August 1, 2014

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Facebook is a Funny Thing

Different people use Facebook for different things...but how are we to know this?

 This is my personal Blog-- and is no one's opinion, other than my own. Not the station, not my family... no one else.

The other day I was surfing Facebook, and a number of family photos from a weekend outing started showing up from my good friend Steve.  He and I go way back to High School and college together, and though our paths have taken different directions, we have always stayed in contact.

Recently, he has been most helpful in checking on my mother and family, and his mother has also visited in the hospital for the same reasons.  I will always be grateful for that assistance.

But today he's listed 17 photos of his extended family assisting in a 26k run, passing out drinks and refreshments. It's a coincidence, but  my children have also enjoyed doing the same things. I posted as much in the comments section.

He also posted photos of sand dunes, Lake Michigan, a trail map and other beautiful shots. I posted asking where this was, and teasing him,  suggested more than a short response "near Lake Michigan".

Now, I have been quite relaxed in my use of Facebook, keeping things light and humorous. Once in a while, I'll repeat something more serious, or weighty, but I'm very aware that I represent the station..  And so, I keep it light.  Some people might call this flirting behavior, but I prefer to think of it as kidding and bold-faced humor or even farce.  But I stay away from things political.

Within moments, I got a text message on my PHONE, saying "Are you blind?  The trail map states it's near Charlevoix, and one of my 17 photos shows a Charlevoix ambulance driving past."  Also, "Why don't you ever post anything POSITIVE on Facebook on my family's Facebook accounts?"  I was stunned.

Now, I wondered where this was coming from, as I really DON'T know his extended family, just he and his mother. I don't feel welcome to comment on them, as they don't know me. And that's true of others, in the general public who only know me on the TV screen. They don't know ME.

And so, it amazes me when I see others post political rants and extreme positions on everything from gun control to the presidency, policy or election results. And when Steve has posted a rant about Obama, and I have had to wonder who he is addressing these to. Friends? Family? the Public?

I know there are privacy settings that you can set for more targeted distribution, but I've never really bothered with them... cause I'm not communicating with family, but basically friends and before the public.

But I'm beginning to wonder if Steve is not hearing the humor in my voice when I post something of a kidding nature in response to his posts. And so I was quick to start posting complementary posts of his family portraits, of their community service, and clarified, that I wasn't wearing my glasses. (Yep, my vision is suffering, but I'm resisting wearing glasses all the time.)

Not a peep out of him since then. I feel a little dis-genuine in my posts, as they are a bit obvious in their intent, but I'm still wondering what prompted his private outburst.

Now, I am wondering if Steve, like me, has left his settings on public, rather than on private family, and that he's posting things that he thinks are personal, not realizing they are ALL showing up in my notifications.  He could fix this, but I hope he doesn't.  I'm flattered that he thinks of me as close enough to including in his "family" and I him... but sometimes I wonder.

What DO people share in their Facebook accounts?  And why do they think not EVERYONE can see it?  Maybe I'm not using it right!

***UPDATE:  I got a text message on my phone from Steve, appologizing that he had been drunk when he responded to me on Facebook.  It explains alot, but it still got me thinking. And that's the lesson from this blog entry. THINK before you post!

 

 

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