It was a Wednesday afternoon when I walked into Starbucks that day nearly six years ago. I stood at the bar, waiting for my drink, when the barista politely asked me what I was up to that day. As it turns out, I was en route to the airport at that moment…about to catch a flight to Italy with my husband. After a brief minute of chatting, the barista handed me my coffee and wished me a nice trip. “But then again”, she said “why wouldn’t you…your life is golden!”
I’ll admit…the gold star was nice. But at the same time, the words knocked the wind out of me. She wasn’t being rude. She wasn’t being sarcastic. In fact, she was being totally genuine. And that’s the part that really took my breath away.
Because here’s the thing…
This lovely girl saw me for all of five minutes a day. Usually all dressed up on the way to my full-time job at one of the country’s most prestigious art galleries. Or with my camera in hand to photograph two people in love. Or, yes, on my way to Italy for ten days to celebrate my anniversary. This is what she saw. Therefore, this is what she knew.
75,608 likes and 43,441 shares and 515 comments #likesup Original Facebook post on Sept 30th by Genevieve Smyth
And truth be told, there is darkness in this kind of knowledge. Especially now, when so many of our connections happen only five minutes at a time…fully filtered and perfectly hash tagged. In our defense though, it’s not entirely our fault. That battle we’re fighting…those rough days were having…they don’t tend to translate very well when you have twenty people in line behind you for coffee or a hundred and forty characters to spell out your day.
Honestly, what was I going to tell my barista?
“Yes, we’re flying to Europe. I just miscarried our baby…we had a terrifying health scare…I’m suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder…and we’re feeling pretty far from God right now. So, yeah, going to Italy seemed as good a place as any to just run away from our life and justifiably eat gelato twelve times a day.”
No. I wasn’t going to tell her this. Because shocking total strangers into oblivion is a bit harsh and cruel. Especially when she’s the girl in charge of making your coffee every day.
But I did spend the entirety of that flight wondering; about our sense of authenticity…our collective vulnerability…our polished identity. And it made me feel like a total fraud. Because I’m not any of those things that this girl sees on the other side of her coffee bar.
If I showed up one morning, wearing my most ragged and scarred self…it would be a very different girl staring back at her [and she would likely feel inclined to serve me alcohol instead of coffee!]…
Because I was bullied a lot as a teenager.
I’m afraid of thunderstorms.
I spend an absurd amount of time worrying about what other people think of me.
My biggest challenge in life is letting go of people. Even if they hurt me.
I hide behind my humor for fear that people won’t accept me without it.
I feel like I have failed as a daughter.
I try to avoid big groups so that I won’t feel like the invisible one among it.
I’m insanely self-conscious of my smile.
I feel like I’m an easy person to walk away from in life…and it haunts me on a daily basis.
I almost always operate under the assumption that I care more about everyone else than they do about me.
I unfollow people on Instagram if their life seems too perfect because it makes me feel inadequate.
I feel like a terrible mother pretty much all the time.
I hate emptying the dishwasher.
Every day, I’m afraid that my husband is going to wake up and finally realize how much crazy he married.
I thank God for every day that he doesn’t!
I don’t like to try new foods…so I travel with my own jar of peanut butter.
I want to write a book so badly that it hurts. But I’m afraid of people telling me that my life was never worth telling.
I struggle, every single day, with feeling like I’m enough. Skinny enough. Funny enough. Good enough.
And I cry. A lot.
I highly doubt I would get a gold star for any of this. But, now, six years later, I do know one thing for sure; that even with all of my frailty…all of my fears…and all my faults…none of those things make my life any less golden.
Scars tell stories. Scars mean survival. Scars mean you showed up for the fight instead of running from it.
And we’ve all got them…even the sweet girl serving my coffee. She’s fighting her own battle…defending her own front line…struggling in her own way.
And maybe it’s not about collecting gold stars for the perceived reality we give the world on Facebook…but it’s about the purple hearts we get for living bravely among the real one.
Because life requires guts…it requires bravery…and it requires vulnerability.
So, buy your coffee…wear your scars proudly…and carry on, dear soldier…
You’re not in this battle alone.
Source Facebook Post Genevieve Smyth
LikesUP for Facebook’s 10th Birthday! Feb 4, 2014
5 ways Facebook changed us, for better and worse via CNN
It’s been 10 years of change for Facebook, the social network founded February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, right, Dustin Moskovitz and three other classmates in a Harvard dorm room. From its awkward beginnings to an international phenomenon with a billion users, here’s a look at the many faces of Facebook.
(CNN) — Ten years and 1.2 billion users into its existence, there’s no question that Facebook has changed our lives.
Whether it was an inspired vision, deft execution, a bit of dumb luck or a combination of all three, Mark Zuckerberg’s social juggernaut has ingrained itself into the daily lives of digital-age users in a way that forebears like MySpace and contemporaries like Twitter could only imagine.
Which is not to say it’s all “likes” and “shares” and happy kid pics. As with any new (or newly discovered) technology, the impact of the end product is largely in the hands of the user. We are, after all, only human — with all the joy and sadness, decency and ugliness that that entails.
So here, as Facebook turns 10 on Tuesday, is a look back at five ways the social network has changed us — for better and for worse.
1) Share! Share! Share!
The good: Wedding announcements? Thing of the past. Birth announcement? Just slap an Instagram shot of that bouncing baby boy or girl on your timeline.
Dating? Graduated? Bought a house? Got a puppy? Same deal.
We take it for granted now, but the ability to share major events with all the people closest to you with a single click of the mouse is unprecedented.
There were the Myspaces of the world before Facebook. But mom, your second cousin and Aunt Jenny weren’t on them.
And it’s not just the good stuff, either. Changing that relationship status to “single” can save you from those awkward “How’s Joey doing? You two are so cute together!” conversations.
The bad: Overshare! Overshare! Overshare!
Seriously. Ten years in, some folks haven’t figured out what everyone on their friends list wants, or needs, to know.
OK, sometimes those pictures of your dinner look delicious. Sometimes.
But the detailed updates on your mundane day are mind-numbing and the play-by-play of your 3-year-old’s potty training is just — too much.
We all want to know you got a wedding ring. The fact that you just polished the one you’ve had for 14 years? Not so much.
2) The past is not really past
The good: When a site has 1.2 billion users (OK, we all know some of those are multiple or abandoned accounts, so let’s say at least a cool billion) it’s a pretty amazing database of the world’s Web-enabled population.
That means your odds of finding just about anybody are a heck of a lot better than they were 10 years ago.
There have been the remarkable tales, like the woman who — after years of failed efforts – reunited after 44 years with her birth mother. How long did it take on Facebook? Two days.
For most of us, it’s less dramatic than that. Childhood friends who moved long ago, college roommates who drifted away, even former teachers who served as inspirations are now but a quick search away. There’s no doubt we have friends because of Facebook that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
The bad: Sometimes, drifting apart isn’t a bad thing.
Yes, your old high-school classmates got annoying and your cousin’s politics disgust you. But we’re not talking about that.
We’re talking about exes. And past flirtations. And cheating.
Nostalgia is part of life. But, with Facebook, getting nostalgic about an old crush or flame could lead to a late-night Facebook message. Or, you know, a poke.
“I see Facebook issues breaking up marriages all the time,” Gary Traystman, a divorce attorney in New London, Connecticut, told the Wall Street Journal.
More than 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys say they’ve seen an increase in cases involving social media, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and one-third of all divorce filings last year contained the word Facebook, according to a survey by Divorce Online.
Temptation is always out there. But with Facebook, it can be a little too convenient.
3) It makes you happy
The good: In 2009, a survey of 2,600 college students by researchers at the University of Texas showed that those who were the heaviest users of Facebook were the most satisfied with their lives. They also were more likely to be engaged socially and politically.
More recently, a University of Wisconsin study showed that, after five minutes of looking at their own shiny Facebook profiles, users experienced a significant boost in self-esteem. A 2011 Cornell University study delivered similar results.
“For many people, there’s an automatic assumption that the Internet is bad,” associate professor Jeffrey Hancock said at the time. “This is one of the first studies to show that there’s a psychological benefit of Facebook.”
The bad: Or maybe it makes you unhappy.
Other studies have looked at aspects of Facebook use and the results have been less encouraging.
Last year, a University of Michigan researcher found that looking at posts by Facebook friends — you know, the photos of smiling kids on vacation in the Caribbean or announcements about promotions, engagements and awesome nights on the town — can make us feel sadder about our own humdrum lives.
“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection,” the study reads. “Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.”
As with many things, your mileage may very. But what’s clear is that Facebook has become such a part of our lives that it tweaks our emotions, for better or worse.
4) Every day is a reunion
The good: Reuniting with classmates from high school or college has never been easier. Pre-Facebook, a class reunion committee looking to celebrate five, 10 or 20 years post-diploma faced a thankless task.
“Where does Jennifer live these days?” “Who has Steven’s phone number?” “Do you know Wanda’s married name?”
Now? One Facebook event invitation and you can focus on booking the best ’80s cover band available.
The bad: If every day is a reunion, why have a reunion?
Actually reuniting with old classmates is losing some of its appeal when we know the names of the former theater club president’s three kids and which character from “The Hunger Games” she’d be.
Timothy Davis, co-founder of reunion website Classreport.com, told the Baltimore Sun that he has noticed a drop-off in the number of reunions in recent years, particularly among folks in their mid- to late 20s.
“People I haven’t talked to in years will see my wedding pictures on Facebook, then I’ll see them in person and we won’t say one word to each other …,” Rebecca Miller, a 23-year-old whose five-year reunion fizzled to a small party at the class president’s house, told the paper. “Why go to a high school reunion when you’re going to stand around and go, ‘So, how did that doctor’s appointment go yesterday?'”
The good: For those willing to find and use them, Facebook provides tools that let you select who sees what.
So, while grandma is welcome to look at those pics of the kids playing in the snow, she might not need to be privy to your strongly worded rant about the cable guy who is two days late. You can direct that one instead to buddies with a proper appreciation for your expansive vocabulary.
Rival Twitter is designed by default to be a public forum, where you broadcast your 140-character pearls of wisdom to the world. Facebook allows that, too, but is more geared toward limiting your thoughts to certain family and friends.
The bad: Well, you know.
Security breaches have been a reality of many websites’ growth. But as its user base grew dramatically, Facebook’s problems (like the time CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg got his own page hacked) played out in front of a massive, and nervous, audience.
While Facebook has privacy settings that let users protect information, some privacy advocates say the network doesn’t make them easy enough to find and use. (Facebook has worked to ease those concerns, especially for younger users).
At the end of the day, Facebook benefits when you decide to share more openly. The details about your life that you share on Facebook are rounded up and compiled into a profile of you that helps advertisers target you with things they think you’ll like.
So, when you announced your pregnancy and were, soon after, bombarded with Facebook ads for a bunch of baby stuff? That was no coincidence.
To be clear, Facebook is not handing advertisers information about you personally. But, somewhere, there exists a nameless profile of a user with your hometown, gender, age and likes and dislikes, just waiting to be used for marketing purposes.
That, in a nutshell, is the entry fee to use this remarkable social tool. Yes, Facebook has changed the way we communicate. Whether it is truly cost-free remains another question.
Source: Doug Gross
See also Facebook video
#LikesUP for Facebook Anniversary #10
RebelMouse launched in June 2012 much to journalists’ delight. Entrepreneurs, social media buffs, news stations (see King5Seattle), and tech sites, all embraced this darling new social media aggregator. You can easily scroll curated information from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. that displays “In One Place.”
Many RebelMouse users simply reorganize their own stories, videos and photos to create their own Social Front Page Newsfeed.
RebelMouse sports an image-rich layout that depicts your social media shared interests with Pinterest-style. Check out my Sherrie Rose Rebel Mouse page.
RebelMouse is created by former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry and he wants RebelMouse to be the front page to your online life while displaying your tweets, posts and stories. You can create and curate hundreds of sites. Here’s Paul Berry’s description of RebelMouse
Social Front Page News via RebelMouse. Sign in via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter to get your free account. For Twitter only pages, see Twylah http://www.twylah.com/sherrierose
RebelMouse has some powerful capabilities:
- brings multiple social networks together in one place
- share social data (images, text, video) with people outside your usual network
- modification be either totally automated or you can edit and curate manually (LOVE this!!!)
RebelMouse paid versions customized to your domain name are ‘coming soon.’
Some celebs already have custom domains – @garyvee says: “Love using @RebelMouse for my NEW HOMEPAGE on garyvaynerchuk.com“ Here’s the watchdog reporting news from Muck Reads as part of the project for Journalism in the Public Interest.
Get creative with RebelMouse!
#LikesUP for Rebel Mouse
Connect online with Sherrie Rose http://www.sherrierose.info/
Facebook Messenger Takes Over Your Desktop
Facebook is attempting to take over. Take over all your devices from desktop to mobile. The upside is more Facebook. The downside is more devices equals more distraction.
Messenger is a new app that brings Facebook to your desktop. Join the multi-taskers and surf the web or use other applications while you:
- Chat and message with your friends on Facebook
- See the latest updates from your friends in ticker
- Get quick notifications about what’s going on
To try out the app, just complete a one-time setup.
Note: Facebook Messenger will automatically install updates.
Messenger lets you use Facebook without being on www.facebook.com. You will now be able to stay in touch anytime, no matter what you’re doing.
Facebook Messenger Mobile App Basics
Messenger is a free stand-alone mobile app that lets you: Reach friends wherever they are nowText your friends for free using your existing data planReach…
No. Messenger is free to download, and it uses your existing data plan. To get the App: Visit fb.me/msgr on your BlackBerry, iPhone or AndroidGo to the App…
Yes. People who don’t have the Messenger app on their phone will receive chats and messages you send wherever they log into Facebook.
Straight from the Facebook.com Help Desk:
You can set up the app if you use Windows 7 on your computer. We are currently working on a version of this app for Windows Vista.
When you download and open Messenger for the first time, you will be logged in automatically. From then on, you’ll need to log in from the app
Can I minimize or collapse the sidebar in Messenger for Windows Desktop?
If you’d like to close the sidebar but still get notifications and chats, click the x at the top-right corner. If you don’t see an x, make sure the app is…
Click the icon at the bottom-right corner of the window to undock the app. Click to dock it again. By default, the app is undocked so that you can easi…
Not yet. You can chat and message with individual friends, see what’s going on in ticker and get quick notifications about Facebook activity in Messenger….
The same preferences you’ve set in your privacy settings on www.facebook.com apply when you’re using the Facebook Messenger for Windows Desktop.
#LikesUP for Facebook Messenger
Likes UP: Webinar Webcasts Without A Computer!
Your Webinar Can Now Broadcast Live to Any Device with an HD live broadcasting device that works seamlessly with the New Livestream service – without a computer!
A webinar is an online seminar that can take place on a variety of platforms. Some webinars are webcasts with live streaming. Livestream lets you stream live events over the Internet, expand your community and engage your audience when they cannot physically attend your webinar event.
Includes 3 months of unlimited live streaming on the New Livestream, $45/month thereafter. Ships by May 31, 2012 when you Pre-order now for $495
This is the industry’s first affordable unlimited ad-free HD live streaming end-to-end solution.
Webinar event owners and producers can use the Livestream Broadcaster as a desktop encoder connected to a multi-camera video production switcher, or as a AA battery powered ( portable wireless encoder mounted to a camera and streaming via Wi-Fi or a USB 3G/4G Wireless Modem. Now, that’s slick!
Cameras connect to the Broadcaster via the HDMI video input and the Livestream Broadcaster encodes real-time in high quality video and audio.
You will be in control remotely from anywhere in the world via the Livestream website, or via the Livestream for Producers iPhone app. And, you can control the Livestream Broadcaster on the device itself. Go Mobile!
Livestream helps the world discover and experience your live event from anywhere, on any device.