In Yo Facebook!

Remember when you were a kid and you played hit the bat or other games in the street?

You might not if you’ve only been around half as long as I have.

When I was playing ball in the street with the neighbor kids, I also remembered my dreams.

But I grew up, stopped playing ball in the streets and unfortunately, also stopped remembering my dreams.

Now all I get if I’m lucky is dream snippets, if you will, whereupon being awakened by the unnatural alarm clock of a neighbor slamming their door, let’s say, I hear myself talking aloud in a sleep-turning-to-consciousness-like state, to a childhood friend, “Robert,” about what a great guy his father was.

And then I suddenly wake up completely, smile and remember I must have been dreaming about how Robert’s father would get home from work, see us kids playing ball in the street after school, park his car in the driveway and jog over to hit a few out to us.

He’d throw the ball up in the air in front of him, step quickly towards it and swing with all his might, usually crushing the ball to the other end of the block, where, although I always thought I was playing deep enough and would usually catch up to the mighty blast hit over my head, there would be at least one shot that “Alan” would knock out well beyond the reach of us all.

As kids, we didn’t give a damn about political power, networking power or global economic power. What we truly thought of as something powerful, was Alan smashing long ball after long ball to us kids, after he got home from work.

Sure, we played by ourselves most of the time, but when one of our dads like Alan joined us, it became exciting, because this was about to get awesome in its sheer display of raw power that us kids could never get enough of. Although I enjoy a good pitcher’s duel, there’s nothing like a home run to put fannies in the streets, I mean, seats, so to speak, and that was the kind of experience Alan delivered each time he took the bat to the ball for us.

Fast forward 40 years…

Facebook’s stock is set to begin trading sometime Friday morning and many are excited by the chance to own stock, calling it a “powerful” feeling, among other things.

I have a Facebook account but should it ever become a “pay to post” proposition as some pundits say it may, I’m out. Is their business model sustainable? Do subscriber numbers have anywhere to go but down? Although some have compared Facebook to the telephone, automobile and other “inventions,” as something that most everyone eventually adopts, I would suggest the automobile and telephone offer far greater value to society in general than Facebook has or ever will.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants you to “share” as much as you can. That’s fine, but the problem with sharing online, is that it’ll never be as warm, genuine, interesting and satisfying as doing the sharing in person—which seems to have gotten sacrificed with our current mobile lifestyle.

Plus, what happens to everything we share online? Despite their assurances to the contrary, once online, your info is out there for anyone to harvest for whatever marketing, scamming or identity thieving purposes they might have.

When you share in person with someone, you can be pretty sure the information you convey will not be sold or revealed to a third party for marketing or other less savory reasons. At most, you might be concerned that a confidence may be betrayed, or you might be the victim of gossip—which leads me to ask, with all the online sharing we do, are the days of good old fashioned, in person gossip, numbered?

Gossip will never die, you say? Well, I drive through residential areas many times and no one’s playing in the streets most days. Hit the bat’s become a relic of the 20th century, forever lost in favor of texting, games and surfing to be had on smart phones. Can real live genuine gossip be far behind?

At least we’ll hopefully always have dream snippets, if not entire dreams to call upon, whenever we want to truly share our lives with those we love. This might come in handy should Facebook one day leave us feeling empty, shallow, lacking and dissatisfied.

Nah…not gonna happen, right?



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