Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seriously bummed out Facebooker...

It pains me to type this - especially since my very last Blog on the topic of Social Networking for Parents....more specifically my 'drug' of choice: Facebook...BUT...

Sadly I'm a victim of a Facebook Account Hijacking. I'm VERY sad...seriously bummed...and obviously quite angry about this. My pictures, notes, information and most importantly my Friends are being held hostage by some entity and Facebook is doing NOTHING about it.

This 'person' and I use that word loosely, somehow got hold of my Facebook login and password. I say 'somehow' because I am VERY tech-savvy. I work in the industry and I know what's what. I keep my information close to home and do not broadcast contact information. But even still...they got me! Obviously - somewhere along the way it's my bad...but Facebook should have my back and right now they don't!

So - in the meantime...all my Friends are being contacted by this person, being told that me and my family are stranded in London after being robbed. They then are being asked for money on the pretense that they will "refund" the money after they "return to the states". I'm banking on the fact that my Friends will know better than to fall for this...but I know that many of them are indeed GOOD friends who are inclined to Help first...Ask Questions later...

I've done the "right" thing...I've filled out their forms...and had Friends fill out their forms and 12 hours later...still nothing. Well nothing from FB...because the Hijacker is STILL communicating with my Friends...posing as me...preying on their good-heartedness and fears. All the main source of communication and networking has been cut off.

All they need to do is make it possible for me to access my OWN ACCOUNT. Simple: they need to restore my Contact Email to MY contact email...and reset my password. How difficult could this be???

Now I completely get that there are MILLIONS of users...and probably THOUSANDS send in Questions and Comments a website quality assurance engineer myself, I know that it wouldn't take much for a Developer to put together a down and dirty web application that would allow an Account holder to answer specific Security Questions in order to reclaim their OWN ACCOUNT.

In the meantime - I now am in the debacle: do I wait Facebook out? or do I let the 'hijacker' win and request all my 500 or so Friends to Remove my old I can create a new one in hopes that this person will finally give up and abandon it?

Seriously Facebook - this shouldn't even be a dilemma!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Social Networking" for parents...

As I sit and watch Wall*E...literally...for the 245th time...I thank whoever is in charge of this vast universe for my Internet connection. Although I am indeed a Working-Mother...I can also be classified as a Stay-At-Home-Mother...since I do a majority of my hours from my house. I will never complain about this...I never take it for granted and I will be forever grateful to work for an employer that allows this flexibility. does has one drawback...the lack of "normal" adult communication.

Now many Stay-At-Home-Mom's {SAHM's) are in a similiar situation, but it is truly by choice. Mom's who stay at home, work their tails off...but they CAN and SHOULD venture out of the house during their days to socialize themselves and their children. There are countless other SAHM's that they can organize playdates, group play, lunch-dates, walks around the block, etc...with. As a Work-At-Home-Mom (WAHM) it is truly a different scenario. While I have the opportunity to stay with my kids...I am working. I am always tethered to my laptop and blackberry. And while, on occassion, I do "take lunch" at off times to venture around the cul-de-sac or to the's in a hurried and non-social manner. My main means of communication with my co-workers is email and "chat". So 90% of my 'work-day' is spent typing & reading online communication with my adult counterparts, with the sounds of the current Pixar movie playing in the background...along with my kidlets voice while they play out the scenes from their favorite parts...or favorite books.

Once my "work day" is's strictly family-time. Dinner is made and a family-meal is had. Conversation revolves around work & kids. Lots of "tickles & tears" to go around since the kids ages span from 4-14. Then the night ends. The little ones are in bed by 8p...and the grown-ups and the teen settle in for quiet nights. Since I'm a "responsible parent"...rarely do I head out to socialize with other adults after my kids are in bed. So where does my communication come in to play? Yes - occassionaly we have time outside with other families, or a night-out with just me and the hub...but 90% of my life is spent within the confines of my home with my husband being the only other adult I interact with.

Enter Facebook. Something that I've noticed more and more the past few weeks, is people I used to head out for a night on the town settle in for some good old-fashioned banter...but our medium is Facebook. The reason: we all have sleeping children in our houses.

I am a social animal by nature. If I am in your presence I will talk to you. I love to communicate. At this current stage in my communication tool at hand is my laptop or iPhone. I believe that these two "tools" have saved my sanity and kept my mind from being wasted away on one silly TV show after another. Sure I still watch some TV...but the shows are a select few...but without my "online socializing" I would be draining my brain from 8p until bedtime watching mind-numbing shows to kill the time before my next day begins. However, because of Facebook...I have been re-connected with many old friends. I have been introduced to a couple high-quality new friends. I have been exposed to new learning enviornments and opportunities that would have never landed on my lap were it not for online social networking.

Facebook has also allowed for me to be more actively involved in REAL LIFE. It sparks interests, it spurs curiousity and more often than invokes peer pressure to get off your sorry behind and meet that old friend for coffee that you'd never in a million years get to do if it were for Facebook.

I know this is like an advertisement for the Social Networking tool...but it is what it is. Facebook saved me from turning into a hermit. I get my rants and raves out of my system for 100s of 'friends' to see and comment on. I get to have online debates and discussions since most people are more apt to be honest while typing rather than being honest while talking in real life.

There are many who claim us to be "addicts" - but that's not it. "Back in the day" our grandparents wrote letters, our parents spent countless hours on the phone, then it was email, next came texting...and now...we have Facebook. It's all the's a way to connect to and communicate with other humans.

So I lift my mug o'chai to all my "friends" around the world and say "CHEERS!" And I can do it from the comfort of my own home...AND I dont have to spend a dime to do it!! Imagine that...