Some of my Facebook friends are people I added specifically because they engage in lively conversation and debates. Most of the time people on their threads make their point with manners and facts – and sometimes humor.
When I have a lively discussion, I enforce a few basic rules. No name calling, no threats, and no vulgar words. That can be hard to do when you are in a heated exchange with someone, and especially hard when you don’t know the other person/people beyond a profile photo or avatar. It is easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet.
Humor can be tricky, especially when you are typing and not talking. There is no sarcasm font. You can’t tell by someone’s tone of voice or facial expression if they are kidding or seriously, upset or just jerking your chain. I try to be careful in using humor, because it is all fun and games until somebody gets mad. And I don’t really want to have someone mad at me over a Facebook post.
One of my gripes about Facebook is that they insisted that you use your real name when you created a free account. That has it’s upside and it’s downside. It was easy to find people that I really do know and wanted to reconnect with. But there are some people who I don’t really want to associate with anymore – like a couple of former employers and ex-girlfriends. But I see names all day long that I know are fake or adulterated. I don’t understand why they feel they have to alter their names to be on Facebook. If they want to play anonymously, there are plenty of forums and chat rooms where they can go and use a screen name.
Facebook is supposed to be real – why ruin it?
Some names will always bring forth memories of a person, even if the person you are talking to is someone that you’ve just met for the first time. This morning I met a young lady at the dry cleaner’s and her name tag said, Selena. She was young and pretty and very good at fetching my shirts and coat from the racks of cleaned clothes. But her name, Selena, means a lot more to me than that.
Selena is the name of my first good friend in childhood. The first friend who I chose from a class of about 2 dozen other kids in the fourth grade. She was new to the school and so was I, and we lived about 3 blocks away from each other. That was close enough for our parents to let us walk to each other’s house to play after school until dark.
We were besties until the eleventh grade, when her father’s job required the family to move to California. Selena and I were devastated – we had thought we would be friends forever. There was nothing we could do but say good bye with lots of tears and hugs. I never saw here again after they moved. She never came back to my neighborhood and when she graduated from high school in San Francisco, I don’t know if she went to college or got married or what.
I wish we had stayed in touch but kids stay busy with silly things in their own lives and people who are not close by don’t get the attention they need to stay involved. Maybe one day we will have a reunion. I would really like that – to see her again and find out what she has been doing all these years since they moved away. And in the meantime, any time I see someone named Selena, I think of my bestie and all the fun we had growing up together.
Welcome to Chanticleer Online. I am thrilled to be online and really looking forward to writing random thoughts and observations on this blog. I see a lot of crazy things and have a lot of fun friends, so you never know what I will be writing about or what I might say. So, if you are up for a wild and crazy ride, this is the place!