Thursday, May 28, 2009

What Is The Obsession With Texting and Social Networks

The phenomenon that is text messaging has swept over the world the last couple years. Why is this? What is so exciting about text messaging? I don’t understand it! And what is this new obsession with detailing ones life on social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.. Do we really need to know every detail of someones life? What did people do before they had these means of communication.

Remember when we just had phones with answering machines???? If a person wasn't home they left a message....they didn't need to know where or what the person was doing 24/7 and people seemed to get along just fine. I just don't understand this constant need to inform others of what one is doing. Do people really need to be texting first thing in the morning, what is so important?

Let's discuss texting first. For example I know a guy who I would classify as an obsessive texter. Out to dinner, sporting event, doesn't matter what he is doing ...the texts don't stop. One has to tell him they are going to bed to get them to stop. I just want to tell people like him to find something constructive to put their time into. Help build a house, start a charity, take a hike, go on vacation, read a book, do something other then spend your life constantly glued to the phone texting. Even if he was doing something constructive he would probably just text with one hand and work with the other. Maybe he has ADD or OCD and just can't stop himself from doing it?

If a person is out at any kind of event with friends....why would they need to be on the phone texting every move or event to another? Doesn't it defeat the purpose of being out with others and enjoying their company. Nothing annoys me more then being out socially with whoever it might be and the individual being preoccupied by texting. One night while at a basketball I watched two girls just sit there texting all night, they barely looked up. So what was the point of them wasting their money to go to a game that they didn't watch, nor barely acknowledged the presence of each other. I've even watched people text during business meetings then look puzzled when they get a warning from supervisor. Hello?

I just wish people could understand how impolite and rude it is to be texting and talking on their cell phones when in the company of others. It's equivalent to having a conversation and not including the other person. How would anyone feel if they were out to dinner and the other people there started whispering to each other? Maybe someone needs to write a book or course on the etiquette of phone usage.

What I don't get is....don't people have better things to do with their time? If a person is driving then they should concentrate on driving not texting. Trust me the text will still be there to respond to when they safely park the car.

Now don't even get me started with Facebook or Twitter. Honestly I can understand an update here and there but what about those people who have to post every detail of their day? Does anyone really care to know that another is getting food, watching a movie, or doing whatever else. It's hard to think people are enjoying themselves if they are busy typing away on their phones or computers. Don't get me wrong I think it's a great way to stay in touch with friends and catch up with long lost ones....but I just don't think posting publicly every move they make is necessary.

I'll admit I joined Facebook but it was because I wanted to catch up with some old high school and college friends. And occasionally when bored I will post the occasional update, but I can go days without checking it and I don't feel the need to post daily updates of what I'm doing. The quizzes I can definitely do without I don't need to know what celebrity I resemble or what character I would be on Sex In The City.

And if everyone is online or on the phone who is actually working? Can someone explain the texting and social network obsession?

I'm not bashing texting or social networks by any means but what I am saying is let's not become a world obsessed with it. Let's not become a world where we can't live without our phones or computers. Let's not focus so much on our fantasy phone and computer lives that we forget what and who is real, and what's not. And if out with family and friends don't they deserve full attention, as they are the ones who set aside the time to be there.

Feel free to comment as my view is just that, my view. And it's not right or wrong just an opinion. I'm always open to hearing others opinions.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Four Day Work Week

I'm a big fan of the 4 day work week. We need more balance in our lives and spending 5 out of 7 days a week at work and only 2 with our families is ridiculous. Think about it by the time one gets home from work and does everything they need to do at home it's basically time to head to bed and there is no real time to relax. There is a reason antidepressants are the most prescribed drug because people simply have no time to relax and enjoy their lives. Why can't we find a way to shorten the work week. Although anymore shortening the work week might not even do some people any good as in this economy many people are forced to work more than one job but that is a whole other topic. Let's stick with shortening the work week for now.

Believe it was in the 1930s,the U.S. government decided on a 40 hour work week, with anything over that 40 hours being paid time and a half. Although, supposedly at the time they came very close to going with 32 hours, but other countries were adopting 40 hour work weeks, so the U.S. more or less went along with it. Why as one of those most powerful, developed nations in the world do we just go along with it. It's time to create a positive change and allow people to have lives that are not centered around work.

The average American spends most of their day at work or commuting to work. Not to mention commuting times have increased as well. And by the time the weekend rolls around and people actually have two days off those days are usually spent trying to catch up on work that needs to be done at home. Which usually takes up at least one day of the weekend if not two, leaving just about no time for relaxing.


We need to create more balance in people's lives. Life should not revolve around working. So many people spend all day couped up in an office staring at a computer all day, breathing in recirculated stale air, barely taking time to even eat lunch, and worse yet sitting in stressful traffic trying to get to and from work. Working a 8 hour day often involves 2 more hours added for commuting, 1 or 2 hours for getting ready for work, and already there are 12 hours gone. If we get the optima 8 hours of sleep that leaves 4 hours in the day left over for free time. Throw dinner, exercise, daily chores, and whatever else into that and it really isn't much time left over to relax.

Would it really hurt this country if we worked 4 days and had off 3? We are already in poor financial shape could having one more day off really be that detrimental? Or instead of reducing the days in a work week how about simply change the hours from 40 to 32. I know don't know what the solution is but it's something to think about.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Horse and Carriage Solution to Reckless Driving

I'm beginning to wonder if this country should think about going back to the horse and carriage mode of transportation. Why you ask?

Well let's start with the fact that everyday on my way to and from work I encounter at least two reckless drivers. You know the kind I'm talking about....the ones who tail the crap out of you even when traffic is as thick as pea soup with no where to go, or the drivers who cut in front of a line of traffic basically side swiping other cars to merge onto highways, better yet the speed racers who weave in and out of traffic barely missing other cars to advance ahead, and then of course there are the drivers who are too busy texting,talking, etc. to know what is going on around them.

Just yesterday I encountered a woman who was driving like a weaving manic on a 35 mph road. It was noon what was her rush? She looked to be about 50 what prompted this woman to act like that? As she tailed each car in front of her, hitting the steering wheel, hocking her horn, and pretty much making a fool of herself I wondered what could possible be that important? Let me guess she was rushing home to watch The View?

Is it that hard to wait in a line to get on the highway? Are they really saving that much time by cutting in front of other drivers that it's worth putting others in danger? Is it really that bad to drive the speed limit and follow the flow of other cars on the road? Usually those speeders end up next to the same car they barely passed at the next light. Is it really that important to talk on the phone or text while driving? One can't have that much to say that it can't wait until they are not operating a car.

My driving experiences have been so bad lately that now when I encounter a reckless driver who is putting others in danger I pull over, call the cops with the license and description of the reckless drivers car. Who knows if that helps but at least it's something, and something is better then nothing.

The only real way to solve the problem is to go back to horse and carriage days but looks like technology has advanced too far to get anyone to buy into those days again. Of course that might even help solve some of the environmental pollution problems as well, and our country would definitely not be as dependent on gas as well.

So, since horse and carriage is probably too old school for most and reckless drivers don't seem to be heading off the roads anytime too soon. What is the solution? Thoughts anyone?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rainy Days

If it weren't for rainy days we would not appreciate the sunny days, or at least that is what I am trying to tell myself given that it has rained for what seems like a week and upbeat weather man Sam Champion says we are in for more. One or two days isn't so bad but three or four and it tends to zap the energy. Although, it is making everything nice and green.

Originally planned to get outside and do some flower gardening but the rain put a damper on that idea. Although a brief dry spell allowed a trip to at least purchase flowers. And yes a mix of annuals and perennials are now ready to be planted. Home Depot and Lowe's are the best in that they allow dogs to accompy their best friends during shopping excursions in the outside garden department. If only more stores would allow our furry friends. Needless to say Angel had fun.

Sunday was a complete washout for outdoor activities like gardening or golf but a perfect excuse to nap on the couch with the dog and boyfriend. Quail Hollow turned out to be not as exciting as we originally anticipated but it was nice to see someone other than Tiger win. And Carolina did beat Boston in the NHL playoff. Oh how I would love to see Brindamour win another. If you don't have to go out rainy days can be nice.

Today is a different story though the weekday commute in rain is never fun. Why does such a thing as rain always create such traffic jams? At least being inside working on a rainy day is easier than knowing it's a sunny perfect summer day outside. Those make being stuck inside much harder. Yes rainy days might not be so bad after all, then again let's revisit that comment after the week of rain they are predicting here.

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