Sometimes I want my mom to read the things I write. Other times I don’t. This would be one of those times.
In 2009, I connected with friends, old classmates, and work colleagues through Facebook. Long before worries about privacy settings, the idea of over-sharing and all of the fun (and annoying) things that come with a Facebook profile, I enjoyed posting and sharing. At that time, there was no way to filter what you saw in your news feed and honestly, I don’t remember feeling like I needed to “hide,” or “block” a type of post. After all, these were people I chose to be friends with.
Right around the time my son was born, my mom joined Facebook. Living 1 ½ hours away seemed like a lifetime to us both, so Facebook became a wonderful way to share photos of my newborn son and entertain myself during those first months when I was scared to venture out of the house alone with a baby. One day while scanning the status updates of my friends, I noticed that I had a lot of notifications, mostly from my mom for something called “Farmville.” Having never heard of Farmville, I clicked and joined, only to realize that what I was signing up for was management of a “working” farm, complete with sheep baaing in the background.
Farmville came, then Bejeweled, Scrabble, and then Words with Friends, and finally Song Pop. I was completely overwhelmed with all of the notifications I was receiving so I did what most people do; I hid them. To me, they were time suckers, distractions when I already had too much on my mind. But for my mom and other people, they were a fun break from reality, a quick opportunity to interact with others and then step away. While I received little enjoyment from these online games, there is an entire, massive community of people who do. Now what if you paired addicting online games with social good? (more…)