Tag: business

What Social Media can’t do…

I’ve been reflecting on Social Media’s role in our personal relationships most of the night.

It’s an oddity that LinkedIn is even more adept than Facebook at suggesting people I never want to have anything to do with again as friends. But it’s even more disheartening when I am on the receiving end of the same apprehension there. Sometimes, you simply can’t make up for past mistakes, and I get that – there are limits to forgiveness.

We all make mistakes, we all develop bad habits and sometimes…sometimes we even unlearn them, and anyone that says they’ve never lost a friend out of neglect or disrespect is a liar, or too stupid or stubborn to admit it.

So a couple weeks ago, I removed over 300 people from my friends lists on Facebook as a first run of cleaning house. There were a few mistakes in there, and luckily they let me know and it’s been pretty copacetic since..except for one thing that bugs me. Why would I dump all those friends? Well, mainly because most of them weren’t friends..they were mainly acquaintances or people that I interacted with at some point or another…but friends? Not really.

After I was done it was pretty nice, I could post on my FB feed with a clear opinion and purpose and not be worried that the words would be taken out of context or reflect upon my business or work ethic. You see that is what it’s come down to. Social Media has limits. The boundaries that people have in associating themselves publicly may not in fact be the same boundaries they have with friends, loved ones, or other personal interests. But these same familial associations are of great value to Social Media, and so we have a thousand different methods of sharing out lives with the world, and thus presenting this user with a small social dilemma…

What do I do with all the people I feel obligated to keep on my friends list that might have “time-served” as a friend at some point but aren’t actually the friends I value? No, that sounds incredibly selfish. What about those friends and loved ones of mine, and what of those who still care for me? Worse still, those friends and acquaintances I still have that are “on the fence” about our friendship for some reason…I simply don’t know what to do with them. They don’t care for me so much that they aren’t given to speak to me unless cornered into it, but they like keeping tabs on what I do or talk about…

Yeah those guys. I guess that sort of makes them more fans and general interest than friends, eh?

Those people that can’t grow a pair and sever ties when it is blatantly obvious they should…those ones. I recently offered to throw a little work to someone I had heard lost his job in passing. Not because he was a friend but because it was the right thing to do, and even though he declined, I still honestly felt like the dude simply had no interest.

Yep…you guessed it. Removed him tonight….and others. Not because he declined my help, but because I had the impression that he’d have said no on principle even if he needed the hell out of it. I get it…you don’t have any respect for me. You certainly aren’t alone. At this point his actual perspective on this doesn’t matter anymore because my first impression on this is always going to make me not want to actually put forth the effort, when it isn’t going to prove I’ve changed. There are others, some that I still care for quite a bit, but unfortunately have become complacent with never speaking to me and rely on my newsfeed…which is specifically opposite of what I want from Facebook (family and friends).

So I come to the real reason for this post.

We’ve become so reliant on social media for our relationships that it’s bleeding into our social needs. Social Media doesn’t augment relationships, it exposes them, leaving us to make assumptions and decisions on relationships that unfortunately deserve a far more personal touch. I think that a number of these relationships are salvageable in person, but not so much via IM or Twitter or Facebook messages and posts.

I don’t know, I just seem to think there are better things to do than allow myself to dedicate so much time in my life to maintaining friendships online that should obviously be handled off the offline, because Social Media doesn’t replace a good heart-to-heart talk with your friends.

-T



Yearning for Learning…

We all have those points we reach where we re-evaluate where we are and what we want. I honestly think that it’s part of the process by which we make sure we’re not repeating mistakes and are on the path we want to be on.

As you all know, I started my own consulting business about a year ago, and it’s been a learning experience to say the least. I’ve learned more about the business world and finance and taxes in the last year than I had in decades prior.

It occurred to me that one thing I truly love to do is learn…be it people…trees…the wind…math…okay…maybe not math much anymore, but you know what I mean? My spark is still there…in scenarios where I have to immerse myself into an environments where I have no bearing, and no experience. While I am hardly getting rich by becoming my own boss, but I am enjoying a level of freedom that I didn’t even know when I was a kid. Part of that freedom has been having the time to take on learning TONS of subject matter I didn’t have time for beforehand, and recently, I’ve even started inquiring about tuition costs for school because unfortunately, some of the world I want to know lays buried in the books and lectures of professors I normally wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The bottom line, I miss learning, I miss that feeling where I’m entering a completely new arena and have to soak in absolutely everything. It keeps my mind from getting too bored, which unfortunately is very easy for me if I don’t have a conversation going on…or a book to read…or the internet to soak in and learn about…well…everything. Well, as I’ve learned recently, an undergraduate degree acquired online costs over $70k. Yup.

That is what I said. HOLY CHRIST ON A POGO STICK…SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS…

…and that is 100% do it yourself computer based training.

Unfortunately, as I stated above, I have time – but money like that – not readily available, especially considering my health problems and trying to buy a house this year…I know it’s simply not an option at rates like that.

So here comes that spark…

I’ve been a TED subscriber for quite some time, and the messages you hear on it are incredible…there are soooooo many people out there trying to broaden our horizons and make this world a far better place, it’s pretty inspiring. So much that I’ve tried to make sure I watch at least a few TED video’s every week or two so that I know what they know, or at the very lest can draw some ideas or inspiration.

And earlier today I saw this article on free courses offered online…

TED Blog – Completely free online classes? Coursera.org now offering courses from 16 top colleges

TED.com - Ideas Worth Spreading

And after that I checked out Coursera.org and found that t wasn’t the degree I longed for…it was the education, thee information, and the opportunity to soak more of the world or turn my brain to jello trying.

I went on to find a number of other organizations that offer free education and courses. I realized that some people and organization were finally trying to improve the world, by allowing the mind to grow. In a society that puts a price on access to virtually any information, there are finally a number of organization that are trying to share that wealth instead of profiteering from it.

Again. Me. Inspired!

So where did all that take me?

I have the time, I am going to take it and learn as much as I can while I still have it. There are already more courses out there than I could finish in the next decade, and I think that within the next few years the amount of curricula available will grow exponentially.

You’re probably reading this and thinking Jeez Tony you could have just said, “I’m going back to school.”

True, I could have, but then I wouldn’t have shared all these nifty links to all these places online that provide free education.

The Khan Academy – TONS of video and stuff…LOADS…I also found these guys from TED.

OpenLearn– I haven’t tried these guys yet but they have a huge course selection.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Open Coursework from a great Medical School. Prize material for med students!

Tufts University – More Med school offerings


Stanford University
– That’s right, Stanford has buku lectures free via iTunes!!!!

UC Berkeley – More from UC Berkeley, available via iTunes!

OpenCulture – Has a FEKTON of courses listed available online.

Education Portal – Good information regarding online coursework.

What did I find for myself? A sustainability class, some newer Philosophy classes, loads of history classes I might actually like learning from…bottom line…enough for me to really enjoy regardless of where I learn it.

😉

-Tony



Listen to yourselves sometimes…

Dear Close-Minded Woman that pissed me off this week,

Perception is reality. 22% of the worlds population believes in Islam. It’s the worship of a single deity, with that deity’s word outlined in the Qur’an, and the teachings of a prophet named Mohammed. I could just as easily compare it to the Bible, God, and Moses just like my buddy did, and be quite satisfied in being correct…at least until we get into a more detailed description of the religion.

SO…maybe…just maybe…the next time someone greets you with a blessing you should be gracious enough not to act like someone just put a hex on you.

There is this knee-jerk reaction people have when engaging religions not their own that is usually uninformed, uneducated, and almost purely instinctual…almost fight or flight. That is explainable. The possibility that one may be right and the other wrong triggers a fight or flight reaction, most of the time verbally where a person spouts off whatever they can come up with in a few seconds and hide behind their faith in the argument…or worse. When in reality (personally I think religion is a horrible burden on spirituality, being now a tool for business and politic), they are both mutually destructive to one another and will continue to teach at least a small portion of their congregation that the other is the evil one.

The only end to this was to remove religious rule, and we did it.

What scares me most is that some people actually think that adapting the US government into any degree of Christian theocracy would actually protect us.

Separation of Church and State protects us. It has allowed our country to flourish where many other nations have fallen or been turned over in civil war nightmares. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

I completely understand feeling threatened by belief systems other than your own. I actually understand the feeling more than most. I just don’t understand the need to attack others beliefs to justify your own. Disproving someone else’s religion doesn’t make you right, it makes you a judge where none is necessary.

-Tony

NO…I am NOT a Muslim. I just cant stand religious bullies.