Saturday, June 09, 2007

Someone Knows the Trouble I've Seen

First: Podcast #23 is up. It's getting great reviews.
Second: The rest of Chapter 8 is up at Double Billing.
And now for our regularly scheduled post:

I don't know Michelle Slatalla. I've never met her, never talked to her, haven't poked her. I imagine she wears her pants too high, but I don't know if she drives a cool car, if she sends text messages to her friends, what shows she watches or wines she drinks. What I do know is that she does a good job of talking about MY life (..maybe she reads Shrink Rap?)

In Thursday's New York Times, in "Cyberfamilias: omg my mom joined facebook!" Ms. Slatalla writes :

I HAVE reached a curious point in life. Although I feel like the same
precocious know-it-all cynic I always was, I suddenly am surrounded by younger precocious know-it-all cynics whose main purpose appears to be to remind me that I’ve lost my edge.

Many of these people are teenagers.

Some of them I gave birth to.

Wait, did I write that? I don't remember writing that. Does this person own the same children I that I do?

My newest comrade in parenting teenagers then goes on to recount how she joined Facebook and repeatedly poked (?harassed) her daughter and her daughter's friends, asking them to be her friends. Her daughter's friends allowed her in-- she now knows who is going where and with whom. Her daughter resisted, but Ms. Slatalla, bless her heart, poked the child into at least partial submission, and the daughter finally befriended her, but with only limited access to her profile-- help me if I get the terms wrong here, I'm decades too old for this world.

Okay, so I have a facebook page. And I poked one of my kids. He said no. He came downstairs in real life and told me not to poke his friends. I would never poke my kid's friends, even I'm not that dumb (sorry, Michelle). I've left it, I poked only once. I'd previously been blocked from his Instant Messenger and I've decided to leave it that I'm happy he doesn't Call Screen me out, but that may be because I pay for his phone. It seems I can E-mail too.

So Michelle Slatella set up her Facebook profile last week, according to her article. I set mine up 6 months ago. This is the photo I've put on my profile:
So six months and I have ONE friend. My niece let me in. I barely know her, she's a college student, and her profile requests that you post memories you have of times you've had together with her. I started to write on her wall, describing how beautiful she was as a baby, how I loved dancing with her in my arms when she was 7 months old. She really was a total doll. Then I decided that no college student wants their aunt on their Facebook wall dancing with them in infancy, so I sent it to her privately. I haven't heard from her since and I've had to content myself with looking at her photos and reading the birthday greetings on her wall.

I had another friend for a while. Rich poked me. I accepted (I've always liked Rich) and I checked off that I knew him because we hooked up. I've never hooked up with anyone, I was married before hooking up was invented. But patients talk about hooking up all the time and here was my cyber-opportunity to pretend I was cool. Now I'm also friends with Rich's wife, and maybe this explains why he's no longer listed as my friend? Apparently, I've been unfriended. Wow.

Patients talk about Facebook. And the truth is, they're all under 30. No one my age talks about Facebook. Then again, no one I've seen over 30 talks about their blogs either. It's a whole other world, with all its own lines of significance and innuendos. Who pokes who, who doesn't poke who, who lets you in, and who unfriends you. I grew up in a world where people slighted you by not returning phone calls and and not saying "Hi" in the hallway.

Okay, enough, I'm going now to poke Michelle Slatalla. I think she's my age. I wonder if she has a blog and a podcast. If she wants to be my friend, I'll write on her wall.


sophizo said...

OMG! My mom just joined facebook too and poked me! What the heck? Is it that parents are trying to be "cool" now? It's the same thing with Myspace. Now all of a sudden all these adults are joining these social networks and it's really weirding me out. ( technically I'm now an adult, but still!). These things weren't meant for old(er) people. That's what online dating sites are for. And you are right about the cut off age being around 30. Everyone I know who really participates in these things are 30 years old or younger.

Oh...and I know plenty of older adults who have blogs and use them for connecting socially with their friends. Especially, if their friends live in other states. So you really aren't that strange.

Emy L. Nosti said...

Well, that's just disturbing. Speaking of transference, if my mother were a little more technologically competent, she could be you. Thank goodness she still thinks AOL is the Intarwebs.

My parents can call the cell, email, and Skype me...but I'm not sure what I'd do if they joined facebook...and I'm not even a teenager. I'd probably give them the limited friendly stalker profile too. (It's bad enough they keep probing about whether I blog--though I just created one for my dad's organization--that probably blew my cover of ignorance. D%*@!)

Rach said...

Facebook is the new MSN, which used to be the new ICQ.

My parents don't know how to cut and paste (which is why I get frustrated phone calls at all hours of the day and night "rach... how do I attach an excel spreadsheet to an email?" or "rach, I can't turn the monitor on", only to have me reply "is it plugged in". Long pause. "oh".

More on facebook later.

Midwife with a Knife said...

God, I feel old now.

rachdickey said...

I love your show. I am addicted to it and to facebook. 27 years old per the discussion.
take care and keep posting and podcasting.

NeoNurseChic said...

You can be MY friend on facebook! My mom has my IM name - and she used to read my away messages and profile all the time. That led her to discover my old blog on xanga, to which she said to me: "Is that REALLY what you want people to know about you?" So I took it down, and I didn't share my blogspot blog with her for like 8 months. I put very generic away messages up on my IM nowadays, and I have no profile on there! I think my mom has gotten better about it. She only visited my blog once since I showed it to her, and that was to read what I had written about my great aunt connie. (Yeah the fact that my family was suddenly finding my blog en masse after my Aunt Connie died while they were searching for her obit was another part of the reason why I went private...!) She has never read my diaries (now I have all 3 diaries from my childhood with me at my apartment - I'm not taking any risks!), and I think she leaves my private life to me - most of thte time!

If she knows I'm supposed to be up in the morning, she'll look at my away message, and then call me if it still says "sleeeeeeepy time". lol The other morning, I was bringing all my stuff out to their house and Tony (I'm in Florida right now and they are babysitting Tony), and I was going to my best friend Tom's dad's funeral (sad story...), and she called me at like 7:15am to say, "Are you up yet? Your away message says sleep!" I was up - just hadn't taken it off yet. haha

It's a funny world - when parents get ahold of technology. :-P

Take care!
Carrie :)

Gerbil said...

I don't have Facebook. I don't have MySpace. I just relinquished my "membership" in Orkut. I have turned off text messaging on my cell phone--and I still insist that my friends call me on my land line during peak hours.

I am a bad, bad 27-year-old.

But! my parents read my blog--and my dad does this at work. I totally called him on it, too, thanks to Statcounter. I keep trying to convince my mom to comment on my blog and sign it "your mom" (which is how she signs her emails to me) but thus far I've not been successful.

Anonymous said...

It is true, I poked Dinah. We "hooked up." I didn't know what it all meant at the time. "Poking?!?" "Hooking up?!?" It was all a bit too racy for this 46 year old. Dinala, I love ya, but I ain't poking you!


Dinah said...

Um, Rich, we did not actually Hook Up. It was just a fantasy of mine. Poking is benign, you can even tell V. Hooking up...oy, you're just too old. Gotta get out of that office and talk to the kids.

ClinkShrink said...

So is poking different from needling you?

The Neurocritic said...

Since I can't write on Carrie's wall, I'll leave a message for her here. It was a comment on one of my DBS posts, from a woman who has cluster headaches:

(This is for neonursechic)
My name is Kris, I am female, just turned 44 and after having intractable cluster headaches/chronic paroxysmal hemicrania for 21 months straight with no treatment working, I had the deep brain stimulator implant done this past November.

Here's the rest of her comment.

Rach said...

Apparently poking is like telling someone you want to sleep with them? Or maybe I just buy into urban mythology like that.

Poking doesn't equal needling. I think Poking is more painful.

Dinah said...

My understanding of the English language as it currently exists:
Poking-- an electronic solicitation, generally offered over e-mail by a third agent, to share Facebook profiles with another Facebook participant. So if I was to "poke" someone, I find their name on Facebook, click on "poke" and Facebook sends that person an e-mail telling them I'd like to be their friend. If they accept, I can then view their profile and write on their wall and they can do the same on mine. If they refuse, or simply ignore the email, they can't view my profile. There is no physical contact.

Hooking Up-- a real life, hands on version of what in my younger days was called "Making out." The exact definition is a bit vague. Try:
for a definition by someone younger than I am. I don't think it's something married couples do.

Rich "poked" me on FaceBook. If he says he didn't, he's lying.
I'll leave it at that.

Rach said...

from university news:

- What does poking mean to you?

Emy L. Nosti said... request friends by clicking on "Add as friend" or something. Poking doesn't have a specific meaning, as what Rach's article probably discusses (Facebook help also has a non-explanation, if I recall correctly). You can poke an existing friend. I poke for two reasons--cute guys (and guys I have a playful relationship with) as a "flirting for slackers" kind of thing and also friends I haven't heard from recently.

Re hooking up: at least from what I've heard in Madison, it seems to mean casual sex. Maybe it's regional, or maybe there's just massive misunderstanding when people use it.

Midwife with a Knife said...

dinah: Hooking up is more than making out. Hooking up is sex... generally with someone you're not well acquainted with. Or perhaps a friend (as in friends with benefits).

I still remember when all of this stuff happened on IRC (Internet Relay Chat for the younguns), usenet, and on MUDs (MultiUser Dungeons).

Somehow technology kept on going without me, now there's facebook... myspace, all of this stuff. It all makes me feel SO old!

Roy said...

So, Rich doesn't poke and tell, but Dinah does.

This poke and hook up discussion is interesting, from etymological and sociological viewpoints. There are generational differences in these terms, but really all relating to whether you are referring to something that is done in real life or online (RL vs OL).

If you are 40s or so, "poke" would be something a man does to a woman in RL. I guess OL, Facebook is using the term as a way of saying "what's up?", similar to other social networks' use of terms like nudge, finger, or ping.

"Hooking up" online is just getting in touch, I think. In RL, for my generation, it is usually meant to be to get together (nonsexual), usually after a long period of two people not being in touch. I think in younger folks, it is as Midwife and Emy say... casual sex, though the link below suggests regional differences in interpretation from making out to one-night stands to casual sex.

Here's a nice, scholarly effort on hooking up, also here.

NeoNurseChic said...

When I was in high school, hooking up was making out. Now when my friends refer to hooking up, I don't know if they mean making out or having sex. Could be either!

Ah what a wonderful world... ;)

And I have never poked someone on Facebook!

I have no myspace friends, though, so if anybody wants to be my friend... LOL (Actually this is not true - Tom has pointed out that I have him, the myspace guy, and Zach Braff as my myspace friends....I'm a loser! haha)

Greetings from sunny Florida!! Just stopping by to say hello again!! I think I finally fixed the internet so I can be online more often now when I'm in the condo!! :)

Take care,
Carrie :)

Emy L. Nosti said...

Normally I'd wait until I could find the appropriate reference, but I left the magazine at my parents' house and the website doesn't seem to have it.

Anyway, ironically, Discover just had an article (either Jun/May/Apr) with "Hookups" in the title that mathematically modeled and mapped "relationships" between high school students. They never defined the term--it was all very euphemistic and assumed--and thanks to this post I wasn't sure what it meant until they mentioned condoms.

It was an interesting, if brief, article though. One of the major findings was that in the population, which was about a quarter of the school (I'm assuming that this quarter was only the verified sexually-active students), students from any given social group were, at maximum, 37 "hookups" from each other (they got nuthin on Bacon!). This was surprising--to the researchers anyway--because they didn't realize the different cliques intermingled so much. They also found that having one person use a condom was only protective of that individual unless they were one of the critical group cross-links. Given these things, they concluded that this population was particularly fertile ground for a miniature epidemic. (From memory, so may have a detail or two wrong.)

They only cited one relationship "rule" that factored in: the exes of two people currently dating will not date each other. I suppose it makes sense, viscerally anyway, but am I the only one that didn't get the memo on this alleged social more?

Jessica said...

Before I went off to college my mom wanted to get an MSN account so she could talk to me online... I was soooo mad!!! She can just e-mail me!!! My psychologist was able to make her see that she should respect my wishes and the we could communicate by e-mail and phone. (I believe she sent me one e-mail the whole year!! LOL)

As for facebook, I find it a great way to keep track of my friends since I live so far from them now. The poking my friends and I have poke wars where we just keep poking each other until one gives up.

When my sister joined facebook and asked to add me as a friend I considered refusing... but I wanted to be able to see what she was up too as well. Though I beleive she can only see my limited profile.