Social Networking ...

I have mixed feelings about social networking, but in general, find it to be an interesting addition to normal human interaction.  I’m too wordy for Twitter, I find, but some use it almost like an RSS feed to be notified when I post something new to the blog.  Chat really isn’t my thing, either.

Facebook tends to cannibalize my comments a bit, with readers posting on either Facebook or my blog, but not both.  For those who have tried to “friend” me on Facebook, very few have made it through.  If I can find out something about a reader of my blog I might say, ‘Okay’ but it all depends.  I try to keep my “friends” to people I actually know, like friends and family.

Granted, many members of my extended family I have never met and I have lost contact with many friends from the past.  My own fault, I must admit.  Most of my cousins I have not seen for close to forty years.  Often it is their kids that are more active online, including my brother’s sons.  My mother’s side of the family is less digitally challenged than my father’s side.  For those I have made contact with, even though they do not communicate directly, it is nice to see pictures and read what they write to each other.

My wife has her own Facebook identity now and they seem to enjoy sharing pictures of themselves and where they go, commenting on how they look in their pictures seems to be a must.  Through her postings, my own pictures are much more widespread.  We do put all settings for Facebook to ‘Friends Only’ for obvious and oft-discussed reasons.  For more important things we both email or call on Skype.  Better yet we try to get together as often as we can.

Despite the negative image of the Thai Visa Forum, the Chiang Rai sub-forum, has morphed into a social networking hub for many of the residents of the Rai.  It has facilitated many of us meeting and subsequently getting together on a regular basis through social events scheduled in our area.

For me there is clearly no substitute for a face to face meeting.  Whether that be over coffee, a meal, a private party, exercise, or an impromptu encounter at a social event, or while shopping, it is always good to see a friendly face and catch up a bit.  Perhaps this only pertains to people like us who live far away from others or are retired and don’t go to work everyday.  In the Rai we are spread out over a wide area, however, and it takes a little more effort to get together regularly.  Social networking is no substitute for the real thing but it often facilitates it.  At least that is my take on it.

By the way, a little feedback on the new color scheme would be appreciated.  After a few years of black, I thought a change might be nice for 2011.  So what do you think of the blogs new clothes?