Tag: twitter

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




I’ll walk away from Facebook for supporting CISPA.

You all know I am incredibly big on freedom of information and the U.S. government really seems to be drinking some cybercrackpot’s kool-aid again. Because here we are again and it hasnt even been a year.

As it happens, the next incarnation of SOPA, called CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is slowly creeping up on Capitol Hill.

…and once again, only a fraction of the proposed legislation has the interests of the American people behind it.

The rest of that legislation is geared toward holding companies blameless and granting them permission to submit personal data to the government without court order. This includes texts, email, private messages via social media…essentially most of the communications mediums we use privately are now suddenly available to the big business to use.

The Young Turks presented a very good explanation of the legislation and point out some incredibly important details that you should be aware of.

http://cyberspying.eff.org/

If you want to read an overabundance of views and peoples’ reactions and opinions on the matter, I STRONGLY suggest you check out The Debate Club because of the raw amount of information present. I will also point out that for some inexplicable reason the only people promoting this are those representing big business.

Essentially it comes down to this. Facebook doesn’t want to get in trouble for giving the government carte blanc to their information. Neither does Twitter. Now any other corporation. However that’s apparently where that sense of importance ends. As long as they arent held liable for invading our privacy, they simply stop considering it an invasion of privacy.

And thus we come to this little tidbit…

Nothing you say or do online should ever be considered secure, safe, or private. You can take all the precautions you want, but the bottom line is that the government will never back down from making online activity fully trackable and accessible. A worse turn will be it impact this has on free speech. Too many people have been conditioned to fear first and question freedoms after their lost. This legislation will allow companies to attempt to silence individuals without proof or due process.

Lame.

So, that’s basically where I draw the line. I will publish 100% from my blog and own my own information and only promote forums where privacy is respected, not just alluded to.

Here’s my idea. Omit the 60% of the bill that allows private companies to be privy to our information and remove the guarantees of non-liability. I bet these companies work one hell of a lot harder to clean up their content rather than simply saying “not my fault!”

-Tony




Shrooms! (Mushrooms Stuffed Full of Yum)

I’ve been REALLY craptastic about posting to the blog, I know it. No excuses here…luckily this blog was never a part of my livelyhood and the only people to yell at me about it are on twitter (and Amazon – apparently they have some sort of *rule* about their paid authors actually writing…go figure).

Anyhow…it’s time for some really awesome foodstuff, I’ve been coming up with more and more really original recipes lately. I’ve gotten some pretty awesome reviews of my mushrooms, straight out of Tony’s Kitchen!

Real Simple.

So Simple this almost isn’t a real blog post, but here it goes.

INGREDIENTS

Fresh white (champaign) Mushrooms - Stuffed Mushrooms - Tonytown.comMushrooms (8-16oz)
These are those regular white mushrooms you find int the produce areas of the grocery store, you can find better ones if you really want to go all the way, and if you really want to impress your favorite vegetarian, you can opt to go with portabellas and top them with the stuffing, tastes frickin AWESOME.



Black and Green Olives - Stuffed Mushrooms - Tonytown.comBlack Olives (6oz)
If you want cheap and fast, just get black minced olives in a can. If you prefer fresher (I do – always) find yourself a decent olive bar (usually only found in decent grocery stores) and get your fill. Be prepared to pay far too much for fresh olives though..it’s almost silly.



A fresh white onion - Stuffed Mushrooms - Tonytown.com1 Large White Onion (6-10ounces at least)
Green onion really won’t work too well in this, and purple onions don’t mince as well, as I like, so I usually opt for the white onions on this. I’ve run into a couple people that didn’t like onions, but didn’t even bat an eyelash at chowing down on these stuffed mushrooms, so unless they are allergic, I encourage people to try them before acting like you’re asking them to try castor oil 😉


Balls of Mozzarella Chesse - Stuffed Mushrooms - Tonytown.comMozzarella Cheese (8-16oz)
Finely shredded Moz is awesome. If you get fresher blocks it will make an incredible difference on the taste. If you have a Vegan in the group, you can substitute real Moz for Dairy-Free Mozzarella by Daiya Foods.

PREP

1. Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees (Fahrenheit).

2. Break the stems out of the mushrooms. I usually slice the stems for use in other sauces etc. No use in wasting good ingredients!

3. Mince the onion, the olives and the Moz. If you have a good processor you can mince this all at the same time until you have a fine paste. Otherwise, mince until you are comfy with the consistencies and mix them thoroughly together.

4. Treat the mushrooms like little bowls and you want to fill them up with the mixed stuffing. until they are overflowing by about 1/8 of an inch.

5. Place the mushrooms in a non-stick roasting pan. You only need to give them about a half inch space between so you should be able to fit quite a few in the pan.

COOKINS

Place the pan full of goodness into the preheated oven, and set your timer for 25 minutes.

NOTES
1. If you like your mushrooms’ texture to be more steamed than baked, you can easily pour a thin layer of water into the bottom of the roasting pan. About 1/4-3/8 of an inch of water will serve to effectively give you more juicy mushrooms.
2. If you opt for the Vegan Friendly version, please note that the Dairy-Free Mozzarella by Daiya Foods takes longer to melt so you may have to leave the Shrooms in the oven a bit longer. 😉