Category Archives: narcissism

HST nailed it

Writing is the best job ever

Getting paid to write is the American dream, writing, simply writing words for people to read, to ingest, and to contort into their own viewpoints. In my opinion it’s the best job this world has to offer, whether it be writing through a journalistic stance; blogging, newspapers, magazines, etc. Or creative writing such as novels, poetry, short stories, and so on, but with each and every platform the writer is offered a freedom that is otherwise arduously and rarely ever achieved. To many people writing can seem like a chore or a hassle and I have found myself there plenty a time, but I enjoy it, yes it can be difficult to create the initial inertia needed, but that is the same as with all things in life. And to me writing is very much therapeutic, it allows me to formulate my thoughts in a manner that I would otherwise not see and it pushes me to create (or at least try to create) a well-written, sagacious, rational thought.

The lifestyle of a writer/journalist has always peaked my interest. The idea of being paid to write something people will actually read and interpret for themselves excites me. The idea of being given or finding my own story to tell invokes a creativity in me I struggle to find anywhere else in life, and creativity is what drives a writer, even if I am only expelling straight fact, it’s my job to construct it in such a way the reader finds it gripping and enthralling, but without trying to be to pretentious, profound, and bias. The ability to be a voice, even if just a small one, stimulates me. It is through writing that I find I can truly be myself and express myself even if I may be wrong, it allows me reflection then, and a chance to grow through written word and hard evidence as to who I was, who I am, and who I want to be.

Writers tend to have a correlation with being a little strange; to put it nicely but it is because of that variable that I think I have always found myself drawn towards writing and writers. The process of all these bizarre individuals putting their thoughts into form and people reading the substance and taking it to heart, one way of another intrigued me growing up and continues through today and I see no such impediment in its future course. Writers are weird, let’s be honest, but it’s because of that peculiarness that they are themselves and with their own individual voice, which is very hard to find in today’s world.

Freedom, its why writers write in my estimation, the freedom from all confines when pen is put to paper, and its through writing that meaning can be found. Being paid to write is my goal, the dream of not having a 9 to 5, screw 9 to 5’s, and screw regular jobs, what the hell does a regular job do besides create another regular person. The dream, whether it’s real or not, is to write for a morning newspaper, to be able to write late in the day and finish my work at night. It excites me in such a way, it frightens me to talk about as if I speak to loud the dream will flutter away, but it’s a great dream. My dream, to write, to be paid little, but have little worries, to have freedom to go where I want and write what I want.

Connections Are Not Bonds: Communication in New Media

Cook’s Choice: POST 6

Mom with Dad and Grand Kids

My mom died recently and one of the tasks that we were beset with was letting everyone know and to get the information out for the visitation, funeral and interment. It was through this process that I realized, again but in a different way, how much our modes of communication have changed and how splintered communication has become to me.

Contacting our longtime family friends was easy. My dad has meticulously kept the same Rolodex all our lives. We simply divided the letters and started calling everybody. We also placed an obituary in both Twin Cities papers. Covered!

For my own friends, I sent out a mass text, email and I posted the obituary to Facebook. It did not even occur to me to call anybody. It is a reflection more of my friends than of myself, because so many of my friends are on Facebook now and never even listen to voice mail, much less pick up their phones.

It was surprising who showed up and who didn’t. One of my best friends, who has become a Facebook junkie during the course of our friendship, didn’t show up even though she responded to the initial text without the obit info. Two weeks later texted me to ask me when the funeral was. When I told her she missed it she said she was “in and out” of Facebook and that I had the wrong email address. To bad she didn’t send out an update on her contact info. On the other hand, my oldest friend showed up because of the post on Facebook. We hadn’t seen each other in decades and it was really good to reconnect.We have a date for dinner next week.

In the old days, before cell phones, I knew the habits of my friends. I knew when it was too early or late to call; I knew when they ate dinner and when their kids went to bed. There were life patterns that you were in tune with because you had a certain amount of intimacy with your friends and the most common way to communicate was by phone. This is not the norm any more and I think it has a lot to do with how our modes of communication have changed.

In the Atlantic article, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” there are a ton of studies cited and points made about loneliness, narcissism and the difference between connections and bonds. The main point I took away from this fascinating article is that bonds are much deeper then an online connection. Research bears out that face to face contact is still the strongest method to build true bonds between people. In Facebook, you get out of it what you put into it, and the more “complex” a communication is, especially if it causes you to connect in person, the more high quality the interaction it is.

Especially after this class, I realize I need to use new media more intentionally than I have been, both for making a better world and for making my personal bonds stronger. But I won’t forget to invite someone to have a cup of coffee or have new people and old friends over for dinner on a regular basis. These actions build the bonds that truly are the ties that bind and keep a strong social net.