Posts Tagged ‘Social networking’

A week in review

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Life, Work
Tags: , , , ,
Collage of Oslo.

Image via Wikipedia

It is about 10pm and I am sitting in a hotel room in Oslo hoping that my laptop battery will last a while longer. I have no intention to get up from the bed and find the power cord. I have spent the whole week here on business and it has been a very productive, fun and all in all great week. The only thing that is not so fun is… staying in a hotel. Being in a hotel on holidays is fun. Being in a hotel with a group of people together on a business trip is fun. Staying in a hotel on your own while on business is very, very boring.

When I arrived I had the fortune that a good friend also was in town for business so we met up for dinner and had a bottle of bubbly… and then another one… and then a few more glasses. We had a blast. I was, surprisingly enough, pretty fine the next morning. My friend however was not. I was woken up by a text simply stating: “I hate you” … followed by several other texts throughout the day describing her less than ideal state. For once it was not me feeling totally washed out.

The week itself was filled with coffee, meetings after meetings, great food, good laughs, lots of new things learned and a really good time – and that was just in work. The rest of the time I had a quite failed attempt at shopping (wow this country is expensive!), a laugh-out-loud fun dinner with some colleagues from the office here, some frustrated moments when struggling with the hotel internet set-up and an internal debate if shelling out 300 euro for a warm norwegian sweater really is something I should do… I didn’t in the end (thank god, my credit card has had enough abuse!). The week I arrived was the week the temperature dipped below zero for the first time this winter… and I had packed for Irish weather (don’t ask)… yep, it was a bit chilly alright and that sweater was very tempting!

I had hoped that I would have some moments over to take some pictures but as the sun rises at 8am and sets at 4pm at this time, it was always dark when I went to work and left. I guess I just have to come back again some other time.

As it is now, my flight leaves at the ungodly hour of 6am tomorrow which means I have to get up around 3am in order to check-out, get to the airport and get some tax-free shopping done. Why oh why did I book such an early flight…?

Hmm battery is at a critical stage… and so is my need for sleep.

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I moved out from my parents house at the tender age of 16… it was not because I wanted to or was thrown out but because my senior second level school was too far away and I had to move into student accommodation. It was a bit scary in the beginning but I quickly learned to take care of myself and my parent were just 2 hours away.

So I never really had the parental supervision as an older teenager that both my brother, sister and most of my friends had. If I was out partying then they did not know and it was freedom that you get used to very fast. I need to point out that I was also quite shy and not very daring at that age so it was not that my parents needed to worry all too much… but still, they do not know all.

I grew up and the shyness receded. The parties were more frequent and so were other activities. I was a young single women enjoying life. My parents are not stupid so of course they knew that I was out partying… answering the phone while extremely hungover was perhaps not a great move.

I moved abroad at 22 and my parents embraced emails and long distance calls. Visits per year are few but fun and I quickly realized that as much as I love them I could not live together with them for more than a few days. I think the feeling is mutual…

There are somethings you should never need to know about your parents and there are definitely things they do not need to know about you. So a nice equilibrium was maintained.

So imagine my utter astonishment when I got a friend request on Facebook from my parents! You should have seen my face. This was quickly followed by hurried instant messaging between my sister and myself on what the heck just happened. Keep in mind that my parents are in their seventies and normally emailing and the occasional internet surfing is as far as they use their PC. I also figured out that my brother was visiting them today… the guilty culprit is found.

So I am feeling two ways about this; on the one side I think it is pretty cool that they embrace social networking online… On the other hand, talk about parental supervision on a high level. Damn, I will have to think twice before I post now, well good thing they do not speak English very well.

Then I catch myself and all I can do is to shake my head… I am 34 years old for gods sake. Why does this make me react like a rebellious 17-year-old? I guess parents will always be parents…no matter how old we get. Sigh.

Traditional maracas

Image via Wikipedia

It is Thursday evening and I am so totally having a Friday feeling today. Most likely because I have actually taken tomorrow off but also because I am just back from a dinner with a bunch of colleagues in work. It was really good fun. I was not able to have a few glasses of wine because I was driving but I did have many great laughs…especially in regards to all the sarcastic comments and underhand threats to remove the in-restaurant “entertainment”. There was this guy on a keyboard and two girls singing (if you want to call it that) while shaking maracas… to mainly ABBA songs… now please tell me…were there ever any maracas in any ABBA songs?? It was hysterical!

At least the food was good even though it took forever before we got it and the espresso that I ordered never arrived…they must still be in negotiations with the coffee bean vendor in Brazil or something. At least work paid for the dinner…so I am just smiling at all of it. It would probably have been a very different experience if we hadn’t had so many laughs about it or if we had to actually pay for all.

All in all a fun evening. Now I am off to bed and tomorrow I will have a nice long snooze in the morning. Oh yeah!

I have stated before that I am slightly addicted to social networking, especially to Facebook. I realised today again that the world is so much smaller these days when you can reach your friends and have “group-conversations” with people in all different places. It feels like your friends are actually there. Considering that people move around a lot more these days, find work in different places, different countries, even different continents it makes it harder to stay in touch.

I am (unfortunately) old enough to remember the times before everyone had emails or internet and my friends and I used to write letter (snail mail) to each other. It was always a great feeling when a letter arrived in the post. I still treasure those letters. As I am no great writer of letters… it also meant that it was a lot easier to drift apart and all the sudden you didn’t have much in common with your friends and when you met up it sometimes was a bit of a struggle to continue where you left up.

I am still no great writer of emails etc but at least it is so much easier to stay in touch and have some laughs with friends that are away now. Nothing beats meeting up in reality but until we do again… there are always many virtual laughs to be had.

See you soon guys! 🙂

I have to confess, I am addicted to Facebook. It has become an important part of my life. I need to check it at least once a day if not more often. Thank god for mobile devices. For me, Facebook has enabled a feat that all the letters, emails, mobiles in the world have been unable to – keeping in touch friends near and far. It has become a vital tool for me to staying in touch, keeping track and sharing fun. Some friends I have gotten to know anew after many years and I have made new friends out of acquaintances. It is weird that some people I know better via Facebook than real life.

I love the fact that it is easy to use when setting up a night out between friends or just share tales and pictures. I am aware that Facebook has its privacy issues but in the end of the day it is an internet based networking site which is supposed to be “open”, even if you can modify the privacy settings a bit, so it is something to take into account. Just keep that in mind when posting cringeworthy comments or pictures, it is just like with everything in life that you don’t want to all to know, use some common sense… or just do not post it in the first place.

Living abroad with several friends in many countries has made Facebook invaluable to me. It adds to my social life, brings many laughs and keeps friendships alive. It is not perfect but does what I need most times… except when I am extremely bored and no-one has any new status updates…come on people, say something! 🙂