Thursday, July 23, 2009
There was an article a few months back about some jury member being sued one of the companies that was on trial because he tweeted some opinion about the verdict.
In any case, I'm not famous. I'm not a politician. And I'm not some douche in the jurybox tweeting about how I'm giving away tens of thousands of dollars to some undeserving woman... Still I use just a little bit of prudence when I post shit. Granted, if you see my twitter account you probably think I'm letting it all hang out. (I'm not.)
When I first started toying with the idea of using social media as a networking resource for my professional persona, I really wanted to keep my personal side and work side separated. I see that while theoretically a good it deal, it is impossible in practice. That's why I had the multiple accounts set up.
Then I got my Facebook account and got a friend request from my father. I was really faced with the question of "what do I want the world to see me as?" I mean, everyone has multiple personalities. The one that they show the world at large, the one they show their circle of friends, the one they show their co-workers, and the one they show their lover. Even still... there's the one that hides inside, the voice in the head that will blurt out random inappropriate comments if common sense did not force you to bite your tongue.
That's the one that I think needs a little bit of work.
When posting little bits and pieces, especially on a forum such as Twitter, it may feel safe and private. But the fact is, millions of people have access to these little bits and pieces at the speed of your internet connection.
I posted a silly fun picture last night with my sister, we were goofing off with our stuffed animals. In the time it took my blackberry to refresh and for me to show her the tweet, there were already 7 views! I mean, that was literally 2 seconds. And within the next 30 seconds, my little tweet had 42 views!
I only have about 400 twitter followers. I bet that only half of them are real people. So with 200 or so followers, I got 42 views in roughly 30 seconds. Imagine if I was someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger with 733,354 followers...
So here's my thought. Just because you have a computer and know how to open up a web page, doesn't mean that you know HOW to use the internet. Just because you have a Twitter account doesn't mean that you know HOW to tweet properly.
Be careful what you post-on your twitter, on your myspace, on your facebook. Even on an email with your information stamped on it... If it is in writing or somehow in a tangible form that may be passed on, be careful what that little voice in your head decides to blurt out. Cuz you REALLY don't know who's gonna see it.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I grew up worshiping Michael Jackson. I had pretty much every single and LP that I could get my hands on, wrote and illustrated a book about him when I was 10 yrs old, did impressions of him for silly school functions, and even had the "Jam" single cover painted as a mural on my bedroom wall.
It wasn't "cool" to be a Michael Jackson fan back then. I got teased a lot because whenever people made a joke about how queer he was and all sorts of hurtful shit, I would defend his honor to the best of my ability. It wasn't much, but I did it and took a lot of it personally.
After HIStory came out and he had those accusations for the first time, he went into hiding. And I outgrew my obsession.
A few weeks ago I was sitting at my office when the of the girls got a text from her father. She looked at me and said "oh my god, Michael Jackson is dead."
It was kind of weird to me because I was completely neutral to the whole thing. And then it started, all the "devoted fans" coming out of the woodworks from all angles, and all the haters with their tasteless jokes. As the days passed, I got offended. I mean REALLY offended.
First off, where were all these so-called die-hard fans a week ago? If they were so devoted, why did MJ have to go into hiding? Why did no one stick up for him all those years when there was absolutely positive about him in the media? Why did everyone forsake him?
And secondly, a man just passed away. How can anyone think it is in good taste to make jokes about him when the body is still warm in the coroner's office?!
I was appalled. As all the memories of all the childhood teasing flooded back into the forefront of my consciousness. All those associated memories of less than pleasant times I had growing up, struggling with myself to find comfort in my own skin. I didn't want to see, hear, talk about, or remember Michael Jackson. And most importantly, I didn't want to stand by and bite my tongue as insensitive assholes desecrated his memory. Even if you don't like him, give just a tiny bit of respect for a dead man and STFU if you so feel compelled to open your mouth and share a tasteless joke.
So here it is. Michael Jackson is dead, and I was forced to face a part of me that had been long buried and forgotten. And it wasn't so bad. I had outgrown the sadness, I had somehow in all this twisted demented shit come out stronger and finally found an ounce of peace. Rest in Peace Michael. May you finally be free of your demons.