Posts Tagged ‘friends’

When Facebook Really Isn’t Yours Anymore

There are about 1.44 billion Facebook pages worldwide.  The site was launched in early 2004 and was made public in late 2006.

My first social media involvement was with Myspace (RIP) and I didn’t join the world of Facebook until early 2009.

I have to say that, for the most part, my six-years-plus on the site has been enjoyable and I’ve met some amazing people.  On the other hand, I’ve encountered some that are certifiable!

While most on Facebook can pretty much post whatever they want, I have to walk a fine line.

Being a public figure as an on-air television meteorologist, I have to “filter” what I say.  It’s not to say that I won’t post my thoughts or share my life, but I have to think, “would that be unprofessional or offensive?”

On Facebook, some of you may only have family and friends that you “friend” and some will friend just about anyone, even spambots.

When I joined Facebook, I didn’t make a personal “Anthony Peoples” page and a professional page.  If someone knew me from television, I would “friend” them if they sent a request once I realized it wasn’t spam and they were real.

Most of the people who I’m friends with rarely comment on my posts.

As much as I enjoy expressing myself on Facebook and in my personal blog (“What Is Peeps Thinking About Now?), which rarely gets new posts from me because I don’t have the time, it’s becomes a little frustrating at times.

People think that if it’s on Facebook, they have the right to say whatever they want.  You can argue that either way.  Yes, it becomes public, so you have freedom of speech.

However, on the other hand, it’s still a personal page with a real person – a human with feelings (hopefully) – behind it.

Cherished Friends

As a Facebook friend, you’ve taken the time to watch me on television and to get to know me personally online and I appreciate that.

I make it a point to wish every one of you a “Happy Birthday” on your special day and I try to respond to every comment and question even if it’s just a “like” to show you that I read your comment.

But, I want to establish a couple of guidelines here.

Since you’re a Facebook friend or you read my blog, you definitely have a right to agree or, God forbid, disagree with me.

I’ve posted a “Hillary 2016” picture, I said Governor Rick Perry was an idiot for calling the deadly shooting tragedy in South Carolina an “accident”, I shared a picture of blood on my finger when I cut myself on the sink, I probably post too many Madonna music updates and videos, and I’ve joked about the crazy weather causing me to work overtime.

Those are just some of the things that come to mind when I think of people overstepping the boundaries with their posts or hi-jacking of my page.

You can definitely disagree with me with a comment or two, but don’t write a manifesto.  Do that on your page or write a blog.  It’s free and simple!

If you post something on your own page that I really feel I have to respond to, I might say I disagree and move on.

And, finally, please don’t tell me what I should and should not say or post on my page.  It’s still my page.  I can and do separate work and personal thoughts.

For the record, I love my job.  I’m grateful for it and to be able to do what I’ve wanted since I was a kid.  But, I love my time off and I won’t sugar coat things and say what you want me to say.

I know others may not be as fortunate.  Some of you work multiple jobs, crazy hours, and have very little time off to make ends meet.

My mother worked in a hot, very physical demanding job until the day she died in 1990 making a depressing $3.80 an hour just to provide for me and my sister.

So, I know where I stand in life, professionally and personally.

I hope this clarifies my policy for being for friend on Facebook. I hope you can live with that.

If not, I won’t cry if you “unfriend” me.  We can have a professional relationship if you only watch me on television when I give you your forecast or we can share our lives together on Facebook, too, respectfully.

Anthony

P.S.  I’m not “Joan of Arc” either.  The words of this song basically says a lot of what I just wrote, just more eloquently and stunningly beautiful.  And, yes, it’s that damn Madonna again!

And, if you don’t watch the video, here’s the cliff notes:

“I’m not Joan of Arc, not yet
But I’m in the dark, yeah
I can’t be a superhero right now
Even hearts made out of steel can break down
I’m not Joan of Arc, not yet
I’m only human

Anything they did to me, said to me
Doesn’t mean a thing cause you’re here with me now
Even when the world turns its back on me
There could be a war but I’m not going down”

“Joan of Arc” — lyrics and music by Madonna, McDonald, Gad, and Griffin Jr. from “Rebel Heart”

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Pets Could Teach Us To Be Better, True Friends

“That’s What Friends Are For”, “You’ve Got To Have Friends”, “You’ve Got A Friend”, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, and “Thank You For Being A Friend” are just a few song titles that come to mind with “friend(s)” in the title.

On Facebook, we can have hundreds and thousands of friends and really only know them from their status updates and posts.  In life, we have friends that come and go and some that remains friends from childhood to death.

I’m thinking about “friends” because I made the decision yesterday to “unfriend” my best friend from childhood.

We’ve been through the good times and bad times and we’ve always kept in touch through the miles.  I’ve lived all over the country since leaving my hometown of Mayfield, Kentucky: Kentucky (Murray, for college),  Wisconsin (Milwaukee and Rhinelander), Texas (Lubbock), Ohio (Youngstown and Mansfield), Maryland (Salisbury), and Illinois (Moline and, twice in, Chicago).

Regardless of where I was in the country, my best friend and I kept in touch the old-fashioned way through cards, letters, and phone calls.  In recent years, we’ve added sporadic emails and Facebook messages to the communication chain.  With modern technology, there’s no reason to lose contact.

I know that friendships evolve over life and “real life” can get in the way of being as close as you once were.

I consider myself blessed to have a number of people who I correspond with online through email and Facebook, friends that I socialize with locally in person, and six people that I value as “close friends” or “best friends”.

Of those six, Ray, Gretel, Tammy (my sister), and Betty (Mom, but not my “mother”) and I are very close.  In love, I can tell Ray anything and even if we disagree on things (life, politics, parenting, etc.), we’re there for each other.  I’m glad my sister lives in Moline now and I don’t have to worry about her hundreds of miles away struggling to make ends meet.  And, Betty, who I call “Mom”, will never replace my mother, but I’m so blessed to have her in my life.

My other two friends and I are not as close as we once were.  One is going through changes brought on by poor decision-making and a lifestyle change that isn’t for the better.  I have hope and I still have faith that he’ll turn things around and life will be good again.

And, this brings me around again to my friend that I chose to “unfriend”.  Since he moved back to Kentucky from Chicago last October, I’ve heard from him twice.  Once on the phone when I called to ask why I hadn’t heard from him and once, through Facebook, when I asked for him to return two television series that I had loaned him.

I didn’t get a birthday card last October, I didn’t get a Christmas card or phone call at the holidays, and most agitating and sad, I didn’t get a “sympathy” call or card when Miss ABBA died three months ago.  Of all the selfish or insensitive things that friends deal with with best friends, that was thing that bothered me the most.  It’s been three months now and still nothing.

I think about the true meaning of friendship and the one that could teach us humans that “know-it-all” a thing or two about unconditional love and compassion is from our pets.

Miss ABBA was seven-years-old, just entering her senior years, when Mr. Panda, the shar-pei from Chicago, was adopted at the age of four, from an abusive life of neglect and starvation in the spring of 2007.

While they didn’t live together, they did spend time together several times each year when we’d visit Chicago to doggie-sit or Panda would come to the Quad Cities for a doggie vacation while his dad went on trips.

The two of them got along very well.  Miss ABBA was always full of life and energy, but she loved to sit and watch the world go by.  She would tolerate Panda’s playfulness when he thought it would be fun to bite at her legs or her ears.  When he would cross the line, she’d get feisty and fight back.  It was always fun to watch them wrestle with each other.

When Panda developed glaucoma two years ago and lost his eyesight, it seemed like ABBA knew something was different.  He was still playful and would still bite at her legs, but she sensed the handicap.

In the spring of 2010, Panda was with us for about a week or two.  One day while I was walking the two of them, Miss ABBA decided to just take his leash out of my hand and start walking him.  Much to my chagrin, I didn’t have my camera.  But, the sight was so heartwarming.

I started carrying my camera with me on every walk and sure enough, she did it one more time!  I got pictures of the amazing act of kindness.  While Miss ABBA’s legs were much longer than Panda’s and his sightlessness slowed him down, he trotted right down the street with her at her pace.

That turned out to be my favorite picture of 2010.  My friend, Dan Dauw, a sports writer for the “Geneseo Republic”, an Illinois newspaper, published east of the Quad Cities even wrote a story about it and featured a picture.  Miss ABBA and Mr. Panda made the newspaper!!  (Miss ABBA’s picture with Santa was also featured in the holiday edition of “Chicagoland Tails” in 2003.)

Looking back at the pictures reminds me that as humans, we have a lot to learn from our four-legged friends.

Anthony