Home > Facebook, Friends, Humor, Learning, Nerd, Reflections, Social media > O, terrible, terrific technology!

O, terrible, terrific technology!

Alarms boomed and vibrated around me. I locked eyes with colleagues, each apparently as bemused as me. What on earth was happening? This wasn’t like any fire drill.

Having just read an alien invasion story, a tiny part of me decided that aliens were the culprit. We’d soon be incinerated, at least if we didn’t get under our desks quickly enough. (Desks have protective force fields, right?)

Trail signs are also good for throwing aliens off the scent

Trail signs are also good for throwing aliens off the scent

After a few moments, we collectively realized the alarms were coming from our phones. Everyone on a particular cellular network had received an AMBER Alert warning of a child abduction in the vicinity. This discovery led to awed, joyful exclamations over the good technology is capable of working.

I’ll be honest. For all the time I spend online, I’m wary of technology. It’s easy for me to see all its pains and pitfalls, and to agree with my mom’s sentiment on the matter:

“I hate to write lettres – because no matter how many English classes I take
I always seem to forgit the rules. Oh well if you promise to throw away my lettres
soon after receiving them I guess I’ll write. I so distain computers you know that.
I really hate the thought of so much electrical things in relationships.”

Innate suspicion aside, there’s a lot of wonder in a world that allows us to come together in search of an abductor’s car thanks to alerts available to thousands of users on their personal portable communication devices. That allows us to explore space. That allows us to put parts of people into other people, that one person’s end can mean another person’s chance to continue. That allows us to video chat with beloved family thousands of miles away. That allows us to come together on a single site and share pictures of our loves ones, and watch videos of those loved ones too far away in physical space to see without technological intervention.

That’s all a long-winded way of broaching the fact that I reactivated my Facebook account. I left in December for numerous reasons, some of which I touched upon on my blog, and stayed away knowing all the while that I was making the right choice.


Then my sister shared her post about escaping an abusive relationship. I wanted to see first hand the braveness of how she’d shared it, and to see how her friends had responded. That tiny want turned into a yearning to find people I couldn’t find off Facebook. To peek in on pages I hadn’t seen for months. And, more importantly, to see baby pictures.

I wanted those baby pictures.


The question was, could I trust myself to be a casual Facebooker? Could I actually log on, spend only ten minutes online and walk away? Just like that?

I thought I could. Check that. I knew I could. Because BABIES.

With delectable toes

With delectable toes

Like Feisty Red Hair’s parents, I still have my general technological misgivings. But I also have a uterus, and I want to see my friends’ kids grow little by omghowdidtheygetthatbigthatfast little.

All my overthinking, all my pondering, all my rule-making? None of that was strong enough to fight the powerful pull of my wanting to see every little bit I can of the next generation making this world their own, step by tiny step.

The next generation will have technology, more by far than we can even imagine now. I hope its members will learn with greater ease than their parents’ generation when to step away from it, and when it’s OK to return.


Happy returns

  1. missy13d69
    June 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    So glad you are back!

  2. June 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    You are braver than I am about FB. I have resisted joining up, and so far I am happy with my decision. Just the same, I think the key is to make technology work for us – not us for it. Using FB to ooh and aah over the basic gorgeousness of baby feet is definitely for you…

  3. June 6, 2013 at 2:18 am

    I have many times considered liberating myself from the shackles of Facebook, but the truth is I have a lot of friends on there with whom I know for a fact I would never again communicate with if I did. I’m just too damn lazy to physically write a letter on paper, and put it in an envelope and put a stamp on it AND walk it down it all the way down to the mailbox. (I live on the second floor of an apartment building!) Plus I loathe talking on the phone for some reason. (I don’t even have a cell phone, can you believe that?) So Facebook is the best way for me to keep in contact with my friends. I applaud your decision!

  4. June 6, 2013 at 3:18 am

    It’s so easy to say, “no, fb isn’t for me”, if you have never been on it. You don’t have any idea what you are missing! But now, it’s even really important with community gatherings. There are only a few people I know that are not on fb, and I think they get left out of community events too because these are so easy to pull together events and gatherings w/facebook. And yeah, I don’t like to see people’s kid pics all day every day, but if I never was able to? that would be a bummer. It’s just important for us all to set limits so it doesn’t drive us crazy!

  5. June 6, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Lamentably, I had to stop by the VZ store to turn the AMBER alert off. After walking through the lobby of my college and having my phone go off like there was a tornado drill was just a bit much for me. Until I got to the VZ store, I felt forced to leave my phone in the car for several weeks…I know too busy to take the turn out of my way to get it turned off. I didn’t know when I subscribed to this that this public alert would go off like that. Truly I thought I would get a text message.
    I love getting fb photos of all the babies, weddings and milestone birthdays. Daughter #2 posted 9 mo photos of GS2…so glad to get any posting of him so quickly. Now that nephew and wife are expecting in Dec, there will be more. Still, I will spend more time at wp than at fb. fb truly is for the faces.

  6. June 6, 2013 at 4:36 am

    I am glad you are back! Honestly I think it is simply a matter of putting limits in place and following them. I don’t spend more than 30 minutes on FB at most on any given day, usually far far less but that is my limit. So many better things to do. But, I have it opened all the time, it is just not all that interesting.

    I suspect, you have learned a profound lesson about being sucked in and now you won’t get sucked in again. This is really important and you are brilliant; I have complete and absolute faith in you.

  7. June 6, 2013 at 7:02 am

    This is hilarious and honest and the baby toes are delectable, indeed!

  8. June 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Glad you’re back on FB, Deb. Keep it simple and keep it minimal. 🙂

  9. June 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Agree… keep it simple

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