Tag: linkedin

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



A little tech-ness from Tony…

How paranoid are ya?

I know a lot of us are at the very least a little wary of getting hit by a computer virus/malware/generally nasty code.

Before you get incredibly paranoid, or worse, you write it all off as fiction, let me give a little insight:

It exists, it’s incredibly easy to find, and most importantly, it’s incredibly easy to avoid and defend against.

1. Keep your virus scanner up to date.
If you find that some virus scanners are outside your budget, use a free one. AVG & Kapersky are great examples of free scanners. If you want concrete details on which scanners actually pull their weight, I highly suggest you check out av-test.org. They really put scanners to the test and make sure the scanners do what they are meant.

AV-Test.org’s Current Reviews

Know the name of the virus scanner you have installed. Some harmful links and sites will attempt to trick you into scanning your system by creating a popup saying you need to scan your computer immediately. You run the scan, buy their software to remove the incredible number of harmful files on your machine (without realizing that you just downloaded them from the same source), and that’s it…you just paid them $50 for cleaning up all the bad stuff they gave to you in the first place. This is very BIG business for many country’s overseas, so knowing what you scanners name is will keep you from giving these scams a chance to rip you off.

2. Don’t run it unless you know what it is.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve watched turbo-trigger-happy people decimate their machine because of their uncontrollable need to double-click everything they see. I don’t need to give examples, we all have done it at some time or another. The bottom line is as a practice, running programs you aren’t familiar with on your machine is asking for fun.

Some of these creepy business applications deliberately create icons and links designed specifically to make you think they are something else. I found one last year that looked like the windows update icon…but it wasn’t, it was a little program that set up a download point on your machine and checked an IRC channel for instructions from people as to what to download to the infected machine.

If you ever have a question about what a program is, Google it. Here are some sites that are really good about telling whats what about a program:
FileInspect.com
ProcessLibrary.com

If you want to scan a file, check out Jotti’s Virus Scan, it will let you scan a file on your machine with a gazillion scanners.

3. Questionable sources.*cough* Torrents *cough*
Some friend or buddy gives you a “freebie” copy of some software hookup they got. You have to be incredibly careful here. In addition to risking your computer, you’re probably breaking a handful of laws by using cracked software. Even worse, it’s estimated that 90% of the intrusions and malware/virus infections come from cracked or illegitimately licensed software. The difference is that you shouldn’t be downloading software that is from a questionable source. Any software you acquire that is deliberately cracked to enable the full use of the product without purchase/registration is asking for trouble, the decision is yours, but an incredible percentage of cracked software out there is wired to to make computer do a lot more than what you’re expecting.

So thats it, simple advice. You can probably get away with the stuff in bold, but I thought it might be good to explain a little bit. Also keep in mind, this is the basics. There are tons more things you can do to tighten things up on your machine and I am sure I will write about those at some point.

Regardless, the guidelines really are this simple folks. If you’re using the above, the odds are distinctly in your favor. Most of the time.

Unless you’re me and happen to actually find malware in a legitimate application and have to alert the vendor that they made me cry when their software came up as toxic on 5 different scanners’ 🙂

-T



This is only the beginning…

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to apologize to everyone that’s been so diligent in coming here looking for new material…only to find that I took a ginormous freaking vacation from writing.

I wasn’t sick, or sunning it up on some beach…I just kindof get overwhelmed (i.e. – lazy) on the holidays.

This winter some really cool things are coming to a head in TonyTown. There is a new webserver on the way, the entire hosting platform is moving to a virtual server with about 1000% performance capabilities.

I have been asked to start contributing to another multi-writer blog (go me!).

After a having a fit of common sense…I am starting to accept project offers for other blogs and websites, and have three on the schedule already. One is a new book being released next month, I am facilitating all of the web branding, including the site design and even helping with the content. I’ll be promoting/branding the new website soon, if you have comments or questions, my normal contact pages are all still available.

Some of the cool stuff:

Another AWESOME blogger – Lauren Carlton from Mommy Is Rock ‘N Roll is recruiting me to help her move all her stuff from Blogspot.com to a WordPress blog (might even be hosted by yours truly!)

Wayne Johnson, a successful musician and owner of Noteworthy Ministries (they do really cool things for kids with guitars!) is publishing his biography written by himself and his close friend Frank Ball (from FrankBall.org and North Texas Christian Writers). The book is called Guided Missteps – Hard Times Make for Good Music (@guided_missteps / GuidedMissteps.com) and is a journal of Wayne’s life and how music turned his life around.

Totie Richardson is a very close friend who is also an incredible Tarot reader. Her business via word of mouth is insane considering she doesn’t advertise on the net, so much that we’re putting a website together not only as generic contact point, but also as an informational outlet on the many Tarot projects she has in progress. The website will be at http://tarot-geek.com and will showcase Totie’s wealth of information and life-experience.

Tony-Hunt.net is almost finished. It is my professional site and will showcase some of my projects and IT skills. It’s still a work in progress so don’t be surprised if the site is unavailable, but expect to see some serious promotion on both tonytown.com and tony-hunt.net coinciding with all the websites that are going online.

Anyhow. It’s Christmas Eve.
You should all be hanging out, knocking down some Nog, and having fun.

Merry Christmas everyone! …and thanks for reading!

-Tony