08 September 2010

on social networking

I have fallen out of love with social networking, yet and still I use it daily. It’s almost like divorced couples that still have sex—well maybe not that complicated. It is a bit odd, however. We’ve lived hundreds of years successfully with out a Facebook account; we could definitely go without one. The caveat is that these days, every aspect of our lives is on a social network. Employers won’t hire you if they find a picture of you taking shots at Hooters. Relationships get rocky because of something someone wrote on a wall or tweeted. Things of this nature, I have come to accept. I’ve had a Facebook account since 2004 and I’ve tweaked the settings to where I can elect who sees what. Same thing goes for my Twitter account.

The lack of privacy does not bother me. I willingly divulge the bits and pieces of my boring life for all to see. For me to rant about social networking might be counterintuitive if I’m letting people into my beeswax. I’ve fallen out of love with social networking for a few other reasons. The first one being that it has become boring. I think I’ve been on Facebook so much, I know more about my friends and frenemies than I care to know. When I get on there, I rarely get a surprise. On Twitter, I find myself following a few people who babble about the same stuff all the time. Tweeting about man problems, gossip, and how great their life is as opposed to everyone in the world. Moreover, some of these people aggrandize themselves in a manner that doesn’t reflect the person they truly are (In the black community, we call this perpetratin’). I applaud the few people I know that are the same person digitally as they are in person.

I abhor these people who come on Twitter and Facebook and try to tell people what they should and should not do on these sites. I call them the “Social Networking Politicians.” They post things like “Don’t come on here detailing the events of your daily life” and “don’t tweet about (insert topic here).” Who the hell are these people to tell me what to do with the social network account that I opened? Is your name Mark Zuckerberg? Are you the creator of Twitter? If your answer to the last two questions were no, it would behoove you to shut the hell up about it. Let people do what they want, and if you don’t like it, delete them from your space.

I’ve fallen out of love with social networking also because it is confining. I have never worked well with confines. Social Networking Politicians peeve me for this reason as well. They make it their duty to delineate what matters versus what doesn’t matter. That is, whereas a tweet about Kat Stacks getting slapped by some broad in an Atlanta club gets lots of attention, a tweet about a James Baldwin essay gets the attention of only a few people. I guess that’s a human nature thing as well, but it bothers me quite a bit.

Although I hate these things about the social networks I use, I continue to use them to stay connected to the people who matter to me. I want to know what’s new at my alma mater. Whereas a good friend doesn’t call me often, I’ll still be in the loop when he or she has good news. I keep up with cousins who are part of the generation who don’t know how to use that Alexander Graham Bell-invented device that rings. Hey, I might even get my next job from applying to a link that flashes across my Twitter timeline.

free wi-fi: that's whats up

For those who might not know, Starbucks now offers FREE Wi-Fi to its patrons (again). No more having to pay AT&T or T-Mobile to use their services. This is a huge relief for most of us, who as a result of the status quo don’t have a red cent to spend for something that should be free in the first place.

For me, this was great news. Not because I don’t have Internet at home (I do, and we pay a pretty penny for it too). My current living situation does not allow for me to carry out my creative processes the way I would like to. I have to answer the door constantly, and hear remarks about how I spend too much time in front of a computer screen; those things as well as several other really annoying distractions.

Since I found out about Starbucks free Wi-Fi, I’ve been there twice. The first time, I studied for an interview that I had with a publication for an internship (that they have yet to call me back for). I was at the Starbucks across the street from Cooper Union in Lower Manhattan. I sat there with my mocha frappucino and did my research.

The second time, was pretty much the same. I went to one near where I used to work on Lexington and 53rd Street. I got myself another mocha frap and got to writing up some samples to send for another internship I applied for.

I see why lots of writers do their work there. They play great music, there are other people on laptops around (which actually makes the network a bit slow, but whatever), and the coffee’s good. They’ve been around a long time, and there’s really nothing new about their ambiance. I’ll take a late pass for this. Their free wi-fi just makes it so that I have somewhere to get my thoughts together, while I mind other peoples beeswax on Twitter and constantly check my Gmail.

17 August 2010

in memoriam: my 30 day unlimited card

I wish I had that thing still. It expired the other day, and I haven't acquired the ends to get another one just yet. Gotta love it. She gets you around the city; on as many trains or buses as you need. Poli-tricks is trying their darnedest to cap the card at 90 rides per month or raise the price even higher. Soon they'll take the card away altogether. We'll be eulogizing not only the card, but the money that leaves our pockets as a result of having to pay-per-ride.

Gotta get myself a car.
(and open up a new can of worms.)

02 July 2010

ten opinions

opinions are like butts, everyone has one.

when i don't write here in some time, i like to throw out lists of opinions based on things i've realized, experienced, or otherwise internalized...

1. a long distance relationship is one that i never thought i'd attempt. it gets real lonely at times, but the one i'm in-- she's teaching me how to love and not lust, how to be disciplined, how to be close from miles away, and just how to BE. and i love her for everything that she's doing for me.

2. who would have thought the kid with no hairline from a Canadian TV show would go on to make one of the hottest albums of this year. Drake's Thank Me Later is not 1/2 bad at all. favorite tracks include Fancy (which i joke my #1 with), Find Your Love, and Show Me a Good Time (i love how it starts, and it's produced by Kanye West)

3. one of my friends told me a long time ago that if you don't acknowledge it, it's not an issue. he's right. if i'm to move on, i have to stop recognizing certain things in my life as problems, but use them to move on accordingly.

4. i use twitter solely to help me with my writing and my creative process. there, (i said it!) now, i cannot be 100% sure, but there's probably a person or two who takes an issue with the things i say. there's a simple solution. unfollow. unlike a lot of people, my self worth is not determined by my number of followers.

5. i'm still incensed by this oil spill. nuff said. (see previous post)

6. haven't gone to see a good movie lately, and for once, there's a good selection to choose from. i know nothing about the last airbender though. it was a cartoon from back in the day, i believe. (i didn't have cable growing up, so i'm a bit oblivious to pop culture before 1999) i need to go do some research.
(update: i forgot. the real name of this movie and the cartoon was AVATAR. never really watched it, but i bet cartoon network is showing episodes ad nauseam)

7. are we really that surprised at mel gibson? he pissed off the jews, which at one point in time were labeled the "niggers of white people." it was only a matter of time until he pissed off the black community. i dont know too many black folk that watch mel gibson films anyway, and i fell asleep watching that passion of the christ mess. fuck mel gibson.

8. i still want to get on silent library. mtv, if you happen to stumble upon this, hit me up.

9. be safe this fourth of july. barbecues getting shot up is ridiculous, but it's happening. pop firecrackers and champagne bottles, not guns.

10. keep chasing your dreams. people will tell you that you can't do it and that you have pipe dreams. prove them wrong and laugh at them when you make it. (well, don't do the latter, just wish them well in their own mediocrity)