Archive for May, 2009

I am a huge proponent of all the new social media. Facebook is something that I’ve come to love and use every day. I joined Twitter a few months ago and obviously, I have my own blog. It is my goal to be uber-connected and cutting-edge. (I’m fighting the impending “out of touch” label that accompanies a 30th birthday.) My tweets feed to my Facebook and to my blog. My website connects you to my virtual portfolio then back to my blog. I have a wiki that explains what an RSS feed is and how to use it– and my RSS feed is built within my Gmail account where I get Facebook updates. As soon as I can afford a video camera, I’ll be posting my own videos on YouTube instead of just watching them. Not to mention Flickr.

To my surprise, there are many people out there that are resisting this new technology. They refuse to join Facebook, let alone actually post a status update. They make fun of the Twitter tweets and cling on to email like it’s really something progressive. I actually had a friend that asked me over lunch: “What’s a blog?” I couldn’t hide my horror.

Let’s just review a few of the great things in life that people resisted in such a manner:
  • Elvis and the Beatles
  • Women’s Rights and the abolition of slavery
  • Television, computers, cell phones and email
It’s inevitable. This new technology is here to stay and much like the good ‘ole computer, I think we’ll be seeing more of the same. If you refuse to catch on now, you’ll be so confused in 2015 that you’ll be asking your 7 year-old to explain things to you. (Sound familiar to anyone that has shown their mom or dad how to work the DVD player lately, for the 40th time?) This is not just a passing fad like disco, it’s more like the automobile– it’s changing the way we live.
One of the largest sources of information on the web is a wiki– this means that the users are driving the content. CNN and Fox update the news through a series of blogs. John Mayer announces his relationship status via Twitter and even Michelle Obama updates her Facebook page. Please, if Oprah, in her infinite wisdom has joined Twitter, why are you resisting?
In fact, I would bet my next pay check that although you may have stonewalled Facebook and Twitter, you’re already indulging in some of this new technology. I’m sure you’ve read an online customer review before you made your latest purchase from Target, Amazon or Zappos. Or, you’ve watched a YouTube video lately and passed it along to a friend. (Why is it that those that are dragging their feet with social media have seemed to really embrace the forward? Oh how I wish that would become extinct.)
So kudos to those of you that are on board. And for those of you that aren’t, the time was yesterday. Look at it as liberation from being “fed” information from companies and news channels. Instead, real people, just like you and me, are giving you the news, the product reviews and a real look at Dominoes Pizza. And bonus, you get to keep up with your 100 friends from college that you don’t have time to talk to over the phone.

Tiger Lily to those of you make fun of those tweets. The joke’s on you. Things are changing and you’re getting left behind.
Special thanks to Stone Ward SWIM for inspiring my technology Tiger Lily. If you are interested in getting up-to-date, check out the link.

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A Rare Re-Post in Honor of the Late Sallinger.

About two weeks ago, Matt and I went on a much-needed vacation to Mexico. I was looking forward to eating too much at our all-inclusive resort and basking in the hot Cancun sun while washing away the swine flu with every hand-wash. And as part of my normal vacation ritual, I brought along a couple of books to read. (I am on this kick where I’m trying to read classics.) So as I was browsing the “required summer reading” shelves at Barnes and Noble, I ran across The Catcher in the Rye.

This particular edition of the “American Classic” didn’t have a synopsis printed on the back or on the inside cover and I decided to take a gamble. I had no idea what the book was about, but I knew it was a classic and the first page caught my attention:

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father.”

The story opens with a depressed and angry 16-year old named Holden Caulfield, who has just been kicked out of his third or fourth prep school. The remaining 100 or so pages follow his trip home to face his parents who Holden expects will be very disappointed with him, yet again. The more the story continued to do nothing but follow this kid, the more engrossed I became. I empathized with this “screw up” who was terribly whiny and foul-mouthed. And as he described every adult he saw as a “phoney,” I began to adopt his cynical views and became a little unhappy– even on vacation. If I hadn’t picked up Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons before we left, I might be in therapy right now.

The more I tried to figure out why The Catcher in the Rye was such an American Classic, the more baffled I became. And now, after two weeks of reflection, I have decided that this story of a young man’s angst must have been cutting-edge in the 1950’s. I’m sure this book was banned not only for the language and the mention of “feeling sexy” around a prostitute, but also because no one in America would have wanted little Johnny to adopt such a negative outlook on life.

All in all, I quite prefer Ferris Bueller’s teen-angst to Holden Caulfield’s. While I can relate with both characters, Ferris provides a more playful and hopeful view of what comes next in life, where Holden just depresses the hell out of you.

In response to all of this, I have begun trying to really focus on the “glass-half-full” approach to life. That, and Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons has really brought me out this loathing for all mankind and I’m starting to recover. Tiger Lily to Salinger’s teen angst; it has caused me to focus on being happy.

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