Living Your Best Life at Any Age

Posts tagged ‘facebook’

WANT TO LIVE LONGER? BETTER? TRY FACEBOOK. SERIOUSLY!

Karin at age 2

“Oooh, I would never do Facebook – it’s dangerous!”  

Walking across the street is dangerous,  life itself is dangerous.  OLD is about not trying new things.  My purpose in these musings is to help folks from being  OLD.  (OLD is the opposite of the wise sage we intend to be as we explore the new territory of life facing those of us who have crossed into the territory of the new 70 and beyond)  Today’s lesson:  Think Facebook.

“Facebook is too complicated”  Learning new things can be complicated, but learning new things keeps you from being OLD.

“I’m worried about privacy”.  There are privacy settings you will learn how to use.  You may want to consider being a little more open, though.  The millennials and younger are far less concerned about privacy.  Certainly use discretion but you can be a little less shy.

So why am I touting the benefits of Facebook?

SOCIAL CONNECTIONS

Every study I have seen concludes that social interaction is essential to living a longer life.  Facebook keeps you in touch with your world and opens you up to getting to know people better.  No, you do not just sit on your couch with your laptop and make friends.  You go out into the world and meet people and then stay connected with them on Facebook.

Every time I come home from a social event I find additional Facebook friend requests.  Once, at a party I recognized a name on a woman’s nametag.  I approached her with “According to Facebook, we should be friends”.  We connected and she is now a friend on Facebook but also someone I can connect with socially.

Yesterday accepted a friend request from someone I don’t know.  A definite No no?  Not really.  I saw we had about 20 friends in common and from the list I could tell which of my circles she inhabits.  I will be following her posts and when we are at the same meeting next week I will be able to approach her and we will have commonality.

Remember those great folks you met on vacation?  You promised to keep in touch but other than the occasional Christmas letter you’ve lost contact.  I am still friends with people in met in the Grand Canyon, aboard a Panama Canal cruise and even on a China trip.

DEEPEN YOUR CONNECTIONS

I have several friends I don’t see often.  We keep talking about getting together to catch up, but we don’t do it as much as we would like.  We keep up with each other on Facebook and when we do see each other we don’t have to spend a lot of time catching up.  She knows about my trip to the Grand Canyon and I read about her visit with relatives in Texas.  We were able to get right in to deeper conversation.  Our Facebook friendship really does strengthen the real friendship.

FILL YOUR CALENDAR

Each day I have a list of events from which I can pick and choose.  Most are of only casual interest and I file it away as nice to know even though I will not be participating.  On the other hand, I become aware of an interest shared by several of my friends and I choose to attend.  I have also posted events myself and I am tickled at the responses I get.  I have become so accustomed to sending out invitations by scheduling events that I have found it challenging to include my non-Facebook friends.  Mailed out invitations?  How quaint.  Your even invitations can be private and go only to those you select.

I also have started several groups that communicate via a “secret” group.  No one but those who have been invited to the group can see the posts.  We send each other reminders, updates and encouragement knowing that only the group members will see the message.  I also belong to a couple of on-line book clubs.  I’m not giving them a thumbs up yet but I may consider a smaller group of people I already know.

KEEP UP WITH FAMILY

My favorite part of Facebook is becoming a part of my family’s life.  I see my grandson eating spaghetti or playing at the water park.  I learn about what my daughter and her husband are interested in and learn of their activities.  I can ask about these activities and opinions when I see them without having to grill them about what’s been happening in their life.  I also have become friends with some of their friends.  Younger friends really help you not be OLD.

CREATE NEW CIRCLES

I belong to a number of private groups on Facebook.  Many I have created myself.  Those groups include a group of wannabe writers (Hi, Writers’ Salon), my spiritual community, lawyers groups, and several accountability and support groups.  Most of these people I know in person but some are virtual friends.  One group I call “Girlfriends’ Potluck” and every now and then I do a shout out and schedule a potluck.

MY CHALLENGE TO YOU

Chances are if you are reading this, you are on Facebook.  Would you like more help on creating groups, privacy settings or other issues?  I am happy to help.  I am even planning workshops for small groups in various communities.  Let me know if you are interested.

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Have You Checked Your Social Settings?

In case you didn’t know it, we in the Seattle area have been snowed in for a week. I was going to write about how Facebook kept me connected. I was keeping up with friends, enjoying videos from friends who were “stranded” in L.A. and had to drive up the coast to Malibu, commenting on the snow pictures and generally satisfying my social needs. I wasn’t really noticing that I wasn’t receiving any comments on my posts until I asked for help with a fish recipe. Nothing. No responses. Everyone else was getting comments. I was getting responses from my comments on other peoples postings. See how self-centered everyone is? Only care about their own postings. Not mine.

No one likes me.

They all ignore me.

A friend called me. She had no internet connection at her home. Another called later and she also was without internet. So that explained why these two close friends had not responded. I growled to one of my friends that I had been given recognition and no one commented.  She said she had not seen the post.

I’m not sure how I discovered the problem after my days of isolation. Seems I had posted something only for family and I had not changed the setting. You can decide on Facebook who you want to see your posts but that setting remains until you change it. I had a setting for family, which in my case, is only about five people—three of whom are rarely on Facebook and never comment. I don’t even know how long I had this setting. No wonder no one responds. I had inadvertently isolated myself!

As I was relating this story I realized the real life lessons.

1. Is it real? Or is there information you don’t know?

There are several personal growth gurus who lecture on this. Are you making decisions based upon inadequate information? I was thinking no one cared about what I had to say because they hadn’t responded. I didn’t know that no one was seeing my posts. Or that some of my friends were without internet.

A friend of mine shared with me that she was hurt that she had not been included in a group. I pointed out that I had posted on Facebook, sent e mails and made an announcement at a meeting about the formation of the group. She did not remember any of these invitations and built a case in her mind how she had intentionally been excluded. Didn’t have all the facts.

2. Have you changed your “settings”?

I am chagrined that I somehow unintentionally changed my settings so no one was receiving my posts. Are there times we change our settings metaphorically? Do we become pre-occupied so that we don’t notice people trying to communicate with us? Do we translate someone’s body language or facial expression as not being interested in us when that person may also be pre-occupied, in pain or even, shy. I have poor vision and often squint. I found that some teachers or lecturers interpreted this as disagreeing with them or, worse yet, too stupid to understand. They didn’t bother to check and I didn’t know about my inadvertent “settings”. Hopefully we can improve our ability to send and receive messages.

Stop making assumptions and ask for clarification and above all:

Check your assumptions

Check your settings.

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