Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Online Communities’

Are You Bored?

English: A bored person

Image via Wikipedia

What is your first thought when you see someone write on facebook, twitter or any other social media – “I’m SO BORED”?

Do you think it’s funny?  You’re one of those that can identify with this – and find yourself relating back with humorous chit-chat to relieve their boredom?

Do you think it’s lazy?  Are you one of the ones raised in my generation with parents who thought it was some sort of “sin” to be bored?  And would immediately create a new and “fun” project to keep you from ever saying “I’m bored” again?

Last night Greg and I were watching “Modern Family” – on the program Claire’s girls had been talking inside, while their mother Claire was outside.  The girls said they were ‘bored’.  And just like I remember from my childhood, Claire came in and immediately gave them the project of cleaning the kitchen cupboards and everything else in it.  Yes – it was just what I remember – which is why I was never bored.  Busy – yes – but not bored.

Too many times I see this online and I cringe.  Honestly when I read this I have this mental picture of someone staring straight ahead at a pasty white wall, mouth opened, with a little drool coming out – nearly stupefied and ready to PASS OUT!

Now that may not be what you are indicating when you say, “I’m bored” – but to those of us raised with parents from the “builder” generation whose value came from hard work – then to US it looks like you just need a project, chore or something to DO that’s constructive!

I’m sure what most of you mean is this:

1)  I don’t have anything pressing right now to do.

or

2) I have some free time (Yay for ME!)

or

3) I can chill for a while in my quiet place (if you’re a guy – your “nothing box”)

For me – these all apply – but you will NEVER hear me say or EVER write on social media that “I’m bored” – not EVER.  To me – that is a sign that my mind has ceased to function – that I am beyond the point of  enjoying  a good book, sitting quietly and watching a good movie – playing word games and puzzles to increase my word knowledge and ponder on the many things I need to prepare the next day or week.

How about you?

Are YOU bored?

God Bless

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Yes I Really Do Have 700 Friends On Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

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The other day I attempted to “cut my friend list” on facebook.  You know how it goes – you have an account for a while, and pretty soon people just start “appearing” on your friend list until you have near 1000 people!  This happened to me a few years ago.  I heard the snickers and taunts from my other facebook friends, “no one has 100o friends!” and set out to cut it back and only have people there I actually knew in person and had a connection with.

That was 2 or 3 years ago.  Then over time it crept up again as I slowly added those that were “late adopters” in joining the social media world.  Students, former students and people I had a relationship with on some level all came on board and asked to “friend” me.  Usually I did – because I knew them, or a friend knew them.

And like you, I have also been forced to eliminate some who I don’t need to be seeing every little thing they do, have contact with – or who for some reason have made me feel uncomfortable by status updates, pictures and comments.  And some people I do not feel comfortable with them seeing every little thing about me either.  But luckily this number is very small.

The other day I noticed my numbers were climbing up there again.  “NO ONE has 800 or 1000 close friends”, I said to myself.  I went through my list of “friends” and started eliminating based on whether or not I ever had a conversation with them.  As I was cutting back my list – I noticed something.  Most of these people are students, former students, past ministry life, or current friendships and church connections.  And because I love being connected with those I have had a part in the investing process – I don’t want to cut it loose.  Students grow up, get jobs, get married and have children – how much I would miss if I didn’t have them on facebook.

I guess the bottom line is this:

Yes I REALLY DO have 700 friends in my life.  I would not have known that until I went to look at them closely, individually, one by one.  Each face is a reminder of an event in both our lives that made that special connection.  Some are people I know only through the blogging community and many of them I have been able to talk with on Skype, although I have not met them in person.  They are daily contributors to my world of writing – and we have a common faith in Jesus Christ.

For those of you who are not aware who is on your friend list – I encourage you to do the same thing.  Look at your list and for each person you keep, remember why they are in your life and what brought you to this point in time.

I love making new friends – but mostly the people who I remain in contact with are the relationships that have stood the test of time and have meaning in my life today.

I am thankful for facebook.  It has allowed me to stay in touch and be a part of those I love as we share pictures, love and laughter together, encouraging and praying for each other – it helps to fill in those times when we can’t be together in person 🙂

As a teacher – facebook has been a great tool for keeping students and parents informed.  I have a page for my music studio as well as one for my blog.  These have both been great tools of communication!

And I’m a sucker for former and current students “dropping by” my page and saying “hello” to me 🙂

How many “friends” do you have on facebook?

God Bless

The Secret Of Doing Life Together (Featured on Some Wise Guy)

Today I have the awesome privilege of being featured as a guest blogger for K.C. Procter’s Blog – called Some Wise Guy.  I am always honored when other people read my “stuff” and see something worthy in it – what a surprise to me to say the least!  I wrote this specifically for his blog after some helpful ideas of what he wanted – and since he is featuring women for the month of May – I happily indulged him with an article about “The Secret of Doing Life Together”  about my awesome husband Greg.  I hope you will also visit Some Wise Guy to see it there and other great articles on his site. 

About ThatGuyKC: Father, husband, bible-thumping ninja, mac user, aspiring tentblogger, MBA student, cubicle dweller and frequent abuser of Twitter & Facebook.

My husband, Greg and I have been married for almost 30 years. That is a long time – especially in this day and age. Our happy marriage has not come without some conflict and adjustment along the way. In fact, I used to believe that having disagreements and points of discussion was not healthy – but now I can see that I was wrong.  Read More Here

A Funny Guest Post From KC Procter

I read something today that was just hilarious.  It is from my new online friend and blogging buddy,  KC Procter.  KC manages a couple of blog sites – is a happy husband and father of two – is busy finishing up some schooling to become an MBA and is active in social networking.  I have enjoyed his humorous take on life and in his many ‘tweets’ and comments.  I would encourage you to check out this blog called “Some Wise Guy” – and in particular the article he wrote today –3 Kid Words Dads Accidentally Say At The Office .  It is about using ‘kid’ words after we’re grown-up – come on – we ALL do it!  If you need a good laugh today – read the article that he wrote and the comments too – it will make your day!

And be sure and add KC to your blog roll – you will enjoy his articles!

God Bless!

Reinventing Me!

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I am on a journey.  I am a child of the sixties who lived a whole lifetime before I met my husband in college – and have live a whole lifetime since then.  I have always found it easy to go through changes and adapt easily to new ideas.  It was never an adjustment for me to get married or to move around so much because of the career path my husband chose.  Leaving friends behind was always harder for me than a major move – and frankly I had more trouble leaving Canada when I was 8 because of a friendship – than I ever did moving so much when I was an adult.

When I was young most everybody had one television in their home – usually black and white and if you were really rich – you had a color set in addition to the black and white.  There was no such thing as VCR’s for recording programs that you missed – if you were gone (like church) you just simply missed it.  Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s was not fun for that reason.  Transistor radios and tape recorders were popular then – and I remember getting my own tape recorder when I was 10.  I would record myself talking and singing – it was great fun!

When I was in Junior High and High School – record albums were in vogue – and I had many vinyls – like Michael Jackson, Carpenter’s, Barry Manilow,  Elton John, Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire.  Cd’s were starting to become popular in the early 80’s and did not catch on with us until later than that.  We owned many cassette tapes and it was expensive to switch over – but switch over we did!  And I remember when people were first getting Cd players in their cars – so expensive!

Our first computer in the mid 80’s was a 286 – long before the world-wide web was popular in homes.  This computer was more like a word processor and I remember being at a job in Alaska where it was a big deal to train on one of these to make the office more efficient.  I even worked as a manager for a cable place in Fairbanks, Alaska – and they used microfiche – and it was usually a week behind.

Our first taste of the internet was when Greg was given a computer for his 40th birthday – 11 years ago.  We were a little slow getting with the program 🙂

I did have a cell phone back in the day.  I used to be a sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics and would have long commutes to and from church on Wednesday – when I would drive down from our home to choir practice with 2 children in the car and it wasn’t against the law to talk on a cell phone yet.  I would make my business calls while traveling.  This was about 15 years ago.  Cell phones and computers have come a long way since then.

I have always loved each new change – I had a  LG flip phone for a couple of years – when it was new it was really great – but like any technology it soon got left in the dust – to be replaced by newer and more efficient models.  I now use an iPhone – not the newest one – but it’s still an iphone 🙂

When my daughter was a teenager I joined MySpace.  Facebook wasn’t even invented yet.  I liked MySpace – could put my favorite music on there – and was considered to be a pretty ‘hip’ Mom for joining in and being a part of the younger people’s world.

When Facebook started to make some noise – and when my friend, Nat Holland told me she liked it better than MySpace because it was international – I thought I would check it out.  I was ahead of my time because this was about 5 years ago – when NO ONE my age was on it yet.  After that everyone began to join – even the ones that swore up and down that they would NEVER do it.  🙂  I have connected with hundreds of people from our ministry life all around the world because of this vehicle.

Two years ago I started a blog site and have been writing ever since.  My husband says that I’ve always been a little bit ahead of the curve – fearless about starting something new – and though not reinventing the wheel – I’m really reinventing myself – through all the changes in technology and how people relate in social media available today.  My life has taken on new meaning by doing this – I get numerous emails from my blog and have been able to develop and minister to many hurting people as a result.  I love my blogging buddies!  And I’m just a newbie – but I have actually encouraged and helped MANY people start blog sites of their own.  It’s been a great experience for me.

My latest reinvention – twitter.  I joined a couple of years ago – but could never get the hang of it – until…my pastor and friend, Stephen suggested that it might be good for connecting with others in business.  I took him at his word and have put myself out there a little more and have searched and FOUND many music teachers like myself – who just need a little encouragement.  Twitter is a quick way to stay involved and see what others are doing in the music community – and for them to see what I do as well.  When you’re a private teacher – you need all the help and encouragement you can get!

Here’s to you as you reinvent yourself in this fast paced technology of today’s world.  It’s your choice – learn something new – or get left behind.  I choose to keep learning as I age.

 

God Bless

The Bottom Line to Social Networking

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I am an unashamed social networker.  I have heard all the horror stories just like you – and even know those who refuse to join something like facebook because of what they’ve heard.

A couple of weeks ago – my husband and I went to see the movie about the humble beginnings of Mark Zuckerberg and what has now become a multi-billion dollar company, facebook.  It takes nothing short of a genius to create something like this and build and promote it to its HUGE success today.  It’s really fascinating.  I’m not so concerned with how Mark was portrayed in this movie – it may or may not be true and I’m sure he is NOT a big ‘people person’ – he may in fact be a jerk – but no one can argue that jerk or not – he is the youngest billionaire in the world.

I remember hearing about facebook about 5 years ago – but it seemed that even then you needed to belong to a University or at least be a student somewhere to join.   None of my friends were on there.  Myspace was the big deal then – and at first I resisted having my own page.  I would look around on my daughters page and moniter like any good parent to make sure there weren’t any weird people talking to her.  Then finally I gave in and created my own page – complete with music that I liked and pictures just where I wanted them.  It was fun – and each day I was finding more and more people who I knew.

Facebook was always in the back of my mind though.  I learned from one of my friends, from Australia, that facebook was the better way to connect with people and especially those overseas.  She actually preferred it and urged me to try it.  So about 4 years ago, I did.  Not many of my friends were on 4 years ago – it was a little lonely being in my age group with a bunch of younger people – but I took a leap and just dove in.  It was fun – and like Christmas everyday when someone new would ‘add’ me – or find me.  The profile page looked quite a bit different in those days and it was fun adding little touches that made my page unique.

As the word spread about facebook to my age group – more and more people joined everyday – and what was once very sparse with people my age –  is now impressively in the lead with numbers – I’m talking about those in the 35-55 age group.  Go BABY BUSTERS AND BOOMERS!!

Here is my ‘2 cents’ about facebook:

1)  It is a social network – created to communicate and find people.  If you have a page – communicate and be social!

2)  It is NOT evil or the antichrist – built to suck out your brains, your intellect and your time.  If that is how you feel about talking to people online – you best not even email anybody.

3) It IS a tool designed for making it easier for people to connect, share pictures and information with people who you know from all over the world that otherwise it would be impossible to do.  How many people do you still keep in touch with from 20 or 30 years ago that haven’t moved at least 3 times, changed their telephone number and email so many times you can’t track them anymore.  Facebook allows you to find and stay in a person’s world and transcends moving addresses, telephone numbers and email accounts.

4)  There are privacy settings for the paranoid and for people suffering from all forms of paranoia out there.  I am being a little factitious –  obviously none of us want our identity stolen (which I have had done – and it was NOT by information on facebook – but rather through credit card residuals).  But information can be easily obtained – and most everyone can be accessed today – information and all through the internet.  You just have to be cautious – like with anything else in your life – and use common sense.  If someone wants your information – believe me.  They can get it – I’m proof of that.  We cannot live in fear – we just need to practice wisdom as with anything else.

5) For the ‘stalkers’ and people who do not want to ‘friend’ me – but want to look at my information – I’m not interested in you seeing my stuff – and I have employed the wonderful little ‘block’ application on my privacy settings.  You’re either a friend and would be proud to be on my list – or you’re not.  If there are people that you do NOT want seeing what you write about – to see pictures and things you do on  facebook – then this is very handy and I must admit – I have had to use it. I figure if they are my friends – they will already be on my list and I will let them see anything I post – and if they want to be my friend – they will send me a request – but if they are not and have no intention of being so – then they don’t have any business seeing my page.  Luckily I haven’t had to use the ‘block’ option often.  But likely you may have cause to use this option – at least once or twice.  There is also a wonderful little ‘X’ that you can click on – that allows you to ‘hide’ someone’s status updates and comments when they are  rude or vulgar.  Luckily I have only had to do this a few times.  Remember – if you do this – the person will not know that you have done it.  They do not get notified – much the same way if you have to delete a friend or even block someone – they are not notified.  It is a safe way to keep your world more private.

6) Sometimes you have to do a little ‘house cleaning’ on your friend list.  I had close to 1100 friends at one time.  No one has that many friends.  It’s crazy.  And because people have their friend lists open to everyone – it did feel a little like my information was getting out to too many people whom I did not know.  Therefore I went through my list and decided if I really knew that person and communicated with them – then they would stay.  I would ask myself, – ‘Do they ever communicate with me?  Even once in a while?  Would they care or not care if they were in my ‘world’?’  And I started thinning it out a little.  I got it down to under 700 and that is where it has remained for several months.  I have left my name so that when doing a search for my name – it will come up – but everything else is very private.  There is a good reason for this.  And I know you have your reasons too.  If you know me and want to be in ‘my world’ – then add me – otherwise I will  not add you – if I don’t know you.

7)  I have found people from days gone by that my husband and I knew 30  years ago and it has been a joy and a pleasure to welcome them and reconnect!  This is one of the simple pleasures of facebook!

8) I love connecting with good friends each and every day – to know what they’re doing and they know what I’m doing too.  It is the day and age of information exchange and this can be a very positive thing!

9) Don’t criticize what you don’t know anything about.  I don’t know how many people I have tried to convince that facebook is NOT evil – but actually a great tool for communication – and those that refuse seem very critical and even negative – thinking that all we do all day is sit on the computer and waste time.  Well – my computer is on all day but believe it or not I actually do have a life that is very busy and full.  I teach 25 students a week and am preparing again to teach music to a theater class.  I prepare lesson plans – listen to music – write on my blog – print out sheet music – practice the piano – prepare meals for my family – shop – socialize with my husband – etc. etc. etc…..  Do I ignore my friends on facebook because I have so much else to do?  NEVER.  It is a choice.  And it takes a moment to wish someone a good day – to give a word of encouragement and a smile.  I am prompt at returning my emails and messages.  Are people really saying they’re too busy to do this?  We all know people that only check their email once a month – so FRUSTRATING!!  I’m pretty busy and I still have time to answer my emails and messages and to communicate with  my friends everyday.  However – I do not show that I am online because for me – it is distracting to have someone break in and send me a message with online ‘chat’ – while I am working.  But I never ignore a message and return everyone as soon as I can.

10) Limit yourself if you are not good at ‘time-management’.  You only waste time that you allow to be wasted.  I am not a time waster – so the idea of having to ‘take a break’ from talking or encouraging someone everyday seems crazy to me – but I hear about people doing this.  Just can’t relate.  I would never take a break from being a friend to someone.  To me it’s unthinkable.  And it gives facebook and those of us that love social networking a bad name.

And finally – if you see me online – say ‘hello’ – don’t just ‘quietly observe’ so I won’t know you’re online.  I don’t know how many people have said to me, ‘I see you on facebook – you seem to be having so much fun – I don’t like to say anything, I just like to look”  Make your presence known!! – Facebook is for connecting and being social.  Stop by and let me know you’re there!  I’m not too busy to have a quick word of encouragement or to see how you’re doing.  No one should be too busy for that.

Have fun – brighten someone’s day today.  You may be the only one who does!

God Bless

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