Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Barrier of entry

I've been cursed with feeling insightful today. On a normal day I'll be searching through my usual treasure trove of entertainments to occupy my mind until the next essential comes up, but not today. Today, just glancing about the usual settings yields something new and inspiring. I don't need some overstimulating nonsense to keep my mind going at a normal clip, there's just a natural flow of good ideas coming in. I can even write this blog with a surprising minimum of distractions and needs to drag out my thesaurus. Now what's so damning about this welcome change to the norm? It just so happens I'll tell you.

This insight I'm boasting about comes at a price. All the things crammed at the back of my mind are resurfacing in a fresh new light. It still sounds like I'm complaining about a good thing doesn't it.....well so much of what inhabit the back of my temporal lobe are regrets. Things I've had such well meaning intentions to learn or revisit but never do. Books I haven't read, good movies never watched. Places never explored, ideas never fully thought out. Old friends I haven't reconnected with, girls I was too afraid to ask out.

On a normal day I have reasons for each and every one. "I was focused on something else", "I had too much going on", "I haven't finished that last book I started", "they probably don't remember me", "no WAY she's interested...." But on a day like today, I know these are all barriers I've made for myself. My cozy little comfort box that blocks away all things scary and new. All it would take is to invest some small time and effort to get past that initial hump of doubt and I'll have expanded this minuscule little chunk of existence I inhabit. That's it, that's all. On a day like today, everything feels like it should be in reach.

So why isn't it? Why can't I accomplish everything I want to in life? All kinds of imagined restrictions circle around, but the only one that seems to hold any truth is the one I hate to acknowledge more than any other: Time. Even should I manage to focus and accomplish things one by one, my imagination will always work faster than the rest of me. That's not even counting tomorrow when the flurry of doubts and barriers come back to play. Well, it's 4pm right now. Let's see what I can do today.

Friday, July 10, 2009

If only I could hide your news feed in real life

So I have not authored anything in quite awhile, I’ve been busy, tis the summer, all that good jazz. Something has been on my mind for awhile though and I may as well spit the thoughts out.

Nowadays we have Twitter, Facebook feeds, RSS readers, status updates on every IM client possible, and they all inundate us with way more info on a person than we even imagined we wanted.

On a given day I can wake up and look at Facebook to see a post where someone bitches about being awake early, a picture of new hardwood floors (!), or a comment on a failed relationship. This all leads me emotionally to two ends:

First, I realize out of 400 plus people I’ve added on Facebook, I could care less about what 350 of them are doing on a day to day basis, if that. On Twitter, I don’t care at all what anyone is doing that moment, and MySpace, well I just deleted all of you and myself on that one.

Second, I wonder how many people feel that way about my updates. Now I do not exploit my inner emotions a fraction as much as the people who really irk me. I have a new girlfriend, yet I rarely mention her, I am in constant physical pain, yet I don’t complain, I have a tedious 9 to 5 job like most of this country, and I just get up and go. However, I am sure comments I make about hockey games, political action, or lame jokes are equally boring to some as their complaints of life are to me.

The mega question and overall point is this. Are we in reality further distancing emotional attachment to each other by over saturating ourselves with too much info on our friends? These systems are designed to “bring us closer” and “connect” but I find myself every day removing someone permanently from my news feed, and I, although I tried, could give a crap about what you Twitter. Am I in turn alienating friends who don’t care about whatever gibberish I post?

I wonder if the people who reach out the most with these services are just too outgoing or are they people who historically never got any attention from peers and now feel they are accepted and heard just because they were “Added” by someone on the community.

Maybe we’ve reached a point where we need to back off and leave a little more mystery to the world. As a telecomm geek and media professional, I understand connectedness extremely well, but for the love of l33t, I just don’t understand why you deemed it necessary to post a picture of your sick hamster on my wall.