Friendship in the Age of Facebook and Twitter

Things That Have Changed Since I Added Facebook and Twitter to my Relationships:

1. I’m not sure what to talk about when we see each other in person. It used to take us 30 minutes just to figure out how many kids we had, where we worked, and who we married. Now we know what we ate for lunch on Tuesday and how many T-Ball games our kids won last season. On the one hand, it forces us to dive into meaningful conversation; on the other hand, I wonder if it makes us feel more intimate than we really are. It is like our emotions for each other have gone beyond our actual commitment – which leads me to . . .

2. I worry more. Before Facebook, I didn’t know when you were on your way to the ER with your sick poodle. Now I do. And even though I don’t know your poodle, in some measure I take on your concern. But I don’t know if this makes me more empathetic or less. I worry about more things but maybe for a shorter amount of time . . . you know, until I get to the next post that tells me so-and-so has a big algebra test tomorrow.

3. I think I know people I don’t. I read once that our American obsession with celebrity can be attributed to our ancient dependence on face recognition to determine who was in our tribe. Now that I see Brad Pitt’s face all the time, I start to have feelings that subconsciously tell me we are related or connected. (Well, he is from Missouri, so maybe that’s not the best example.) But this has really happened to me! I once ran into a guy at a conference that I only knew via Twitter and my first instinct was to lean in for the hug with a big smile. Not kidding. I barely stopped myself. Similar things have happened with less well known people and I wonder, what is the etiquette for this kind of social networked problem?

This is just a partial list . . . there are so many new issues to consider in this age of relationships, positive and negative. Part of being spiritually mature is having authentic relationships. How do I do that in this new system?

What are some of the changes you’ve noticed? Do you have any self-imposed rules, like my Facebook rules, in place to maintain or create boundaries?


Reasons March is a Favorite

My birthday month. 27th. I’m not a big birthday party person, but I love a date with my husband. Can’t wait.

The first day of Spring . . . it will come. It does every year.

Basketball. Days and nights full of basketball. March Madness brackets will be printed and filled in on Monday. Then great frustrations and joys will ensue as we cross out and re-write the actual winners and losers. So fun.

St. Patrick’s Day green. It isn’t really my favorite version of green, but it is very happy.

Reasons to Love March

Our Missions Conference at church. People of whom the world is not worthy. Seriously.

Spring Break. Just when you think you can’t walk into that classroom one more time, you don’t have to.  At least for a week, and that is just enough room to breathe again.

Did I mention the basketball? : )

And sometimes we get Easter, too. The best.



*photo thanks to Sugar Chic Baby on Flickr

Flash Mob Mentality

If there is one thing we should all thank the Internet for it is random flash mob videos. What a joyful invention. How lucky are we to live in an era when semi-spontaneous public group dancing is socially acceptable? (And what DOES this mean about our culture?)

Here’s a good example:

Maybe the flash mob isn’t as appealing to you, but I love the community mentality, the spirit of surprise, and the expression of simple joy.

And after watching that, I wonder:

Where are you in the flash mob? Are you a lead dancer? Are you a bystander with your camera phone in the air? Maybe an organizer or producer of the event itself?

And my next question: Who wants to plan a flash mob so I can be in it? I’ll be one of those people who looks like she’s in the crowd but then joins in when the moves get bigger and less artistic. If someone else can handle the administration and the choreography, I can supply personality and enthusiasm! : )

Sick Days













You know what’s hard?

Make-up work from school after sick days.

You know what else is hard?

Knowing that you forgot to get your kids flu shots and now all four have gone down with Influenza B. Everyone is recovering, but it’s been a long two weeks.














You know what makes it better?

Hi-C juice boxes delivered in bulk from Grandma!

What gets you through the sick days?

My Favorite Part: The Oscars













Look at that ring! It isn’t my favorite part exactly, but it represents my favorite part. And it is stunning! It includes my favorite stone – aquamarine; I wrote about aquamarines here. Not only is the ring beautiful, it is also marketed as Fairtrade Fairmined Ecological, a line of jewelry in which I have a growing interest. It means the gold for the ring was bought at a fair price from a traceable source. Likewise, the aquamarines and diamonds are from community-based mines that meet specific standards for health, safety, and value. This ring is on the hand of Livia Firth, owner of the London boutique Eco Age and blogger for Vogue, and, although you may not have heard it before, that name might ring a bell after last night’s Oscars.

Colin Firth won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Livia is his wife. I haven’t seen The King’s Speech but I have it on good authority (from people I trust) that it is worthy of the acclaim it has received. And as much as I love Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy), his win wasn’t my favorite part either. His speech was my favorite part.

My favorite part of the Oscars is always when the winners give speeches that acknowledge the relationships that have culminated into that moment. I love when they celebrate someone most of us do not know and recognize them as their source of strength or inspiration. Somehow you can tell when the acknowledgment is genuine and when it is forced.

Genuine moments from last night included a winner telling the story of how his mum ignited the idea for his winning movie, another winner smiling back tears when he met eyes with his wife, and Firth himself thanking his wife, “who I hold responsible for this and, for, really everything good that’s happened since I met her.”

You can see more of Firth’s wife, Livia, at this fashion website. The photos (including the one above by Jason Olive) are gorgeous and portray a couple consistent with Firth’s humble speech. He is proud, you can tell, to show off his treasure, just as she is proud to wear hers.

St. Lucia Day

One of the things I want to do before I die is go back to Sweden for a nice long visit. Friends, this is the loveliest country EVER! I went with my Bible College friends Stephanie and Pernilla. We stayed with Pernilla’s family and friends all over Sweden for two of the most beautiful weeks of my life. I was so happy when my four babies all turned out to look like little Swedish beauties. (No Swedish blood mind you, German I think, but they still look like characters in a Carl Larsson painting!)


A charming Swedish tradition is the celebration of St. Lucia Day on December 13th. Last year I wanted to mention it on my blog but it coincided with finals week. And, yeah, that happened again, but – luckily – Pernilla wrote a short explanation of the day for me and I’m going to copy it here. I refuse to let finals week wreck ALL my holiday fun! Blog connection: Well, you’ll get it after you read the explanation, but Lucia is definitely a Rare Rock!

There once was a girl named Lucia. She lived in the city of Surakuse on Sicily in Italy. She believed in Jesus Christ and in God but the Roman emperor had forbidden all the Romans to believe in God. They were ordered to believe in the Roman gods such as Jupiter and Mars. Lucia prayed to God everyday but the only ones who knew this were her mother and her fiancé.

One day Lucia’s mother gave her a great sum of money to use as she got married. Lucia thought she didn’t need the money and gave all of the money to the poor people of Surakuse instead. This made her finacé very angry and he told her to take the money back. When Lucia refused, the finacé reported her to the emperor as being a Christian.

The Roman soldiers came to take Lucia away but at first they were not able to get to her, there was an invisible wall all around her. Then they tried to burn her at the stake but the fire wouldn’t hurt her. Finally she was beheaded and died because of her faith.

This happened on December 13th in the year 304 and she was later proclaimed a saint.

The tradition now in Sweden is a mixture of an older tradition where people would walk around as beggars on December 13th and a German tradition where a girl was dressed up as Jesus on December 13th with a white dress and a halo of lights on her head. She would give gifts to the children.