Friday’s Odds And Ends

Another week just whizzed by. It’s amazing how that happens, and every Friday I look back to see what I accomplished in the week. Some weeks are better than others, but I am sure that is true for most of us.

On Monday I tied up some admin things for the drama camp – doing reports and thank you notes – and I even managed to get some writing done on the new book I started the first of June. Friends from Omaha, NE came for a short visit on Tuesday and left yesterday morning, and it was so nice to see them. It had been about 13 years since we had seen each other. What fun we had catching up on everything, and again I was reminded of how friendships that root so deeply never wither.

Image courtesy of Deviant Art

 I didn’t watch the news most of the week, so I have no idea what is going on in the world, which might be for the best. But I did catch a bit of a story last night before I turned the TV off. The story was about how people no longer join groups and organizations because they do their social interacting online. Part of the story was about a community-service organization closing after almost 50 years of organizing events for a Texas city, and a spokesman for the organization said they had to close because they no longer had enough people joining to have the personnel to put on the events.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, volunteering is also down:

The volunteer rate declined by 1.1 percentage points to 25.4 percent for the year ending in September 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. About 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2012 and September 2013. The volunteer rate in 2013 was the lowest it has been since the supplement was first administered in 2002.

It’s kind of sad to see that we are getting more and more isolated because of advances in technology. I remember when more homes got television sets and less people sat out on front porches in the evening and less children played stick-ball in the streets. My grandfather said that television would be the ruination of our society.

I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think we need to find a balance between our use of devices and our enjoyment of people and places in real time, not virtual time.

Now to end with a joke, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      A man answered the phone. “Yes, Mother,” he sighed. “Listen, I’ve had a long day. Jane has been in one of her awkward moods . . . Yes, I know I should be firmer with her, but it’s not easy. You know what she’s like . . . Yes, I remember you warned me . . . Yes, I remember you told me she was a vile creature who would make my life a misery . . . Yes, I remember you begged me not to marry her. You were right, OK? You want to speak to her? I”ll put her on.”
      He put down the phone and called to his wife in the next room: “Jane, your mother wants to talk to you.”

2 thoughts on “Friday’s Odds And Ends”

  1. Interesting post Maryann. You are right when you say we need to find some balance. The problem is that people might consider sharing an issue which they are concerned about or want to raise money for on Facebook etc as ‘volunteering’ in that they are helping to raise money/awareness, but donating time for physical events is just as as important (if not more so). I’d hope this drop off in volunteering is a temporary blip, but given the way technology is playing an increasing part in day to day interaction, making more and more people spectators in life rather than participators, you do have to wonder how community events will fare in the future.

  2. So true, Mel, and maybe service organizations need to find ways to use technology to their benefit. Still, there is nothing like working side-by-side in a food pantry or a Red Cross shelter to give you a terrific sense of satisfaction at doing some good.

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