Monday, April 27, 2009

A Lesson on Facebook Etiquette

Some of my friends talked me into joining Facebook a couple of months ago. I have to admit, it has been fun to reconnect with old friends. I've had a lot of fun with the little quizzes, posting old pictures, and chatting with friends all the way from elementary school.

However, I am often turned off by some of the etiquette of certain members. Facebook has a feature called "status updates," which allows users to inform their friends of their current whereabouts, actions, or thoughts. It is not however, a user's opportunity to discuss personal information that they would not want otherwise posted all over the internet. Did they forget that everyone in their Friends' List, sometimes hundreds of people, can read their status? Here are some examples of some status updates that I have actually read, that I would like to file in the category of "Too Much Information."

... is 1cm, 20%, less than 3 weeks... hooray!
Yikes. Although I am very excited for her and happy about her upcoming delivery, I really don't want to know how much she has dilated. It brings a picture of her cervix to my mind, and that's not a pleasant thought. No offense.

... spent today in the emergency room with daughter...blood in underwear and urine and waiting for her culture.
Again, although I sympathize with a worried mother of a little girl, that is a lot of information. Perhaps she could've stopped at "emergency room with daughter" and then asked us all for prayers? Just a thought.

... just had a fight with the wife. It's gonna be a long weekend.
Is that supposed to be funny? Because posting your marital issues on the web is the number one way to multiply them. And why did he think we all wanted to know this?


Luckily, there's a website with some funny, clever, and interesting status updates to cancel this trend out. I often look at it for a quick laugh, or even to steal an idea when I can't think of my own (I admit it)! Just remember: with Facebook status updates, less is more. If we need any more information, we'll shoot you an email.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In Memory of My Dad

My dad was always my hero. He was some superhuman being with incredible strength, vast knowledge, and omnipotent powers. He was always available for a hug, a trivia debate, or guy advice. He taught me how to shoot a free throw, critique a movie intelligently, make the perfect margarita, and to stand up for what I believe in.

My dad was always game for anything, wanting to help me out in any way he could at any time during my life. When I was a teacher, he dressed up as “Zero the Hero” to celebrate the hundredth day of school. For my MOMS Club, he dressed up as Santa for our Christmas party. I could always count on my dad.

But I think my fondest memories of my dad were after my kids were born. He was the perfect grandfather, and my kids absolutely loved him. My son called him “Da” when he was a baby, and the name stuck. My dad and Volcano used to dance around the room and sing silly songs together, making up the words as they went. My daughter loved it when Da read her stories or played dominoes with her. I feel so fortunate that my children got to know him so well, and it made me so happy that he in turn was there for my kids.

I am who I am today because of the great human being he was, and I'll always be grateful.

It only took 6 months to kill my dad. He was diagnosed last September with pancreatic cancer, and died last month. This once healthy and vibrant man tried chemotherapy, medications, and a vast amounts of treatments to fight it, but nothing worked. It only took six months. He lost the battle, like most patients who are diagnosed with this disease. There is only a 5% chance of survival once a patient is diagnosed. The disease usually goes undetected until it's advanced. By the time symptoms occur, diagnosing pancreatic cancer is usually relatively straightforward. Unfortunately, a cure is rarely possible at that point.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. Through them, my family and I have set up a fundraising effort in memory of my dad. Please look at both websites and consider making a contribution.

I don't want what happened to our family to happen to yours.