There are multiple ways to network in Christian settings. Though this is definitely not a list of every way to network in Christian environments, these points will give you the quickest and most common routes to create a network of like-minded believers.
Get Involved in Person
1. Join a community - The most basic way is to join a Christian church or school. This will give you a base group of people that you will see on a very regular basis. While not the most intimate of groups, this will give you a springboard from which you can make closer connections.
2. Participate in your community - Oftentimes, churches and schools will hold social events, such as Lenten activities, after-service coffee, or a weekly series on a topic pertaining to religion. By going to these events, you can make yourself known as an active, enthusiastic participant in your community. In addition, they allow you the time to relax and be together with members of your Christian network in an acceptable social context. Church and classes are great, but they are not the proper places to talk with others about current events or your ideas for the community you belong to.
3. Join an activity - If you are already an active participant in your church or school, you could join an organization or committee. Most churches and schools have extracurricular groups and activities for the members of their organization. This is important because while the greater organization gives you a sense of community, these smaller groups will get you in more consistent contact with the people who share your passions.
If your calling is to do service, there are service organizations you can join. You could become part of a women's spirituality group or a biblical book club.
4. Create an activity - If there is not a niche group that suits your needs or interests, you can start one up. Filling a gap in your community's services is the work of the Lord, and there are probably many people out there with the same needs as yours. Do not be nervous about creating and leading a group even if you have not done so before. Throughout history, the Lord's chosen people have stepped up to fill roles that they haven't been qualified for. Like Moses, you too have the Lord on your side.
5. Reach out to other similar communities - If you have friends or family that belong to a different church than you do, you could go along to their service every once and awhile to broaden the connections you have. Their church probably also has multiple events and groups, and many churches are open to others joining in on their clubs and social hours.
Get Involved Online
6. Join a group - Another way to network in the Christian community is to start or follow Christian blogs on the internet. Several prominent blogs about Christian faith, life, and community exist on the World Wide Web. While these may not give you a face-to-face, human interaction with others sharing your beliefs, they may alert you to resources and events in your area that you would be otherwise unaware of.
There are also many Christian social networking websites that may be of use. In addition, you may find Christian Facebook groups to participate in.
7. Create an online following - You could start a Christian blog, Facebook group, or Twitter account to get out the Word of the Lord. Having an online following can help you to expand your in-person network. While it may take time to amass followers, if you've already followed steps 1-6 on this list, you will have a network of people who will follow your postings. This group of followers will share with their friends, families, and networks, which will widen your network.
Mary Raishe is a freelance writer and a contributor on the Yahoo! Contributor Network
and at political-heat.blogspot.com
. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a BA in Linguistics. In addition to contributing to student resource sites like Degree Jungle.com
, she is a mother of one and a frequent traveler.
I recently wrote an article entitled "5 Simple Laws of Customer Service." In that article I addressed a fable we have been taught in the business world. That fable is that the customer is always right. This just is not true. You rarely find a statement to be true when it involves an indefinite word like always, forever or never. An example would be when a mother tells her child, "you never clean your room." This may be true in some instances, but most children do clean their rooms on occasion. Their definition of clean may differ from the mother's but do say they never clean the room is not accurate.
The idea that the customer is always right is one of those inaccuracies. It can be a destructive one because it can leave the wrong message to those working in customer service. The idea is to always treat a customer with respect and do your best to service his/her needs. This involves listening to his/her problem and doing what you can to help find a solution to that problem. Stating the 'customer is always right' does not properly communicate what to do when he/she is wrong. It leaves some people in a bind when they are faced with the inevitable - a time that the customer is wrong.
In the past I gave an example of when a customer buys a product from one story but tries to return in at another store - one that happens to not sell the product in question. The customer may be right in his claims that the product is faulty but he is not right in blaming a store that does not even sell the product. In that instance I suggested the customer service representative kindly direct the customer to the proper store. This could not happen if the customer service representative assumed the customer was always right.
Here are some suggestions on what to do when the customer is wrong.
I know from experience that the above recommendations do not always work. They do most of the time but you do sometimes have customers who are irate and impossible to talk to. Those are the exceptions and most companies have policies for how to handle violent and abusive customers. These steps do work, however, with the typical customer who does happen to be wrong.
- Take time to listen to the customer's complaint. You will not be able to help him reach a solution if you refuse to listen to his problem.
- Ask questions. You may know the customer is wrong but pointing that out can be rude, so ask questions. This will help you understand his story and may help him understand that he is wrong.
- Look for a solution. Just because the customer is wrong does not mean that there is not a solution to his problem. You might be able to offer him a service or advice that will help him even if it is not the solution he originally came expecting.
- Communicate clearly and respectfully. No matter if it is an instance where the customer did not understand a company policy or he just came to the wrong place, don't belittle him with your speech. Make sure you explain things clearly but in a way that the customer can see you respect him.
- Thank him. When you are finished with your conversation thank the customer for bringing it to your attention. Even though the customer's complaint may not be valid, he may have believed he was right. By thanking him you save him from embarrassment and you continue to show him respect.
1 Peter 2:17a (The Message): "Treat everyone you meet with dignity."
Last week I talked about one of the fundamental rules of customer service – treat your customer how you would want to be treated. (If you did not get a chance to read the blog I encourage you to click on the link and give it a read.) Much of our industry has moved from a product to a service based economy. To explain, people often don’t buy a product due to how well it performs, but they instead buy it based upon the service they receive. Think about McDonald’s for example. They put out mediocre food but stay on top of the other fast food chains. The big reason is because the company understands its customers. They know people want their food fast and with a smile. They even build their restaurants based upon societal interests. Many McDonald’s look like the burger version of Starbucks with brown leather-like chairs, tables for netbooks or iPads and free wifi. Speaking of Starbucks, they are another example of an industry that has grown because they understand and meet the needs of their customers.
Think about all the industries that now cater to customers. I work in healthcare and I can tell you we have become very patient focused as an industry. Our patients are our customers and we strive to do everything we can to meet their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Social media – customer focused. In writing my blog I must think about my audience and do my best to meet their expectations.
One thing that still amazes me is how people often have no idea that customer service is extremely important. I think there needs to be a class in school that focuses on customer service because it seems that many people could stand to learn the importance of meeting their customers’ needs. Today I will give you a crash course on some laws of customer service. Consider this the Cliffs Notes version.
The 5 Simple Laws of Customer Service
- Live by the Golden Rule - treat you customer how you would want to be treated.
- Smile - Smiles are contagious and disarming. Smiling will brighten your attitude and often your customer’s as well.
- It’s not about you - The customer most likely does not care how you feel or what your day has been like. They are paying your company for your service, not your complaints.
- The Customer is NOT Always Right - Unlearn the misinformation about the customer always being right. This just is not true. You may work at a store that only sells shoes and you have a customer who brings in a t-shirt and says he bought it at your store and wants a refund. The customer is not right and it is not your responsibility to refund him for a product he obviously did not buy from you. What we should be taught is to always RESPECT the customer and find a way to serve them. You may be tempted to say, “You idiot, we don’t sell shirts!!” but that would be a mistake. It would be better to say, “I am sorry sir, but we don’t sell shirts at our store. There is a shirt store with a similar name on the other side of the mall. Is it possible that you purchased your shirt there?” In this way you are respecting the customer and working with him to try to help him resolve his dilemma.
- Don’t be Fake - I once heard a customer service training company teach a mantra that simply stated, “Fake it till you make it.” I hated that slogan because it seemed to be in great error. To fake something is an act of deception. It’s similar to lying. It is a word that carries negative connotations and just should not be paired with customer service. If you cannot muster up enough fortitude to treat your customer with respect, you probably should not work in a position that requires customer service. Don’t be Fake, but do your best. I think most of us can authentically treat our customers well when we focus on their needs.
This is just a snapshot and not an overall training of good customer service. I think that if everyone who works in the service industry would learn these 5 simple laws, however, they would perform well at their jobs.
Around the age of nine I became exposed to pornography. My parents never talked to me about pornography, I’m sure they never thought they needed to. My parents loved me very much and would have been appalled at what I was viewing in other people’s homes. Viewing pornography led to experimenting with what I was seeing and even sexual abuse. I know that’s grotesque, but at 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 years old I didn’t know any different. No one told me looking at lewd, sexually explicit images was wrong. After all, if adults had it in their homes, then surely it must be ok. Here’s the problem with viewing pornography at such a young age, sexual desires are awakened and they never go away. Once you’ve had chocolate, you never forget what it tastes like. Pornography is the same, it is highly addictive and once you have a taste of it, it’s like turning a kid loose in a candy store for the first time, you can never get enough. What’s worse is that I never told my parents or an adult what was going on, if I had, maybe I could have understood that what I was seeing was wrong. What it did do was feed curiosity and fuel promiscuity into my teenage years. After I became a Christian at age 18, those desires were squelched for a while, but they eventually resurfaced. Those desires breathed life and it led to premarital sex. I realize as an adult that I am responsible for my actions; however, I cannot ignore the fact that being exposed to pornography at such a young age fed a fire that would take a miracle to put out. Jesus is my miracle and I don’t have a problem with pornography any more. In the mean time, I know there are kids and parents living in the dark about pornography and pornography trends among youth. A lot of the trends now days have to do with computers and the internet.
Here’s my advice to parents to keep what happened to me as a child from happening to your children.
1. You do not have to let your child go to every sleep over, play date, etc. I know that you cannot protect your kids from everything, life happens. However, we live in an age where parents hardly ever tell their kids no because they don’t want to make them upset. If your child wants to hang out with friends, have them at your house where you know what’s going on behind closed doors. Buy a ton of snacks, get a ping pong table and make your home the coolest place in the neighborhood to hang out. If your child is allowed to go to another child’s home by themselves, talk to them! Talk about inappropriate images, bad touching, and yes, sex. My kids are age 10 and 8 and I talk to them about pornography, bad touching, alcohol, and drugs. I want them to know they can always talk about these subjects without feeling weird. I want to equip them to tell adults and friends no anytime they are uncomfortable. Give them a way out. Make sure they have your phone number and can call you anytime. And parents, if your child comes home and tells you about inappropriate things that happened, believe them.
2. Do not let your child have a computer in their room where you are not able to view what they are searching on the internet. According to Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family, this is a sure way for your kids to have access to inappropriate web sites without your knowledge. If you are one of those parents who think your little angel would never do anything like that, WAKE UP!!!!! Your kids are human and yes, curious. In a 2006 study done by Family Safe Media, the largest demographic searching for nude pictures on the internet is age 18 and younger. This age group is also either the highest or the second highest demographic looking at these search words on the internet: porn, sex toys, teen sex, free sex, free porn, and teen porn. Family Safe Media also provides other eye opening statistics:
· The average age for children viewing pornography is age 11
· The largest consumers of pornography on the internet are ages 35 to 49
· Seventy percent of 15 to 17 year olds have had exposure to hard core porn
· Ninety percent of 8 to 16 year olds have viewed porn online mostly while doing their homework
· Names of characters your children might look up on the internet and can be linked to porn sites, Pokemon and Action Man
3. Understand that your children do not need to type in sexually explicit words to find porn on the internet. Pornographers buy expired domains that have nothing to do with pornography, like Pokemon. They buy the domain at an incredible price, keep the name of the domain, but display pornography. Your child may come across pornography simply by looking up topics that are related to homework. Pornographers are crafty and sly individuals who want your kids to see their sexually explicit images. Imagine little Johnny doing a homework assignment on George Washington. He types in the president’s name on google, clicks on a link, and there in front of him are pictures of nude people. He is embarrassed, so he tries to click off the link, however, he can’t because these pornographers have a little trick up their sleeve called “mousetrapping” where multiple pornography pages begin to loop onto the page and you cannot shut them off. This is why it’s important to have the computer in a place where you can see what they’re looking up. (You can visit www.familysafemedia.com
for lots of other helpful information on children and pornographic websites.)
4. Make sure you are spending as much time with your kids as possible. Our culture and society have our kids involved in so many activities, we are running ourselves ragged. Gone are the days of dinner at the table and weekends spent together. Your child doesn’t need to be involved in everything. They do need you to be involved in developing their heart, not just their athletic or music abilities. I know, I was involved in lots of stuff as a kid, softball, swim team, volleyball, basketball, track, music lessons, band and choir. Looking back on my childhood, I wish my parents would have said no to me being in everything and focused more on spending time together. It’s during family time where communication blossoms and you can talk about topics like pornography. The devil wants you and your kids to be distracted, he wants you to be too busy to communicate. Mark my words, if you don’t communicate with your kids, he will. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities in the heavenly place.” NLT
The devil is an advocate for pornography and you must fight him by communicating truth to your children.
In closing I would like to say that you can never be too informed about pornography and its effects on your family. The number one demographic searching for pornography on the internet are ages 35 to 49. Individuals ages 35 to 49 are likely to be parents and have children living at home. According to Family Safe Media, the place where children are most likely to see pornography, is in the home. My conclusion, parents, if you are looking at pornography, so are your kids and the damage is life changing.
Do whatever you can to protect your child’s innocence.
I have spent most of my life worrying about my image. I would often bend over backwards to try to talk or act in a way that would appeal to whomever I was with at the moment. I purposely looked for ways to address them so as not to be offensive. Taking a stand on anything has proven difficult due to this attitude. By straining to maintain an image of someone who is tolerant, I have removed my own identity. I think most of this has developed from being raised in a culture that grossly promotes political correctness. As of late I have realized that this can be a very destructive force to a society and I will spend today explaining why.
Political Correctness vs. Respect
I will begin by defining the terms:
Also, PC or p.c. Showing an effort to make broad social and political changes to redress injustices caused by prejudice. It often involves changing or avoiding language that might offend anyone, especially with respect to gender, race, or ethnic background. For example, Editors of major papers have sent out numerous directives concerning politically correct language. This expression was born in the late 1900s, and excesses in trying to conform to its philosophy gave rise to humorous parodies.1 Respect:
Respect is doing your best to honor a person while political correctness is attempting to be like that person. You can have respect for another person and be honest about your views on a subject in which you differ but you can quickly become politically incorrect by stating those views. Let me give a clear example of what I mean. I personally believe in what has been defined as the traditional view of marriage, i.e. one man marrying one woman. I can state that viewpoint and still respect those with opposing views. I cannot, however, state that point and be what is currently defined as politically correct. In today’s American society, to remain politically correct I either need to say that I agree that all people have the right to marry, no matter the gender/number or just remain silent if I oppose that viewpoint. I am considered a disrespectful bigot if I exert my opinion. Therefore, society pressures me to either remain silent or change my views when they oppose the current popular social norm. Respect, on the other hand, allows me to openly state how I feel. I may generate opposition from those who are equally passionate for the opposing view, but if we respect each other we can openly debate without demeaning one another. In my opinion, political correctness breeds dishonesty. It stifles anyone who agrees with what has recently been defined as the popular stance of modern society. It requires one to change his/her beliefs in order to fit in or be liked by others. It is a type of speech control with the goal of suppressing those in opposition of current trends. Being a device used by socialist governments to control the population, political correctness actually annihilates the freedom of speech. Summary I began by explaining how I have spent most of my life trying to get others to like me. I have often shied away from debates because I did not want to offend someone. I have recently come to realize that I have been suppressing who I am and diluting the God I serve simply to save face. Whose face am I saving if I cannot be honest about how I feel? Am I truly benefiting anyone by not openly sharing what is taking place in my mind? I have come to the decision that I cannot let others control my life. I need to be Tim McSwain, not someone else. I will continue to respect the right that we all have to believe what we want but I will no longer be ashamed of my core beliefs or of the name of Jesus Christ. Some people may choose to no longer be my friend because I make them feel uncomfortable, but I guess that will show me who my true friends really are. I also want others to feel that they can be honest with me. Chances are we will disagree about something, but if we respect one another we can grow closer despite our differences. My advice: Learn the value of respect and quit being so stinking politically correct. -Tim Bible Postscript Ephesians: 4:11-16 ESV “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, theshepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather,speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who isthe head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” 1. politically correct. Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Houghton Mifflin Company.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/politically correct (accessed: August 01, 2012). 2. respect. Dictionary.com, LLC. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/respect?s=t
- Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
- Deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.2
Something at my very core is changing. The old way must go. I’m at a loss of words when it comes to explaining what is taking place, but I have found a great passage of scripture that does the explaining for me. Take some time today to read God’s words instead of mine. Let Him speak to you. The following passage of scripture is taken from a Biblical paraphrase known as The Message. Please feel free to look up these same verses in which ever version of the Bible you read.
Ephesians 4:17 – 5:10
“And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can't work.
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted.
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
Don't allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into sexual promiscuity, filthy practices, or bullying greed. Though some tongues just love the taste of gossip, those who follow Jesus have better uses for language than that. Don't talk dirty or silly. That kind of talk doesn't fit our style. Thanksgiving is our dialect.
You can be sure that using people or religion or things just for what you can get out of them—the usual variations on idolatry—will get you nowhere, and certainly nowhere near the kingdom of Christ, the kingdom of God.
Don't let yourselves get taken in by religious smooth talk. God gets furious with people who are full of religious sales talk but want nothing to do with him. Don't even hang around people like that.
You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You're out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.”
- It’s time for change to take place - Tim
Since the Scientific Revolution entering on the heels of the Renaissance and the subsequent Enlightenment movement of 17th and 18th centuries, the Western mentality has taken on a unique way of thinking. You can read pieces of pop literature and other works from each time frame and see a shift happening in the very words you read. It is in light of this, that I would like to issue a brief challenge for your mind. Has the "Age of Enlightenment helped or harmed our understanding of Reality, Morality, Spirituality, Philosophy, etc.? In many ways, there is not doubt we are much better off than our ancestors due to scientific advancements and medical progress. In other ways, it seems we have lost our sense of being and a knowledge of our place in the universe. Since we are the product of the Age of Reason, many of the advantages from that development shape the way we think today. In fully acknowledging that, I will explicate a thesis that articulates the disadvantages that our modern and post-modern mentalities would tend to find disagreeable.
"One cannot prove by scientific means, that a supernatural being can exists." The very basis of this statement is true. There has never been an empirical study that can prove the existence of a supernatural being. However, there is a major fault in this line of thinking. That fault is this, the typical Western mind has been conditioned to think the highest disciplines are the sciences. Here it is often presumed that fact and truth are synonymous, therefore all truth must be found by verifiable facts (empirical evidence). The modern mind has set up the scientific pursuits as the highest of all disciplines. It is the basis for thinking in terms of medicine, space, physics, etc. It is also the foundational stone to atheist and agnostic epistemology. There is one undeniable truth to this basis--One can never answer the question "Why" with science alone. It can only answer "How." With the overarching assumption that only that which is empirical can be considered true is very minimalist and limited with regard to the spectrum of knowledge. People follow that way of thinking to form a logical strand to Theism and Intelligent Design--see below:
All Truth/Reality must be the result of Empirical evidence.
The absence of Empirical evidence=Not true/Not real
One cannot prove Empirically that Divine Beings exist, therefore they do not exist.
But there are other disciplines that play into a fullness of knowledge, which Scientism is vastly inadequate in its contributions.
The basis for scientific study is the ability to recreate results repeatedly to verify them. The scientist would quickly find himself ill-equipped to prove or explain the meaning of life. Why some people fall in love and marry other people...Why societies take on the forms they do...Why language develops the way it does (Note: to this day, linguists are still at a loss in explaining the meaning and origins of language).
Science cannot prove I was depressed last week over spilling my favorite coffee after I left the coffee shop. They can make inferences, but they can only trace the chemical reactions in my body without definitively proving the immediate event precipitated that chemical reaction. Science is also ill-equipped to prove that Napoleon marched 600,000 men into Russia and returned with about 6,000. They also cannot prove any other event in history--because those events cannot be repeated and recreated through thorough testing. Science is still ill-equipped in explaining what some philosophers have called the "Ghost in the Machine." (that which makes us as humans operate)--let alone the development of morality and ethics-the innate sense of right and wrong.
One of the disadvantages of our "Age of Reason" is that we have hailed empiricism as the ultimate in knowledge and keep it unaccountable to the other disciplines, like history, philosophy, music, religion, etc. There are many ways of knowing and empiricism is only one in a spectrum of others. So one major deficit of our Modern Man is that his ability to gain fuller knowledge is hamstrung by the almost worshipful reverence for scientific facts to which all other forms of knowledge are mere schoolyard games that have little bearing on the pursuits of reality.
When we open the door to other forms of knowledge, we may find a higher sense of existence and a fuller life. We may even be able to create categories in our head for the supernatural. And who knows, that may lead us into another "Age of Enlightenment" where all spectra of knowledge are harmonized, not monarch-ized under one dictatorial form, leading us to a better knowledge of ourselves and of the meaning of life.
Just a few thoughts for the evening.
May the Peace of Christ be with you.
May 30, 1998
This is a very exciting week. Julie had a birthday on Monday and we celebrate our 14 year anniversary today!! I also received my hardcover copy of The Night Terror last night and we are preparing for our first ever family vacation to Disney World and Florida. Can you say over-stimulated?
I find it extremely difficult to stay focused at work because I have so many exciting things taking place. I just need to get through today and tomorrow and I will have some well earned time off.
I am dedicating today’s blog to my wife of 14 years, Julie Stritzel McSwain. I can’t believe that it has been 14 years already. I am very blessed to be married to such a beautiful, intelligent and strong woman. Julie has stood by my side through thick and thin and has shared times of joy and pain. I only had two living grandparents when we married and she was there to comfort me when I lost each of them. She has also consoled me when I received a bad report from the doctor and helped me pray for healing (which happened). She held me when I was laid off from two jobs and stayed by my side when we had to sell a car we loved and our first home. She gave birth to our wonderful children and has been an exceptional mother. She has also supported me in my desire to follow my dreams of becoming a writer. Julie has been a blessing to my life. I am not sure what life would have been like without her, but I imagine I would have been a very lonely person. I love her deeply and am so thankful that we found eachother.
Thank you, Julie, for being my wife and sharing your love with me.
Eons ago teens would fake running away from home as a way of protesting a rule their parents had enforced. Billy would dial his parent’s telephone, which was located in the kitchen next to the refrigerator, and call Tommy. Billy and Tommy would then hatch out a devious plan where Billy would pack an overnight bag and secretly stay at Tommy’s house. Billy would then leave a note to his parents describing how awful they were and how he could no longer live under the same roof. Since Tommy lived across the street, Billy would be able to watch everything from Tommy’s window. The plan was foolproof except neither Billy nor Tommy assimilated the fact that Tommy’s parents would call Billy’s parents to ask why Billy was staying overnight at their house. The plan was quickly foiled and Billy and Tommy were grounded. I think this may have been on an episode of ‘Leave it to Beaver’ or ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ but I’m not sure.
The point is this was the way people threw fits when things didn’t go their way. Fake running away was a difficult task in those days because a person was required to develop a plan so as to not be forced to actually spend a night on the streets. Today, however, things have become much easier. There is no need to run away from home and stay at Billy’s house; there is actually no need to even write a letter. If someone gets offended or upset today, he just closes his Facebook account. He then logs in on a friend’s account and watches the frenzy as everyone attempts to find him. He relishes in the comments stating, “Where has Frank gone? Did he defriend me? Has he closed his account?” Just like Billy, Frank gets to watch all the action from a nearby window.*
This really seemed to work when we were all new to Facebook. People would close accounts or de-friend each other as a way of saying, ‘Gotcha.’ Today it’s not so bothersome. With increased numbers of ‘friends,’ many people don’t even notice when they have been de-friended or when someone closes his/her account. We go on about our business of posting about our day’s experiences while fewer and fewer people actually read them. (This is a side note, but it seems to me that as our number of friends increase, the number of people who read/comment on our posts decreases.) Also, everyone has become aware of the trend and feel like you are just trying to get attention by closing your account. This means they may pay less attention to your posts when you reopen it two days later.
Heed my word of advice ‘friend,’ if you plan on fake running away, don’t close your Facebook account or start de-friending people. You may find out that no one notices and that may make a bad day even worse. Instead, do the more popular act of posting all your complaints on your status for the world to see. Make Facebook your voice!! (That was a bit of sarcasm – we really do get frustrated by reading constant complaints on posts – did I just complain about complaining?) You get the point. – Tim
*(By saying ‘window,’ I am presenting a metaphor for Windows – the computer software used on PC’s. I am stating that Frank is watching the action from his computer, not staring out an actual window at Facebook. If you really need this explanation, go back to school.)