Google+ Circles & Circumcision

Well, I’m guessing the title of this post got your attention! Sorry I couldn’t resist.  I’ve been meaning to post about these two subjects on my blog and found it funny that the two words both share meaning. I wanted to talk about Google+, because it’s a new type of social network that I’ve become very fond of and I wanted to briefly mention circumcision because Jackson just had the surgery done last week.

I don’t care or want to get into a debate on circumcision itself. If anyone reading is against the surgery for whatever the reason – that’s fine. It’s just something we decided to do, because we probably would have had it done if Jackson was biologically ours anyway. For whatever reason, they don’t do circumcisions in Ukraine at birth, so it’s something that we planned on having done for him eventually. Really the only reason I bring it up is because regardless how taboo the topic might be, this was Jackson’s first surgery that we know of, so I thought it would be silly to ignore it on here.

The surgery was the middle of last week and he did very well! Lindsey and I have never been in a situation where we had to have our kid in surgery before so regardless of how routine the process might be, it still was a little nerve racking! But, Jackson was a trooper. He had a local anesthetic as well and something that was similar to an epidural around his “area”.

They also gave Jackson some loopy medicine before before all of this, so it was funny to see him kind of out of it. After the surgery was all done (and we were told everything went very well) we were told he might have some problems walking because he wouldn’t be able to feel anything around his waste until the drugs wore off. He was kind of wobbly and out of it as you can see from the pictures below. Overall, he’s doing fine. I think the hardest part was the 8 hours where we couldn’t feed him any food prior to surgery!

 

Moving on to Google+ – It is the newest social network made by Google and is currently in a limited field trial. I’ve heard rumors though that it should open publically by the end of this month. I managed to snag an invite on the second day of its testing and I have to admit I’m falling in love with it. I know a lot of people reading might throw the thought of joining yet another social network to the wind immediately, but I’m finding it a great replacement for Facebook. Currently, I use a combination of Twitter and Facebook for my “social” needs. I’m really only using Twitter because it was the cool thing to do at the time. I only have a handful of followers on Twitter and I only log on to it now to post a status update, which I have set up to cross-post to Facebook. As for Facebook, I’ve been on it the longest and I’m unhappy to say I’m probably addicted. So much so, that I’ve been looking for a reason to get “out” for awhile.  Not until Google+ came around have I thought this might actually be a possibility.

First for those non-techies reading. Here’s a quick overview of the Google+ Project itself provided by Google:

The more I use Google+ the more I love it. I know I’m sort of a tech junkie, so you could say I’m biased because it’s new, but it only took a week of using Google+ to realize how much I’m addicted to Facebook. (But all for the wrong reasons). The problem with Facebook is that all of your friends, not-so much friends, co-workers, aunts, uncles, parents, and high school buddies are all put together in one basket. When you post on Facebook, all of your friends see what you post and there is little you can do to distinctively share certain posts or photos with certain groups of people. At least, easily. And the same goes for your friends. Therefore, you spend hours on Facebook just like me, reading through your feed, trying to find something in the mess that really interests you. With G+ that all changes, as you put friends into “circles” by subjects or categories that interest you. What’s nice about this is that you have the ability to sort your feed (known as “The Stream”) by these circles.  Therefore if you feel like just catching up with your high school buddies you can view that stream, or if you want to know what Aunt Judy is up to, you can click your Family Stream.

Sharing works different on Google+ than Facebook too. With every post, picture, or link that you share, you decide upfront which of your “Circles” sees it. So if you’ve got a bunch of photos from a family vacation to post you can share it only with your “Family” Circle, but hide it from your “Co-Workers” circle. Same thing goes with status updates and the like. There’s a lot of my friends on Facebook that could care less to hear what I have to say about my thoughts on the new Mortal Kombat game. With Google+ I can easily share that information with only the people I put in my “MK Community” circle. You can also put people in more than one circle, which is a nice addition.

With Google+ there are no Friend Requests. I can add you to any of my circles without your permission and you can add me without my permission, but this is ok, because I can control what people see outside of my own circles. You do have an option to share posts or photos publicly – which I do from time to time. If you add me to your circle, but I don’t want to add you, you will only be able to see my Public updates that I specifically chose. If you are a real privacy freak, just don’t share anything publicly on Google+ and your “not-so much friend” won’t be able to stalk you.

Google+ is great because you can easily keep private what you really want to keep private. All Google+ requires publicly of you  is your full name and gender. I spend hours of wasted time on Facebook reading about things that really aren’t that important. But I do it, because it pulls me in because I feel like I have to know what’s going on. With Google+, I can finally spend just a few minutes reading and sharing with just the people I really care about. And when I need my Acquaintances “fix” I can view that stream, but it’s not always in my face.

This is just the start, as I haven’t even began to talk about other features of the site including Hangouts – which make group video chat easy and fun. Also, like Twitter you can follow people you don’t know, but just interest you. So if I can have my celebrity fix and friends fix all in the same place, who knows maybe my days of Twitter are almost over too.

I’m not completely decided, but I am contemplating moving over to Google+ and ending it with the other networks. While I decide, drop me a line if you want an invite to the service. I’d be happy to add you to one of my circles! 🙂

Visit my public profile at – http://gplus.to/scotthowell