We have been unable to get an internet connection for the past four days. Bernie checked and learned that it might be our little Clearwire tower or its cord. So we got a new one and that didn’t work either. I am at my daughter’s right now where I can get on line, finally. During this interim I have been unable to blog. Actually, I was able to write blogs; I’ve just not been able to release it into my blog sight.
What I found myself missing was my other internet activities, Facebook and e-mail. I don’t do texting, but many of my friends have one of those super-duper i-phones and will get my e-mails on their phone, so I am able to use e-mail almost like texting. They have a disadvantage because I only get their messages when I go to my computer. But I can pester them any time. People are getting in the habit of keeping their phones handy all the time and checking the messages often.
Being unable to use it, I realize that Facebook is the way I have been keeping track of my family members. All of my children and older grandchildren and a few more distant relatives are on Facebook. Some use Facebook every day…all day. When I talk to them on the phone, one will tell me about what is happening and often I already know because I read about it. Facebook is changing how we communicate. But Facebook doesn’t really tell me how people are. For the most part, one has to read between the what information to figure out how people are doing on the inside and the inside is what concerns me most about the people I love.
When I see what people write on Facebook, I will comment once I a while, but my small sentences are usually part of larger conversations with people I don’t even know. These conversations help me to identify what people believe about life and what is important to them. All good stuff, but a poor substitute for personal interchanges.
The above is what Bernie and I talked about the other morning and it is often a topic of conversation when we get together with folks our age. Most of my friends don’t like Facebook. Some don’t use it at all. I tell them I like it so that I can learn what is happening day to day with my family members. When I see any of their postings, and I like that extra bonus of knowing when they posted, I at least know that they are safe and sound for the moment. But we elders admit to one another that face-to-face and voice contacts are happening less and less. The internet communication system may be quite satisfying for my children’s and grandchildren’s generations, but those of us in the elder generation are starting to feel lonely.