Return(enter)

I don’t have a living philosophy when it comes to unfriending someone Facebook. In fact, it’s more a work in progress. A real-time, measure-the-moment-for-what-it- brings standard of sorts. When I unfriend I take into account not the amenities, but what will be loss in the transaction(or subtract). I ask myself “Will I regret this response? Is this a knee-jerk move, one that needs to be deliberated over a protein shake or afternoon run?” I’m sure those of you reading this have your own tried and true philosophies on when to unfriend. Of course, if you’re a friend-whore, someone who accepts all invitations in an attempt to build your own social media Branch Davidian, then stop reading.

This isn’t for you. You’re your own version of pathetic.

I personally unfriend when my face to face interactions with an acquaintance or friend begin to resemble our online interactions.

If stale is stale, then no layering of condiments can mask the taste. Often times I look at friend requests as “continuing the great interaction or relationship we have”. You know, “more to come.” But, if I find myself rolling my eyes to your updates and images; disagreeing with you trying to 1-up my friends or me or simply being a hypocrite for the sake of the word, then it must be said the relationship needs to end. I can’t belabor any relationship, real or contractual. I just can’t.

My online activity should come with a level of peace of mind and gregarity. I shouldn’t writhe in pain over comments left, images of me tagged, or updates posted by selfish, myopic people(who at one time or another weren’t so).

Is it a dastardly move to intentionally block updates and photos from your friends on Facebook? I’m often asked by friends “Did you see that picture I posted?” or “Hey, what do you think about so and so’s comment to my status update?”. I used to bother me when I hear the utter shock in their tone when I inform them I don’t see their “content”, as I have filters in place to block said “content” from “inundating” my wall feed.  it used to.

Is this a douchebag move? To block a friend’s willingness to share their most happiest events with their Facebook community, only to have one friend(Me) inform them that their “event” isn’t event-worthy for me. I mean, I’m not an arbiter. I know all content is worth an immeasurable amount of “big deal” to someone. Right?

I make sure to check my ego and super-ego at the door. Why am I blocking this particular person, and not everyone? Why is this person incarcerated to social media prison, for a term no more than “until I say so”? The simplest answer I can relate is that I just don’t care to see that stuff. I love my friends, my true friends, and will never prohibit their summer vacation in Maine update or that album of pictures showing how much fun they had in California. But the colleagues or fair-weather lot, I just can’t seem to bring myself to sustaining more than a furled eyebrow to their…stuff. With the latter group, we’ve come together because of an employer, an event, or that time in NYC. I don’t think that’s enough shared experience to warrant you seeing my gym-selfies or me hearing about your child’s second bout with ringworm. 

Douche-y move? No.

Asshole move? Eh, post a status update on the subject. if I see it, and respond, then you know my answer. 

As is, as it should be.

Over the weekend my mom and I somehow wound up on the topic of personal privacy. Not the online kind or the kind that occurs between a human resource representative, a corporate contract, and an employee, but the personal kind of privacy.

The sort of privacy that rears its head just around puberty, and depending on the household, and parental flexibility, either lessens or reinforces itself through on to high school.

My mom remarked that my brother and I weren’t the sort to flee into our rooms and lock, barricade or close our doors as kids(of course later this invitation was rescinded the moment my brother and I started talking to the opposite sex, or more to the point, the day after we were allowed to have a telephone in our room).

Still, we were pretty liberal. We would hangout with our friends, play video games, or spend an afternoon doing homework, and depending on our noise level, which was pretty normal, the door would always be part of the ways open( just enough for my mom to poke her head in and ask which of my friends were staying for dinner). Of course when we were changing for bed, school or practice, we would respectfully close the door. No one wanted to see all that. Still, I just never thought about “closing my door” when I was a kid. I liked that it was open. That my mom could ask my brother or myself a question or carry on a conversation without a physical barrier in place.

We were kids, not angels or robots, but trusting kids. We never gave our mom, or grandparents, or supervising adult any reason to suspect our middling action to wonder what the heck we were doing. Paranoia aside, I just never felt as if someone NEEDED to assume I was up to no damn good.

But I said before, that all changed…later. In High School.

So, I’m at the office, listening to Massive Attack’s “Girl I love you..”, and I’m steadily trying to ignore the two inevitable tasks I have to complete before week’s end: my HTML5 project outline and a new short story.

Both tasks, overwhelming; vermin in the crawlspace of my complicated mindset, and yet, are doubly necessary to my creative procreation. I’ve found that with any immediate onset of inspiration or radical thinking(in terms of a storytelling or narrative), one must either succumb to these often rewarding impulses or suffer calamitous regret.

I have a tendency to be a histrionic at times.

The underbelly

I’ve finally met the underbelly of Tumblr. I’ve met the other side of the warm handshake, and found a cool to the touch robot on the other end.  I’m a victim of my own naivete, of my own incredulity. Tumblr is a wellspring of native commentary, political and social blogs, and imagery rarely seen elsewhere. But I would be remiss if I didn’t relate that, though aware of the darken corners of Tumblr, it’s underbelly,  felt this aspect would never cross my path.

One doesn’t regale in the light without wandering into or across the path of the dark.

The underbelly, usually unseen by me on a regular online basis, rears in another form: Reblogging. You see, I rarely post personal pictures of friends or family members on Tumblr. If I do share images I limit them to images of myself(masturbate to that, sickos!) or areas I’ve visited or the items I’ve purchased(masturbate….to that?).

However, during a lapse in judgement, a personal image found its way onto my account. Before I knew it the image was reblogged and favorited by users. Users who, upon research, have their dashboard inundated with pornographic images and sexually depraved gifs.

This can’t be where my picture has been reblogged to?!

Why is my image crammed between the image of a naked teenager(oh god no!) and the two male pornstars having sex (heaven’s no!!)

I immediately took action, as any seemingly sentinel person would. I sent these people a correspondence, asking that the image was posted in error, and would appreciate it greatly “…if you removed/deleted the image from your blog.” Suffice to say, there’s a mix of Tumblr users that are either forthright and literate and diabolical and self-aggrandizing. it was my luck that I ran into the latter crowd. The teenagers users I wrote to were assholes; equally asocial and sexually depraved.  There’s a fine line between sexual exploration and sexual exploitation.

I won’t clump all pre-teens/teenagers into this classification, but it should be noted that when teenagers are reblogging a personal picture, and posting it amongst the menagerie of pornography on their own profiles(pornography that would make their parents recoil in disgust) something has to be said about that individual’s mental acuity and otherwise intent.

Like I said, assholes.

I’ve learn a valuable lesson about Tumblr: come for the commentary, leave nothing private behind for someone to use for their deviant enjoyment. And if I feel inclined to share, know your followers and the environment in which follows them. This being said, I’ll be posting images of locales and objects/clothing. Nothing more.

I know this logic flies in the face of the basic tenets of social media, but the current underbelly of many social networks is concerning. The underbelly often appears in the form of “friend invites or a follow” from people who hide behind stolen or emotionless profile pictures. It’s difficult to discern intent initially. Is it friendly? Is it social? Business related…or worse.

I’ve learned that many users on Tumblr, perhaps the site’s bread and butter, have their hand in pornographic imagery, child or otherwise, and use Tumblr as a perverse outlet or a business card of sorts to attract and find other like-minded users.

Well, not on my dime.

2013, thanks for the reminder

Thanksgiving Weekend Aftermath

Image

An epiphany appears in the stark of night or in the midst of a chore. It doesn’t present itself or acknowledge, by rapping on the door or sending a letter detailing it’s time and date of arrival. Not at all. An epiphany emerges on its own, and regardless of recipient’s frame of mind or condition, what it has to say will be heard.

My own epiphany has been coming to a head for the last 10 months, and though I had an idea what it had to convey, under calm tones and a soothing voice, I personally didn’t want to embraced it. However, it was the weekend following Thanksgiving Day, that my philosophical muse re-emerged, putting me in a DDT( wrestling reference), and whispered softly in my ear: Admit it, you really don’t like beef.

I don’t know if it’s because of me changing my diet, or because I’ve been enjoying more from the vegetarian side of the menu flap, but I now, more today than yesterday, revolt from the scent of fried or grilled beef. I shouldn’t go as far as to say disgusted by the visual or redolence that comes from cooked meat. No. What I’m saying, or realizing as of this morning, is that my tastes have modified to the state where I can only enjoy(tolerate?) red meat every few weeks(more or less a 3 weeks apart).

I don’t foresee my dietary swap affecting my workout/training regimen at all. There are many supplemental products out there that provide me the protein my body needs to sustain my activity levels( as for testosterone, I leave that up to genetics).

Hangover

It’s the morning after the 2012 Presidential Election here in the United States, and while many are celebrating another term for President Barack Obama or commiserating his victory, I’m more or less looking at the carnage left behind. Not the political flotsam discarded on the floor, left for joyous or embittered hourly waged workers to clean up, but more the mood of the people. It’s been a tried and true battle, if you will, with beginnings going back as the 80′s(to my present knowledge. A political genesis that has pitted the Democrats against the Republicans(sorry Green and Independent parties, you guys don’t factor into the pitfall…yet) through panels of mudslinging, derision tactics, and racial, often times despicable propaganda.

I should take this time to share with that I too don’t necessary trust the current model of politics. Instead of the constructed criticism in place, I prescribe to similarly popular notion that the engine which drives this two party system monopolizes off the maladies in society(health, economics, race, and employment). Today’s politics is a mellifluous diagram that placates to the real world concerns of the populous by rewarding their effort(i.e. signatures and votes) by giving them NOTHING. The promises often petitioned by elected officials are given to them by the Corporate entities that created them.

I don’t think the entire system is flawed, ruined by Man’s need to appease his one of many deadly sins, but I’ve watched the nation split into delineated groups. These groups are  inspired(or bequiled) by their political figureheads to do what is right to ‘maintain’ or ‘reclaim’ “their country…”. In fact, I can’t help but notice the rise in social toxicity before and during every Presidential or State election in this country.

But, I’m drifting off track.

I noticed today a malaise in attitude, an exhaustive unhappiness if you will, that reminds me of the losing team’s locker room after the Super Bowl. This visual discomfiture, shared through hushed tones and vacillating eyes by colleagues and friends . I’m not paranoid, not to the extent that my mind will conjure up a Albert Camus-esque tabloids that probably do not exist.

But, I recognize a sourpuss when I see one.

What amazes me is, regardless of who occupies the White House for the next 4 years, why can’t this two party system for the first time since my inception work together to repair, upgrade, and innovate the United States? Why the fecal slinging? Why the segmentation between “Us” vs” You”?

Squatting through

I can’t believe how sore my legs are. Yesterday at the gym I employed, and went through a stanza of, various lower back, thigh, hamstring, and calve exercises. I workout my legs in pairs, and then individually. I kid you not, I soaked through my sweatpants.

What’s strange is that I’ve always worked my legs(twice a week)and been able to walk the next day with almost no discomfort. Well, times have changed. I attribute this morning’s pain, coupled with my inability to flex, to yesterday’s Spartan Run-eques leg workout.

In 2 days, i’ll be back at my legs again. My plan is to strengthen, tone, and then shred my legs for this summer’s beach-combing and swimming adventures. Not to mention I bought the coolest pair of trunks(complimentary based on my legs and height) a few month’s back in anticipation of building out my legs.

But for now, I’ll let my legs recover, and turn my attention to not limping like a zombie this morning.