Sunday, July 12, 2009

On Facebook and Photos

I have to say that I've got mixed feelings on Facebook after a little more than a month on the site. It is nice to have the forum to communicate with friends, especially the ones who don't bother to read my blog regularly. I also like the fact that I can post a one- or two-word comment up there and not feel like I'm wasting the blog's time with it. I usually give up on a concept here if I can't at least get a good paragraph out of it. I've got standards. They're not very good standards, but they're standards.

That being said, there are a couple of things that I absolutely hate about Facebook. First, I don't like how I have to watch what I write over there. I'm not going to let any work contacts end up on my friends list and my privacy settings are pretty damn tight over there, but I have relatives and other people on my friends list there that I really don't want to see certain aspects of my life or thoughts. Of course, I've got the blog for that stuff. The only people who read this regularly and know me in real life are either entirely unconnected to my family and work or are people I can trust fairly well not to go spreading things that would make my life more difficult. A positive note on this factor is that Facebook is planning on creating ways to block certain parts of your profile and postings from certain groups of your friends. Still, I'm not sure I'd feel safe even then. It'd be far to easy to make a mistake about that and I sure don't want my wife to read in on any comments I make about banging that 22-year-old girl in the trailer park across town every Wednesday afternoon. Nice girl, but bad breath.

The other thing that bugs me about Facebook is the people who want to be my friend. I'm honestly a little on the antisocial side. Unless I really like you, I probably don't really want to have anything to do with you. That's just the way I am. I can't do small talk, and I don't really like shallow interactions with people. Unfortunately, a lot of the people on my list are precisely the kind of people I'm talking about. Yes, I know who they are. Yes, I remember going to high school with them. Yes, I remember the fact that we didn't dislike each other. Despite that, I was perfectly happy not knowing what was going on in their life and I'm sure they aren't really interested in much of what I do either. Yet here we are, clogging up each other's news feeds. Plus, I've even got one fucker on my friends list whom I actually disliked in high school. I just couldn't bring myself to issue the dis of ignoring his friend request, and this after I actually did click ignore for the friend request of one of my mom's cousins. I'm sorry, her side of the family was just too large to get to know during the two afternoons a year we saw them so I didn't recognize the name when I saw it without a photo attached. I don't really want to bother with getting to know my extended family anyway. It's much easier to deal with people you choose to be around because you like them. I just don't have the social skills to deal with interacting with people I have nothing in common with except for a few ancestors. I'm fine with it on an academic level, but I just don't want to get personal with it. Unfortunately, here I am feeling a little guilty about rejecting a perfectly nice middle-aged lady and annoyed with the fact there's a guy I don't like on my "friends" list.

In the end, I'm not sure if I'll even stick with Facebook when work starts back in a couple of weeks. The site is banned at work and I don't know if I'll keep up with the endless streams of status updates when I get home in the afternoons. The Know-it-all Trivia application is pretty cool, though.

On an unrelated note, I was going to post a trail report on the trails we hiked in the Cohutta Wilderness last week, but thought that most of you wouldn't care about a straight-forward write up on that. If you're interested, leave a comment with a way to e-mail you and I'll give you something more detailed. Here's the short version: Jacks River is easy but bring something for balance on the many river crossings. Hickory Ridge and Panther Creek are ridiculously steep. East Cowpen used to be a highway, so it's pretty easy, unless you're still reeling from Hickory Ridge or Panther Creek. Hickory Creek is a pretty easy trail. Less dramatic than the Conasauga or Jacks River, but nice and shady. We bailed before getting on Rice Camp because we didn't have time to finish the whole loop we had planned. Here are some photos from the trip. I didn't take as many as usual.

The falls at Jacks River. There are actually two sets of falls here. The first set are pretty short and dump into a really deep pool that's good for swimming, which I did. I wish I'd had a spot like this every day to rinse off the salt of a day's sweating. The second set of falls (pictured) about 10 yards down stream were significantly taller, but there was a lip that kept you from being taken down the falls if you swam in the pool between them.

I didn't follow suit, but a bunch of the guys already there were jumping into the pool from this cliff. If you look at the bottom right side, you'll see where the water starts to spill over that lip of rock for the next falls.

The top of Panther Creek falls. Mickey and I saw this from the bottom last year. There was a bit more water coming down the falls last year and there was actually more water than this photo makes it seem to be. This was rather pretty, but the more dramatic sight is what happens to the water next.

This photo sucks. It doesn't give any sense of the size or how steep that sheet of rock is below the falls. Basically, the water tumbles over a cliff (the edge is that angular rock at the bottom of the photo) and then down this sheet of rock to the tumble of fallen trees below. This is a truly stunning sight in person. From what my hiking partner said, this was actually a tree-covered slope until a few years ago when the remnants of a hurricane brought enough water to the area for a pretty serious flood that turned Panther Creek into a torrent large enough to take out the trees on this slope and scour the soil from the slab of rock beneath. From this point on, the trail was mostly a boulder field next to the stream.


Julie said...

Don't blame FB for your own unwillingness to ignore people. I've got a few people I've been ignoring for quite a while now and I'm just fine with that.

All of my extended family members that want to be friends with me go onto a list that prevents them from seeing my pictures. About all they can see is my status updates.

Because of that, I do limit some of the things I'll post. I can cuss with the beat sailors but it's not what I want my 11 year old cousin seeing. It's a small sacrifice, I feel.

Next time, maybe you'll do a little more hiking to get us a better picture of the falls.

Courtney said...

I agree about FB. The stuff I put on there is just the PR side of me -- all fluff, nothing deep. Blogging is much more satisfying. You can always de-friend that person you don't like; FB won't send him a notice or anything.

A Free Man said...

Facebook drives me nuts, especially the random friending. If you haven't been in touch with me - in person or by phone, e-mail, or something - then you're not my friend. So bugger off. I used to feel bad ignoring 'friend' requests. These days, I could give a toss.

Chris said...

Hm, yeah, still not on Facebook and you're making a good case for staying away.

Btw, stay out of the trailer parks. I hear the residual meth fumes can kill you.