A little over a week ago, my friend and co-worker Nzinga told me he was listening to a podcast and thought I’d be really good at doing one myself. He even took it a step further and said he had this “strong urge” to tell me. Of course this pushed all my spiritual buttons about diving timing and law of attraction, so I just had to do it. It’s not too far a reach from my other hobby, video production, so I’m pretty familiar with the editing, software, hardware, etc. associated with putting something like this together. It was just a matter of slightly shifting my perspective. Less than a week after the conversation, I was recording my first podcast, the energy behind the idea had gained so much momentum, I wanted to do it before I convinced myself it was a bad idea. So I took the leap and didn’t look back… yet.
I’ve only been on Facebook for a short amount of time relative to most, a couple of months has gone by since I made the leap into this digital equivalent of humans in herds. I administer content management systems at work (ECM), so the least thing I needed was a personalized version. Then my blog came along and I gave into the temptation of having a platform to share my articles. While during my first week on Facebook, I was amazed by this unified form of consciousness I seemed to be observing, I quickly became aware of a darker side to this mass method of communication. Unlike social interactions in the flesh, people feel free to act or react in ways that they wouldn’t do so in public. I used to teach an orientation class at work on cyber manners, back when this new thing called the Internet became a tool for business. It was then that I was first introduced to the analogy of people acting the same way online, as they do in their cars, especially during incidents of road rage. The comparison was made of someone getting in front of you in the movie line, to if they did the same action in their car while driving. In the later example, you might scream and yell at the person, shoot them the bird and hold your hand down on the horn. While if you acted the same way face to face, you’d probably scare the shit out of everyone around you and might even get arrested.
The other evening, as I was getting ready for bed, I remembered I had a doctors appointment coming up so I asked Siri, my iPhone assistant, when it was.
“Your next doctor’s appointment is at 10 AM tomorrow.” she said in her Australian female voice that always sounds like she’s grinning.
“Oh shit” I thought to myself, that was close, I almost missed my appointment, thank goodness for Siri! I tucked myself into bed and drifted off to sleep feeling like my world was perfectly organized thanks to my faithful digital companion.
The next morning was one of those you tend to remember for the next couple of weeks. I was rushing to get out the door and the forces of nature were clearly working against me. Everything from my dogs being uncooperative during their walk, to crazy drivers, to a lady literally sitting in her car at the parking garage entrance, waiting for an attendant to push the button for her to get a ticket. Maybe she was a germaphobe but seriously what else could go wrong? It was already 10 AM and I had to find parking in this very strangely laid out garage. I ended up finding a spot almost instantly, but of course the young girl in the car had to check her Facebook before driving away, fully aware of me waiting patiently. I’m sure she was basking in the temporary sense of power the Universe bestowed upon her.
Our society has changed lots in the last 100 years, technology is often the focus of these changes and many times blamed for them. From workplace automation killing jobs formerly filled by humans, to the decline of bookstores thanks to e-readers, technology is almost always left holding the candlestick in the library with some rope for good measure. Recently Amazon.com and other online retailers have been designated the destroyer of brick and mortar stores, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades. Macy’s, BestBuy, Sears and even Walmart aren’t immune to the sting of e-commerce. But what if this change or evolution in the way consumers buy goods is only partially due to technology and more of a symptom of something bigger and greater? While everyone is trying to compete with online giants like Amazon and increase their online presence, perhaps they should be looking no further than their own stores and realize they forgot how to do something. Customer service.
I love writing but I never thought myself as a blogger. Well not in Miami at least. I think South Florida is the last place you think about when blogging. It’s hot, humid, crowded and people are just plain rude. We’re not known for our museums, our things to do of which there’s two (Beach and The Everglades) or our culture (there’s too many too identify with a single one and they don’t exactly get along). Occasionally we do something great in sports and the country pays attention to us, but blogging? Yeah, no.
Can someone be too sensitive?
I’m often told that I’m too sensitive, that I take things too personally. Sometimes I wonder if this is an accurate statement or are the people making it total assholes and lack interpersonal skills? I’m also told that I’m extremely empathetic and excel at customer service. People come to me often with their problems and feel confident that I’ll be able to relate to their issues. Isn’t that a part of being sensitive? Isn’t that a good thing? When did being too sensitive turn into a negative trait or even a sign of weakness?