Sunday, November 16, 2008


Matt was home today. "Mom," he said, "you need to get on Facebook," in exactly the same way that his cousin Byran used to say, "Aunt Dorcas, you need to have a blog," and look at how that took on a life of its own.

So, yeah, Facebook, something I lump into the same category as Ipods, YouTube, layering, lattes, text messaging, instant messaging, flattened hair, and snowboarding: something that young people are into that I avoid at all costs and take up, kicking and screaming, when I'm practically forced to and that I take forever to learn.

[although I do love lattes now, but no, I don't think you'll ever find me on a snowboard]

"Yeah, right, I need to get on Facebook," I said scoffingly.

Matt picked up my laptop and started tapping. I saw glimpses of 'notes on walls' and short updates and odd profile pictures. What a strange universe these young people inhabit.

Then I saw it: Arlene! "What? Arlene is on Facebook??" I shrieked.

"Yeah," Matt said, clicking on. Then he turned the computer toward me. There was a long list of his Facebook Friends.

Hmm-hmmm. College kid, cousins of cousins, another college kid, Hans Mast, Joe Kuepfer. "Teresa??" I shrieked again. "Teresa is on Facebook?? Teresa has four little kids!"

"Yeah," Matt said. I read on. More college kids, and then among the young people the names began jumping out at me: Tom and Jewel? Merry Yoder! Kay??? Merle Burkholder???!!! What on earth? John? Your uncle JOHN?? And then the one that sent me off the edge: Earl Kropf. Yes, that Earl Kropf, the most 60-something truck-driver-for-Smith-Seed big-n-burly good-Menno-stock guy around, the kind of guy you want to come along if you have a flat tire, but not the kind of guy you would ever expect to know his way around a computer, let alone Facebook.

Suddenly I had the feeling that I was out in the school playground la-di-da-ing around, picking dandelions, and everyone else in my class had not only heard the bell and gone inside from recess but left on the bus for a field trip to the Umpqua ice cream factory.

I thought about this. On the one hand, the last thing I need right now is something else to glue me to the computer. On the other hand, what if I'm the only one out there not on Facebook, and no one bothers with blogs or email anymore, and Facebook is where it's all happening and everyone else is there making friends with everyone else, and they don't even miss me???

Matt was getting ready to leave. "I expect to see a Friends invitation from you by the time I get home, Mom," he said as he went out the door.

Well, he didn't see an invitation, because I'm still waffling and wondering and debating. Surely I can survive without Facebook, but if Earl Kropf and Merle Burkholder and Arlene are In, then I must be the very last person left Out.

Quote of the Day:
"You know what, if you're fighting someone, the belly is always the perfect place to hit--it's soft on your hand and it hurts them really bad."
--a certain young girl whom I am trying to teach to be a lady while at the same time she has two big brothers who say things like, "Punch me as hard as you can to see if it hurts."


  1. i got sucked in and yes, it's fun and i found people i haven't been in touch with for years. but... it's rather addictive and a time-waster and i'm still wondering if i'm glad i did it.

    i still like blogs and won't be giving them up any time soon. so keep writing. :-)

  2. I say: Dare to be different!

    Friends on Facebook are only virtual friends if they're not real friends already. I've seen too many unsociable addicts to Facebook, which makes me wary of signing up--though I can't imagine that would happen to you! I'm not into texting or lattes or flat hair, so maybe I'm a rebel or hopelessly old-fashioned but it's going to take a looooong time for someone to persuade me that I should be on Facebook!

    I don't know what's going on here--me commenting here 2 days in a row. =)


  3. Ah the Facebook dilemma...I finally signed up because I got tired of hearing about it..*_* but I like blogging SO much better. I think Anita is right, your real friends are friends already. Facebook seems so random and disconnected to me...just snippets of lives. Give me blogspot or xanga any day!

  4. I like more writing than I've seen on Facebook and my computer doesn't like Facebook.
    If blogging is stuck somewhere in time that's where I am.

  5. What you too!!! My adult kids were home last week and they were urging me to get onto facebook but I'm not sure I should for the same reasons that you haven't signed on AND I don't want cyber space to know most of my current life. I don't mind who knows my business among friends or fellow church members.
    Dorcas, I'm a friend of Tom Troyer's mom-in-law Karen and through Iced Tea I found your blog. JOY-Goshen

  6. All the things you hear about Facebook are probably true to the people who say them, whether positive or negative comments. I'm old and I joined & learned, and I'm glad I did!

  7. I have no desire for facebook. I know there is one guy in our church who uses it. I like what I use now. I don't have teens pestering me about it though. Anyways, who is the mom in your house? ;)

    The one thing I remember hearing about Facebook is you can throw sheep at people. I don't get it, really.

  8. As for me being on Facebook? I don't understand it at all and I don't have the time to spend trying to figure it out. I kept getting asked to join. I'm there, but I'm not there. I enjoy reading blogs much better! Teresa

  9. Well, I'm certainly NOT a teenager, but I LOVE Facebook! Its been a wonderful tool to share pictures among family members who don't know thier way around a blog site! And only people you add as a 'friend' can see your information. So its up to YOU who you allow as a friend. I would certainly add you as friend if you get one!

  10. Get a facebook, but keep the blog.

  11. I'm a 30-something software developer who lives on computers and the internet (though they aren't my life) living abroad. I've recently signed up on facebook to see what the revolution is all about. I came away disappointed -- the fluff-to-content ratio is way too high. I'm still trying it out, but I'm thinking that blogs, emails, phone calls, and time with friends at the coffee shop is enough for this computer guy.

  12. Actually privacy is another concern. It's not just the people you add as friends that see what you write. If you write something to a friend, any of their 400 friends will see it as well. Of course, given your delightfully personal stories on your blog, I don't suppose privacy is your biggest concern. We do love your stories! :-)

  13. Oh he told you?!! Actually I like it better then blogging.. I have met some old friends on there, that I havent heard of in years.!!!

  14. oh and btw.. you can have BOTH!!

  15. I got lured into facebook by a man from our church. At first I had like 3 friends and didn't do anything with it. Now I spend a little time with it, but I'm certainly no facebook expert.

    It is a great way to catch little snippets of the lives of the people you know but don't get to see, or hear from, very often.

    Also you can feed your blog right onto your facebook page so visitors to your facebook page can read your blog posts. (hint: I had to have a computer person tell me how to do it!)

    You should get facebook and keep your blog. I think you would enjoy it. I will be expecting by friend invitation from you very soon!


  16. Somebody please point me to a site with the rationale and the benefits of doing TFT (ie The Facebook Thing).

    I wonder what the next NIT (ie New In Thing) will be that draws all the bleating sheep. ;)

  17. I've found Facebook to be a lot of fun and I've gotten in contact with my old friends from high school/college that I'd never been able to connect with through our family blog or email. It's easy to upload pics and can be set up to be as private or as public as you desire. I set everything to be "only friends.

    Enjoy wading through all these opinions :)
    Love, Michelle from Newberg Friends Church

  18. To add my two cents, I'm in the same spot as you and will continue to waffle about Facebook. I'll be interested to discover whether you do or don't. :o)

  19. hehe...I understand!! I recently got a facebook, too, and decided that must be were things are blogging becoming old fashioned already??
    oh and btw, my name is Teresa, and I have four kids, too... =)
    ~chambray7 from good old xanga world~

  20. I count one--a single solitary person--who has used Facebook and is a naysayer. The rest seem to be naysayers without knowing. Facebook is a tool like every other web service and it can be used or misused. FavoringCurry saw it being misused, apparently. I don't spend a whole lot of time on FB, but I like it a lot because it's so powerful. It's a way to *optionally* keep in touch with friends in ways that email, blogs, phone calls, and face to face simply cannot accomplish well.

  21. If you join...can I please be your friend??!

  22. Mark: There is none.

    I feel like I need to defend myself! I am technically on Facebook, but I was suckered in and I hate it. The only time I ever log in is to accept a few friends request so I don't hurt anyone's feelings! There are a few that I decline, because I don't even know the people. This mystifies me, why am I getting these requests from people I don't even know?

    Bottom line, Facebook is just a useless annoyance for me.

    BTW the Dorcas, I think Matt is logged in 24-7. Whenever I do infrequently log in, there he is!

  23. I'm with you, Dorcas. I haven't really been sucked in yet...don't really want to be either, for all the reasons you cite. The last thing I need is something else to tie me to my computer. Anyway I am a writer, so I love blogging. But I have had so many writer friends tell me I MUST be on facebook, but I have really been dragging my feet. I am content to blog, work on my book contracts (I have two) and I just started writing for a parenting blog, and I prefer to spend my time with my real family than my virtual friends.

    Kathy Pride

  24. I like Facebook. For whatever that is worth. If you sign on please do let me know....I would like to be your "friend". :-)

  25. Yep Im on facebook too. I have been for a couple of years I think but I rarely look at it. It takes all I can do to keep the old blog functioning.

  26. I joined facebook for some of the same reasons I joined xanga and blogging.
    1. It is one other way to connect with my kids in ways I couldnt otherwise. Sometimes they write things on their blogs they wouldnt maybe tell you in person,especially the quiet ones, because some of us communicate better with writing.
    2. A way to connect with friends near and far.
    Facebook is different in that its more like tidbits of conversation with your friends and family. I admit I dont go on it alot and I dont get into some of it. the pilow and food throws the kids get into in my mind are a waste of time and you have the option to ignore them. lol I still prefer the blogging sites.

  27. **********************
    I'm not sure whether this comment was successfuly submitted before; if so, feel free to reject it!

    I'm another "guy who lives on computers and the Internet". I've been on Facebook for a couple of years (or more?), and am quite ambivalent about it for most of the same reasons as favoringcurry. I joined in my last year or two of college, and still use it to keep in touch (casually) with a friend or two from school or whom I've met in my travels. However, balancing the privacy concerns against the limited value it offers me, I'm continually tempted either to remove my profile, or at least lock it down as much as possible and limit participation.

    One possible "unforeseen consequence" of joining Facebook is that you'll likely be inundated by "friend requests" from people whom you don't really want privy to everything about yourself or your interactions with others, but whose feelings, as itf said, you don't want to hurt by turning down the request. recommendation, as a (currently, anyway) facebook user: don't worry about being left out; you aren't missing a great deal, and you're saving yourself hassle.

    Oh...and tell that young lady that the belly actually isn't the best place to strike; she wants to aim for the solar plexus, just below the breastbone. Unlike the belly, there aren't any muscles there for protection, and you can steal someone's breath for a while. A lightning-fast, controlled strike from trigger point....

    OK, maybe don't tell her. :-) Although...her brothers might change their minds about asking her to hit them!

  28. Wow. Another person from out here in the mist... who has been waffling about Facebook for a very long time. I actually have a folder in my email dedicated solely to "Facebook Invites". One old friend included a hilarious note- "Just give in! Do what every one else is doing!" One of my hangups is that there has never been an age when people talked so much and said so little... We are communicating day and night nonstop with every imaginable form of technology, and a lot of teens I know still cry themselves to sleep because they are so lonely... Have we settled for the good and thrown out the best?? Is there a reason that many people have trouble establishing deep, meaningful relationships in real life??
    Please let us know what you decide. I've been re-deciding almost every week whether or not to join Facebook, and have been unindated with strong opinions both for and against it.
    Here is a related article that was helpful to me;


  30. Whatever happened to the idea to start a second blog with frugal living tips? That would be WAY more interesting than facebook.

  31. Hey I read in google reader all about your stove and frige failing. I come here and you have deleted the post! Waaa.
    You do know that once you publish something that those of us that use google reader can still read it regardless whether you delete if from your blog or not. You can run but you cant hide! *wink*

  32. After reading all these comments I have to comment again about face book.

    Heres just three reasons why face book is the dumbest invention yet.

    People poke you! Thats dumb. Now they can also send you super pokes!

    They invite you to play dumb games with them like the Fairytale Princess quiz and an invitation to play knighthood. What is that anyway?

    They flood your email with virtual cups of coffee and virtual cookies and all that stuff!

    I have so mnay requests for stuff at facebook waiting for my approval its ridiculous.

    I seriously cannot think of a bigger waste of time. Its nothing like blogging. People send each other silly pictures and you're suppose to forward them. It just gets ridiculous.

    When you blog as a mommy blogger you have a diary of your childrens lives. You gain experience in writing. You hash out ideas and do book reviews and read other book reviews. For me as a homeschooler I get ideas for projects and curriculum. I have not seen anything even close to this on Facebook.

    Facebook is there just to be silly on. I kid you not and I just dont have the time for it. There are a lot of young mothers at our church on the thing. I cant for the life of me figure out how they can send these dunb virtual pigs to each other and play these games and still take care of their kids.
    Dorcas dont fall for it.

    It is not redeeming the time.

  33. Ok, Mrs. Darling, this is what happened--I wrote the post and tried to attach the picture of Emily and my computer filter went nuts, blocking the picture, the blog, everything. Because it suspected "pornography and recreational nudity." Arrgghh. So I saved it as a draft until I could fix it on another computer. I had no idea Google Reader picks it up that fast.

  34. What does your husband think is best for you in this "dilemma"?

  35. Dorcus I love google reader for that reason! LOL YOu wouldnt beleive the entries I get to read that no one else does. Some people write a lot of entries and then delete them. One girl deletes hers if she doesnt get comments right away. She gets 50 to 70 comments a post so I guess she thinks theres something wrong with her post if the people dont start commenting right away. But anyway I get to read them all. LOL

  36. as if you didnt get enough comments on this already, i'll add mine! :) i think the idea that blogs are out dated is silly! and the 457 steps it takes to open a face book and become someones friend just doesnt seem worth it to me. If it comes down to "IN" and "OUT"...well, I would rather just pick dandelions and enjoy them. and by the way...I will cry if you ever quit blogging because you moved to facebook!

  37. I do NOT like facebook. I don't like that people start chatting with you while you are logged on (I don't always FEEL like chatting). I don't like that you get requests from strangers to be their "friend" (it cheapens the word). I am on facebook, though, because I am finding that it is a good way to connect with kids from church - our church is large and so it's hard for me to get around and connect with everyone and this is one way that seems to be meaningful (?!?!?) to the younger generation.
    All that said, I still may close my wall eventually.

  38. @carolynmiller-: If you don't want to chat on Facebook (as I don't--I am not a chatter and it wastes my limited time) just change "online" to "offline" in the lower right corner (change the green dot to red) and then no one knows you are online. I have had no one chatting with me since I have done that.


  39. @EG - thank you! This improves facebook imo!

  40. My cheerful summation so far: "Facebook is The Budget on steroids."


    That's my very own opinion out of my very own thumb with my very own biases built in.

    Your mileage may vary.

  41. Drudge story (which I didn't read): State Dept. taps FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, MTV to 'fight crime, political oppression and terrorism'

    The sky is falling!

    Wolf! Wolf!

    There. I said it for somebody. :)

  42. This whole comment section makes me laugh. People got all wired up about this post. Your post touched people's soft spots. :)

  43. Breaking Facebook news at Ain't Complicated.