It’s the time of year again– the time in which you need an abundance of Internet videos to procrastinate with. While many of us have a stand-by in streaming television or Netflix, I also love discovering short films on YouTube. I thought, given the time of year and the crunch most of you are under, that I would start this off with my all-time favorite YouTube video — An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube.
I also generally enjoy nature videos. This one is like a Bon Iver video, without that annoying soundtrack on top.
I’m being facetious, of course, there is a lot in the world to make you feel small, and more outside of this world to make you feel sublime. My friend Danny reminded me this week of this amazing monologue by Carl Sagan.
I invite you to contribute — post your favorite video in the comments section and help your fellow students procrastinate tastefully.
Mount Kilimajaro, courtesy of http://nature.new7wonders.com/archives/wonder/kilimanjaro
We all have real life goals –goals like: finish school, get a PhD, travel the world, write a book, have a major solo art exhibition, win a prestigious award, maybe get married, or have a family. Important events or achievements against which you measure or will measure the success and happiness of your life.
But this post is about auxiliary life goals. The goals that will not determine how successful or happy your life has been, but rather how weird and interesting things got. This is a post about those goals.
Here are five of my auxiliary life goals:
1) Being in a John Waters film (which according to this article in the WSJ, might not be getting made very often) 2) Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 3) Learning to ride a motorcycle 4) Be in a comedy show 5) Becoming an internationally renowned photocrasher
I’m fully aware that the quality/achievability of these goals is somewhat questionable, but I don’t mind. The real life goals are where insecurity is seated, where the big life questions are won and lost. They write theater about this kind of stuff. Your ALG are the kind of things that make for interesting book indexes.
So, my question this week for all you F’ers is: What’s auxiliary life goals do you have?
The Guardian identified it’s new ownership (Justin Timberlake among them) and it’s music services as MySpace’s advantage as a social network. It’s current user base is about 25 million people — shocking in its own right, as MySpace has been the butt of the social network joke for a couple of years.
This semester, I’m challenging my students to log off (even delete!) their Facebook profiles for a week. I have to take the challenge with them (which will be great for my work ethic!) Next semester, I’m thinking of asking them to join an older social network (like MySpace or Friendster) and describe their experiences there.
Who knows: maybe by next semester that won’t be such a joke anymore….
An article published on Slate yesterday quotes a study from the University of Waterloo that “ found that people likely to see [Facebook's] virtual community as a haven are also more likely to annoy their contacts.” The article, titled “If You Think Your Facebook Friends Don’t Like You, They Probably Don’t,” draws a distinct correlation between self-esteem, Facebook updates and personal likability. There’s also a link to the original Science Daily post that describes the study in more detail.
The surprising thing for me was that, well, this wasn’t all that surprising; it simply put research behind a phenomenon I have been witnessing for a while. I call it the “Debbie Downer syndrome” (see above): if all you ever heard from someone in real life was negative you’d stop hanging around them, so it stands to reason that you hit that ‘delete’ button in your virtual life as well.
This made me think about all my Facebook friend-breakers– that online behavior which constitutes instant deletion:
1. Consistently negative posts, either about oneself or the people in one’s life
2. Shameless promotion of your lame day job (bartenders, marketers, I’m looking at you)
3. Consistent posting about how the world is going to hell (politically, ecologically, religiously)
4. If we haven’t had “real” (read: personal) contact in over a year
5. Consistently narcissistic posts about your dog/cat/rabbit/partying lifestyle/fiance/wedding/children). This includes bragging about the bad decisions you made in regards to all of those things.
So this is my personal de-friend criteria. What is your criteria for de-friending someone online? Is choosing to de-friend someone because of negativity cruel?