Monday, July 27, 2009

My Parents Now Text Message

Neither of my parents are very high-tech people. This is not a bad thing (in fact, it's probably more good than bad), but sometimes convincing them that certain technological advances are worth their time is difficult. I never thought I'd live to see the day when they would finally grasp the concept, let alone the benefits, of cell phone text messaging. And you know what it took to get them to this point? An international cell phone. Of course!

They are in Germany right now visiting my dad's brother and decided to invest in an international cell phone since they will be there for an extended amount of time. Apparently, text messaging is cheaper internationally than actual phone calls. Alas, once they discovered the glories of text messaging, they've been on a roll. Here's a clip of a little conversation we had this morning:

me: Just got rubberbands for the Two more appointments and they're off!
mom & dad: What does hot mean?
me: Attractive. Good lookin. (It was sarcastic.)
mom & dad: Sorry-I've been speakin 2 languages - neither very well

Ahh, the humors of beginner text messengers. Gotta love 'em.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vicarious Living

Last week while visiting home I had the opportunity to visit with my childhood best friend's mom. Her name is Victoria. She was practically a second mother to me from elementary through high school years. He oldest daughter and I shared many days, nights, weeks and months attached at the hip coming up with various silly things to be involved in. We went to school together, took sewing lessons from the same lady and even swam on the same swim team for a season. We were mere additions to each others families. Needless to say, her family had a huge influence on my life and I will never able to divorce the ways that Victoria and her husband influenced my young impressionable character...for the better, of course.

As time passed I moved on and they stayed. Recently Victoria and her husband have become members of Facebook and located me on the massive network of people. Over Facebook's messaging systems we set up a time and place to "catch up" while I was in town. Victoria and I had such a sweet time of literally playing catch up with our lives as well as our families lives. I always appreciate talking with someone who has watched me grow up, someone who has witnessed my life from a young age. I think this is because I have only been in Los Angeles for less than five years. Yes, I am close to a few people here, but there's just something different about people who know my history. Victoria is one of them. I think you can relate.

In the midst of our conversation Victoria referred to--more than once--that she saw my family was doing well based on their postings or pictures on Facebook. She also made the comment that my own Facebook is "boring" and I don't have much "action" going on. I left our time together thinking about this. I have thought a LOT about the ramifications of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, et. all, having to do with interpersonal relationships. The more I think about how these networking tools have changed the face of relationships, the more I am weary of using them. There was a time that I dumped my Facebook account on these premises, but I reactivated it for other reasons. I will go into more detail later.

I titled this post, and perhaps this series, Vicarious Living because that's exactly what is going on. IF we so choose, we vicariously live through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogging, etc. I am not drawing any conclusions about the good and the bad of it all yet. I'm just thinking through it for now.