According to Facebook, there are currently 134 people who consider themselves to be my friend. But it doesn’t escape my attention that among these, 11 are cousins, 4 are my own children, and 6 are some of my grandchildren who are old enough to be on Facebook. Nevertheless, if I eliminate those 21 family members, that still leaves me with 113 so-called friends. That being the case, I’m wondering why it is that on my last birthday I received only nine birthday cards!
I got a card from each of my children, one from my sister, and four from cousins. Those were hard-copy cards, ones that I could hold in my hand. But that’s not to say that my Facebook friends ignored me. Several of them posted birthday greetings on my “wall,” but it wasn’t quite the same. Facebook skills continue to elude me—but that’s okay, since I have yet to understand why anyone posts information about his or her daily life. I can’t figure out why anyone would be interested in the fact that I have a dental appointment at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, that my Monday-evening canasta game was changed from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00, or that I bought a beautiful handbag at TJ Maxx last Tuesday. Why would anybody care about any of that? Even I don’t care! Except about the new handbag, of course; I care about that.
As I understand it, one is not able to write on one’s own wall, but only on someone else’s. So when a person wants to blab about what’s going on in his life, he simply writes it on his status page. To my way of thinking, my status should include only pertinent facts about myself, such as where I live, how many children I have, and, sadly, the fact that I’m a widow. That’s my status! Everything else is mundane and not important enough to share with anyone but those I speak to on a regular basis.
As there are millions of people out there who vehemently disagree with my point of view, I have drawn the following conclusion: apparently I’m one of those people who just don’t like to share. It’s a good thing my parents aren’t here to see that, because if they did, they would be disappointed in me! When I was a child, they spent a lot of time teaching me how important it is to share. Of course they were talking about sharing things such as toys and candy. They weren’t making any reference to sharing the details of my life. Still, sharing is sharing! So, should either of them appear to me in a vision, as they sometimes do, I will hasten to assure them that I do a fair amount of sharing material things.
In addition to phone calls, I keep in contact with nearly all of my cousins—many of whom live in distant locations. As a result, I do share the pertinent information about my life and I learn what’s going on in theirs. My parents would indeed be proud that I make every effort to remain in contact with far-flung family members.
I have nothing against Facebook or Twitter or anything else that smacks of social networking. Based on the fact that so many people are hooked on the two, I’ve concluded that these things must offer something. But they’re not for me. The only use I have for networking of this type stems from my long-held desire to find two girlfriends from high school that I lost contact with many years ago. Unfortunately, as hard as I’ve tried, it hasn’t worked out for me. My luck is such that the last name of one of the girls I would love to reconnect with is Smith. Good luck to me! I would also love to hook up with two long-ago camp friends that I think of from time to time. My relationship with these two gals pre-dates high school; we were friends at the age of 13.
With every passing year, I seem to go further back in time with my memories. I think not just about people, but also about past experiences. For example, when I ruminate about my camping days, at Camp Yavneh in New Hampshire, what I recall, in addition to the sun and the fun, is that it was billed as a Hebrew-speaking camp. Speaking English wasn’t forbidden, but it was discouraged. Even at mealtimes, we were expected to converse, and to ask for our food, in Hebrew. As languages were never my thing, I dropped five pounds in the first week. My memory of the details is somewhat foggy, but obviously I either managed to perfect my Hebrew or the rules were relaxed after a while. I know this to be true because I quickly regained the lost weight and then some. By the end of the summer I had gained a total of nine pounds.
Memories aside, I remain determined to connect with some of my old friends and acquaintances. But it hasn’t been easy. Not everyone inserts her maiden name when using Facebook, and as maiden names are the only ones I know, I’m not likely to find the four people I’m looking for anytime soon. But I haven’t given up. Despite my lack of knowledge about how to write on someone’s wall and my disinterest in posting messages about my daily life on my status page, I remain focused on that which does interest me. So I intend to persevere in my quest. And, as I’m not proud, I’m willing to accept help from anyone who chooses to offer it. That’s the way it is!
Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and is a licensed real-estate broker associated with Marjorie Hausman Realty. She can be reached at Savtahannah@aol.com or 516-902-3733.