Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crazy Thoughts When I'm Alone

When I'm alone is when I start thinking crazy things.

Thankfully I'm not alone very often (otherwise who knows what could happen) but on nights that I am, I usually forget to eat dinner and have super crazy thoughts. Maybe it's the hunger talking, or maybe it's my brain trying to process the 14 different idiotic things I see every day.

Here, in no particular order, is a short list of my crazy thoughts from tonight:

1. Tattooed grandmothers. It just hit me that my grandchildren (should I ever have any), will be among the first to witness tattooed grandmothers. Men have been getting tattooed since the dawn of time, so Grandpa with a saggy anchor on is arm is really nothing new. But grandmothers with stars on their feet? Birds on their ribcage? Flowers on their arm? A giant horse in the middle of their back?* Now that will be bizarre. I realize that in other cultures, tattoos are not a new concept. Heck, even in America tattoos are not a new concept. But the amount of tattooed grandmothers patronizing Old Country Buffet at 4:30pm for dinner will be astounding. I can promise you that.**

2. Horns honking. I live right off Lake Shore Drive and I hear horns honking all night. My office is also at a busy intersection in Skokie where it is not unusual for someone to lay on the horn for a full minute and a half (I've timed it) if the car in front doesn't take their right on red. Who invented the horn? Who decided that it would be a good idea to put something so obnoxious on something already so obnoxious?

3. Forgiveness. I read the "Dear Sugar" advice column every Thursday and today it was about forgiveness. Granted, the act that this woman was trying to forgive was far more terrible than anything I've ever had to forgive. But it taught me a lot about not letting that small dark, twisty place (the one everyone has, and don't even try to deny it) become a large, dark, black hole that consumes my happiness.

4. Reading. I LOVE to read. I just finished a book that I started yesterday (and I may have skipped dinner to read). It was the kind of book that makes you wish your commute was longer so you could read more. And now that I have my Kindle, I read constantly. Why didn't I read this much for the last 8 years of my life?

Well, I guess that's it for now. It's weird to see my random thoughts spelled out. And now that they're out for me to see, I guess they're not so random anymore.

*I really did once know a young woman with a giant horse tattooed in the middle of her back. She was one of my babysitter's friends when I was about 7. She's close to 30 now, probably with children of her own.
**I'm in no way knocking people who have tattoos. Just a random thought I had, and I really don't mean any harm by it at all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

4 Reason I Hate Social Media

Now don't get me wrong. I love technology. Love it. While I'm not an early adopter by any stretch of the imagination (I just got a smart phone in March) but I'm not a luddite either. I love that we have ways to reach out to people, learn an infinite number of new things every day, and can look up new and exciting things to do on any given day.


I hate technology. And here is my list of reasons why:

1. Social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) has an amazing way of making me feel excluded. I can see everything everyone else is doing. Everything I wasn't invited to. And while my social life is far from empty (I rarely have a free night), it stings sometimes to see things that I wasn't invited to. I can only imagine how much more damaging this could have been in junior high or high school, to see sleep overs and parties to which I was not invited, because it's somewhat damaging now when I have a healthy self esteem.

2. Facebook and Twitter often bring out the most annoying sides of people's personalities. These social media outlets have given people a way to be more narcissistic than they normally are. They post millions of pictures of themselves, taken from an arm length's away, write "statuses" complaining about problems that aren't problems, and have a forum to vent all of their political, religious, and personal beliefs. (The irony of blogging about this is not lost on me.)

3. With the advent of smart phones, most people have become slaves to technology. They're like zombies, walking around with a small, touchscreen device in their hands. (I jokingly call my little sister's phone her "connection portal.") People are so plugged in that they feel lost without their phone. It's really frustrating to try to have a conversation with a person who is texting, checking Facebook, or tweeting, but it's more frustrating that it's become normal to constantly be holding four or five conversations at once (virtually and IRL).

4. It's so time consuming. I can't even estimate how many hours a week I'm on Facebook, reading my google reader, or checking out the Twitter world. But I do know that it could easily take over my life if I wasn't careful. And I do know that it has taken over other people's lives time and time again. Also, it's incredibly time consuming to manage my online profile. In the past, all I had to worry about was if I looked presentable and wasn't a socially awkward person. Now I have to worry about that, as well as if my statuses/tweets are in line with the online persona I've worked so hard to create. Do my "Facebook beliefs" match my "real life beliefs?" Do I admit that I love watching terrible television and eating peanut butter m&m's on a 70 degree day? Or would that make me look like a fat kid who doesn't play outside? See? Complicated and time consuming.

Does this mean that I'm going to cancel my Facebook, delete my Twitter, get a flip phone, and clear out my Google Reader tomorrow? No. Not even close. Because I love technology. But this does mean that I'm going to care less about my phone, my facebook page, and my twitter account. Because I have better things to worry about than if someone invited me out or what people really think about Sarah Palin.