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Rantings and Ravings

Sun Advocate reporter

A while ago I gave in and joined the Facebook crowd. Since then many other hold outs have also signed up and my Facebook friend list has grown.

I work out of my house and really have no co-workers to chat with during the day so Face book has become my break time, my "connect with others" time. I do not virtual farm or have a mafia, engage in the school of magic or any other games available through Facebook. My time on Facebook, when I log on, is about 15 minutes. I go on several times a day. I spend much more time than that on the computer writing for the Sun Advocate each day.

I do have a page for my art. I help administer a page for our Soroptimist region to get information out. I have several groups and pages that post tips on performance and training that I have been using to help me get back in shape. I have reconnected with long lost high school friends and stay better connected with extended family.

I have been defriended and I have defriended some. I have blocked some applications and some people. I like most of my experiences with Facebook, but if it went away or I had to pay for it, I would not miss it much.

But like many other things that came before, it has garnered its share of critics on how it is ruining lives. There is a minister in New Jersey who wants his flock to delete their accounts because it is a "portal to infidelity." Well, so are bars, computer chat rooms, and even workplaces.

A study that concerned the site stated that Facebook could trigger asthmatic attacks. One guy was having asthma attacks after he was dumped by a girl and he went online to Facebook and saw his picture when he went to her page, over and over. It stopped when he was advised to quit doing that. Seems like the on-line stalking was the true issue here.

There is concern about how addicted people are getting to Facebook. I'm sure that is very true. But it is also not exclusive to this one activity. We heard this same thing when Internet web surfing first became popular. Also ditto for on-line gaming, phone texting and chatrooms.

But these complaints are not exclusive to the most recent past. I remember hearing the same thing about home video games, women watching soap operas during the day and TV watching in general.

When I was growing up our parents told us about people who were addicted to listening to other peoples' conversations on their party lines. Also there are and were people who are just plain addicted to talking on the phone to anybody and everyone.

So if we were to be honest about things, Facebook is just one of a long line of things to be used in a fun and light way, or misused and abused.

There is something about some human beings in that they can end up addicted to almost anything if the right set of circumstances are aligned.

If you don't like it, don't use it. If you know someone who has headed down the rabbit hole of letting it take over you may be able to gently help them see the problem, but probably not.

Just remember if it wasn't Facebook, it would be something else that the media and others would be picking on.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine will be Facebook free as I will not be connected to the Internet, but will be connected with family and friends.

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