It is a laughing matter

Facebook has reported that a study was conducted in May that shows the acronym LOL (laugh out loud) has gone the wayside, and using “haha” or even “hehe” along with emojis (the little faces that show what emotion you might be feeling at that moment) is much more popular, and according to one source, “way cooler.”graphics-lol-358887

I’m sorry, but I don’t really care if my statuses on Facebook are politically correct (unless it’s about politics), and I will continue to use LOL whenever I feel like it.

Will I be banished because I prefer the LOL over hehe or haha (which I use sometimes anyway, when the mood strikes me.)  At least I don’t use the vulgar OMFG or LMFAO  (my mother would be horrified) like my own kids do. (Do they not know I know what they’re saying?)

Maybe this is just another pitiful attempt to control the masses. Maybe the techs at Facebook are bored with their monotonous lives and sit around trying to come up with creative challenges for each other.

“I bet you can’t make millions of people stop using LOL….”

“Betchya I can.” 🙂 (LOLOLOLOL)



The challenges of living in a different world

My 80-year-old mother can’t understand texting, or Facebook, and wants to know what googling means.

She said that she sometimes gets overwhelmed trying to understand it all. “I’m living in a different world.”

She is. And so are millions of other people. Things are changing so fast it’s hard to keep up.

“Why do kids need to text when they’re standing right next to each other? Why don’t they just use their phone to call? What’s an ‘App’? Why do so many people want to “friend” me? Why do my grandkids tell me that they have to ‘google’ it when I ask them a simple question?”

My mother has seen a lot of life. She remembers the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor because, she said, she was walking home from the Paramount Theater downtown and was crossing Green Square when someone started yelling.

“They were yelling ‘Extra! Extra!’ like you see in the movies,” she said. “That’s what they did back then. All we had were newspapers and the radio to find out what was happening in the world. Sometimes it took days and even weeks. Now we know everything in a matter of minutes.”

She said their first TV was not very good but they were in awe of it.

“We thought  it was the greatest thing in the world! But then I thought that about cable TV, too,” she said with a laugh. “Now I go to watch TV and there’s nothing on I want to watch!”

She admits that she is kind of leery of the computer. “I’m afraid I’m going to do something to make it crash,” she said. “I’m thinking about getting a laptop, though. But then I think, would I use it?”

My mother retired from Rockwell as an editor and said their computer took up an entire room. “We had to cut and paste our manuals, so we couldn’t make any mistakes,” she said, after I explained to her that we do all our layout for the newspaper on the computer now. “We’d get them done and see an error after they were printed. My boss didn’t like that,” she said with a chuckle.

“I had to input codes into the computer to get it to do anything,” she said. “One wrong code and it wouldn’t work.”

It’s almost too easy nowadays.

She said the only time she uses a computer now is to order things online and for e-mails.

“Does anyone use the postal service anymore?” she asked. And then added, “Probably why so many are closing their doors.”

It must be hard for her to watch so many things changing in the world. She uses a walker and has a difficult time getting  around. She just sits at home with her dog and watches the world from her chair. She has a lot of visitors, who fill her in on other changes in the world.

She confides to me that she has a hard time understanding her grandchildren and sometimes I have to translate, but then she laughs about it.

“I remember when…” is usually followed by a quick story of simpler times.

I often wonder what the world will be like when I’m 80. More than likely, I will be asking pretty much the same questions, “What’s this?” and  “When did everything change?”

Facebook Phenom … sort of

Since Mark Zuckerberg first introduce the world to Facebook in 2004, its phenomenal climb in the social media circle has caused me to pause and look at how I communicate with others.

I have been an avid Facebook follower for many years, though initially, I hesitated to join because of the controversy surrounding it. I succumbed to the pressure when my daughter, Caryn, posted pictures of my grandchildren on Facebook and invited me to view them.

Immediately, I had 5 friends, then 10, then 20. It wasn’t long before I hit the 100 mark, mostly because of old classmates, co-workers, and family members. A newly acquired friend was met with the question, “Are you on Facebook?”

I now have 242 friends on Facebook and I’m proud to say that I personally know 95 percent of them. The ones I don’t know have become my friend through knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone….well, you get the picture. Their cause to befriend me had an ulterior motive; one that has something to do with marketing. I didn’t mind. I would soon be using the same technique.

I have noticed that since I started using Facebook, that my way of looking at the whole act of communicating has changed. Cell phones, texting, and e-mails have certainly played a huge part in the “faster is better” concept that is sweeping the U.S., if not the world.

But Facebook is more than just a way to communicate. It’s also some people’s social outlet. Introverts, busy stay-at-home parents, and those who are physically incapable of leaving home have a link to the outside world. Some may argue that could be a bad thing, but really, what would these people do without it? Sit home and watch TV all day? Probably.

Facebook and computers in general have opened up a whole new world for people who don’t have access to a social life otherwise.

But there are two sides to everything. Facebook might cause those who really need to get out and join the world, to be reluctant to do so. For those kids who would rather be on the computer instead of spending time outdoors, Facebook could present a problem. And for that reason, like everything else, parents need to know what their kids are doing and monitor their computer time.

I like Facebook because I learn a lot, not just about my friends, but what’s going on in the world. I have a menagerie of friends with different interests; political, community-oriented, sports, music. They keep me up-to-date as to what is going is going on hat I may not be aware of. I learn about the death of celebrities, scores of athletic events, even reviews about movies, books, and videos. I also keep tabs on family members thousands of miles away.

Is it information overload? Some people have stated that maybe our age of technology is creating a society that is based on convenience and productivity, rather than using our brains to problem solve. While I understand their position, I also wonder how it can be avoided. When we started putting computers in the kindergarten rooms, what did we expect would happen? Did anyone think that through?

Communication is evolving, not changing. Is it more or less effective when we used the old-fashioned telephone or snail mail? I don’t think so. It still comes down to what it is we want to communicate. Now we just get it done faster. However, it does worry me that so many people are becoming impatient when they have to wait in line or get stuck in traffic…or their computer isn’t working properly.

Maybe we should think about the days when all we had was black and white TV with four channels, no video games, no cell phones, and no computers. Those were the days when we watched our parents sit on our porches waiting for a cool breeze while we played with the neighbor kids. We took the time to enjoy life. We could all use a little of that these days.