Tag Archives: Facebook


It’s no secret I’m, let’s call it an “active participant” in social media. I do Facebook, I tweet, I post photos to Instagram, and, obviously, I blog. I showed up to a cousin’s birthday party one year and her brother commented that the world would now know what’s happening because I was there with my Facebook account.
I’m a social kind of girl.
Today, though, social media is making me sad. It was through Facebook first thing this morning that I learned of the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub last night. Twitter brought to my attention the tweet of the lieutenant governor of Texas after news of the shooting, citing a Bible verse in which “men reap what they sow.” That tweet has since been deleted, but the pain it produced will not fade.
Yes, there are hundreds of thousands more tweets and Facebook posts expressing sadness, sorrow, pain. But it’s these few outbursts of joy, of celebration, of “you deserved it” that really stand out. These are the posts that remind us just how much hate there really is. No one deserves this. No one.
I know my friends lists are made up of those with differing political and religious views, those who support same-sex marriage and those who don’t, those who push for gun control and those who are responsible gun owners and users. I embrace our differences and still feel those differences make us stronger when we can accept them, discuss them.
These who are celebrating the shooting and the arrest of a man in West Hollywood with a car full of weapons heading to a Pride parade – those are people I don’t want to know. That’s not a community I have any interest in belonging to. If you find any joy or humor or take any bit of delight in the murders in Orlando or this arrest in West Hollywood, unfriend me now. Remove me from your address lists, your contacts, your friend lists – I am not part of that community, and I never will be.

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I saw it on Facebook …

Anyone who knows me at all knows my life is pretty much an open book. Ask me a question and chances are pretty good I’ll answer it, no matter how personal or private the subject. (Note I said, “… chances are pretty good.” There are some things I still hold sacred.)

Social media has made it even easier to share things – or harder to keep things to myself, however you want to look at it. Follow me on Facebook for just a few days and you’re going to know more about me than you may have ever wanted to know. I went to a cousin’s birthday party a few years ago and, at separate times, her mother, brother and father all commented about how all of Facebook would know what was happening at the party because I was there.

This was my view for the nearly seven hours I was hooked up to a heart monitor and on oxygen at UI Hospitals and Clinics earlier this week.

This was my view for the nearly seven hours I was hooked up to a heart monitor and on oxygen at UI Hospitals and Clinics earlier this week.

Facebook has made it easier to share.

For all it’s benefits, though, there are some downsides to social media, too. While I personally think it’s great to share some things – including an endless supply of snark and sarcasm – with my friends and family, there are some things that have always been private, and always will be. If I have a personal disagreement with someone I care about, you won’t know about it by reading my Facebook timeline. I won’t make vague posts about my unhappiness with someone close to me, or use Facebook as my personal aresenal to call names to or belittle any of my friends.

There are some things, however, where the line is kind of blurred – more specifically, health issues. Don’t get me wrong, I have no trouble posting when I do something stupid that results in a doctor’s appointment or a splint or a rehab boot – like breaking my pinky toe while putting on my pajamas, or hurting my knee when Mia the Newfoundland head-butted me to sway me in her direction. I post about my migraines, the flu, stupid head colds and achy bones.

But the big stuff? How do you handle that? The kind of stuff where you know it’s serious, you know there are people who should know what’s going on, but you don’t want to post it on Facebook and look like you’re trying to get attention. The I-went-to-the-hospital kind of stuff? It’s not that I wouldn’t post it – God knows I would – but when do you put it up for public consumption?

I faced this very issue earlier this week when I went to the emergency room following a “minor cardiac event.” We’re still not sure what it ended up being, but emergency room doctors told me I had all the indications of a minor attack, but a CT scan of my heart showed no damage and no clogged arteries.

The “event” happened while I was at work – and luck would have it that I work in the best hospital in the area. I was sitting at my desk working – nothing stressful, just writing, because that’s what I do, I write. Suddenly I had this searing pain under my left breast, kind of like that side ache we used to get as kids when we’d run too much or too fast or for too long – kind of like that, but worse, and higher. It lasted for a good 8-10 minutes before it even started to subside. I tried doubling over, bending to the side, even standing up to make the pain go away and nothing worked. Once it finally did stop I was left with a pain in the back of my neck and in my left jaw.

The jaw pain was what stopped the 24-hour nurse from asking questions. Once I got to that, she told me to head to the ER immediately. So I did. When you go to the ER with complaints of chest pain, you get to go to the front of the line. No waiting in the waiting room, you get an EKG and then sent to a room. Not long into my stay they told me I’d be staying overnight for observation (that changed with the clean CT scan, but not until right at the last minute).

My first thoughts were to wait and see how everything came out before I told anyone, but I was already texting Mark about regular “stuff” when I got sent to a room, so I shot him an, “Oh, by the way, I’m in the ER getting my heart checked out” text. Classy, I know.

The more I chatted with Mark, the more I knew there were some people who had to know where I was. My kids. My parents. My list grew, but then the doubt started setting in: Do I tell others now, while I’m still here, or wait until I go home? Or at least until I get out of the ER and up to the room I thought I was going to be in? Do I post it on Facebook? No, I know I’d catch holy hell from quite a few people if that’s where they first heard about it. If I tell people now, will it seem odd, like I’m an attention-seeker, or do I tell them now because they’ll want to know? Who do I tell immediately, and who finds out on social media?

I don’t know that I know the right answer even now. There were a handful of people who knew I was in the hospital on Monday, but most everyone found out later. Today, in fact, in an email I sent to some letting them know what happened so they’d hear it from me before reading about it in this blog or on Facebook.

So if you’re offended because you’re just hearing about this now, and this way, I’m sorry. I guess I’m still learning.

(The heart issue came out OK, no overnight stay – just orders to follow up and reduce stress. Ha! Yeah, right …)




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How did THAT happen?

I’ve come to realize I’m not the most observant person, otherwise I likely would have seen this a while ago. Over the past few weeks I’ve been noticing certain things “missing” at home but I’ve never noticed anyone coming to take them.

No, the computer is still there, all the electronics, what little valuable jewelry I have is still tucked safely away in an open box on top of my dresser. My kitschy knickknacks are still on their shelves, and the dogs are always relatively undisturbed. There’s been no evidence of anyone breaking in, either through the door or one of windows.

And yet some things are just … missing.

At some point, when I obviously wasn’t looking, someone took my children and replaced them with young adults. Their childish giggles have turned to laughter – often at my expense, particularly when they’re laughing together. Their hands reaching out to take mine have been replaced by hands waving as they drive off on their own. And though they still sometimes turn to me for advice, they’re also prepared to give some.

The funny thing is I started noticing these missing things when I wasn’t even home. First when my 20-year-old son – the one I’ve been calling “Man/Boy” but should probably think of something else, or just call him “Justin” – asked me to mail his voter registration card, and then again a few weeks later when he talked to me about having gone and voted early. We were talking outside and then he went to his apartment and I opened the door to mine and noticed it then. Something was gone.

Earlier this week I noticed it, too, when I was in Ames with Teen Girl – my high school senior daughter who is seriously thinking about Iowa State.  Here we were, two hours from home and suddenly in the middle of this eight-hour campus visit I got the feeling something was missing. Sure enough, when we got home it wasn’t there.

This morning it really hit home – I took Teen Girl to go take her ACTs and met Man/Boy in the parking lot at 6:30 a.m. He had a mandatory seminar he had to go to for work, and he was actually leaving early. This is the same person who struggled to get out of bed at 6:30 to get to school just a few years ago.

I still catch myself every now and then wanting to give some piece of over-obvious parental advice, or caution them against Bad People or making Wrong Decisions. I forget sometimes that they’re 17 and 20 and instead try to picture them at 10 and 13. Or younger.

It’s great watching my “kids” start to become the adults they are going to be. But sometimes I wish time would slow down, just a little.




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Online dating is for the birds – and my wings are getting tired

I’m not a slow learner, really I’m not. I learned how to drive a stick (read “vehicle with manual transmission”) in less than an hour. I learned how to swim as a toddler when one of my dad’s friends tossed me into the pool. I could easily maneuver the roads in Mario’s ghost house on Nintendo 64 and I’ve pretty well mastered Angry Birds.

So why, why, why do I just not get online dating?

Oh, I understand the concept well enough. People who are too busy or too insecure or too something to get out and meet someone – or simply don’t know where to go – get online, fill out a profile and meet people with the purposes of dating (although some purposes are for a time commitment even shorter – and with a much more casual dress code – than an actual date).

What I don’t understand is the thought process some people use when introducing themselves to someone, or when actually taking the time to meet someone.

Whether it’s an online dating site or a singles site on Facebook, I am still surprised at how often I’m approached for a casual sexual encounter, or by “men” who are slightly older than my son (seriously – a 21-year-old this week told me to “ignore the age thing and just give it a try”), or who are still married (no, “separated” does not mean the same as “divorced”) or who just start conversation in a way that, really, just makes me laugh and delete.

One man sent me an email telling me he was “tired of the five-knuckle shuffle and decided to try online dating.” Um, ew. Another, in explaining how nervous he was about our first date, told me he’d been having stomach issues all day but he thought he had them under control – and was on his way to the Mexican restaurant where we’d agreed to meet. Yet another sent me an email asking if I’d ever considered dating a couple.

A couple of what?

And today, just a few minutes after being invited to a singles group on Facebook, I was sent a message by a man wanting to know if I was interested in having some naughty fun.

Really? While I’m glad I’m not sending out prude vibes, I’ve really got to wonder what kind of image I really do have out there. What about me says, “Hey, I’m bored and lonely so yeah, let’s have sex”?

I’m no prude, nor am I easily offended but really, really, let’s start with some normal conversation and get to know each other a bit.

I’d like to say I’m giving it up, but I’m sure there’s always going to be something that lures me back. Comic relief, if nothing else.




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