Life Experiences & Observations

Sit Down, Buckle Up, Hang On, and Enjoy My Blog Ride

Tag: social media

Social Media is a Gift

I know what you must be thinking after reading my title. What the hell is wrong with this dude. I think he needs some serious psychiatric help. Hell… Twitter is a virtual cesspool, Facebook a Fake News manifesto, and Instagram is a political megaphone blaring louder than ACDC’s Thunderstruck.

Well here is my take. You are looking at the soil that is nurshing the poisonous weeds, and I am looking at the tall oak trees that provide oxygen to our world. When you get right down to it, perspective is everything.

So here is where the gift comes in. Follow along. How much do you know about your great grandmother? Do you know her name? Do you know where she spent most of her life? Do you know what she did on most days? Do you know where she liked to go on vacation? What about how she celebrated her 40th birthday. What about how she celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary? Did you know she once got a letter from Betty Crocker saying her recipe was going to be in published in their next cookbook? Yes, I just made that last one up to prove a point. I would guess that you know almost none of these items. If you are lucky, you may know one or two of them. I would love to have all these details about my great grandmother, but I unfortunately don’t.

Well guess what?!? If you embrace the gift of social media, and use it for what I believe is its intended purpose, your great grandchildren will have all these details and more about you. And that is the gift of social media. It can serve to document your personal history for your great grandchildren, and even their great grandchildren. Social media is a perma scrapbook, persistent in the cloud, for as long as you would like it to remain there. It can even play like a movie of your life if you decide to post vlogs on a platform like YouTube. Sure there are two sides to every coin and there are plenty of bad things about social media. And yes there are risks to putting everything out there for many to see. But that is smelly, negative dog piss, that I won’t talk about here.

This is your opportunity to utilize Social Media as the gift it can be. Something much more important, special, and wholesome than people portray it to be. It’s the infinite gift you can give to your future relatives.  The next time you are doing your daily scrolling through Facebook, with verbal needles being thrown in your eyes, and your blood starting to bubble by reading about your political enemies… keep things in perspective. Social Media can be a Gift or a Shit Bomb. It’s up to you decide which you wish it to be.

The Periscope Community – A Three Month Perspective

00000000000000 persicope communityI have been actively using Periscope for three months and thought I would provide some new information on my thoughts. If you read my blog regularly, then you will know I started using Periscope in September of 2015. Since using it for three months, this is a more experienced perspective.

When you get right down to it, Periscope is a type of online community. Personally, my usage has been more about watching other individuals’ scope, learning how they do it, and following the ones I enjoy most. I do scope periodically but I am a viewer more than broadcaster. That being said, many of the regular Scopers know me due to my relatively obsessive watching habits. There are essentially two types of Scopers. The first are those that are using it for the entertainment and the community association that comes with it. The second are those individuals using it in hopes of providing greater monetization capabilities for their business endeavors. Both are worthy causes, although I tend to gravitate to the former or those who are less vocal about their business intentions.

This weekend in San Francisco is the second Periscope Summit. This is a conference for Periscope viewers and broadcasters to connect with other Scopers, share their perspectives, and flat out meet those individuals that they are constantly viewing from their cell phones. I have to be honest, I wish I was there to meet and learn from these Scopers. There are many who feel like my friends and I have the urge to see which of those relationships are artificial and which are genuine. The summit itself is not put on by the Periscope Company but the Periscope community. That in itself makes it a little more genuine. I hope to attend the next one which I am told will be in Vegas and in February. One of the main downsides of Periscope that I see, with all social media, is the way it can deter you from true personal relationships and experiences. You can’t connect with people in person if you constantly have your eyes super glued to your phone.

I feel as if Periscope is like a tasty piece of dark chocolate. It tastes delicious and in moderation can even be good for you. But like anything, moderation is critical. Even positive things, when taken in massive dosages, can have a negative impact on your life. There are exercise addictions, water toxicity, and even the potential of kidney stones from eating too much spinach just to name a few.

So if you haven’t already, try it out and let me know what you think in the comments. Is it lame, is it addictive, is it exciting, or is it dull? I look forward to hearing your Periscope perspective.

The Eye Opening Process of Learning About the AZ Legislature

0000000000000 az capitolThe last few weeks the Arizona Legislature has been working on trying to pass the state’s budget. Two weeks ago I heard about a protest march at the capital to try and put a stop to deep cuts in education funding. At that time, I didn’t find out about the march until the day my friend posted pictures of it happening. As a result, I was unable to participate. Budget talks continued and a second march, which was communicated more effectively and created with more advance notice, occurred. This time, I took the initiative to participate. This was my first protest march since college and it was a great experience. To see everybody getting together to fight for a common cause was tremendous. To cause our legislators to actually come out of their holes to watch the light of the people shine bright was amazing. As always, there is concern that marches such as this may fall on deaf ears. I relished in chanting “SOS, Save Our Schools!” and my favorite, created by both ASU and UofA students,… “There ain’t no power like the power of the students, and the power of the student don’t stop, say what!!” Okay, so the grammar isn’t perfect but the point is.

Fast forward to last night. The legislators took the sneaky move of having discussions to finalize the budget late on a Friday evening. They went to the hearing rooms hoping that the shields of darkness would protect them like armor. Amazingly, the power of the people couldn’t be completely eclipsed. Many of the protest leaders took to social media and encouraged individuals to go to the Capitol Building to show their presence and prove that the public won’t go gently into the goodnight and WILL ALWAYS be listening. I myself, decided to stay home and watch the stream of the budget bill debates online. Knowing it would most likely go all night and my wife and daughter having plans in the morning, I choose the next best thing to being there in person. I watched it stream until 1am. I woke up at 8am eager to read the results on social media. To my amazement, the House was still working to pass the last bill necessary to approve the budget. The end result was a slightly better yet very disappointing budget. They went from a K-12 education cut to a slight K-12 slight, with very little limitation on how that extra money is spent. Higher education funding was gouged and prisons received increased funding. In the end, very few other financial adjustments were made from the original budget presented by our governor.

I learned more about the Arizona Legislative budget process in the last 2 weeks than I have in my prior 22 years of living in Arizona. While I am extremely disappointing in the continued lack of funding to K-12 education, I am extremely grateful for what I learned about the process. There is a reason that Arizona is 48 out of 51 in education funding. We care more about lower taxes than we do about our kids education. Yes this new budget will be balanced and I understand the value of that. But at what point is a little extra taxes worth a better education for our kids? And with that, I will leave you with this Victor Hugo quote which was on a protest sign at the capitol on Thursday. “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”

The Amazing Microscopic World

0000 antsWhere I work they have a gravel path around the building. It’s nice to work for a company that cares enough about its employees physical health to build such a walking path. This morning while taking a short 15 minute break to walk, I came upon one of the few benches that are on the path. Walking closer I decided to sit down on one of them and just check the world of social media using my phone. I started to get sucked into, what I like to call, the social media vortex. Upon looking down at my phone I could see past it and caught a glimpse of a small stream of gravel moving. “Am I hallucinating?” I said to myself. That thought quickly faded when I realized I was seeing a stream of very small ants marching in line like a perfectly trained band. Believe it or not, I started staring and watching closer. Microscopic nature was actually slowly rescuing me from the vortex. Watching these ants for a few minutes brought some welcomed mindfulness to my morning. It’s amazing how quickly watching some microscopic bugs can relax you.

If you can get past the ick factor, which is pretty easy for me, you might be able to realize that ants are amazing. The distance they can go in very short period of time almost seems impossible. In my few minutes of watching I saw an ant probably go a few feet. If you think about it, its almost like me running 3 miles in a few minutes. It’s miraculous! Even more miraculous is that a few of the ants were carrying, with ease, little nature debris bigger than their heads. Most of us already learned long ago in school that ants do this but watching it closely really amazed me. I can’t remember the last time I had watched ants for that long. Usually we only watch for this long when we are trying to find the source in our kitchen so we can ultimately squash the ant band.

Next time you see a line of marching ants, take a few moments to watch them closely. You may be amazed at the feats they can accomplish along with the mindfulness and relaxation it brings to yourself.