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Facebook Is for Old People

Illustration by John Cuneo for TIME

 

In this weeks Time Magazine there is an article called “Facebook Is for Old People”, by Lev Grossman. On the web, the same article is called “Facebook is for Old Fogies”. Hmmmm. Anyway, here is the full article: “Facebook Is for Old Fogies“.

The article starts with a brief intro:

Facebook

    is five. Maybe you didn’t get it in your news feed, but it was in February 2004 that Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, along with some classmates, launched the social network that ate the world. Did he realize back then in his dorm that he was witnessing merely the larval stage of his creation? For what began with college students has found its fullest, richest expression with us, the middle-aged.

Here is a summary of Grossman’s 10 reasons old people have taken over Facebook (see original Time article for details) and my thoughts on each.

1. Facebook is about finding people you’ve lost track of.

I’d agree that this is probably one of the biggest reasons old fogies use Facebook and also a reason why kids don’t need it (yet).

2. We’re no longer bitter about high school.

True, I hardly remember high school and don’t even recognized some of my old high school friends.

3. We never get drunk at parties and get photographed holding beer bottles in suggestive positions.

True, for most of us…

4. Facebook isn’t just a social network; it’s a business network.

True, although this can also be a reason to avoid Facebook.

5. We’re lazy.

I think “busy” is a better word. Life gets much more complicated after marriage, kids and jobs. Facebook gives users the ability to tie into many other online networks such as blogs, twitter, flickr; sort of like one-stop shopping.

6. We’re old enough that pictures from grade school or summer camp look nothing like us.

Ya, so?

7. We have children. There is very little that old people enjoy more than forcing others to pay attention to pictures of their children.

He’s running out of reasons now. There are plenty of online ways to show off photos of our kids.

8. We’re too old to remember e-mail addresses.

I don’t think so and besides, we have address books. Who needs to remember email addresses that change all the time anyway.

9. We don’t understand Twitter.

I don’t understand this reason. Is it, “Cindy is eating a burger and fries” the part that we don’t understand or the twitter network itself? Twitter is much easier to use than Facebook. Anyone who can sent a text message, can twitter. In fact, I’d say that twitter has more to do with whether or not people use text messaging then one’s age.

10. We’re not cool, and we don’t care.

True, we are not cool and Facebook is no longer cool, it’s gone mainstream. Any hot new web site will lose it’s cool factor once it gets very popular. But true, we old people don’t care about being cool.

I think Grossman’s reason #1 is why so many older people use Facebook, to reconnect with old friends. This is a key feature to facebook which probably was not the intent of the creator Mark Zuckerberg, who just wanted to connect current students. But there is still a lot on facebook for people of all ages. With the privacy settings for friends, networks and groups, both young and old can socialize without being bothered much by each other, just like in real life.

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Happy 200th Birthday!

Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago today. Yet many Americans do not believe in evolution. Really, it is not a question of believing, it’s more a question of understanding. What many people don’t understand is that evolution is a FACT. It happened and is happening now. Darwin’s “theory” of evolution is simply the best explanation we have at this time.

Steven Jay Gould explained that evolution is both a fact and a theory. “And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.”

So while we can debate a theory, the facts are indisputable. Yet a scary percentage of Americans still deny the basic fact of evolution.

Chart source, National Geographic News

This chart depicts the public acceptance of evolution theory in 34 countries in 2005. Adults were asked to respond to the statement: “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.” The percentage of respondents who believed this to be true is marked in blue; those who believed it to be false, in red; and those who were not sure, in yellow.

This is not a true or false question folks! The human brain is evolving way too slowly in some people!

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Chewie

I got another nice comment via one of my Comic Con Flickr photos:

“I was the guy in that Chewie costume and I have to say that brief moment with Eric was the highlight of my trip to NYCC. I just showed my wife the picture. Thanks!”

I had mentioned in my first Comic Con post that I wasn’t sure who got more looks at the conference, the people in the costumes or Eric in his chair. But it is nice to know that Eric makes such a positive impact for some folks. I’ve always believed that the best way for our kids to be accepted by society is to get them out there and to help educate people. Sometimes it’s like living in a fish bowl, but the positives far out-weigh the negatives.

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New York Comic Con

Here is a post I never thought I would make… This past weekend was the 2009 New York Comic Convention in New York City. The NYC “Comic Con” is billed as the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. Aaron was invited to attend by Director Chris .R. Notarile to help him promote the film “Methodic”. Aaron is very interested in film making, particularly horror/suspense movies and this is something he really wanted to do. Eric loves staying in hotels, so we decided to take the twins to NYC for the weekend. It turned out to be a fun and educational time for all.

View of Time Square from the 9th floor of the Double Tree Suites.

View of Time Square from the 9th floor of the Double Tree Suites.

The biggest problem we had was parking our huge handicap van in the city. When we made our reservations, we made sure that the hotel we stayed at could park the van. We called the Double Tree Suites and they assured us that they could take care of the van, “No problem, we do that all the time.” Well, of course when we got there, the doorman looked at us like we had two heads. Rich had to drive six blocks to find a place to park. Other than that, the hotel was very nice with a great location right in Time Square.

Interesting that with all the diversity in the city, there were very few people using wheel chairs. Understandable, I suppose. It was not easy getting around with Eric and the city sure could do a lot better with their sidewalks. I’m not sure who got more looks and attention at the convention, the nutty people in costumes or Eric in his wheelchair. Oh well, nothing new for us.

Needless to say, the people attending this convention are really into comic books. The place was packed with people dressed up in all kinds of fantastic costumes. There were also lots of artists and celebrities there. Personally I have no interest in comic books, but I still had a great time. My favorite part was meeting Lou Ferrigno, “The Incredible Hulk” from the old Bill Bixby TV series. I loved that show and have always admired Lou for overcoming his disability. He lost most of his hearing; a side effect of antibiotics he took as a young child. He is now almost 60 years old and he looks terrific. He is still in great shape and he hasn’t changed much since his Hulk days.

Lou with the twins

 

Autographed photo of Lou Ferrigno

 

Aaron spent Friday night and all day Saturday dressed up as the “Dollman” handing out little postcard ads for the Methodic movie. He also did some filming.

To my surprise, Eric loved walking (well, wheeling) around the city and he also enjoyed the Comic Con. This is surprising, since he often does not tolerate noise and crowds. I doubt there are many places on the planet as noisy or crowded as NYC! But I think that both the city and the convention were over-the-top sensory stimulating, all the noise and confusion sort of all blended together. We never know how he will do when we take him somewhere new. So, the fact that he did well all weekend is a huge success! Only two things really bothered him all weekend. First was a police whistle, he doesn’t like whistles. But we only came across one officer with a whistle, so not too bad. He also had trouble with a very loud announcer at a costume contest, so we had to move him away from that. But otherwise, he did amazingly well. The highlight of the weekend for Eric was meeting “Ariel” from Disney’s Little Mermaid. Ariel is his favorite Disney character, but actually the person he met was dressed up as “Poison Ivy”. However, she did look like Ariel and she was kind enough to pretend to be Ariel for Eric.

Eric and Ariel (Poison Ivy)

 

I have never been to an event quite like this one and certainly never would have gone if not for Aaron. My boys have taken me places I never thought I would go. The convention was packed with people just having fun. It was like a huge Halloween party, except that the costumes were better than most I’ve seen on Halloween and the focus was comic characters, mostly super heroes and their villains. I’d guess that the most popular character was The Joker. I think I saw more Jokers than any other character.

Harley Quinn, Joker, Dollman (Aaron), Riddler

 

Like Halloween, this convention was a chance for people to dress up, be crazy, and get away with it. It really was a fun escape from reality.

Me and Captain Jack

 

More photos at Flickr.

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California Octuplets

(CNN) — A woman in California delivered what may be the nation’s second live-born set of octuplets on Monday morning, surprising doctors who expected seven babies.

“The hospital said the woman didn’t want her personal information released to the news media, and it would not answer questions about whether she’d had fertility treatments.”

Stupid question, did she have fertility treatments? How else could she have a litter of kids? Crazy!

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