24 August 2012

Dear Facebook - what the . . .

So here's what I don't get, FaceBook - among many things - who told you we WANTED or NEEDED to display the entirety of our lives on your site?  Whose bright idea was this Timeline thing anyway?  Somebody who works for you and doesn't have enough to do but worry about the precipitous drop in your stock prices?  Or is there a twenty-something you just hired who believes the way to make a name in the company is by completely revamping the client format - so that s/he can then occupy all their time responding to confused clients who have no clue how to upload a new profile picture?

And speaking of that - I just spent - wasted is more accurate - 30 minutes trying to do just that.  All I want to do is replace the current profile pic with a new one - that's sitting on my desktop waiting for a home on my FB page.  Here's the picture - maybe YOU can get it to post!

For fuck's sake FB making it harder to do simple things is definitely NOT going to endear you to us.  At least not those of us who weren't born during the era when our laboring mothers were texting everyone about the length of her contractions!

This is something I've never understood about living in an online world - why, when something works just fine - like a program or a web site - does somebody employed by that company feel the need to tinker with or change it?  Didn't you all ever hear the aphorism about "if it ain't broke . . . "  The only thing I can figure is that it's job security for someone.  I mean, come on - learn from the lessons of "new" Coke (of course that was before the time of all the youngsters at FB).

Then too, maybe what I think isn't even the point.  Maybe you all at FB, and other social networking sites, probably never think of people my age as users.  Certainly we are not your target market.  I'm aware of that.  But guess what FB people - we DO use your site and others like it to communicate and stay in touch with people.

And really all we want is to be able to do that without having to spend half our online time figuring out how to do something as simple as change a picture.  We just want to get on the site and see what's up with our friends and family and let them know the same about us.

How about trying something radical Facebook, and just leave something that works alone, as long as it DOES work.  Think Lays Potato Chips - think Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  You get the idea, right?  Those companies added new products, but left their big sellers alone.  And everybody's happy!

So, dear Facebook, the best I can tell you is not to mess with success.  I know, I know - you're worried that maybe you won't end up all being zillionaires before 35 after all - poor babies.  You're worried that maybe somebody even younger may come up with a way to stay connected online that will make FB seem irrelevant.  Guess what?  So what if they do?  That's how it goes.  But in the end, people will use what works for them if it does work and doesn't make them crazy in the doing.  Think Microsoft - either way you want to consider it.

Thanks for listening.

19 August 2012

To Be Continued

"So, is there sex, or better yet - love, in your life?"  

The question came from my friend Meridian during a long phone conversation yesterday.  We'd been catching up after a few months of only FB contacts.  I'd just finished telling her about the new job I recently began, and the new apartment I'll be moving to soon, how excited I feel about each, and how relieved I am to finally be in a state of receiving sufficient and reliable income - when she asked that question.

MJ & Meridian - Berkeley, CA - 2009
My answer - negative, as it has been for too long now - brought forth a typically Meridian-thoughtful response.  "Possibly becoming more settled financially and in a place that feels right to you will open up space for sex, with love, to enter."

My friend has a point - in that I have been expending quantities of energy searching for the job that would meet my needs, and even more in locating the place that feels right for me to move to (and all that moving involves).  It is entirely possible that, once all of that energy is no longer needed for those tasks there will be space/energy into which an intimate relationship can enter.

I'd like to believe that this is how it works.  I'd like to believe that the universe does hold potentially all of the things and people and situations we desire - and holds them loosely like so many gumballs in the dispenser, just waiting for us to turn the crank and release them into our sweaty hands.  I'd like to be the sort of person who trusts that good things - or at least the things we desire - are infinitely available to us if we will simply open to them.  Meridian believes that, and she's been telling me for the six years we've been friends that it's this belief that has gotten her the car, the living situation, the friends, and the love relationship she currently has.

I tend more toward a belief in fate.  I live and operate from a belief that we get what we get, and that there's very little we can do to alter what we get - for we are fated to live the life we have.  I'd have been right at home in early Greek or Roman society - in which the gods were considered all powerful and in complete and absolute charge of everything.  Of course, if what we get is harmful or dangerous or in some significant ways "bad" for us - we can reject it.  I've done that certainly.  But that doesn't mean, according to my lights, that something "good" WILL come along after.

And, believe it or not, this way of seeing the possibilities constitutes a real improvement over how I used to view the world.  For over fifty years I believed in control - that I could MAKE things happen or not, that if I just worked hard enough and strove strongly enough I would get what I wanted - regardless of the realities inherent in others or in the situation!  How much energy and time I spent trying to turn chicken shit into chicken salad!  

Life, and heart attack, and heart break, motherhood, and a lot of therapy have all taught me that, no, I'm totally NOT in charge of any of it.  And that learning has all come within the last decade.  

So - although I don't believe that the universe will shower me with all good things as Meridian does, at least I no longer believe I need to strive to make things happen.  Nowadays I focus on simply doing what I can to care for and about myself, on allowing others to support and help me as they are able, and on trusting my bodily and emotional responses to who and what shows up in my life each day.  

Maybe the energy freed up by no longer working to find the 'right' job (for the one I just began feels SO right!),  and the energy that will be available when I get settled into the new apartment - maybe all that available energy around and in me WILL draw in someone for me to love, to express sexually with.  Or maybe that energy will transform into a form of creating that is new and vibrant for me.  How wonderful it would be if BOTH happened!  

Whatever happens with this available energy, however it manifests inside of and around me, there will be a gift in it that will surprise and challenge me.  And I'll be sharing that gift in some way with whoever is open to it.  Stay tuned.