Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Social Networking

After my high school reunion last August, I joined MySpace to connect with friends from my class. I also had a few other friends there from other activities over the years. Net total of friends: about a dozen or so.

On Sunday, my wife convinced me to join Facebook (she has a page there). I created an account and as of this morning have reconnected with 20 friends from the past. Big difference. Facebook definitely helped facilitate finding folks too.

Guess which one I'll spend more time on?

I like how in this day and age it is very easy to locate and reconnect with people from your past. It really is amazing. We can talk with friends from all over, any day, any time. We don't have to wait for the mail to deliver our communications, or pay for phone calls. Just type and send.

Most of my friends I connect with are online, and we use the Internet to communicate. Sure, I have people I know at work, the place I spend most time at every day, but those are co-workers. I've never been one to hang with folks from work. Work is your job, a place to accomplish tasks and get assignments done. It should not be a place for major socializing. You know the folks that socialize at work - they're at the water cooler or hanging outside the conference rooms, chatting and laughing and planning where to go for lunch. Know what? They're using the company dime to be social. I never got that.

I do my socializing on my own time, from my own house on nights and weekends. That's the seperation of work and play (much like the seperation of church and state, without all the messy stuff that happens with politics).

4 comments:

Jim McClain said...

"Work is your job, a place to accomplish tasks and get assignments done. It should not be a place for major socializing. You know the folks that socialize at work - they're at the water cooler or hanging outside the conference rooms, chatting and laughing and planning where to go for lunch. Know what? They're using the company dime to be social. I never got that."

Let me help you to get it. I get to see my friends in the hallway between classes. Are we being social on the company dime? No. We play golf together, go to baseball and football games together, and all kinds of activities. The fact that we share a profession doesn't mean we can't be friends too. In fact, the very idea that we share a passion for teaching makes it easier to be friends, not to mention a matching schedule.

Martin said...

Jim, sorry if I got you worked up. I was just offering my opinion of things as I see it (thus the nature of any blog, eh?).

Clearly computer programming (in the environment I work) is different from a teaching environment (where you work). In between classes for you is like a "break" - of course it makes sense for you and your fellow teachers to talk during that few minute period while you wait for the students for the next go-round. Same too for free-periods when you don't have a class to teach or during lunch. I was not saying any of those were wasting time at work. Those are structured breaks, so of course you can do what you want - including making golfing plans, etc.

Maybe it is just the nature of the work I do. I'm in a lab most of the time, in front of a computer, or on the phone with some of my customers to help them resolve their technical issues. Maybe it is the companies I have worked for (only a couple in my 20+ years since college graduation). I just haven't connected with folks whom I would find myself spending a lot of after-hours time. Most of the folks I work/worked with have different interests than me. Our only common ground is work, and I am not the type that wants to spend my free time talking about work. I can see that would differ with you and your fellow teachers because, as you said, you share a passion for teaching. Teachers definitely have to love their jobs. The rest of us - not all the time.

Michael O'Connell said...

Facebook is AWEsome! At least for me, for the same reason as you. I've now got almost 60 people on my list, the majority of those are old high school (or in some cases, junior high!) friends, some of whom I haven't spoken to in...um...a few years. How cool is it that I'm carrying on message chats with girls I had big crushes on in 6th, 7th, 8th and 12th grade? Love connecting with them all these years later to find out what they're doing. Love meeting up with my old buddies I spent such good times with in high school that I lost track of. I just love "meeting" these people, really, because they're totally different people than they used to be. It's fascinating seeing the people they've turned into. Good times.

Martin said...

Mike, that's why I am loving it too. This week I've hooked up with three relatives I haven't talked to in over 20 years, quite a few old college friends, etc. Just a lot of fun and an inexpensive way to reconnect.