Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc.

Ever since my son was a Cub Scout, the only way I have been able to have access to many of his scouting photos (all the way through scouting for more than a decade) is to be a Facebook member. Even typing that term, “Facebook member” makes me cringe, and there are reasons for that. Way back when my son was a little tyke, I was the scout mom who put up the fuss about privacy and security on Facebook for our children. Too many people wanted to just make packs or troops public groups so just anyone could see what was happening. To me, this invited the possibility of people who had no business being involved in pack or troop activities using the information for other than reputable purposes. In those “early” days of all parents except me being overly permissive of allowing anyone to access and/or follow pack or troop events on Facebook, I always ended up being the “bad guy” because I was the one who spoke out against it. In those times, therefore, I did not give permission for my son’s image to be used on any of those pack events that were posted on Facebook, simply for privacy and security. I still wonder to this day why everyone else was just so willing to go along. I felt it was just wrong and opened up the potential for issues. That other parents were not concerned was very discouraging.

As my son got older and joined a scout troop, the same issue cropped up again. Well, I thought, at least my son was older now and maybe I would not have to be as concerned about his privacy and security on Facebook. As a committee member of my son’s troop who, at one point, held two board positions simultaneously, I again presented my case for privacy and security on Facebook by insisting that the troop’s group be closed, or I would not vote for the troop to use a Facebook account. Ultimately, the troop created a closed group as opposed to a public group, and I drafted the waivers for parents to sign for their sons’ photos to be posted in the account. This was something very important to me and I fought for it, creating the waiver just like a legal document. Some may have thought it over the top, however protecting our kids is of utmost importance to me. Someone has to step up and do it, especially when others do not see the significance of it. Unfortunately, too many kids get hurt in situations that could have been prevented with better planning and foresight.

Therefore, way back when, I caved and joined Facebook, but with a twist. I disagree with the CEO’s norms and values used in Facebook, as well as the potential for using and exploiting certain information. Therefore, I do not use my real name, image, or birthdate on Facebook. This is just another way of resisting against the CEO’s intellectual theft employed in creating and establishing Facebook. Are you familiar with the process with which Facebook came about? Basically, it was to be used as a type of dating website among college students, specifically focused on only including women’s photos. And, then, all of the hacking into college databases and stealing others’ ideas to create Facebook should be enough to turn anyone’s stomach. If I was being “forced” to join Facebook simply to obtain access to photos of my son in scouting events, then I would do it on my own terms. To this day, I still do not use my real name, image, or birthdate on Facebook, again as a way of resisting what Facebook stands for.

Many years ago, I also joined Twitter, though over time, my participation in that venue has subsided to nothing. Recently, I actually cancelled my account because I no longer use it and after assessing my use of it, realized that it has been of little to no benefit to me. I remember years ago when Twitter was all the craze and I was very active on it, but then again, I had the time to be active on it. I actually wasted so much time on it – I wish I could get it back now!

Recently, another of my son’s scouting groups required an Instagram account in order to keep up with news, events, and photos. I signed up for Instagram, found it to be a waste, and promptly deactivated my account. I get the same information, though much more minimally, from Facebook. Again, if I am “forced” to already be a member of Facebook, then I was stay with it, but on my own terms.

That brings me to LinkedIn. I was so active on LinkedIn many years ago, acquiring 100s of contacts and following still 100s more influencers. Yes, I would occasionally reach out to other professionals for conversation, seeking advice, sharing information and knowledge, etc. However, over time, I have decreased my activity on LinkedIn since I am so busy with so many other things. I did establish and still maintain four groups on LinkedIn, though I do not keep up with them nearly as well as I should. Really, the only reason I am still active at all on LinkedIn is for those groups. As professionals, it is good to show career and other experience on LinkedIn, but I have to ask, how valuable is it, really, for others to know this information? Maybe in some venues or areas it is helpful, but not in all of them.

Lastly, I do keep two blogs and have maintained them for many years. One includes a lot of family ancestry and baking posts, and the other includes posts about lepidoptera. I have deleted dozens of posts from the more personal-related one over the years because I no longer believe it is helpful to have such information out there. I know others who maintain blogs, including various information in them, and I also know people who are involved very little on the Internet. While many long-lost relatives have contacted me about my blog about family ancestry, expressing their appreciation for the images and information, I have to wonder how good it is to put all of that out there. I have a lot of information that I would like to share, but there is no better venue in which to do that other than a personal blog or website. Then, I see just anybody copying my images and re-posting them on Pinterest or other sites, and that is what I have to accept – others using my photos and/or information without my permission. At any rate, I’m sure that one day, I will take it all down and will lose interest in keeping and maintaining all of it. But, for now, I will keep it going and make yet another post to my blog about some of the many media venues that capture people’s attention.

That reminds me, years ago, I set up a YouTube account to share videos of my son’s school events and performances with family out-of-state. I’m going to search for and delete that if it still exists because I haven’t used it for years. There are just too many accounts and too much to keep up with. It’s time to start downsizing; enough is enough.

“Remembering 9/11” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Twin Towers, Statue of Liberty, and Manhattan (1)

Twin Towers, Statue of Liberty, and Manhattan (1)

The safety and security of our country became a thing of the past on September 11, 2001.  Terrorists highjacked large airplanes, crashing into our beloved Twin Towers and Pentagon, as well as (supposedly) a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, taking the lives and security of 1,000s of victims with them.  In the aftermath, countless families, friends, emergency responders, medical personnel, and all of America was deeply affected by the tragedies.

The terrorist attacks of 9/11 showed America the face of evil and hatred.  As Americans living in our safe and cozy world of freedom and democracy, many are oblivious to the terrorism, hatred, and evil that occurs around us throughout the world – and on 9/11, in our own country.

Twin Towers, 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (2)

Twin Towers, 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (2)

About 27 years ago, I had a vision in a dream of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers.  Because it was a dream, I did not know that the images that I saw would actually become a reality.  The instant that I heard on my vehicle’s radio of the plane crash into the first tower in New York City, I knew that the image that I had dreamed was real.  I was shocked, saddened, grieving, incredulous, and without words that what I had seen in my dream really happened. 

Firefighters on 9/11 (3)

Firefighters on 9/11 (3)

The actual image in my dream that I saw so many years ago was of both Twin Towers burning, and minutes after hearing of the first plane crash, the second occurred.  I had taken the day off from work that day due to a medical appointment, and after it, was glued to the television into the night, still incredulous about the terrorism that had occurred. 

Firefighters Raising Flag in Aftermath of 9/11 (4)

Firefighters Raising Flag
in Aftermath of 9/11 (4)

It was devastating to think that I might have been able to give some warning about the event, but did not, because I had not realized that it would be real. 😦 Then, I also think back and wonder if anyone would have believed me even if I did share about such a tragedy.  Would I have also come under scrutiny?  Had I known better, it would have been worth the risk to inform about what I saw in my dream.

Memorial Flowers, Photos, and Flags in Remembrance of 9/11 (5)

Memorial Flowers, Photos, and Flags in Remembrance of 9/11 (5)

I lived in Manhattan in 1993.  The Twin Towers that I fondly remember are those that stand tall and proud, high into the New York City skyline.  That is the New York that I remember.  And, while I prefer to remember the New York City that was in the past, we cannot escape the fact that terrorism does occur and that there are terrorists among us.  I believe that Americans must take greater care and caution in protecting ourselves on a greater scale, to be aware of anything that appears suspicious or amiss, to inform authorities and/or take personal action to deter or stop potential terrorist acts from occurring. 

Pentagon Burning on 9/11 (6)

Pentagon Burning on 9/11 (6)

While we have made great strides as a nation in strengthening and burgeoning our national security, the events that occurred at this year’s Boston marathon are a reminder that more needs to be done.  For the greater good and for the best interests of everyone – including the terrorists who cannot see that their actions are wrong – we, as a nation, must be more aware, take more action, and be more cautious and inform about others’ actions that may seem strange or suspicious. 

Flight 93 Supposed Crash Site, 9/11 (7)

Flight 93 Supposed Crash Site, 9/11 (7)

We must be aware when people take piloting classes, but are not interested in learning how to land a plane.  To me, that would immediately raise suspicions.  We must observe when people are carrying heavy backpacks into crowded events, placing and leaving them there.  We must be aware of people who park vehicles in particular areas and abandon them.  We might even be aware of people who wear heavy clothing on a hot day, in order to conceal a weapon. 

New York City 9/11 Memorial (8)

New York City 9/11 Memorial (8)

Americans must awaken from our slumber, no longer being complacent about our safety and security.  There are many people out there who hate Americans and who will do whatever possible to injure or kill as many of us as possible.  We must be vigilant of our surroundings and environment, taking action, removing our apathy and complacency. 

People Remembering at 9/11 Memorial (9)

People Remembering at 9/11 Memorial (9)

The events of 9/11 should have taught us that we should not necessarily view the world with rose-colored glasses any longer.  Let us always be aware and vigilant so that such terrorist actions are not repeated on our soil.

Photo Credit Websites:

1: http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/events-091101.html

2: http://nwoobserver.wordpress.com/

3: http://www.kpbs.org/photos/galleries/2011/sep/06/remembering-911/

4: http://www.xtimeline.com/evt/view.aspx?id=837061

5: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/09/07/remembering-911

6: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2011/09/7-pentagon-attack-arlington-september-11-attacks-aftermath-pictures/

7: http://911blogger.com/news/2013-02-19/shanksville-pennsylvania-911-mysterious-plane-crash-site-without-plane

8: http://socyberty.com/issues/ten-years-after-the-attacks-of-september-11-2001-obama-recules-in-new-york-at-attacks/

9: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/09/11/11-years-later-nyc-remembers-911-terror-attacks/