding and Subtracting Friends
Don’t add random people. You need to at least know them or have mutual friends, and don’t assume that just because you have someone in common, you should add them. Unless you actually have heard of one another on multiple occasions or have been introduced, friending someone you aren’t really friends with gives you creeper status.
People who just unfriend someone whenever they get ticked off have the same thing going as the little kids on the playground who said, “Humph! I’m not gonna be your friend anymore!” after every petty thing. If you truly want to unfriend someone, do it because you really are no longer friends, but understand that if you see this person regularly, it’s gonna be awkward.
Also, don't just add people just to stalk them-it's obvious. And it’s another one of those creeper things.
Social rules regarding Facebook Photos are rules you think would be common sense, but alas…
Don’t post unflattering or unsavory pictures of anyone, or yourself for that matter. That picture you took at so-and-so’s party when you were three sheets to the wind does not need to plastered on the news feed of all your friends. If you think that makes you look cool or “hard” then  you need to reevaluate your priorities and do some growing up. Also, bathing suit look-at-my-body shots, lifted-shirt-to-show-my-abs-in-the-bathroom-mirror shots and pictures of you in your underwear are not appropriate. Under no circumstance.
Don't tag, unless it’s a posed, group shot. Otherwise, let people tag themselves if they like. It is especially wrong to tag someone when the picture is unflattering. (See above!) Be aware that all kinds of people, from the lady that sits behind you at church to your friend’s aunt will see them!
Beware of TMI... people will judge you for it, like it or not. Some things (100 albums of your dog, a photo every stage of pregnancy, right down to the morning sickness vomit all the way to baby's first poop, etc.) are just too much. Some things are great to share, but don’t over do it.
Never randomly poke someone. It’s one of those things that people don’t know how to take. Flirting? Frustration? Need to talk? Random poker = creeper. And really, what’s the point? In the words of John Mayer, say what you mean to say.
Wall-posts, Statuses, and Comments
if you don't like what someone else says on his or her page, either hide them, or unfriend them. It’s hard for me to tolerate people who post beliefs that are contrary to what I know is right in my heart as a born-again Christian, but can’t (and shouldn’t) control how other people feel or choose to express themselves. I can, however, hide it from my view. Just hide the posts from the folks you feel socially obligated to remain friends with yet offend you. There’s no need for arguing on Fb, about anything really.
Also, if you post religious or political statuses, be sensitive to others. Granted, it's your page and they can either hide or unfriend you, but still, be aware that many people don’t have the couth to personally discuss an offending status in an adult way, so expect backlash. If it happens, just delete the post and either unfriend the person, or talk to them in person.
Save drama for real life, Again, we don’t need a glorified bathroom wall.
Don't spread gossip. It’s wrong online, just as much as it’s wrong any other way.
Save your anger for something other than Facebook. Again, be aware of who will see your words and how they reflect who you are.
Use messages for more personal discussions, such as feelings, beliefs, plans/events. Wall posts are public.
Beware of overshares. No one needs to know about the thickness of your cervix, the amount of vomit you’ve expelled, and unless you are ultra-selective with your friends, even your address or location may be too much to put out there. Check-ins go right along with
this. Unless you are comfortable giving each of your Facebook friends a key to your home, don’t. Checking in tells them where you are, and when you’re not at home. And checking in at home not only looks a little pathetic (come on, you KNOW you have better things to do), it gives all your friends a map to your house. Not very smart if you friend requested the guy you met yesterday and checked in at the mall later on, letting this proverbial stranger know exactly where you live, and then telling him you’re not home!
Offensive posts with the f-word or posts about “getting your drink on” doesn't make you seem cool, nor does the incoherent artsy, illusive gibberish some people post have any more value. “What’s on your mind?” is a question meant to stimulate conversation amongst friends, not the opposite.
-Profile Banners and Nonsense Nicknames
Grow up or get a Myspace profile instead. Enough said.
-Facebook and Work
Because Facebook is still the internet, everything you say is permanent, even if you delete it. Post nothing about your job unless it is reflects a positive light on your profession. Saying “I hate my boss” is likely to get you fired. And again, it’s just not classy.
Personally, I also find it wise to refrain from checking Fb or making any posts at work unless you are allowed to do so, and avoid adding friends from work on Facebook unless you are exclusively using Facebook to network, or really are friends with them outside of the workplace. It’s just safer and prevents a whole lot of unnecessary issues.
-Big Announcements
Save it for real life, or at least do it in real life with as many as you can first. It’s just good manners.
Things you should know:
If you don’t know those, you just might consider learning them. I know we all make typos (I do it as well!), but learn the art of proofreading.
Also, unless you are twelve, avoid text lingo.
Don’t hashtag to death. If I wanted to use Twitter, I would.
Make them private, or risk this being you: Epic Facebook Blunder.
Don't invite irrelevant people- I HATE getting invited to someone’s sister’s  best friend’s baby shower when I don’t even know them.
Don't use events for lost contacts. Send messages instead.

Most importantly, be yourself, but be positive and respectful. Your page may be private, but Facebook is still a public place. Act like it.

Okay, rant over.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to my sweet daddy! For the last 23 years, he has doted upon me, his only child, his little girl, his special angel, and what a wonderful father he is.
Now don’t let his cute little bald head fool you… he can be a MESS! Honestly, sometimes he drives me crazy. :) But through it all, to know my dad is to know a man with a heart of gold, who is not afraid to say ‘I love you’ or tear up in public, or reach out to someone.  Fortunately, I can say I have inherited some of Daddy’s characteristics… my independence and obstinate ways, my tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, and I even have feet just like him.
Flaws and all, I wouldn’t change a thing about him. He’s full of love. From teaching me how to fish as a toddler to walking me down the aisle three years ago, Daddy’s always been (and always will be) there to hold my hand!I love you, Daddy, and Happy Father’s Day!

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Playing in the ocean with Daddy when I was little


Goofing off with Mama

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Motorcycle riding with Jake


Trout fishing in the rain with his baby girl

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Giving me away on my wedding day

Fun with Daddy at the Fair!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!
I love you with all my heart!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I can see the ocean... I type this!  <--- (Note: This was actually typed on Tuesday (6/14), but I didn't realize until now that I didn't post it until just now!)
Last night, the boy and I loaded up my car and headed down to the little NC island where I have been vacationing with my family since birth. My parents have rented a house for the week, so we headed down to join them, this time with a canoe attached to the top of my car. I'll admit it felt a little ghetto-redneck fabulous, and I didn't even sleep on the way down like I usually do for fear of seeing the thing careening off the top! It was a fun adventure.
This morning, we awoke to see what the nighttime hid as we arrived last night... a GORGEOUS ocean view. Right now, I am sitting in the recliner in the living room watching my daddy and hubby finish up a game of Uno. They played as I got ready for the beautiful, exciting day ahead.  Later on, my aunt and uncle are coming down as well. In the meantime, Hubby and I are going to take the time to enjoy our third wedding anniversary.

Yep, three years ago today, I walked down the aisle, teary and full of joy, and married my sweet husband. I love loving him. He makes me so happy, and I honestly don't know where or who I'd be without him. His unconditional love, goofiness, fun-loving-ness, sweetness, and wisdom make me a better person. Happy Anniversary, honey!
6/14/11 <3

Monday, June 06, 2011

Sorting out Summer

Summer is officially here for me, while the boy still has a week with his students and some planning days. The end of the year always (like I’ve had that many, lol) comes so slowly,then hits full blast, full force… kind of like a wave. You see it building and growing and rising out in the distance, never feeling like it’s really ever coming. Then, suddenly, it curls up, foams, roars, and crashes into you, lifting you right up off the sand, and in for a few panicky moments you freely tumble in the rush, and then as quickly as it roared up to life, it fizzles into the shore, nothing but a memory. That’s how the school year ends to me. I will miss my students, for sure. I find my self already wondering who is making sure the eat, stay out of trouble, and telling them they love them. It will be amazing to see the transformation that will take place over the next few months when we return in August, and I will have a whole new brood to love. For now, summer will provide the respite I so desperately need to sustain my drive from August to May. It will also be interesting to see how we balance infertility treatments (including our first IUI in September), our increasing involvement in church, and work. Just thinking about fall gets me kind of queasy-happy… like that feeling you get standing near the front of the line to get on a rollercoaster, wondering apprehensively if you’re gonna have one of those wide-eyed, laugh, scream, and squeal thrills or end up being that person who stumbles off, pale, silent, heading to the nearest trash can to hurl. I always feel like that as I approach a new chapter in my life’s story.
Speaking of stories, since I finished school Friday, I have already read two books, and I’m starting number 3 today. This is quite possibly my favorite part of summer… that and laying by the pool.

This summer, though, there will be little time to just read and chill and watch soaps (like I’m doing now) still in my pjs. We have so much going on! We already hosted a Memorial Day cookout, we are going to the beach with my parents, hosting some youth choir members who need a place to crash, having our Sunday school class over to swim, teaching VBS, volunteering with the museum (like last summer), then July hits and we are going to be gone for weeks! One long weekend in Georgetown, one week in beautiful MEXICO, one week in GA at the beach with the youth, plus more cookouts and camping trips! WHOA. I can’t decide if we’ve bit off more than we can chew, or if it will be a fittingly slam-packed-with-fun last summer spent as a family of two before our family grows.  Maybe both?  I have totally neglected budgeting time to lesson plan, develop units, and gather ideas for next year.

I have to get back to laundry so it at least seems like I did something productive today before Jake gets home. I plan on grilling pork ribs and squash when he gets here. Smile

I love the weather. I love the fun and busyness. I love that sweet Summertime is finally here in all its glory. <3