Late last Friday, I learned that it was the 60th birthday of a celebrity. If you know me, you know that I’m not a celebrity junkie, but I do have a handful of favorites. And one of mine was celebrating a birthday. I posted a public comment on Facebook and wished him a happy birthday. When I typed his name, his picture popped up, which meant he was also on Facebook. So I sent him a friend request. And he accepted it, all in the space of about ten minutes. Now my comment about his birthday could be read by all of my FB friends, including….him. One of my college friends posted a couple of lines about how much she also loved his work, the roles he’s played. At one point, he replied, and she was deliriously happy. It was cute – she was positive and complimentary, and he took her comments in the manner they were intended.
The next day, I was up early, and the comments on that post continued. Most people still didn’t realize that my celebrity “friend” could read the comments, and one person posted something that may have been misinterpreted as a derogatory comment. The famous guy responded and did not sound happy. I realized that the comment thread was unraveling, especially as another of my friends posted directly to him that she thought he was rude. Damage done. I sent him a private message, apologizing to him, and removed the entire thread of comments. He has stated that he’ll simply block anyone he finds offensive, and he has every right to do that.
People think there is anonymity from behind the keyboard. According to Sherry Turkle, psychologist and MIT professor of the social studies of science and technology, “we’re less inhibited online because we don’t have to see the reaction of the person we’re addressing. Because it’s harder to see and focus on what we have in common, we tend to dehumanize each other,” she says. You can read the entire article here. Anyway, I’m still friends with Che/George/Saul, and happy about that.
Our Christmas tree is up and lit. Well, pre-lit. Four years ago, after struggling with needles and sap and twisted, unreliable strings of lights, we broke down and bought an artificial, made-in-China, pre-lit Christmas tree. Yes, at times I yearn for the real deal, but this is the tree we have, and it’s pretty.
The rest of the week was filled with editing and baking. And tonight we saw the movie “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, an Irish actor (go figure). Sally Field played his wife Mary, but I can’t help thinking of Gidget or The Flying Nun whenever I see her. Still, she’s ageless, and the film is very, very good. Try to squeeze it in amidst all the other things you have to do.