Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Celebration & Facebook Farewell to Kick Off the Weekend

I LOVE the Xmas Holiday

So, a week ago I turned a year older and next week I will wake up a year broker. Such is life during the holidays. Exactly one week from today is Christmas and I celebrate it, despite my circle of influence that includes folks who believe the holiday is designed to corrupt the reason for the season and encourage you to spend with wild abandon.

Ok, I admit, I was very much a part of that circle of influence before I became a mama. It is soooo easy to judge and begrudge a holiday that promotes spending when you don't have someone who you live and wake for.

I live and wake for my daughter, yes I do. And, I admit, she is pretty darn fun to be around (outside of those times when it is time-to-get-ready-for-school). She and her dad. So, the Christmas holiday is just one big party for us. From decorating the house to dressing up in our red and taking photos, to shopping for gifts for folks we enjoy, the Christmas holiday has traditionally been for us, for the past seven years, a really fun time for some quality family time. When folks around me start talking about how the season is designed to get us to spend and its commercialized to the point that the reason for the season is lost, I politely smile and move on.
Though I like to think of myself most times as a revolutionary, I can't rebel against the joy I get from anticipating the day of opening presents with my family.

Plus, I enjoy shopping during this time for myself because the sales are always good.

Farewell Facebook
So, in the midst of all of this Xmas love this week, I deactivated my personal Facebook account. I deactivated it because I may go back to it, but right now, the privacy changes and the whole space in general has lost its luster for me. The love had begun to slowly dwindle for some time, really.

Facebook and I met in 2007 when I was working at a university, running an academic program. My students weren't reading the flyers we posted for them and we really needed to meet them where they were at so they could utilize our services and prevent their academic record from falling. I had created a MySpace page for our office, but that was around the time that MySpace was starting to drop in its popularity. One of my student staff members hipped me to Facebook then and I became a member. I created a group where I would advertise our services and events and we easily had over one hundred students linking to the space regularly.

Facebook, even then, was the space of TMI-- too much information. Students selected to add me as a friend, not realizing that they were leaving their antics open for judgement when I was able to learn things about them I previously probably never would have (wanted) to know. At the time, I was responsible for making determinations about whether failing students were eligible for student housing (they sent their appeal letters to me) so, it was often not in their best interest to add me as a Facebook friend where I could see that you were failing-- not because of the sick relative you said you were taking care of in your appeal letter, but due to the fact that you couldn't successfully balance clubbing every night with waking up in time to attend your classes. Facebook's cool points were earned though with the way students were more apt to use it to connect with me early on to ask questions on how to get back on track academically or details on an event moreso than they would have done in person or via phone.

So, that was how we met--Facebook and I. Once I left the university (and deleted most of my former students as "friends"), I began to link back up with friends from as far back as elementary school. It was way cool to see who became the doctor, or rock star or writer. Through Facebook, I realized I was in fifth grade with Dave Chappelle which is still one of the biggest highlights to date about joining the site.

But then, I started making the mistake of adding folks who I didn't really know all that well.

I started feeling weird when folks who could not identify me, nor I them, in the street made a comment on a status or pushed "like" to acknowledge they agreed with something I wrote. So, I started to "purge" as I called it, deleting profiles from my friend list every month of folks who I could not remember where we met or, realistically, did not remember liking too much. By the summer, I had over 700 "friends" on the list and it still was way too many for my own comfort because, at this point, I had over 100 photo albums and I didn't want my photos being open to everyone especially those that weren't of my events but of my family. Maybe I was cautious because my online stalker had resurfaced, but it urged me to continue the purge until I was down to only a little over 200 "friends". I also changed my settings so I could not be found in the search engine, nor could folks add me as a friend.

I was still using Facebook regularly though for Liberated Muse business-- managing our fan page and profile page. I realized that keeping it professional was probably in my best interest. I realized then that Facebook was no longer fun, really, and though (in my mind) I had accused folks of getting too attached with the online platform or taking things too personal, I, too, had begun to use Facebook irresponsibly-- checking in more than once a day and posting fun family photos too regularly. The new privacy changes which now allow friends of your friends to access your profile (reading your friend list and seeing your profile photo) and add you as a friend were also kill-joys for me as well. So, I ended my tumultuous love affair with my personal page on Facebook this week. How long will it last? Who knows...

Thanks for reading, as always and be sure to come and celebrate the holidays with me today during a holiday show at the Potter's House in Washington DC. You can click HERE for details. Don't be surprised, the details are on a Facebook event page! (smile). I will be performing with my band of friends-- Gary and Angie-- and singing covers and holiday songs including my original song "Kwanzaa Time Is Here". If you would like a free mp3 of the song emailed to you, leave a comment or email me and I will shoot it to you. Check out the video below by Tom Goss who is one of the performers performing as well at today's event. I love this video and was surprised to see folks I knew in it. It reminds me of my family-- our daughter is always in bed with us, STILL, lol.

Be good and stay unboxed!

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