If you think back ten or more years, we weren’t very social. Yes, we had email, but that was about it. Facebook was an infant, there was no Snap chat, no Pinterest, no YouTube, no Instagram, and what about Yahoo groups and texting? How did we get along?
Good and Bad
With these “advances” in technology we are able to communicate almost instantly. If we want to know something, we can easily Google on the internet, or post a question on a Yahoo or Facebook group. Almost everyone has an opinion. It is great to get feedback, pats on he back for our awesome posts, and find answers. But, is everything out in cyber space reliable? And, what about the time? How much time is “social” stealing from us every day. How much time is texting our friends with meaningless and random thoughts taking from our life? Would we spend that much time talking on a land line phone every day?
The “Old” Days
I come from a generation of rotary phones. In fact, my grandparents didn’t even have a phone, or even electricity for many years. Yes, they were progressive and did get those as soon as they were available in the country, about 1938. They farmed and when electric became available, it was a wonderful day when they could milk the cows with a milking machine and not by hand any more.
When I was in college I met my future husband, Ron, at a farm auction. He had just graduated from another college and was working on the family farm. We dated once every other weekend (he only lived 30 miles away), he never called me except maybe two times, but we did write letters (stamps cost 5 cents). Phone calls were out of the question, it was long distance which cost extra, although not nearly as much as what most cell phone plans cost today. Phone calls were for business, emergencies, quickly pass along important information, but for our families, never just for talking. In fact, when I was a kid we had a crank phone and our
phone line was a party line with four other homes on the same line. You had to pick up the phone carefully to see if anyone else was talking before cranking the phone to call the operator. Yes, that also meant you could listen to someone else’s conversation. So, word to the wise, be careful what you said on the phone as the neighborhood gossip might be listening.
Times Have Changed!
Today we have instant communication with our cell phones and texts and access to all kinds of information without going to the library, looking through a card catalog, and searching the stacks. Today’s technology all comes with a price. If we aren’t careful, it can steal our time, a lot of time. And, the privacy we once enjoyed in our lives we no longer seem to covet as we post everything from our adventures, brushing our teeth, and family gatherings to what’s for dinner on Facebook and other social media.
One of the most challenging things with such easy access to information is sorting fact from fiction, weeding out bad advice from good advice. Everything posted on social media, YouTube, Yahoo, and found in Google searches is not he best information. In fact, there may be a lot of misinformation. From medical information to fixing the refrigerator, or solving a longarm quilting problem, there is good information and there is bad information.
Know The Source
Just like years ago when we recognized reliable sources in the library, it is important to check the source online. Today, everyone has an opinion, and many think they are experts, but they are not. Before accepting and using advice offered online, check out who is making the post. Questions to ask about the post:
- Who placed the post? Are they an expert in the field or respected author on the subject? What is their background, education, or training relating to the information.
- Can the information be substantiated in other posts or other websites?
- Does the information violate well documented principles, standard accepted practices, or break the law?
- Will the information be a compromise that might not even work?
- Does it sound logical, practical, or seem odd, outlandish, or ridiculous?
Longarm Application and Online Advice
As a Nolting longarm dealer that has been factory trained, dealer for two computer guided systems, and an author of a book for longarm guilting with Nolting machines, “Guide to Quilting with Your Nolting,” I am amazed at the poor, but well intentioned, suggestions relating to longarm quilting offered on social media channels. Just because some weird thing happened to “solve” a problem doesn’t mean it is the correct solution. Believe me, I have heard of some very interesting solutions, even using water bottles to take care of fullness on a loaded quilt. Rarely do these suggestions address the root cause of the problem. There are better solutions and solving or addressing the root issue is always the best.
Whether seeking info from a friend, YouTube, Yahoo group, Facebook, or any other social media source, sift the information well. Make sure it comes from a reliable source, one that has both experience and knowledge, and that it addresses the root problem and isn’t a bandage.