WOSTER: Facebook becoming necessary readingSocial media site knows things about family that the user doesn’t.
As loyal readers know, I have an on-again, off-again relationship with Facebook.
It’s on right now, at least a little bit on, although I saw that movie about the guy who might have invented Facebook and didn’t like the character at all, so I’m thinking maybe it should be off again.
I haven’t made a final decision on the matter yet because, well, the movie is a movie. It may be an accurate portrayal of the guy or it may not. It wouldn’t be fair to judge a person based on a movie character who I guess is supposed to represent the real-life guy. I mean, I haven’t changed my opinion of Glenn Miller because of Jimmy Stewart. I haven’t changed my opinion of Frankenstein because of Boris Karloff. OK, that might be a bad example, but you see what I mean.
A while back, some famous director did a movie about the Kennedy assassination, and people were outraged that it might not have been completely factual. Hmmm. Movies aren’t always supposed to be true, or at least they weren’t when I grew up. We thought they were supposed to be entertaining.
And Facebook can be entertaining.
I try to visit the place weekly, just to see if anybody has any good stuff out there. I have something like 158 friends, although a fair number of the people on that list are folks I don’t know, so I think the social media definition of “friend’’ needs some tightening. Early on, I friended anybody who asked, just to see how the thing worked, so I friended some strangers who apparently are friends of friends, at least on the Kevin Bacon scale. Still, many of the people listed as friends really are friends — or family, which can be but isn’t always the same thing.
A reporter friend from the old days used Facebook recently to ask for suggestions about red and white wines in a certain price range. I’d never heard of most of the wines his friends were suggesting. In the spirit of things, and drawing on my college experience, I suggested he get a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and add some red dye No. 2. I don’t know if he saw the suggestion, but I was pretty pleased with myself, and as Ricky Nelson used to sing, “You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.’’
On a more serious note, how in the world did the younger son of Nancy and Terry Woster wind up out on a ski hill in the middle of the Rocky Mountains? I ask that because my last trip to Facebook also turned up two or three new photos of Andy in ski togs, with snow-covered peaks that seem to run off forever in the background. How did he wind up there?
I mean, I know how he got to Colorado. Mercy sakes, his mother and I helped him load a rental truck on one of the warmest afternoons experienced in Brookings all of last summer. He was leaving a position in South Dakota higher education to seek his fame and fortune out in the greater Denver area. His big sister, brother-in-law and niece helped load the moving truck and clean the old house. They can verify it was warm. Surprisingly for eastern South Dakota in the middle of summer, it was humid, too.
Andy told us later that conditions remained that way all across southern South Dakota, western Nebraska and the eastern plains of Colorado. It didn’t help that the rental truck, which had a working air-conditioning unit, had a driver’s side window that wouldn’t stay rolled up unless the driver kept one knee under the crank and applied steady pressure. Brookings to Denver is a long way to travel in that position, the kid told us later.
Given the harsh conditions on the move west, perhaps he deserves to spend a little time on a mountain covered with fresh powder snow. If I were 40 years younger, I just might enjoy it, too.
As it is, a Rocky Mountain ski slope through the friendliness of Facebook is plenty.