Again with the 40 days …

Standard

‎Battling a case of writer’s block, yesterday I updated my Facebook status and wrote “Quick. Pick a topic. Any topic. Please?” I was hoping my Facebook friends would help inspire my blogging. The topics I received were: jam, bare naked monopoly, the string theory and the singularity theory. Hence, my previous post was a combination of the provided topics. Continue reading

I thought we were close

Standard

I’m trying to put it to the side. Honest. And by ‘it’, I mean Facebook chatter. I mean, seriously, how many of you are growing increasingly tired of reading about Facebook woes? Put your hands down, please. It was a rhetorical question.

A friend of mine sent me a YouTube video from Prairie Home Companion. I really enjoy Prairie Home Companion, and I find Garrison Keillor funny and entertaining. The video (really just audio) was from a Prairie Home Companion episode in early October. And Garrison’s song? “Unfriended”.

As one might assume from the title of the song, “Unfriended” is about being unfriended on Facebook. His lyrics are quite comical. And I feel confident enough to safely assume many people have literally felt what he describes. The line I liked best was “You posted a comment, I thought we were close.”

I find it funny that Garrison, a 68yr old man (I checked Wikipedia, so it must be true) is writing and singing about Facebook. And, I love the fact that the folks in the audience laugh at his lyrics. It is comical. Quite comical. Yet, a part of me is curious about the people in the audience. How many of those folks are active Facebook users? How many of those folks have gotten excited when they received a comment from some obscure ‘friend’? How many of those folks were disheartened when they noticed a ‘friend’ was suddenly gone?

As silly as Facebook is – we still manage to get sucked into it. Oh, I know, you are the exception. You just access it every now and again, you don’t really pay attention to all the status updates, etc. Yes, I know. Clearly, I’m not speaking to you. But for the others, including myself, we’re sucked into it.

I have two friends – real life friends that I can see, feel and converse with using my real vocal chords – and they have yet to step into the world of Facebook. Good for them. To reach out to these two gals, I actually have to pick up a phone, get in a car or send them a note. Get this. These gals aren’t even on Twitter! I know. Shocking, eh? The humanity.

In truth, I know just as many folks who don’t use Facebook and Twitter as I know that use Facebook and Twitter. There are several people out there who are still Facebook free. And sometimes – sometimes I wish I was free from Facebook. Then again, my boys are really cute and well – I think everyone wants to see just how cute they are – right? Am I right?! Plus, Stacey commented on my last status update. I think she and I are close, and I’m sure we’ll meet face to face soon.

Oh me, oh my! What alot of distractions go by!

Standard

Dear Blogary,

My head is pounding, my body is tense and my mind is overwhelmed with random thoughts, anxieties and nonsense. I read a quote this morning, “Don’t tell me that worry doesn’t do any good. I know better. The things I worry about don’t happen.” I find that quote very funny, as I can relate to worrying. And really, I don’t think the quote has anything to do with this post. I’m not sure what my topic is for this post.

Blogary, according to my cycle calendar, I am in the two week crazy period. Perhaps the head is pounding due to PMS. Perhaps the head is pounding due to the overwhelming sense of stress I feel. Perhaps the head is pounding due to the tension. I haven’t a clue. And, when I try to sit in silence, my mind does not cooperate. I am trying to figure out what is getting to me so greatly, but seriously – the voices will not hush.

I had a moment of clarity, as I turned on Good Morning America to watch the cast of Modern Family. I love that show. The chemistry on that show resembles the chemistry of The Carol Burnett Show. Gosh – if Modern Family was a live show, it would be incredible! Perhaps Carol will guest star on Modern Family w/Tim Conway and Vicki Lawrence. Oh, they could appear as the “Mama’s Family” characters. ACK. I must Tweet the cast and creators to share my idea.

[Note the sense of ‘urgency’ to share my Modern Family idea with the world. Much like the urge to Google something instantly, when you are curious about this or that thing.]

In other news, or simply because I find it hard to stay on any one thought for a prolonged period of time, I’ve received some feedback from my arguing post. It’s nice to know my posts are being read. In addition, it is nice when folks take the time to express their opinion. Thanks folks! I hope you’ll continue to check my blog and read a post or five. And as always, comments are welcome.

The radio is playing in the background, TweetDeck is open on my laptop and beeping every time a new Tweet is received, my instant messenger application is open and notifying me of instant messages and I have two email applications open and receiving emails. Distracted much? Stimulated much? Is it possible my multi-tasking is a source of the tension, headache and stress? Naaaaah.

Blogary, why do some people boast about the fact that they are able to multi-task? And, why do we feel the need to multi-task? I love writing, yet I find I become distracted by checking the blog stats to see if anyone is reading. I love reading Tweets, yet I find myself replying to tweets with utter nonsense, and then I find myself checking to see if I received a response from my response. My email is open all day – Monday through Friday, and I spend countless minutes/hours refreshing to see if I have received any emails. Multi-tasker or obsessed? Or obsessed with multi-tasking?

Blogary, keep in mind, I work from home. In a feeble attempt to rationalize my many open applications, I mention the fact that my boss frequently uses instant message and email to reach me. But, let’s be honest, the majority of the applications open on my laptop are used for personal reasons. The addiction and distraction is maddening. Happily, I am becoming less and less active on Facebook. I still update  my status, but I don’t actively participate in posts, etc. as much as I have in the past. (Well, not every hour of the day, anyway.)

While I believe the many computer applications I use create a bit of tension during my day, I am also feeling anxious about other things. We received Joe’s paperwork for the Montessori school. Woo hoo! As I type, I have butterflies of excitement in my belly. Then I immediately switch to tension, as I wonder what I will do to ensure we have the money needed to keep Joe enrolled in the private school. I will get a second job, that fact is for certain. But, until I focus on the job search, the anxiety comes and goes fairly regularly.

Much like my eating issues, I find when I panic about us not having enough money, I go through a spending splurge. It’s like the minute you start a diet and crave all the crap in the world. Well, we really need to watch our pennies, and finding restraint to buy the littlest thing is driving me bonkers! And, these are things I would have no interest in buying, if I were not stressed and anxious. Case in point? Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream. Ok. That’s not true. I’d buy that stressed or not stressed. Fortunately, Ben & Jerry’s was on sale today; not that I bought any – or did I?

I should probably hold off publishing this post until Friday, due to the randomness of my thoughts. Meh. I won’t wait. Goodness knows, I’ll have no problem being random come Friday. And, while I am being random . . .

Twitter is truly addicting. Addicting and amazing. I am amazed how celebrities will respond to the ‘Tweets’ from non-celebrities. I have received a few direct messages from folks who are in the public eye. And, I admit, I find getting a direct message from a celebrity is a pretty cool thing. Twitter has a way of bringing folks together and generating a sense of normalcy. Normalcy is not the right word, and really – I find Twitter encourages stalking, to a point. Still, having someone ‘famous’ respond to me about what I tweeted makes me think of them as just another person – no better, no worse. In addition, because I am able to reach out via Tweeting, I feel as though any pedestals I may have had them on are gone, because these folks are just normal folks. Well, Cher is still on a pedestal.

Anyway, I think I am done here. Perhaps I should try to ween myself off some of the open applications each day. Right. I’ll start that the day I give up Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. No worries, I’ll tweet, email, update my status and send out an IM when it happens! Stay tuned.

Love,
Me

A bit snarky

Standard

My word today is ‘Snarky’. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of Snarky is as follows: 1 : crotchety, snappish 2 : sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner <snarky lyrics>. Snarky is a fitting word for today, as I continue my PMS battle. No worries, this is not going to be a rant about PMS. Instead, I am writing about the word snarky, because it is a word I hear with growing frequency. I don’t consider myself to be a snarky person. However, I am known to be sarcastic. And to me, there is a distinct line between sarcasm and snark. Be warned, I’m probably going to come across as a little sensitive in this post.

With social networks like Facebook and Twitter, friendly chit-chat can to turn to disrespectful rudeness pretty quickly. The word ‘friend’ has changed with these social networks, too. One can have over 500 Facebook friends, but what kinds of people make up the over 500 friends? Are they real friends? Are they friends that you go to great lengths to stay in touch with through the years, or are they merely friends you are curious about every now and again? And, if you are snarky to these friends, do they take it as innocent and playful sarcasm? Or, do you they find it to be irreverent and rude? Frankly, do you even care how they take your comments? Truth be told, the real friends you have are the ones you interact with the most, whether it be via Twitter, Facebook, telephones, gatherings or email. And, you can check out anyone’s “Wall” on Facebook to determine which friends are real friends versus the ‘social network’ friends.

I admit, I’ve had my feelings hurt by snarky ‘friends’ on Facebook. I don’t know that they meant harm; instead, I think the distinct line of snark vs. sarcasm is blurred in the world of social networks. I cannot believe everything that is said or typed on Facebook would really be said out loud to people. It’s just not how the world works. In my opinion, the reason these social  networks became so successful was due, in part, to the fact that people could pretty much say whatever they wanted or felt with little to no filtering or backlash. Blogging is another example of how filters seem to evaporate, as folks spill there guts while offering their take of the world. And please, pardon me while I spill my guts, as I am an active participant of the named social networks.

As a participant in social networks, I am not trying to sound judgmental. In fact, I believe a great deal of good comes from social networks. However, I worry about our filters, and I worry that our filters – which serve a respectful purpose – are evaporating at an alarming rate. Much like the Ozone layer is becoming smaller and the greenhouse house gasses are (allegedly) overcoming our Earth, our filter of respectfulness is also becoming smaller. My nieces and nephews are not aware of a world where people only communicated by corded telephones. My younger relatives are not aware of a time when you actually put forth an effort to have conversations face to face vs. the corded phone. They don’t even recall a world where you actually played outside and had to pretend to be a good guy, shooting a bad guy with the coolest stick you could find. They do not know of a world before XBox, Nintendo, etc. This younger generation doesn’t know what it is like to be patient – deliberate – thoughtful. With social networks and electronic mail, everything is instant – reactive – not filtered. And, when one is responding in an instant and without a filter, snark is sure to show itself. Sarcasm is everywhere, and sarcasm is in your face. Sarcasm is in daily face to face conversations, on television, at home with the family and online with friends. But snark? Snark seems to lurk in world where you can hide and have a sense of anonymity or carelessness. Snark is mean. Snark is personal. And, in my opinion, snark is ruining our conversation, even if the conversation is virtual.