Tag Archives: facebook

Hype cycle of life

I’ve had a few days recently when I’ve been without my phone. This made me realise how I use social media to fill all the little gaps in the day when I’d rather scroll than think or look or talk. (Introverts unite!)

Over the years, I have been subjected to many people explaining the Gartner Hype Cycle  to me. It’s *a thing* if you work in digital/technology. They use it to show how we are all sucked in to new tech, get disappointed, then shrug our shoulders and use it more sensibly. It is represented by a bendy chart like this:

gartner-hype-cycle

The Gartner Hype Cycle

I tried to review my own use of social media using the Hype Cycle’s five phases of a technology’s life cycle…

Technology Trigger: “A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity.”

Me: Started it/went back on it because I’m feeling strong. Technology will not control me. I can stop when I want to. It’s fun. Wheeee!!

Peak of Inflated Expectations: “Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures.”

Me: Oh it’s so shiny. A lovely portal in to pictures of excellent hair, architectural fruit platters, artistic shoelaces on amusing tablecloths, outlandishly refined pencil storage vessels.

Trough of Disillusionment: “Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver.”

Me: What have I learned from the last 74 posts I scrolled through? Clean eating is both a joke and a serious food phobia. Everyone I know, or do not know, or should know, has more than me. More culturally diverse holidays, more whimsical children, more successful and publicly affectionate partners, more innovative recipes using avocado, birch water and food-grade iron filings.

Slope of Enlightenment: “More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood.”

Me: Have accepted that my abdominal muscles will only be *that* defined if I use a bold permanent pen and glitter glue. Realise that taking a little peek in to the lives of friends and family is better than closing the door. A family reunion is three generations + Mark Zuckerberg in a blue room.

Plateau of Productivity: “Mainstream adoption starts to take off. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.”

When I can’t be bothered making small talk amongst unknown school parents, I can pretend that Twitter is my work email.

Here’s one I wrote earlier

The invasion of the attention-snatchers Using technology mindfully.  Does that sound like a phrase created by rich young white men in grey organic bamboo t-shirts? Turns out that I‘ve actually been doing it for years…  I wasn’t trying to be mindful, I just don’t like technology telling me what to do.

Using tech for good, not evil  I was running a little quiz and a guy made a joke about looking up answers on his phone. Him: But you’re a digital person aren’t you? It’s technology! Me: I believe in technology for good, and not evil.

Getting older and further away

Several weeks after leaving Facebook, my life continues on.

Older

I had a decidedly non-digital afternoon tea with some delightful ‘old girls’ from my school. I’m not using ‘old’ in a pejorative sense. One of my companions had graduated from school in 1944!

My days are usually spent in the company of people my own age, or with children. It was quite brilliant to share shortbread with an entirely different generation.  No-one secretly checked their messages under the tablecloth. No-one leapt away from the table to grab their iPad to look up the EXACT name of their angina medication. And no-one posted photos of us with mouthfuls of date slice on FB.

I felt younger and springier. Hopeful that I would one day be a feisty senior with sturdy boots and a backpack full of cake, talking too loudly to the bus driver.

We shall be exchanging addresses and sending cards to keep in touch. Hooray!

Further away

I’ve been thinking about the ‘unreal’ friendships that I left behind on FB. I might have commented on photos of their 5 course Peruvian degustation meal, but I really didn’t know what was going on in their lives.  I never asked “How are you?” on Facebook.

Once, a friend received a disturbing email from her very good friend overseas. Lots of apologies for being a bad friend, inadequate mother and general life-failure. Alarming .

Even more sad than the actual email, was our first thought: “Is this real or a hoax?” How could we tell if it was some crazy spam or a genuinely troubling communication? It turned out to be genuine, and I felt so guilty for doubting its authenticity.

I treat email as administrative and functional. In this case, the medium (email) did not match the message (I am feeling truly awful and need a friend).

We have to ask “How are you?” a lot more often. And be happy even if we just get a 🙂  back.

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Love is not dead, it’s just resting.  How often do you tell your loved ones that they are loved? On a sliding scale, I think the most romantic medium are (with 1 being most lovely):

Why Facebook is not my friend

I’ve un-friended Facebook.

I’ve haven’t been popping in to FB’s corporate blue cyber-lounge very much recently. FB was dropping down to the bottom of my To Do list. It was above “Pick up next-door cat’s poo in my garden” but below “Find lost sink plunger”. [We have sub-standard plumbing in this house.]

I decided that in 2013 I would *leave* Facebook. I’m not closing my account, but I’m just not actively checking it or updating it. It’s a bit of a relief actually.

Good things about leaving Facebook

  • I don’t have a constant parallel “I-must-remember-that-funny-thing-so-I-can-post-it-on-Facebook” soundtrack in my mind. I just laugh at it, and move on.
  • I am no longer jealous of distant colleagues’ luxurious holidays .
  • Calibrating a suite of ever-changing FB privacy settings? Ha! I laugh at your privacy settings.
  • I don’t need to comment on anyone’s pictures of their kids. Of course I think my friends’ children are funny, smart, adorable, stylish etc. I just don’t need to prove it.
  • I haven’t had to ‘friend’ either the generation above (parents, uncles, aunts) or below me (nieces etc). I have avoided breaching inter-generational FB sharing etiquette.
  • I have rung, and Skyped and emailed and met with and written to my Real Life Actual Friends. It has been lovely.

Bad things about leaving Facebook

[After a long pause… ]

  • I will not know what you ate at your wedding anniversary dinner.
  • I will not know that you liked the page for “Katie’s Bespoke Ceramic Yoghurt Cooler Pods”.
  • I will not know that you got divorced, deported, promoted, pregnant, married or mauled by a rare mammal on your charity fun run.

Life after Facebook

I read that Facebook is the email of the digital natives. Ubiquitous, functional and essential. I hope that’s wrong, as I’m going to live without it.

This was my first post on Facebook – 3 July 2007:

[From me to friend] Now I’m a zombie chump thanks to you.

This was my last post on Facebook – 9 December 2012:

2013 new year resolution SPOILER: Only 23 more sleeps until I leave* Facebook.

*I’m not even going to pretend to check/update very often. Just can’t be arsed.

There are plenty of other ways we can connect: twitter, linkedin, flickr, pinterest, my blog, your blog, email, skype, landline, mobile, post, or meet me for a coffee?

(But not google+… I suspect that I will be on that even less than FB.)

Here’s one I wrote earlier

We are all alone together. Looking down the hill, the lights of the party twinkled and crinkled through the trees. The wafts of voices floated up past me in the dark. I could see my friends arranging and rearranging themselves in to little clumps of conversation and mid-priced wine.

I am, like, so not popular. I am not a very popular person. I only have:

  • 90 Facebook friends (although if I friended my mum and all my uncles, aunts, cousins and their spouses I’d probably double that). [Update: As at 7 April 2011, I have 100 FB friends.]

First World Problems

I live in the First World and I have problems. Some people call this ‘White Whine’, but as I’m not technically white, I prefer the term ‘First World Problems’.

I’ve just returned from a week in the English countryside, where we had a lot of rain, and very little Internet access.

I found small transient pockets of 3G as we whizzed through towns. As husband drove, I frantically updated and refreshed as many mobile apps as possible. Then I had to put down the phones as we swerved through green hedge-lined tunnels of car-sickness.

Getting a decent Internet connection was a complete pain in the bum. So we ate a wide and varied selection of fried fish and fried potatoes, moaned about the weather, and watched Jubilee TV.

Here is my current list of other First World Problems:

  • I don’t buy yoghurt because there are too many choices, and anyway, it’s just a pretend-healthy tub of sugar + dairy nonsense.
  • The cafés at garden centres have uncomfortable seating.
  • My mobile phone screen is always smeared with ear grease.
  • I have too many plastic shopping bags, but I don’t want to put them in the rubbish because they will enter the waterways and strangle dolphins.
  • I still don’t know which of my relatives I should add to Facebook. I think mum has stopped trying to Friend me.
  • I am a little bit embarrassed when my (Chinese) parents bring their own toothpicks to (non-Chinese) restaurants, and pick their teeth after a meal.
  • I don’t have time to read Vanity Fair properly anymore.
  • My Kindle now looks out of date and unfashionable.
  • I still don’t let my kids to wear Crocs in public. Unless we are near a large body of water.
  • I don’t know what threadcount my sheets are.
  • I read blogs written by people who are more creative, funny, rich, stylish and/or youthful than me. It makes me feel inadequate.

Multi-tasking – doing lots of things not very well

I have dinner in the oven, and I’m breathing, as I write this blog. Is that multi-tasking? I’ve got Facebook and Twitter open too (but I promise I’m not looking at them). Am I being super-duper efficient?

When I was a project manager, I organised lots of tasks, wrangled resources and constantly communicated to stakeholders. Those important people holding those stakes liked to see that I was Across Everything. All the time.

I used to think I was an ace multi-tasker, but now I’m not so sure…

 

Multi-tasking that I do well

Watch television AND sew stuff AND listen to husband debrief about work. Easy – it’s my wife-work.

Attend my daughter’s first school Christmas play AND have a vomiting flu. This is how it goes: watch adorable children in charming play; discreetly dash off to vomit in school toilets; smoothly slide back in to my seat to applaud.

Make breakfast for kids AND pack school lunch AND fill in school forms AND check homework. It feels as if I’ve achieved so much by 9.00 am!

 

Multi-tasking that I don’t do well

Driving AND talking on the phone. I have never learnt this essential modern life skill. I can’t imagine how people send text messages whilst they’re driving. Many years ago, I was equally amazed by boyfriend-who-is-now-my-husband rolling his own cigarettes in the car whilst steering with his knees.

Reading email AND checking a mobile AND talking to a colleague AND filling in a spreadsheet AND discreetly updating Facebook AND being on hold with IT helpdesk AND drinking very hot coffee. It may look impressive, but I’m really doing all of these tasks quite averagely.

Eating on the sofa AND watching yet another bloody cooking show on TV. No matter what I’ve made myself to eat, my tastebuds get all disappointed if I’m watching a TV chef make truffled starfish and chestnut kebabs.

Where do you go when you press Home?

Does your life have a ‘Home’ button? I’m back home (Sydney) after a brief visit to London (new home). My old house is empty and my new house is waiting for me. I’ve never been very attached to a particular location.  Home is wherever I am with my own little family.

Technology is helping to create a homesickness prevention barrier. I’ve made heartfelt promises to email, Skype, tweet and update many many people. And when I have time, I will even put pen to paper.

I am a busy body

The busier I am, the less time I have to tell people how busy I am. Twitter and Facebook are not part of my core communications strategy matrix. (Can you tell I used to work in an agency?)

Some of the things I might have mentioned if I’d been social online in the last weeks:

• Black cabs only take cash? WTF?
• I may have missed the wedding, but I do have a Catherine & William commemorative Oyster card.
• The estate agent looks young enough to be my son. His suit has too many nifty seams to be professional.
• Camden Market is horrible. Too many giant horse-themed sculptures.
• Kids would rather smash gravel with hammers than talk to me on phone.
• Want to take video of the local streets, but worried that I look creepy.
• I got little pile of crisps/ chips with my sandwich! One of the major reasons for moving to the UK…
• Have never asked to move seats on a plane because of another passenger’s smell. Until now. I was very discreet.
• First words from son upon my return: “My snot is the same colour as your top.” I did get a hug after that though.

From here to over there

Can you tell where I’m writing this blog from? I don’t know where you are and, mostly, it doesn’t matter where I am. But I’m moving house. To a galaxy far far away… Or rather, from Sydney to London. There may be a few more “Now that I am in London …” posts.

It’s all at once exciting, terrifying, sad and brilliant.

Happy face 🙂

  • All the years of Facebook stalking old London friends and colleagues have paid off. I’m already building a London network.
  • As I say goodbye to my friends and family, they inevitably mention Skype and email and Facebook. We’re never truly cut off from each other are we?
  • The process of filing and organising our possessions has left me lighter and more streamlined.
  • The great big Internet has been incredibly useful for researching London. I can’t quite remember how I used to prepare for trips, pre-WWW. Travel brochures? Old guidebooks from the library? Static-filled, echoing phone calls to distant relatives, worrying about how much the call cost per second?
  • I can stop obsessing about avoiding skin cancer.

Sad face 😦

  • I’m quite happy here. I sometimes wonder if what we are going to, will be worth what we are leaving. My dad always says: “One door shuts, another one opens”. I’m just poking my head around the London door and gently closing the Sydney one behind me.
  • Sydney is such an easy place to live. As Joni Mitchell sang in Big Yellow Taxi “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” [I love the bit about the tree museum … and right at the end when she does crazy high and low singing.]
  • I will very quickly develop a BBC-style English accent. Probably within hours of landing. I’m not taking the piss*. My brain just switches over to Penelope Keith and when I try to speak Australian, I sound like Steve Irwin.
  • Skype and Facebook are just not the same as chatting over a mountain of dumplings (see above).
  • Gloves, hats, scarves, coats. Even more bits of clothing for the kids to lose.

*That’s Australian for mocking something…

 Anecdote: One of my older lady colleagues in the UK told me that she had never travelled abroad, and never planned to. She didn’t have any specific complaints, but just thought that she “might not like it over there”.

Brought to you by the InterWeb – Tiny tiny mail

I am hoping that my friends might keep in touch via the world’s smallest post office.