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Year in review: Stop Facebooking so much. Please.

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The change of the year is a time for reflection, self-evaluation and so on. I'm doing that this morning, too, and I want to share a few thoughts that my fellow boomers may relate to.

Those of us who grew up without computers, cell phones and Facebook, are often astounded and downright troubled by the way later generations seem to be substituting activity on Facebook for actually sharing the ups and downs of their lives face-to-face with friends and loved ones. Facebooking instead of calling, emailing or visiting the people in your life who care about you.

Here's a rant by a psychologist about how the tendency to take pictures can actually eliminate real memories. He says pictures can jog memories if we review them, but people seldom do that. He says experiments show that if people believe a computer will retain photos and information, they will simply not remember for themselves. And today, with instant digital photography in everyone's hands via their cell phones, people tend never to look back, and are therefore not creating memories.

I remember feeling distressed on my honeymoon in England - long before social media came along - when my ex- seemed to spend all his time taking pictures rather than experiencing the people and places with me.

And here's a story by a Wall Street Journal staffer that talks about how substituting Facebook activity for real interactions with the people in your life leads to exhaustion, jealousy and damaged relationships. I love when she writes how constant Facebook updating tends to make people forget a cardinal rule of relationships - "Thou shalt not bore they friends."

One boomer friend says she began visiting Facebook, against her natural inclination, simply because it had become the only way she could keep up with news of her daughter who lived far away.

Something's wrong with this picture.

Have a happy 2014 - and spend more time on the telephone and meeting face-to-face with your real-life friends.



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