Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surveys: Music

So, Neil posted this note on Facebook about 25 songs he couldn't live without. Naturally, it being Facebook and involving music, I started going through my iTunes music and picking songs to put in my top 25 songs that I could listen to over and over again... and my first pass through my collection *(only 4,000 songs, which is nothing compared to a lot of people I know), I selected 73.

And then of course I was like, wellll... the 25 I would have picked in high school would be very different than the ones I picked now, and I could pick 25 classics that I could listen to over and over again, 25 from pre 90's, another 25 from 90's on and 25 favorites for personal meaning, and 25 guilty pleasures I could listen to over and over again and.....

Favorite music is hard, for me. When I really get into something, I listen to it.... obsessively. One song from an album will stick with me, and I will listen to it on repeat for awhile before the neighboring songs are added to it and before long it is the whole album that won't come out of my car for a week or so and then I move onto the next one, and so on and so forth.

And then when I fall in love with the whole album, it is impossible to pick a favorite song that I could listen to on repeat because virtually the whole album is that way. And there are some artists where I really cannot pick between a few songs for the absolute favorite and then there are other artists where a few of the songs have such individual meaning to me I couldn't only pick one (The Beatles, Snow Patrol, John Williams, etc. etc.).

I think I would have a harder time picking top 25 songs than I would top 25 books -- too many layers to sift through in music. Books, as usual, are far less complicated and more reliable (probably because they are less often shared with others), but hey.

All right. I am sorry I don't know how to actually keep a real blog and I just ramble about stupid stuff relating too much to other people and the Internet. I will work on that. Maybe.

Friday, March 6, 2009

And I'm finally onboard with Twitter, too

OK, I'll admit it: I am on way too many social media Web sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, MyRagan, MySpace (totally joined for a work project, honest...but stayed of my own volition), Blogspot, and now Twitter.

I've made Wikis and podcasts and have fought to implement them in the workplace in a couple of positions I've had.

However, I appreciate the delicacy of the issue. I get into debates about social media in personal and professional capacities (mainly at work and with my mother), and I know that I typically argue in favor of all the different ways to "socialize" online, but I know they have their downsides, too.

I absolutely think and have seen firsthand how the use of all of these tools can improve employee engagement, involvement and connectivity at the workplace. Employees who have never seen their CEO now have the option of commenting on his or her blog, or listening a podcast from a top executive, or submitting questions that they will probably answer online... People can see their coworkers in a different, more personal light by connecting with one another on Facebook and LinkedIn and realize that the woman who always sounds so crabby and whiny in her cube across the hall has children, or something personal in her life that might just give you pause before becoming completely fed up with her again.

You get my point (I hope).

And now, with Twitter: talk about real-time news. I follow the likes of Mashable, the New York Times and NPR on TweetDeck. Suddenly, the most popular, up-do-date news is only a click away. I don't have to go to a ton of different Web sites to get different perspectives; they are all streamlined and saved right on my computer, for whenever I feel like looking it. Each Tweet includes a link to whatever article its headlining at the moment, in case I want to take a closer look.

Call it convenience, laziness or vanity, but people are responding to it. Now, I check it several times a day for news, instead of looking on the NYT's Web site and BBC.

And yes, I know there are serious downsides to being able to get literally all the information, news and culture you could ever possibly want by sitting in front of a computer screen. Kids "these days" are worse communicators. My mother complains about it constantly -- having to break up fights and shouting matches over what was posted last night on Facebook and what so and so said about whatshisface on thefatone's status. She is constantly telling me that they don't know how to socialize face-to-face anymore.

It is getting easier and easier to speak out hiding behind a virtual identity or Avatar... while we have a hard time looking each other in the eye's or standing up for ourselves in person. People have entire separate lives online. Instead of staying up reading in bed, they sit with their laptops propped on their laps, chatting with someone a floor below them.

I have mentioned this story a lot, but it is one that really resonates with me. I was an RA in college and my boss was an RD for about 13 years before I started working for her. When the school shootings at Virginia Tech happened, everyone was floored. People were glued to their TV sets, or more likely, their computers. The halls were quieter than we had heard them to be all year. No one was around, with only the muffled voices of news announcers coming through the doors.

My RD was amazed at the difference in response from 9/11 to the Virginia Tech massacre. She said that when the Twin Towers were hit, the common room of her dorm was packed. People were crowded around the TV watching together, taking comfort in one another and watching the events unfold together. Only a few years later and everyone was isolated. People were watching and paying attention, but in a completely singular, independent response. People weren't talking about it. If they were communicating about it at all, they were typing about it. There was no emotional response in roommates and hallmates. Just a bunch of people individually facing their own screens.

The onslaught of technology that computers and the Internet have brought was truly unstoppable. If you didn't jump on the speeding train, you could easily get left behind.

But it will certainly be interesting (and probably a little sad) to see what the next generation brings to the workforce. What will it be like when kids start working that have had information at their fingertips since infancy?

Interesting. Or something like it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Since I'm Super Lame and All

So, I think everyone who actually reads this thing has said it before: We don't actually like all the people we're friends with on Facebook, so I decided to transfer one of those uber-dorky note things onto my blog and respond to it on here. One, I haven't posted to it in a long time and it needs to be updated. And two, I like all of you, so here goes:


1.Who Was Your High school Prom date?
Umm. Is it bad that I am having a hard time remembering who I went to prom with over homecoming? I think I went with Kenny senior year and Mr. Caleb's nephew junior year. No, I'm not joking, sadly.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Sort of. Sometimes. Not really.

3. What was your FIRST job?
Papa John's pizza. Oh yes.

4. What was your FIRST car?
The beautiful 1992 VW Cabriolet, aka the Death Box. Technically, my first car was a super cute 1992 white Honda Civic that had automatic locks and EVERYTHING... but it blew up before I even got my license, I think.

5. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?
Brigit, I think.

6. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
Probably Oscar, as he was sleeping on me. After that, Neil, as he was next to me. =)

7. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Singleton

8. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

9. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?
Tarin Lewis and I haven't talked to her since I went to her wedding in 2005, sadly.

10. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
Geesh. At my house, I would imagine.

11. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?

12. Whose wedding were you in for the FIRST time?
Umm. I think Mark and Lori's.

13. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Turned on the heater in my bathroom.

14. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
The Beach Boys, in the fourth grade. Really.

15. FIRST tattoo

16. FIRST piercing?

17. FIRST foreign country you've been to?

18. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
The Land Before Time... I cried at the end because I didn't want it to be over.

19. When was your FIRST detention?
My first and only detention was in 9th grade when I was late to math class because I was in a conversation with my Western Civ teacher... and the only reason I got detention was because like nine people were late and the VP happened to notice.

20. What was the FIRST state you lived in?

21. Who was your FIRST roommate?
My freshman year roommate, Amanda.

22. If you had one wish, what would it be?
For everyone to be self aware. I think it would eliminate a LOT of life's problems.

23. What is something you would learn if you had the chance?
German, for real. I want to be bilingual so badly and just cannot stick with a language long enough to actually be able to speak it fluently.