Tuesday, 30 August 2011

the grid. a digital frontier....

Problems Our Parents Never Had (part i)

When we were in Vienna twelve months ago at the end of our year of travels, we attended the birthday party of our friends' daughter.  Well, I say we attended... really we were just surrounded by teenage girls as they fussed around, watched a carefully vetted video and experimented with make up.  We stayed out of the way and drank wine.  It was great.  Before we left, the birthday girl herself asked us both if we were on Facebook and she be our friend?

Hmm.  Facebook was all a bit new to me then, as I'd only (reluctantly) joined the site a few months before to share Africa photos.  Even so, having a 13 year old girl in my feed seemed a bit...well... a bit weird.

Luckily, nothing happened and the request never came, so I carried on as before and didn't think anything more about it.

....and then, this weekend, the invitation arrived.  Lilli is another year older and has finally got around to sending us both invitations to be her friend on Facebook (she has a lot more friends than me already, obviously.  Those kind of things matter, right?).  I sat on the invitation for a couple of days and finally, after seeing that C. had already accepted and apparently wasn't having the same qualms (to be fair, it's not quite the same for her, is it?), I accepted and we are now happily connected via the marvellous medium of a social network.

I'm not going to over-think it.  Apart from anything else, what's she going to see?  All that I ever seem to put on my profile are endless updates from Runkeeper detailing the statistics from all the running that I have been doing over the last few months.  I must be hemorrhaging contacts, so I probably need all the friends I can get.

If you are thinking of posting a comment on my wall anytime soon though, perhaps mind your language, eh?  That google+ idea of having friends in discreet circles is looking more appealing by the minute.

Problems Our Parents Never Had (part ii)

I received an email this evening from a friend announcing his engagement.  Excellent news.  In the email, he had the decency to apologise for sending out such momentous news in a mass email, but reasoned that he needed to beat his fiancee to the punch because she was about to announce it on Facebook and he wanted us to hear it from him.  Still, he added, a mass email is better than hearing about it on a blog, isn't it?


He took offence about the announcement of my wedding on this blog in 2006, and it appears he hasn't forgotten about it quite yet. (He heard the news of my wedding directly from me, I might add....he was just getting upset on other peoples' behalf, which was very public-spirited of him.)

A mass email is better than Facebook is better than a blog.  Now we know.  A social dilemma our parents never had.  They probably sent people cards or something.  And ask the prospective father-in-law for his daughter's hand in marriage.  All that kind of shizzle.  No dowries now, sadly.

At least, I didn't get one.

Congratulations guys!  No matter how it's announced, that's great news!  If your wedding is as little trouble as ours was, then you are going to have the BEST day.

Social Networks, eh?  They create 'em, make fortunes out of 'em... but do they think about the etiquette and unforseen social consequences of them?   You tell me that, Mark Zuckerberg.

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