Saturday, January 12, 2013

Got Me Going In Circles

I see that quite a few of my G+ pals read the blog. This is why I sometimes use it as a platform for issues that first come to my attention on Google. Right now, I want to explain something I did the other day.

When I first signed up on Google Plus, I was so happy to be free of Facebook that I lost 95 percent of my mind and went on a Circle adding spree. If someone made one decent comment, I added them. If a user profile had anything about Alaska, the Northwest, cold weather or snow tires in their profile - I added them. Pretty soon, I was adding people who weren't even posting in a language I could read or translate!

This "Add Madness" happened in a pretty short period of time. November 2011 is the closest I can come to nailing down my start on Plus. In that 14 or so months, I'd gathered over 3400 people into my Circles. I talked to about 40 of them on a regular basis and was able to pay attention to a few more "social-ebrities" as I call people with good content and a large following. (Actually, there is one fabulous photographer over there who I just l.o.v.e. because he always acknowledges his fans. Beautiful.)

Anyway. A while ago, I decided it was time for some paring of the Circles. I started with trimming people I never saw online anymore, then decided I will keep trimming bases on the following:

  • If you only ever post the rudest or lewdest - I don't want you in.
  • You're argumentative and snotty - or both, well, you don't need to share it with me.
  • You're not a president or royalty, but you can't be bothered to interact with your circlers, then, "Buh-bye."
I've kept only people I can learn from and laugh or respectfully debate with. Even if you are kind of a social-ebrity, if you seem too arrogant or into yourself, I'll just "cut ya" like a drunk sailor.

Okay. So, now that I'm down to a really good group of people, I can enjoy and relax with Plus instead of working it like an unpaid job.

The thing now is, how do I meet new people on Plus? I changed up my profile, hoping to attract only decent people who want to actually share ideas and fun. Either people don't bother much with the reading of profiles, or I screwed up something.

Well, here's the deal: I will add you if you let me know who you are what you're about. That requires either an email, message or anything other than that "Add" button on Plus. I totally ignore those Added You notices now. Totally. They just clutter up my email with willy-nilly nonsense from folks who aren't telling me anything about themselves - except that they obviously didn't read my profile.

Okay. That was my little rant for the day. I know it sounds selfish, but I figure if you do Add me now, it's because you really wanted to. (And, be warned: if you come into my Circles, I will probably introduce you to someone I think you might like to know yourself. That's the way to grow Circles.)


Parents and Technology

I just saw something posted online poking fun at parents and the internet. Made me think of Mama. She passed away in 2001 when I was still rocking jackets that had been broken down by a phone like this:

except the battery in mine was the size of a Yugo

Mom was just plain fascinated with that phone. She was also a little pissy about it. She thought that the only person so important and needing to be reached at any given time should be addressed as "President" or "Your Highness." Matter of fact, she felt like even a queen needed peaceful bathroom breaks.

Cell phones were extravagant, in Mom's opinion. There was no real purpose for them other than to be showy. Computers, on the other hand, were wonderful. 

I remember when we got our kids their first computer - a Gateway desktop - and my mother would sit with them while they did homework. Homework was pretty much all they were allowed to do on the computer. Mama would watch while they pulled up articles on Encarta. The way she looked on in awe at the rotating maps and scrolling timelines damn near brought tears to my eyes. I had never seen my mother in such a state of wonder. (I got a little bit worried about her when she started checking out the back of the PC as if she thought there were little green men back there operating the machine.)

Well, if Mom was weird-ed out by the phones and computers back then, I'm pretty sure she'd be throwing holy water on the stuff we all have in our homes now. 

Understand that I come from parents who came straight out of the sticks of places like Big Spring, Texas and Hope, Arkansas. I have an aunt, now in her late seventies, who used to believe that if she turned off a radio mid-song, the same song would continue when she turned on the radio three hours later. (True story. I learned this when I stayed with her for a couple of weeks back when I was around thirteen.)

This is not just about my Mama. A lot of you are going to be laughing with me when I tell you that Mama worried that Gameboys might be the work of Satan. If she'd lived to see it, I guess she'd have keeled right over watching us Skype. I don't even want to think of how she'd have felt about people walking around Walmart, chatting to their unseen Bluetooth devices. We probably would have had to have her committed for treatment.

Not to sound like Grandma Kettle myself, but... The other week, I was marveling over the cool gifts my nephew got for his first birthday. The talking broom really cracked me up (D.J. has a thing for sweeping), but the vacuum cleaner his parents got for him was so cool, I wasn't sure it was really a toy.

It's a Dyson. Seriously.

While I was raving over the "realistic" features, I noticed that the damn thing actually works. It has suction and everything. Think I'm lying? Here's the Sam's Club page - though I think D.J.'s came from Costco. I would be mad, but D.J. actually understands how it works. Hey - anything teaching a male to do housework is cool with me.

I try not to, but can't help but be fascinated by some of the stuff I'm seeing when I go into Best Buy. It's getting embarrassing. The first time I played around with a touchscreen computer at Best Buy, I swear I heard a kid whisper, "Get over it, Grandma."

In the old days, I'd be allowed to smack him upside the head for being rude.