Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Facebook: Delete Home Phones

I have an idea of how of how the Facebook, Twitting, and Texting generation can save money: they should take out their telephone. They don’t need anything other than their iPhones. When I call my sons’ home, either they can’t find the telephone so they can’t answer it, or they’re too busy with their over committed lives to take a moment to say, “Hello.” I assume they realize that if there father or I were ill, I would leave a message.

It is obvious they feel they have more control of their time if they email me news or post it on Facebook. For the first time in my life, I can truly understand the joke about senior parents telling their kids over the phone that they were getting divorced. (The joke predates iPhones and caller ID.) Their kids immediately dropped everything to come and fix the problem. When they left, their old Papa said to their aged Mama, “Okay, I thought of how to get them here this time. Next month, you think of a way.”

This morning I called one son’s home. No one answered. Then I went to my computer to do some work. Within the span of half an hour, I received one email from their home and there were two postings from two different residents in the house on Facebook. I know because I checked to make sure my children were alive and well – after all, they were out of their house before nine on a Saturday morning, which is unusual for them.

Maybe next time they call and ask what is doing, Hubby and I should give one-word answers and make sure we get off the phone in less than 30 seconds – the time it takes to post on Facebook or write an email. Perhaps once they realize we won’t take up that much time of their very busy lives, they will actually use the phone to communicate with us again.

Years ago, teachers learned that the attention span for a great lesson was seven minutes – the average time between commercials on television. Now senior citizens must learn that our conversations must be limited to no more than 30 seconds if we want to actually hear the younger generation’s voices. I guess it is a problem in the classroom also. Getting kids to write quality work with more than 150 characters is probably a challenge also – especially if spelling counts.

I wanted to end this with a texting short hand comment related to the blog, but all I know is r u :) 2day i hope u r and I’m not even sure that I “spelled” that right.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No Need to Phone :(

“My daughter told me your son is in Tennessee with his family,” my sister-in-law told me over the phone yesterday.

Since my son is addicted to a Blackberry and not a phone, I realized my niece must have read his Facebook “wall” and told her mother. I do have a Facebook account, but have never invited anyone I know to befriend me. However, I decided it was time. It didn’t take long to figure out I just needed to input his name and high school to bring up his page. Then I requested he approve me as a friend. He must be “on” 24/7 because he immediately accepted my friendship, which brought me to his page and then “wall.”

Instantly, the diary of his week’s vacation as well as a link to all of his pictures, complete with comments appeared on my computer screen. I felt as if I was with all of them. I repeated the process with his teenaged son and got the same results. Wow! Now I have a way to know not only what was going on in my son and grandson’s lives, but also what their friends had to say to them. Eavesdropping has become socially acceptable!

No wonder so many of their generation don’t feel the need to call friends and relatives they don’t see daily. All those who care about them need to do is read their status reports on Facebook or twitter or tweet or whatever. Only one sentence is needed to keep all their friends and relatives abreast of their current joys or frustrations and that is so much more efficient than four or five phone calls everyday. What a wonderful idea for the over-committed generation!

When done reading their walls, an old “guilt” sentence popped into my head. Knowing if I posted it on his wall he would have justification to delete me as a friend – even at my age I run the risk of embarrassing him in front of his peers - so I sent him an email and requested it be read with a heavy Yiddish/New York accent. “Ya got time to write all this and no time to call your parents?”

He didn’t call right away. He waited an hour.