Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

You can contact us at werkingwells (at) gmail . com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I (heart) Facebook.

No I have not been hanging out in a cave off the beaches of Koh Samui, or herding cattle on the pampas of Argentina, but those who have, may be the few left on the planet who haven’t heard of the phenomenon called Facebook.

Lately, I’ve been asking myself a fairly serious question: will Facebook replace blogging? That’s because I’ve not posted many blog entries lately and I’m blaming it on Facebook’s status update—the ultimate communication tool (in 150 characters or less) to your Facebook friends.

Facebook, a digital networking site, was started by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 (at the time he was a student at Harvard). He based it on the books that many colleges (and law schools!) give out to students which have everyone’s ID photo and name listed and are called—ta da—facebooks! Essentially Facebook is a handy communication tool that allows free social networking and connecting, something we used to have more time to do before work and family life became subject to an all-consuming 24/7.

Since joining Facebook I’ve had some pretty cool interactions including but not limited to:

* meeting another Loey (who also lives in Portland) and becoming part of a group called Only the Loeys where we ponder the unfathomable mystery of being named Loey.
* getting back in touch with a friend who I honestly thought had died during the 20 years since I’d last spoken with him.
* finding out that a good friend’s brother worked for another friend’s family ten years ago—a very random connection, and
* knowing my father-in-law can read my wall and having him tell me to get to bed when I posted at 2 am after a night of crazy dancing.

I often wonder what our trip would have been like if we had Facebook while we were gone? Would we have ever felt gone when we would get word that our friends were making lasagna for dinner or happy that their tax refund check had arrived. And would we have been missed if it felt like we never left? I mean how many times would you have wanted to hear that I was bored standing in line waiting to see some really old thing: “Loey is waiting to get into the catacombs.”

No, I think I’m glad we didn’t have Facebook when we traveled. While the blog could provide a one-sided road trip, where I could take you on whatever part of our journey that felt significant, Facebook status updates would have felt less wondrous. Perhaps Facebook will not replace blogging for me, especially when I’m thinking beyond 150 characters. I’ll take (and give) the virtual pokes, hugs or cupcakes on Facebook, but even though Shakespeare said “Brevity thy soul is wit” he didn’t imagine a constant twitter of words—and for now I will keep the tweets to myself.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I'm feeling like a Grammy

Tonight, while watching the Grammys, (we tivoed last night's show) I came upon a very clear realization, I'm old. Well, maybe not old enough to get the Senior Discount at Dennys, but I had a moment that I truly hoped wouldn't happen for a few more years. My kid--the not quite twelve year old--knew more of the songs and performers than me.

I'm not one usually clued in on the music scene, as evidenced by the obnoxious number of songs from the Shrek soundtracks on my ipod, or the fact that in the mid-nineties I innocently asked my friend Sam "Who?" when he mentioned Billy Ray Cyrus --which he responded, half with pity and half with awe--how lucky I was to not know about the phenomena behind Achy Breaky Heart. But I could always fancy myself more clued into popular culture than Dylan.

To find out that is no longer the case was a bit unsettling. I mean when did she learn the difference between Miley Cyrus (progeny of Billy Ray) and Taylor Swift? And how is it that she knows the tune to Viva la Vida by Coldplay? Moreover, where have I been these past couple years? Dylan actually said to me "I like it when there's a song on that you don't know, it makes me feel smarter than you."

She was groovin' on that smarter feeling until Paul McCartney came on.
"Paul who?" she asked.
"Only the most famous musician in the world"said I, dripping in smugness. "You know of the Beatles."
"Oh right...." She claims that she thought they said Paul McCartheleeeey or something.
"Whaaaateveeeer"---I said. Isn't that the correct response when talking to a pre-teen?