69 Comments

  1. Sigh. Well, that was a depressing read. I also wonder where all these social networking sites get us. It’s true I’m on FB more often than LJ these days, but it’s partly b/c on FB, i can write a sentence, but on LJ I like to do a “post” or something more substantial. With small kids and deadlines, it’s been hard to do more than that sentence or two.

    I use FB mostly for friends and family stuff, with a little bit of writing stuff thrown in. I have to confess that I’m one of those who puts up pictures of family vacations, but I actually enjoy looking at them when my friends put them up, too, esp ones whose families i haven’t met yet.

    I do agree that it’s terrible to be spending so much time updating and not picking up the phone to call. That’s disturbing to think about!

    • There’s more than one side to this argument, isn’t there? I like seeing photos of families, etc. It’s one way of scrapbooking our days. I guess the thing that bothers me most is the phatic, fast-paced nature of FB. Life goes by so rapidly, doesn’t it? I’m always wanting to slow things down, to savor a conversation and luxuriate in my relationships.

      And Sheela, I always enjoy reading your posts. And knowing how very busy you are, I feel fortunate that you took time out for tea!

  2. Where’s my teacup? Oh there, thank you Melodye!
    I agree – and I don’t. I can see the danger but I have to say I don’t think I know anyone who has fallen down that particular rabbit-hole. As someone who has a very lonely job, with my nearest friends an hour’s drive away, I find it easier to keep in touch on FB with people I would have little to no contact with otherwise.
    *sips tea*
    FB, my email and LJ are what keep me in touch with people on a daily basis. Without these instruments I really would be a lot lonelier. Yes, maybe I would call friends a tad more often – but I am not so sure. Those of my friends I normally talk to over the phone are my friends on FB too, but they rarely post at all. I have re-connected old school friendships over FB, and one long-lost friend flew in from another city to meet me after having found me on FB. This summer I got invited to her wedding ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lovely tea, this! May I have a cookie, too? Mmm, that looks delicious…

    • Yes, oh yes! I once lived in a remote area, far removed from family and friends. So I know how important it is to find any avenues for communication. I only wish there were FB back then!

      That said, I love that we’re able to connect — again and again, deep and deeper– on LiveJournal. I love our continuous tea party.

      Here, have another cup! And cookies, as many as you’d like.

  3. As I said over at the post one theinternetwillbethedeathofcivilizedsociety.com I think that in general we are trending toward substituting the virtual world for the real world – and that can’t be good under any circumstance.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Melodye. Much truth there (unfortunately). The whole narcissistic thing is why I’ve avoided Twitter thus far. It’s too bad that the benefits of social networking are being obscured by people getting carried away by their exaggerated sense of self-importance. But with writers so pressured to “promote” themselves, it’s hard to know how or where to draw the line.

    • Excellent points, Jama. There’s a light and shadow side to everything; the problems develop when one overtakes the other. And yeah…about the authorial promotions on FB and Twitter. Hmmm, I’d love to see studies about their effectiveness, beyond the anecdotal.

  5. I don’t need to read it–felt that way for a long time. But people are going to do what they’re going to do. And a lot of people like a continual flow of chatter, just as they like the noise of the TV in the background.

  6. I have a hard time with Facebook for so many reasons. It’s nice to have contact with people I knew long ago in places I don’t live anymore, but you can’t say anything long there, and so I don’t feel like I can have real conversations. And I don’t care what someone’s quiz score was or how many virtual Easter eggs they’ve found. I much prefer blogs, letters, or in-person interaction!

    • I’m with you on the longer, in-depth conversations. I have trouble keeping to a set (or perceived) word limit!

      So far, I’ve only met up with a few people from my past. I don’t know why that is, but maybe it’s not the right venue?

  7. I think as with all things that FB and LJ and whatever are fine in moderation: touch base, let folks know you’re still alive, say hello. If interactions with strangers become more important than real life face time, though, and start filling up the space meant for living life, then there might be a problem.

    • Excellent point! I think of them as fun diversion and/or pasttimes, but they’d cross over into destructive territory if they interfered with my top priorities (including, especially, our real-life relationships and responsibilities).

  8. I think as with all things that FB and LJ and whatever are fine in moderation: touch base, let folks know you’re still alive, say hello. If interactions with strangers become more important than real life face time, though, and start filling up the space meant for living life, then there might be a problem.

  9. I think I only have two “real life” friends on FaceBook, and one is the very busy sort who I’d hear from even more rarely if not for FB. And maybe there is something wrong with me, but I enjoy the minutiae.

    FB hasn’t taken over my social time, but the applications have taken over my video game time. FB actually reminds me to make that phone call. I’d begun drifting away from my love affair with the telephone long before I discovered social networking.

    • There’s nothing wrong with you at all…we all enjoy different things, and that’s what makes the world go ’round, right?

      I enjoy your LJ and FB posts; they make me laugh and make me think.

  10. I’m not going to read the article because I can already tell I’m going to disagree with it. I LIKE knowing those little quirky things about my friends. I DO give a hoot if my friends are having a busy Monday. I think it’s funny when my friends post quiz results. It’s because of sites like this that I’ve made more friends. Now we send each other postcards when we go on trips, or we meet in person (if we’re local). I’m able to be in touch with people I thought I’d NEVER hear from again, and those little status updates helps me get a peek in their lives I otherwise would not have. In addition, I no longer live in my home city, or state for that matter. So, face to face time? Laughable, seeing as everyone is busy and/or can’t afford or take time to travel. I have friends all over the world. Internet is how we keep our friendships going. So for me, a lot of my social life IS online and I’m OK with it.

    • I love that we met on the internet and became friends in real-life, too. And the fact that you give regular updates on your home and work life? It makes me feel special, like an integral part of your life.

      I’m not one for the minutia. My life is cluttered enough as it is. But that’s me, and I’m not making claims about anyone else’s preferences. Heck, I embrace the fact that we’re all different! I just like having my friends close enough, often enough, for frequent hugs. Even if they take place in cyber-space. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  11. I have been invited to be friends with so many people on FB but I have decided not to partake. I like LJ because it seems as if one can really get to know their friends in here. The Mrs is on face book and is having a lot of fun but it is not for me. Want more than one can get on FB. Never saw where one could get a glimpse of a book in progress as you have given us. Now back to figuring out my next post.

    • Yep. I value so much that we got acquainted on LJ and that we’ve grown closer over the years. (Whoa, has it been that long? I’m thinking yes, even though the time has flown by…)

      And I, too, think LJ’s special. It’s the Big Sky country of the online community: it allows room for friendships to blossom, for ideas to bloom and spread.

      • I couldn’t have said it better. I treasure your friendship and getting to know you. I am excited about your book and could be your biggest fan. That is a big statement considering you have many, many friends here. One never knows where a friendship or when a friendship will bloom but I know God has put a special story in your heart because you will tell it. I will be the first in line to buy your book. :0)

      • I couldn’t have said it better. I treasure your friendship and getting to know you. I am excited about your book and could be your biggest fan. That is a big statement considering you have many, many friends here. One never knows where a friendship or when a friendship will bloom but I know God has put a special story in your heart because you will tell it. I will be the first in line to buy your book. :0)

  12. Great post. For those reasons I took Twitter, Facebook AND email off of my BlackBerry. I only use it for phone now unless I”m traveling alone and need it.

    I was spending way too much time on electronic relationships.

    That said, in this business Twitter is so so valuable.
    It’s my favorite of all these venues because it’s more like a chat room operating in real time.

    • It’s good to allow ourselves time to reflect on old and new habits, isn’t it? Things get off-kilter when we’re not mindful of the pros and cons. I admire that you drew your own conclusions, and that you acted accordingly.

      Wondering…how has Twitter helped you in this business? I’m not sure I could handle the constant Incoming, but I’m sure there are lots of positives that I don’t know yet about.

      • The teen blogger/reviewers are very active on Twitter. It’s like a hang-out. Also, a very wonderful person who read and blurbed SEA just twitted fabulous things about it and me–and she has like close to 3k followers—in that respect, it’s pretty amazing. Plus, it’s REALLY fun. Like a 24 hour party. Someone is always there. =)

  13. Oh, so glad for the invitation to tea and chat, Melodye! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve read that article, and I mostly don’t agree with it. Mostly I feel like it’s the kind of alarmist silliness that misses the point–and true charm–of aps like FB.

    For example, to me the point of those silly quizzes isn’t to tell me whether my high school BFF (now a mother of 3 in Tuscon) is more like Morticia or Wednesday… it’s to provide an opportunity. A casual, un-intimidating, funny, non-awkward really low-pressure way for me to potentially chime in and re-contact someone I rarely or never reach out to anymore.

    When it comes to the trivial updates like what someone had for dinner, I find that I don’t mind hearing that at all. Heck, if I am not willing to skim a single sentence of smalltalk every day from someone I know, I’m not going to be much good in the real life (offline) social world either, am I? And FB’s “one liner” update allows me to keep in touch with far-flung friends of all stripes… not just the small fraction that enjoys writing online essays. Even my husband is getting into FB, and reconnecting with old friends! And he is not someone who could ever do LJ; he tried for years.

    Very few of my FB friends are obnoxious over-posters. And those two people are just as obnoxious in real life (yet I still like them… go figure.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oh, and I want to add that I am VERY silly and alarmist myself when it comes to Twitter. Something about Twitter just puts me right in that cranky, “first horseman is here” mind space. I don’t know why. Your thoughts on Twitter are very welcome.

    • I love that you accepted the invitation! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Maybe the article’s like the story of the Blind Men and The Elephant–we see and describe and react to it according to where we are in life, and who we are as individuals.

      I think your example is, well, a brilliant illustration. It hadn’t occurred to me at all to think of the applications in precisely that way. And yet…you make an excellent point!

      I wonder, though, about those one-line updates. Sometimes they carry heft (i.e. important messages); more often, though, they appear to me like ticker-tape–tossed into the wind, becoming litter in the online landscape. With all that clutter, how is it possible to see, hear and feel everything that’s being said? But that’s probably just me. I don’t do well with cross-talk in the real world, either. It makes me nervous hen I don’t know where to focus my attention.

  14. I’m not on Facebook, so I can’t speak to that.
    But what I’ve noticed about social media is this: One site will be hot for a while. Everyone will join in and get their friends to join. But eventually they can’t keep it up. The pattern is similar to what I noticed back in the days of letter writing. People who stopped writing me letters have not able to sustain email correspondence either, and they let their Myspace pages or blogs lapse. I think a lot of people jump into these sites with the illusion, “Now I’m going to keep up with everyone!” and they do for a while, but then the novelty fades and they slide back into not communicating much.
    I don’t agree with the article saying that people post things more inane than what they’d say on the phone. Have you ever overheard cell phone conversations? “I’m walking to my car now” is an actual quote.
    One big benefit of online networking for me is that I’ve found tons of people who like to write, as I do, and who like to talk/write about writing and publishing and so forth. People who have mentored me and commiserated with me and cheered me on. Whereas, in my 3-D life, I was totally alone with this experience for years. The people around me just weren’t writing YA fiction with the intent of publishing!
    Really, the writing community is the main reason I’m online.

    • I see your point, Jenn. When I started my LJ blog, so many people were posting regularly, and now…well, we’re a whittled-down group, aren’t we? I miss very much those who’ve jumped to other networks, but I’m very glad to hang out with everyone who’s still here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      While I’m enjoying the opportunity to experiment with different types of online networking (FB for now…), I’m especially loyal to LJ. I love this community with a fierce and loyal passion. I love being surrounded by smart, sensitive, supportive people who understand my writerly life and share other interests with me, as well. Maybe not always to the same degree or emphasis, but still…they CARE, and the feeling’s mutual.

      I wonder if your library project would have netted the same success in another online forum? I’m not sure, but I’ll never forget how good it felt to see your project unfold on LJ.

      • Well, that’s the other thing I like about LJ. While you can develop closed communities within it, you can also post public blogs that are open to everyone. I don’t like having to join a network before I can even look at sample pages and see whether it’s something I’m interested in.

        I’m still hoping to do another library blog challenge next spring, so unless things change between now and then, we’ll have another chance to see what happens!

      • Well, that’s the other thing I like about LJ. While you can develop closed communities within it, you can also post public blogs that are open to everyone. I don’t like having to join a network before I can even look at sample pages and see whether it’s something I’m interested in.

        I’m still hoping to do another library blog challenge next spring, so unless things change between now and then, we’ll have another chance to see what happens!

  15. I know you have strong feelings about this Melodye and I’m glad you’ve given them voice. I always appreciate hearing your honest take on the curve balls like throws us.

    Here’s the thing – for me it all fills a whole that otherwise would be, well, a hole. I only have a couple of in-person friends and while we do schedule time to be together, it isn’t daily, or even weekly. Even though I’m an introvert I can’t go for weeks without talking to someone else which is pretty much what it would be without the connections online.

    But it is, always isn’t it, about the balance?

    • I have strong feelings, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to other voices/opinions/experiences. That’s why I joined FB–and why I still have an active presence there. I honor the fact that we’re all different, and I am reaching out to my friends who’ve chosen a different forum. Plus, it’s fun to play on different playgrounds now and again.

      I, too, feel that writing can be a lonely, very distancing profession. And for that reason, my online friends are a central part of my life–you included! I don’t know what I’d do without your friendship and guidance. Sheesh and omg, that’s unimaginable.

      However–and I’m just speaking for myself here–I need a slower, deeper, more intimate dialogue. And I don’t feel that comes of 140-character messages or quick status updates. Those are fun, sure, but they’re not fulfilling. Again, I’m just talking about me and my own needs.

      • I hear you.

        It’s not just that writing is a lonely profession. I just don’t have a lot of people in my life. I did before, in a different life. Not so much anymore. I miss them but I am not so good in the making new in-person friends at this age. I try, but it’s hard.

        I guess for me I am not looking at the various social networks as just a friend update though. A lot of it is business.

        On Twitter I 90% of the time am tweeting something about my work. Either about the WIP, technique, etc. Or I am asking a question to the experts at large for an article.

        I might do the same thing on FB but mostly there it is about being available, being approachable, and being seen. (Okay, and it’s about playing Scrabble which is my only game addiction.)

        I would like more opportunities myself for slower, deeping, more intimate dialogue. Which reminds me – you and I need to schedule a phone chat for one of these days, don’t ya think? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I have strong feelings, but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to other voices/opinions/experiences. That’s why I joined FB–and why I still have an active presence there. I honor the fact that we’re all different, and I am reaching out to my friends who’ve chosen a different forum. Plus, it’s fun to play on different playgrounds now and again.

      I, too, feel that writing can be a lonely, very distancing profession. And for that reason, my online friends are a central part of my life–you included! I don’t know what I’d do without your friendship and guidance. Sheesh and omg, that’s unimaginable.

      However–and I’m just speaking for myself here–I need a slower, deeper, more intimate dialogue. And I don’t feel that comes of 140-character messages or quick status updates. Those are fun, sure, but they’re not fulfilling. Again, I’m just talking about me and my own needs.

    • It certainly can be a time suck, if you allow it to be! (Heh, that can slso happen unintentionally, of course.) When it comes to social networking of any kind, LJ included, I think you have to set boundaries and priorities. Certainly, some of us need/want/require more interaction than others–and isn’t that true about so many things in life?

      One good thing FB (and there are several) is the fact that I’ve reconnected LJ friends that migrated over there a while back. It’s been a real treat to catch up with them–and to meet new people, as well. But LJ is more satisfying–for me–as a steady diet.

  16. “My question is this: If we didn’t call each other on the phone every time we ate before, why do we need the alerts now?”

    I so agree with this point.

    Like Kelly, I’ve avoided facebook because I think it will be a time suck. I keep getting nudges from people to join…some of whom I have no interest in reconnecting with. Twitter? Same thing. Not for me. I can understand the lure but see far too many pitfalls for me.

    Like everything else, I suppose moderation is key.

    • Great question, isn’t it?

      I’m very happy that I’ve been able to reconnect with LJ friends who ventured over there…and stayed. But I love that we have room here on LJ in which to expand our circle of friends and explore our ideas to their fullest. This conversation, for example, would never go on for this long–or in such depth–on FB or Twitter, I don’t think. I’ve learned so much more about you (and the topic) in this forum.

  17. I enjoy interacting on FD (obviously… lol) for a number of reasons… it allows me to reconnect with old friends and just goof around with current ones that I’m not sitting in a room with. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s a virtual playground that that real-life friendships require face time. It’s a definite rabbit hole where people can lose themselves in virtualworld, replacing real relationships for online ones and mistaking one for the other. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with developing some relationships online through a medium that promotes thoughtful exchange like a blog or LiveJournal or whatnot… but to be “fully realized” as a relationship, I do think it requires that face-time. I don’t think it’s Facebook or any of the social networking sites that are “ruining” friendships… I think it’s the people that mistake virtuality for reality.

    • I’m thinking the appeal of most online communities is that we can venture forth–traversing time and distance–to find our own tribe(s). But as in real life, we need to develop stronger bonds than staccato interactions allow, lest we fall away or–gasp!–return again to obscurity.

      I love the drive-by conversations we have on FB. But you’re right: they’re no substitute for the real world. And speaking of which (ahem!)…weren’t your people going to contact my peeps about the possibility of us doing lunch? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I think you said it very, very well. We do find and collect our own virtual “tribes” don’t we? And we can add people to our tribe from other countries without ever leaving our rooms. Strange thing, that. And though I do value some of the online connections I’ve made with people very much, you’re definitely right, it’s not substitute for real, face-to-face interaction.

        Errrr… I must have gotten my wires crossed… I was waiting for your peeps to contact my peeps! lol… Okay… I shall take the bull by the horns and kick my peeps in the butt to contact your peeps. I’d love to pick your brain about writing soon!

      • I think you said it very, very well. We do find and collect our own virtual “tribes” don’t we? And we can add people to our tribe from other countries without ever leaving our rooms. Strange thing, that. And though I do value some of the online connections I’ve made with people very much, you’re definitely right, it’s not substitute for real, face-to-face interaction.

        Errrr… I must have gotten my wires crossed… I was waiting for your peeps to contact my peeps! lol… Okay… I shall take the bull by the horns and kick my peeps in the butt to contact your peeps. I’d love to pick your brain about writing soon!

  18. I enjoy interacting on FD (obviously… lol) for a number of reasons… it allows me to reconnect with old friends and just goof around with current ones that I’m not sitting in a room with. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s a virtual playground that that real-life friendships require face time. It’s a definite rabbit hole where people can lose themselves in virtualworld, replacing real relationships for online ones and mistaking one for the other. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with developing some relationships online through a medium that promotes thoughtful exchange like a blog or LiveJournal or whatnot… but to be “fully realized” as a relationship, I do think it requires that face-time. I don’t think it’s Facebook or any of the social networking sites that are “ruining” friendships… I think it’s the people that mistake virtuality for reality.

  19. I enjoy interacting on FD (obviously… lol) for a number of reasons… it allows me to reconnect with old friends and just goof around with current ones that I’m not sitting in a room with. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it’s a virtual playground that that real-life friendships require face time. It’s a definite rabbit hole where people can lose themselves in virtualworld, replacing real relationships for online ones and mistaking one for the other. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with developing some relationships online through a medium that promotes thoughtful exchange like a blog or LiveJournal or whatnot… but to be “fully realized” as a relationship, I do think it requires that face-time. I don’t think it’s Facebook or any of the social networking sites that are “ruining” friendships… I think it’s the people that mistake virtuality for reality.

  20. an illusion of a social life. . ..

    I didn’t read the article – I may later – after breakfast with my husband on the patio – want to know what we’re eating? – [ Ha!-Ha! ]

    Seriously – I think myspace FB LJ & Twitter can seem like an illusion of a social life. – so that can be a problem.

    I visit friends’ LJ posts – to stay in touch with folks.

    I Twitter to keep up with some news posts like from Ann Curry etc — or to ask a question — & to participate in #kidlitchat on Tuesday nights — with writers editors & agents.

    To post about the minutea [sp?]of my own life would BORE me – so I don’t =)

    I’m thinking abt going on Facebook – because our 35th [amazes me! ] high school reunion is next year & the organizer set up a Facebook page for it – so it could be a fun way to connect with folks BEFORE the reunion which would make the reunion more fun!

    Thanks for posting this, Melodye!

    • Re: an illusion of a social life. . ..

      Hey, dining al fresco in the a.m. sounds delicious! What *did* you have for breakfast?
      I think a lot of life these days is illusory, purposefully so. But that’s fodder for another post. Too thinky for me on a holiday morning, especially before I’ve downed my first cuppa caffeine.

      But re preparing for that reunion…wheee, I think that’d be a fun, very useful way to use FB! It won’t be a timesuck, won’t detract from your primary (real-life) relationships unless you allow that. You’re savvy, and besides, you can always buy a stopwatch. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

    • Re: an illusion of a social life. . ..

      Hey, dining al fresco in the a.m. sounds delicious! What *did* you have for breakfast?
      I think a lot of life these days is illusory, purposefully so. But that’s fodder for another post. Too thinky for me on a holiday morning, especially before I’ve downed my first cuppa caffeine.

      But re preparing for that reunion…wheee, I think that’d be a fun, very useful way to use FB! It won’t be a timesuck, won’t detract from your primary (real-life) relationships unless you allow that. You’re savvy, and besides, you can always buy a stopwatch. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

  21. & what about classmates dot com and related sites

    It probably wasn’t in that article which I still haven’t read –[ but did enjoy our breakfast of eggs croissants & blueberry muffin]

    but I’m wondering if sites like classmates and Reunion & MyLife are also for the social connecting & that after a decade or two folks want to reconnect to their younger life and friends from then — just thinking

    & now I’m off to join Facebook — but I’m not quite ready to put my face on it [ in highschool I was half the person I am now – physically etc ]

    Great discussion here by the way

    & very glad I met you on LJ — waaaaay back when we took Lauren’s YA class

    • Re: & what about classmates dot com and related sites

      I’m very glad we met, too, and that our friendship has grown over time. (Really? It’s been that long?!?! Seems like only yesterday, I started to say, until I realized that makes me sound ooooold. lol)

    • Re: & what about classmates dot com and related sites

      I’m very glad we met, too, and that our friendship has grown over time. (Really? It’s been that long?!?! Seems like only yesterday, I started to say, until I realized that makes me sound ooooold. lol)

  22. Two comments that made me grin:

    “…true love can wither while you Twitter” and “Facebook is, for the most part, a virtual playground.”

    Regarding the latter: that is SO how I view my FB page. I enjoy the occasional funny status update and I do love to look at pictures from the lives of friends/family I rarely see due to distance or just time. But I also know what a time-suck it can be. And I ALSO know I get way too much information about the friends/family I do see more regularly that way. I’m not a huge phone-person…but maybe it’s time I picked it up regardless.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post! We all need to remember there is life beyond Farm Town. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • It’s fun, isn’t it? A diversion, and sometimes a distraction. I love getting phone calls and emails and letters. FB is nice, but it whizzes right past me, too fast for me to read, reflect upon, absorb. Like candy on the tongue, sweet but gone too soon.

      I’m glad you stopped by for tea. I savor our time together.

    • It’s fun, isn’t it? A diversion, and sometimes a distraction. I love getting phone calls and emails and letters. FB is nice, but it whizzes right past me, too fast for me to read, reflect upon, absorb. Like candy on the tongue, sweet but gone too soon.

      I’m glad you stopped by for tea. I savor our time together.

  23. Iโ€™m with you on wanting to slow things down, and to communicate either face to face or if thatโ€™s not possible through LJ. May I join your tea party?

    Iโ€™m on both Facebook and Twitter but find that the fast pace is a tad too hectic for me which is why I donโ€™t post every day. I like some of the Facebook games like PathWords and Scramble and use them to help to get the old brain in gear as I’m drinking my morning cup of tea. At the moment Iโ€™m hooked on Zebra Mahjong for no other reason than itโ€™s fun, and Iโ€™m determined to break 3,000 one of these days.

    Iโ€™m also on MySpace, Blogger, JacketFlap, NESCBWI and Verlaโ€™s as I realize that the publishing world is cutting back on their PR and I want to keep my foot in the door… but LJ is my home. Because I live in a somewhat rural area and do not drive I use the internet for friendships and to stay in touch with other writers, like yourself, so most of my social life is online.

    The one thing I worry about is that the younger generation seems to be substituting the virtual world for the real world, as the majority of people seem to believe what they read on the internet… take the brouhaha over President Obamaโ€™s talk to the schoolchildren, for instance.

    Big hairy deal, who cares if he wanted to ask kids to study hard, stay in school and come up with ideas to help him. It didnโ€™t hurt us back in the 60โ€™s when JFK asked the country to help and we didnโ€™t end up being indoctrinated into pseudo Hitler Youth Brigades. Geeesh!

    And what would be so wrong with a touch of socialism, we are after all our brother’s keeper aren’t we?

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