If You’re A Human, Read This

Reblogged from Squeeze Work In

It’s interesting how some things don’t change. The incessant need for women to define themselves by their relationship status hasn’t changed much — women’s liberation, no women’s liberation, it still seems to be a big part of a woman’s identity. But there’s hope. Some do not define themselves by this, and it’s refreshing to know:

I’m over relationship statuses. After reading that first sentence my friend who is a journalist will say something snarky like, “Laura, you can’t be over relationship statuses because a relationship status is a state-of-being not a very small puppy you are watching pee on a tree, so, technically you can’t be ‘over relationship statuses.’”

So, I’ll rephrase, I’m sick and tired of reading about relationship statuses, particularly females’ relationship statuses. I’m not talking about seeing somebody update their relationship status on Facebook from engaged to I-hate-this-guy-get-ready-to-decipher-hidden-meanings-in-all-my-fire-breathing-comments, nor am I referring to the status found in the three-component theory of stratification, philosopher Max Weber created to describe people’s economic/social worth.

Read the rest here

A New Addiction?

This is a follow on to my previous post.

I have been on Twitter for over three years, and it has opened up the world in a way that other social media or forums or any number of other online dynamics has never done for me. Just so you understand the magnitude of that statement from my perspective, I have had an internet id in one form or another since 1986 — several years before the Web was born and certainly before the general public even knew what the Internet was and maybe a couple of years before Al Gore invented it ;-). These were the days when the nice graphical user interface (GUI; pronounced gooey) that allows point and click existed. We could only hand key ping commands (which still run the Net under the covers today) into a command line, and the most sophisticated graphic was made with letters and symbols and viewed on a monochrome display. Eighty byte files we manually appended were used to create community, and those later became forums.

At that time, the only people on the Internet were the U.S. Military, a few other departments of the U.S. government, a few foreign groups, some universities doing R&D, and a handful of IT companies. We had a blast talking to each other about life and love and the future of technology, and I still have some of the bulletin board topics preserved in hard copy. They are precious to me because the interactions with those very thoughtful people literally and very dramatically changed my life. My views were expanded exponentially — in a way that reading thousands of books could probably never do. I was an avid reader at the time and still am, but the immense exchange of not only ideas but also of cultural perspectives had an energy to it that was like tapping into God. I believe in God, so my saying this is in no way making light of that. The Lord already knew all of this was going to happen with technology, and I love that He allows us to explore His creation.

There was also an awareness of God among that early online community. One of the topics often discussed was the pie in the sky of everyone talking to everyone else with immediate communications and how that could be construed as rebuilding the Tower of Babel and what all of that might really mean. Thankfully, I realized very quickly that I have no desire to be God or to play Him with the use of a tool like the Net but rather to enjoy what God has facilitated and let it benefit mankind. For those of you who don’t believe there is a God, obviously, you can disregard, but I would be remiss in not giving tribute where I feel it is deserved.

All of these experiences insured that I would forever have a passion for IT and the Net. So it is my pleasure to try to stay up on what is happening with respect to technical advances and especially with regard to communications. I don’t really have the view that I have to keep up with my kids. They usually have to keep up with me! LOL!

Fast forward 26 years, and Twitter is the realization of decades of dreaming and planning and building of a foundation for communications that is even better than I thought it would be. Does it have some problems? Are people involved? :D Yet it’s fantastic because relationships are integral to it. Isn’t that the point ultimately?

And for the recent moves by Twitter to do some censorship, I don’t sweat that because people have become inured to easy access to each other, and techies are the most rabid about preserving it. There’s no going back. So even if Twitter really starts clamping down, something else will spring up to take its place. But for now, this is the thing.

edit: oooh, lots of typos and bad sentences in this. That’s what I get for posting without editing. Ouch! LOL! I’ve fixed the typos I saw. You’ll have to live with the bad sentences. :D

Encounters of the Misty Kind

It has to be apparent I love technology and have a special fondness for the Web. But it’s not just because it feeds this info junkie’s habit, it’s also for the people I’ve met. From the first time I participated in a bulletin board using 80 byte files that were appended and all in lovely monochrome display, I’ve been hooked on communicating with people who had a shared interest and wanted to talk about it, to offer some knowledge or glean some knowledge from others. For those who have never participated in something like that, they usually don’t get it. They usually don’t understand that it’s possible to form relationships where you are edified by others whom you never see or hear. I do hate that I can’t hear your voices, and that’s the chief reason I wanted to do voice as my subject for last year’s FanstRAvaganza. I’m deeply affected by what I hear. Much more than by what I see.

But even if I have never heard your voice, I am affected by what many of you have typed into your keyboards, and I’ve come to know some of you and know you’re real people with real lives which have highs and lows. I never forget that when I’m online. So when one of you goes away and there’s no clue as to where you went, it leaves a hole where you used to be. I’m never quite sure what to do with that. Part of me thinks I should adopt society’s demeanor and throw you away and move on, but I’ll never be able to do that, because I don’t want to do that.

Years ago I participated in a forum and one of the members who became an online buddy was a gentleman named Fred. He was a delight and had such wisdom. Everyone on that site loved him, and then one day Fred stopped talking, and for months we wondered what happened. Only one of the forum members had ever talked to Fred offline, and he offered to find out what he could. It was a long time before that member got a response and came back to tell us that Fred had died and his family sent us a message. I’m so glad they did that, and whether Fred really died or not (I’ll never know the truth of that), he was dead to us, and we could mourn him and not just throw him away in our minds.

That incident had such an effect on me that I’ve left instructions with my will that in the event anything happens to me, SO is to get online and say goodbye. When I told him about that, I thought he would laugh, but to his credit, he understands relationships whether online or not and knows how very important it is to gain closure. I’ve now worked with countless people who have experienced death of a loved one, and closure is imperative. If someone can’t say goodbye, they’re never over it. In the case of being online, I think it’s as important for the one leaving cyber space to say goodbye as it is for those left behind. So I hope our friend will at least give herself a chance to say it’s been fun, but I’ve got to go, and take care.

More thoughts on this later and in regard to Richard Armitage and his relationship with fans in cyber space and beyond. For now a close up of a fan’s encounter with RA:

[click to enlarge]

Spooks behind the scenes candid shot courtesy of KuchingGirl