1. Going back to school might be my only opportunity to reach the goal of making six figures by the time I hit thirty. Holy lord, can I do grad school and work full-time simultaneously?
2. Going back to school might be my only opportunity to make more lady friends by the time I hit thirty, right?!
3. Stop telling people "oh, you're so LA", "oh, you're so NY" unless you really, really know them. Cause honestly you don't know what I am and a location does not define me. We are all so much more complex than that!
4. I don't understand why people comment on celebrity's Instagrams. All that happens is fighting between fans and haters. No one actually cares what you think though.
5. Sometimes I astonish myself at how good of a gift giver I am. It is supremely difficult for me not to pull one of these when someone is opening a gift I gave them.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Social media. Does our presence on it define us? Does it really say anything deep or meaningful about us? I mean who gives a shit really, right? Recently my boyfriend and I got into a debate about social media. It started on the topic of military service men/women that seem to overshare and even at times put our country in jeopardy with the things they share (i.e. pictures of themselves pissing on the corpses of dead enemy combatants). Most of the things that come into question are pretty despicable and shouldn’t even be happening in the first place, but as we were talking about it I argued that social media really shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to give up. I mean, if you’re making a decision to serve your country (which in my opinion is the most noble and selfless sacrifice one can make), giving up your Facebook or Instagram should be no biggie right? Or at least shouldn't be such a difficult thing to censor from things that really shouldn't be shared.
Well, from my dude’s perspective the answer was no. He made the argument that social media is becoming more normalized and embedded in people at a younger and younger age. Which is true. I mean I had a MySpace at 16, but it wasn’t a huge part of my life. But now, people have Instagrams before they are even born (referring to moms who set up Instagrams for their babies brewing in their bellys), use an iPad at the dinner table and learn a tweet is something you type not something you hear out of a bird’s beak. He argued that since people are starting on this stuff younger and younger it has become so normalized that the act of tweeting or updating a status isn’t even a thought—it’s second nature. So therefore the filter of inappropriateness or discretion doesn’t even come into play.
And while there are positive and negative things about allowing someone so young be exposed to social media, that is not the topic of my query. I just wonder why are people so invested in oversharing on social media? It has become very normal to see people update their Facebook statuses with information that belongs in a diary, not a public forum. Instagram pictures that share a moment in someone’s day constantly show up on my feed that makes me cringe, like visits to the gynecologist, pictures/rantings about an ex, Kobe Bryant’s open wound during surgery—you get the idea. It seems that a tool that was designed to help us (re)connect, share information, discover new things, and possible stalk exes has become a platform for TMI.
I’m not one to tell people what to express and what not to express. That’s really not my business, and in the words of the great and ever wise Kevin Hart “Do you boo boo.” But I can’t help but feel that this culture of oversharing is desensitizing our society by leaving nothing to the imagination and nothing really to look forward to discovering. I mean, do we really need another YouTube video of someone ranting against a collective group? Whenever I see those videos I'm appalled that the person hit "Post" after re-watching the monsterous rant. Personally, I share mostly bullshit on the internet. Pictures from vacation, stupid/mildly hilarious things that happen to me—but mostly it boils down to pictures of my dog and my fresh manicure. Fluff stuff. Nothing too deep nor important. And when I do feel like I have something to say about something, I write a post about it here. I’ve never announced my relief at getting my period on Facebook; never tweeted a declaration of heartbreak; never Instagrammed a picture of my chesticles. There are just somethings you don’t do. Yeah, it’s the internet so why take it so seriously. But seriously, a lot of people do take that seriously.
How are you going to explain to an employer why your default picture is of you licking your friend’s boob? Or how you supremely creepily tweeted that you were at the doctor getting your junk checked out? It’s these concerns that continually remind me of how much of a grandma I am. Because I am way too aware of how I will look to a complete stranger on a screen. It’s not that I’m so worried about what strangers think of me. It’s mostly just the strangers who could possibly hire me/accept me into their graduate school program. And when I see the cringe worthy oversharing done by other people all I can think of is how permanent the internet is and that their kids will find those embarrassing pictures just as quickly as you found your exe’s new dime on Facebook. Creeped out yet?
And can you imagine the type of senators and congressmen we’re going to have on our hands in the future? People these days resign over one dick pic (that isn’t even a dick pic, but rather a boxer briefs pic). I can’t wait to see the dudes running for office have their college years’ internet presence revealed full of beer bongs, penises drawn on their face while passed out, and status updates that continually objectify women.
My point is all of these platforms can be used for good. To spread information, bring awareness to a cause, or promote your latest venture. But once everything in your life becomes fair game to put out there, I think that is when the sacredness of your thoughts and emotions go out the window. If you feel the need to express something that would generally be private, do it in a way that gives what you feel justice and meaning. Because cramming genuine expression into 140 characters seems pretty inauthentic to me.
Monday, June 10, 2013
I have always been one of those annoyingly goody two shoes, hard working people. It got me into trouble when I was a student, because I would chose studying over going out and missed out on lots of the latest high school gossip or getting drunk with friends for the first time in the back of their mom's Mazda. Yes, it doesn't sound glamorous, but when you're in high school and found out that you missed out on this stuff all for an A- on your AP US History class, you feel kinda like you're missing a rebellious bone that most grow at age 14. Despite always feeling like a nerd #1, this quality ended up helping me throughout my teen to adult life. Basically always having a job from 13 to now (whether it be volunteer work, part-time sales associate, or super shitty asking people for signatures on the street--I've done it all). I've always had a job because my parents always wanted to instill in me that if you work really hard you will get what you want--almost always.
Of course, the lovely state of our economy and employment has changed all of that. It is very difficult to find a job these days that you feel you are worthy of, capable of, or even deserve. People with Master's degrees can't even bag a job at Banana Republic, and that's telling you something. You could be the most well qualified, hard working person on the market right now but that doesn't mean you are valued.
Which brings me to my dilemma. Or should I say, my latest dilemma with my job. It is no secret that my current job is not my first choice. But what has always worked for me is being really, really good at my job (by working really hard) so that I always have a bit of leverage. In the past if I didn't feel appreciated or compensated for the amount of work I put in, I would just leave. Because in the past, it would be that easy for me to find a new job. But now, as I find myself in a crossroads of being more than mildly annoyed at my job, it seems the only viable option I have is to suck it up until things turn around. Every employer these days seems to have the "so what are you going to do about it?" attitude, being that they are very aware how covetable every open job vacancy is.
The thing is, I would normally take that attitude and run with it. Line something else up, quit this job and move on (even if it were for less pay). But, I recently started liking the work I do, seeing a future with the organization I work for and moved somewhere closer to where I work to shape a mapped out future. Currently, I hate my job but love my apartment. I don't hate the work I do, I just feel so unappreciated by the people who hold my job in their hands. I want to see a future where I am, but the people around me are making it very difficult. How does one justify keeping their mouth shut when they are doing much more than they see everyone else doing but getting no recognition for it?
I understand that this rant is more on the serious side than I usually write on, but it's one I feel like a lot of people have these days. The lack of jobs on the market are effecting people who already have jobs. It gives people no options. Again, I feel very lucky to be employed in times like these and must sound like a spoiled brat to some. But I am really appreciative of the good job I have. It just doesn't serve as an excuse to take advantage of people's hard work and dedication. Can I get an amen? Or am I alone here?