Thursday, December 12, 2019

A Ghost Blob and Social Media

The hydrangeas near our patio have gone the most beautiful shade of yellow, with bits of red and purple still in the flowers and in patches on the leaves. I noticed them the other day when the sun was shining. That really brought out the color.

I believe yesterday was the busiest day I've ever had in the library. The high school is on a weird schedule this week, which gives students a lot of free time -- allegedly to study and meet with teachers at the end of term, but of course many of them spend it hanging out. We also have classes coming in to select books for the upcoming break, in addition to the usual stream of kids seeking computer chargers, headphones and calculators. At around noon I joked with my co-worker: "I've been so busy I haven't even had a chance to read the paper! It's an outrage!"

I also worked an early shift, because the library was closed for an event in the afternoon. I had to go in at 7:30 a.m., which meant Olga didn't get her morning walk. I asked Dave to do it, because he was staying home for a doctor's appointment, but he texted me later saying Olga refused to go. "Olga is a moody bitch," he said. "She walked about two feet and froze. Wouldn't go any further. Neighbors laughed at me. LOL" Maybe she objected because she usually walks with me. Who knows.

Anyway, I was done with work by 3:15, so that wasn't terrible.

For dinner I managed to finish off the last of my mom's baked sweet potato recipe from Thanksgiving -- the last of our holiday leftovers, I believe. (They were in the freezer for part of the time.) We still have some frozen holiday bread but we aren't in any rush to eat that.

I was eating breakfast a few days ago when I noticed this weird reflection on the closets in the dining room. It's sunlight coming through the window (hence the grid of shadows) and then reflecting off a big Plexiglass-covered picture on the other side of the room. Looks kind of supernatural, doesn't it? No wonder our ancestors believed in ghosts and spirits, with weird things like this happening. (Of course, they didn't have Plexiglass, so maybe things exactly like this weren't happening -- but surely they saw an occasional weird reflection.)

For years now, I've been in an e-mail group maintained by the Zen Buddhist center I used to attend in New York. I haven't been to the Zendo in about a decade, but I stayed in the group just to keep up on news about the organization and people I know there. Lately, though, I've been chafing at the quantity of e-mail I get -- a lot of it inconsequential. The other day, someone sent an e-mail marked "Test," and about 20 people responded with jokes and remarks, and I thought, "You know, I no longer need this in my life." So I unsubscribed. I feel weird about it, because the Zendo was a huge part of my life in New York, but we all move on, don't we?

Social Media in general creates a kind of forced connection -- you might friend someone on Facebook because you work with them or know them slightly, and then years later you're still bonded to them, even though you've both moved on to other jobs and cities and in the natural world you'd probably never speak to them again. It's not that you dislike them -- you're just not that close. You're erstwhile acquaintances at best. And I don't know about you, but I feel weird about the prospect of unfriending people. I don't want to seem rude or mean-spirited. So I'm Facebook "friends" with maybe 100 people I barely know anymore. It's bizarre. I've told Dave I feel like I'm fated to drag these people around for the rest of my life. He thinks it's funny that I feel weighed down by this, but I do. Do you ever "prune" your social media contacts? How do you manage it?


  1. That is a beautiful reflection. I saw it as a dog's head, albeit with very small ears!!

  2. I've had some of those same thoughts/feelings about my Facebook contacts. I've considered paring down my list many times, but like you I feel weird about it. I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on this.

  3. You can always unfollow people on FB. They don't know you've done it but you don't see their posts any more. But what the hell? You've reminded me that I need to prune my friend list. There are literally people on it that I have no idea who they are.

  4. It is hard for me to unfriend someone on Facebook and in groups but lately I have been getting friend requests from people that I thought I was friends with already and some I actually know that I am friends with so I know that something or someone has hacked my account so I went in and got rid of a lot of scam and cloned accounts and basically started over. I also don't open up attachments unless I really know it come from family or a close friend. I actually need to go and do it again.

    I love the shadow on the closet doors. So pretty and I love the yellows and reds in your hydrangeas. When I was growing up we had the most beautiful hydrangeas. I have never had good luck growing them. I tested the soil and worked on them and still they died. Funny thing about ours was that it was multicolored. Pink and Blue. Mama and daddy never treated them special. They left it alone. What water they got was when it rained. Daddy said that he wasn't adding to the water bill with 3 girls who used too much water lol...

    Have a great day and I hope that it is a slower day so you can just work on things you enjoy. I am going over and work on my own blog for a little while even tho I really don't have any thing to blog about lol...

  5. I've not only pruned my social media I've quit most of it entirely. I no longer use Facebook at all. I haven't posted anything to over two years. I didn't delete my account but I just never look at it. It's my silent protest to Zuckerberg for the mess he's gotten us into. I do post to and look at Instagram but it seems somehow less personal and way less political.

  6. I feel the same way about FB - I have a TON of "friends" on there from all eras of my life. I have unfollowed some of them, but I've only unfriended one person in all these years. She posted some crazy meme about black people should just get over slavery & move on with their lives. I don't know why that particular idiocy was what put me over the edge, but there you go.

  7. probably 90% of my 'friends' on FB are glass related. most never even show up in my news feed. I've unfollowed a few, unfriended a few (Trump supporting in-laws), been unfriended by a few (rabid republicans). I don't really think too much about it. mostly I just share images of other people's art or political stuff and my blog.

    sometimes Minnie refuses to go on her walk. sometimes I can figure out why, other times not. but when she doesn't want to go she digs in her heels.

  8. You know, you just helped me understand why I hardly ever go on Facebook anymore. I swear, I am friends with some people whose original connection to me is a mystery. Years ago, when I was laid off from my job, I accepted every friend request I got, thinking I needed to do that to "network." Now, it weighs me down as much as it does you. And yet I, too, feel reluctant to just prune the list. "Unfriending" is such a cold concept. So I just don't go on anymore. I flirt with closing down my account, but something stops me. Maybe you will explain that to me as well? Because I don't quite get the why.

  9. I have unfollowed about half my "friends" so my feed isn't so cluttered.

    I have to have a FB account so I can post on my workplace's FB page (part of my job)--and our Instagram too.

    (Instagram is owned by FB, so going that route doesn't take one away from Mark Zuckerberg, if that's one's intentions.)

  10. P.S. 37 Paddington asked why it's hard to close one's account.

    For some, I think it may have to do with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out):
    "anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website."

  11. The Name Of My Blog, DUMPING CRACK BOOK - For me, it wasn't about the friends issue, I totally understand were you are coming from though, it was when someone would see something and feel the need to post it - So much garbage convoluted my vision - I joined crackbook for ALL the photos my friends would post - Then, the world of crackbook became this window of political crap, the opinions of folks but then radically became butt hurt if there was any kind of "challenge" or running dialog, and then the sponsor /ads finally did me in - Such As, I would google a ______ and then my crackbook page would be loaded up by big brother with that search - No Thanx and Haven't Looked Back - Now, I get a big ol kick out of the facial expression when I tell someone, I'm Not On CrackBook - Deer In Headlights, But then they feel the need to talk about what they saw anyway - Funny Stuff I Tell Ya

    Your Reflection Photo Is Beyond Alien Like - Well Done Brother

  12. "We all move on . . ."

    All except Olga apparently.

  13. Your hydrangea photo is great! I love the warm colors. And that reflection on the closet doors is really weird. I agree, it does look like something supernatural. I find it hard to unfriend people too. But then I don't have that many FB friends, so I don't have that problem. I love Olga's stubborn streak. Pogo has one too. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  14. Love that reflection photo. About Facebook... I hardly ever post there anymore. I have "unfollowed" a bunch of people and that helps. I much prefer blogging to the world of Facebook.

  15. I have many more FB friends than I ever intended. I have both un-friended people and un-followed them. The ones I severed ties with are because they said or posted something beyond the pale and I couldn't hack it anymore. The un-followed ones are just folks I don't have much interest in anymore (like old work buddies). I've gathered a lot of FB friends because of photography groups, which I enjoy looking at and sharing my own work.

    My dad used to try and take my 5.5 lb chihuahua for a walk and she would do exactly as your pooch did to Dave. At least with a 5.5 pounder, you can scoop them up and walk along!

  16. I was never on Facebook. I warned all who urged me to join they would regret putting themselves on display. On the surface, folks just wanted to share photos and their lives but like DNA tests, it has been used for something far more sinister, IMO.

  17. I have six friends on FB which makes me exceedingly unqualified to give advice on how to prune - but I'd be interested in your resolution of the problem just in case I ever need to know!

  18. Frances: I see what you mean!

    Jennifer: I imagine a lot of people have these thoughts!

    Ms Moon: It's not that I'm bothered by their posts. I just don't know why they're THERE. Like, why am I even friends with them? Most of them I never see posts from anyway, because Facebook can tell we're not close and the algorithm drives them down in my news feed.

    Beth: I've had that happen, too, where people friend me again and it turns out to be a hacker. I never friend someone twice unless they tell me they've deleted their original account. (Which some of my friends have done.)

    Sharon: I'm on it a lot less than I used to be. I think as we get older the appeal of Facebook wanes.

    Bug: Well, that IS pretty appalling. I can see why you unfriended her! Fortunately, none of my friends post offensive stuff.

    Ellen: Oddly, I haven't had many friends who post pro-Republican or pro-Trump stuff. Or maybe I just don't see it!

    37P: Well, I can understand not wanting to close your account entirely. It takes a long time to build up a social media account and there's a lot of history there. But I think friend lists DO need maintenance. Some relationships are finite and there's nothing wrong with that!

    Fresca: Yeah, I could try that unfollowing thing. I don't really experience FOMO. I have a feeling that affects younger, more social people more than it does me!

    Padre: "Crackbook" -- ha! I love it. Yes, I find all the political stuff fatiguing too. I think posting news or politics now and then is fine, but some people are relentless.

    Catalysts: She's moving on less and less these days! She's not sure why moving is necessary at all.

    Edna: She can be QUITE stubborn when she wants!

    Robin: I prefer blogging too. I think it's much easier to really get to know people on blogs. The longer format allows for nuance and context. Short little posts too often sound like hostile screams or barks.

    Tara: But doesn't it bug you that the old work buddies are still in your friends list? I feel, even if I unfollow them, like I'm still tethered to them.

    Penelope: I think any time we put things online we have to be aware that it could be used for purposes other than we intend. I certainly try to keep that in mind as I blog, too!

    Jenny-O: I sometimes WISH I had six friends. LOL