Thursday, February 3, 2011

How was the trip?

*bat* *bat* *bat* *bat*

Opening one eye, I see Nala's nose a mere inches from mine. With a sigh I reach up and scratch her ears, then close my eye and try to go back to sleep.

*bat* *bat* *bat* *bat*

Nala's decided I've been lazy enough for one morning, it's nine o'clock, and by golly she's going to bat at my face until I get up and get dressed.

For a brief moment I consider opening a Chinese restaurant, but decide she's too cute and I love her.

After stumbling out of my bed to brush my teeth and get dressed, I proceed to continue stumbling to the coffee pot before sitting in front of the computer.

I wonder what everyone's up to today? I think to myself as I open up Facebook.

Oh look, the local university has closed down for the third day in a row. They never did that while I was in school there. Kids these days... Hey, my friend posted pics of her wedding dress! She's so pretty. I hope I can make it down to Houston for the big day... Wow, I wish I was going back to London soon, lucky dog...

Having caught up on all the little updates that Facebook provides, I then move over to my blog reading, starting with people I actually know.

will's kid is so gosh darn cute. Makes me want a little one of my own. Literary Cat has posted new list of books for me to check out, awesome! Ah man, she's got a cold too. Can't blame Sam for this one--he hid away while Rapier Wit was in town. Aww, thanks Sherri! I now know exactly how much snow fell 'round these parts...

*   *   *   *   *

You may be wondering why I just posted a snippet of my morning routine--it's setup for this fascinating op-ed over at Mashable about how social media is making us more like our grandparents' generation.

Here's the core of Josh Rose's argument:
Our grandparents talked with their parents. Family dinners were an essential part of life, not to mention ball games, religious discussions, family outings and just plain hanging out on the porch. But the culture of our parents’ generation became somewhat more escapist; James Dean, punk rock, The Outsiders, TV dinners, video games, and yes, even the Internet.
But, a good portion of our grandparents’ sensibilities are back today, thanks to social media.
Kids aren’t blocking their parents from their Facebook profiles — well, OK, some are, but not all of them. Teens are texting their parents about their comings and goings. And although it looks a whole lot different than the Cleavers’ family dinner, in a strange way the book is wider open today than it has been in 100 years. Because of blogging, tweeting, checking in and status updating, the lock is off the diary.
Additionally, emotions are more accepted. Pain more vocalized. I know someone on Facebook who is dealing with cancer and posts regularly about that for all her friends and family to see. We are rediscovering what we once knew inherently; community makes us less lonely.
And in many ways I see that reflected in my own life, as shown in the snippet up above. Even though I live in a completely different state from a large swath of my friends and family, I still know when people are going on trips, what the weather is like there, and how everyone's kids are doing in school. Having grown up in a small town, that doesn't seem very strange to me, as I typically knew that information about the people in the community. But I can see how it's easier now than it was when I was a kid, and I can also see why this is such a novelty for many people who did not grow up in a town of 10,000 people.

What do you guys think?


  1. I am, perhaps unsurprisingly, of two minds about social media. While there is too much information and a lack of privacy on the one hand (here I'm thinking of Facebook), there's also the pleasure of connection, however long-distance, between close friends (here I'm thinking of blogs and email). Virtual communication will never be quite the same as a face-to-face chat, but Skype comes pretty close. So I wish I could bah humbug the necessity of connecting with friends through the computer, but find myself increasingly reliant on it.

    (Plus, I'm charmed that I have my own tag/label, which I noticed for the first time today.)

  2. If you get to looking at the comments on the original article, one of the things brought up is the fact that virtual communication is not the same as face-to-face. However, as one of the other comments pointed out, in our grandparents generation it wasn't all face-to-face; they were far more prolific letter writers than we today are, and also made great use of telegrams and phone calls.

    (Always glad to be obliging.)