12 Jul, 2008
In our gadget-obsessed age of disposable consumption and materialism, I notice more and more people identifying their own self-worth through things. Perhaps defining ourselves through external objects and attributes rather than our own inner values and character is evolution?
Lately, I have noticed an increased level of conversation about material things and how those things seem to define a person’s self image. I have noticed myself yearning for material goods as a means of propping up my own self image—yes, I’m talking about you iPhone.
This has all lead me to consider what really matters. What external things really define me as a person?
In my family I see the best and the worst of myself. I see unlimited joy, potential and pride; the realization of my childhood dreams. There is also an underlying caution about the future and the unknown. My children and my wife are the most accurate mirror into who I am.
I used to say that you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their CD collection. Well, we don’t have CD collections anymore, but you can still judge a person based on their musical taste—even if it’s on a hard drive. I love music; all kinds of music. I tend to have music playing at all times—at home, work, in the car. The variety of music that I enjoy spans my many moods and truly defines me as a person.
That thing I wrote about someone’s CD collection… the same thing could be said about their DVD collection (or their Netflix queue). Tell me your favorite five movies of all time and I can pretty much tell if we’re going to get along. Yes, my taste in movies defines who I am. Ironically, if you asked me about my favorite films, it would be hard for me to quantify. My favorites tend to change, but a few that are always in contention include: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fargo, Raising Arizona, Seven, Fight Club, The Shining, The Usual Suspects… to name a few.
As I’ve gone through this exercise, I found it interesting that the types of things that I think many people would use to define themselves (religion, race, nationality, political affiliation, favorite sports team, etc.) really have very little bearing on how I see myself. Now that you’ve read my little list, what defines you?
30 Jun, 2008
I’m coming clean. I’ve been with someone else. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been neglecting you lately, and I apologize. I’m not trying to blame you, but we both know that you’re a little high maintenance. Don’t get me wrong—you’re great… really, you’re wonderful. It’s just that, with her it’s so quick and dirty. It’s so damn easy with Twitter.
We both know that over the past five years we’ve had our ups and downs. Back when we first started out, I couldn’t get enough. We used to do it every day, sometimes several times each day. And it felt great. Then, as time went on, I started to get busier. Work, kids, life… you know how it is. The excitement—the spontaneity had vanished. It started to take so much more effort and planning. I know, a lot of that… all right, most of that is my fault. I admit I’m a perfectionist. But you, of all blogs, know my philosophy: if you’re going to do something, do it right.
Then it happened. I heard people talking about her. How easy she was. No commitment; nothing serious. I ignored her siren call for a whie, but eventually, I started thinking of excuses to get closer to Twitter, to give her a spin. But I stayed loyal to my blog… for a few months anyway. I even used my blog to publicly mock Twitter. I’m so sorry.
Over time the urges continued to strengthen. I lingered on Twitter’s website more frequently. Rumors of how often Twitter goes down peaked my lusty interest. I finally made up an excuse: I needed to succumb to her seductive call for work… it was social media research. Again, I shamefully used this very blog to publicly document my initial tryst with the hussy.
And it was, no… it is so easy. Even as I sit with you, pouring my heart out to you, I think of how easy it would be to quickly send a 140 character or less missive off into the ether. It’s grown from a lurid fascination to an obsession. I used to see her once or twice each day, mostly at work. But I quickly longed for more time with Twitter. I wanted to tweet in all kinds of exotic and unusual places: on my way home in the car, at the grocery store, even on my family vacation to Puerto Rico. I have even recruited my friends to join in the fun. I disgust myself.
I thought maybe Twitter would bring us closer. I thought I’d learn a few things that I could use here. Ultimately, it’s just distracted me from the business of blogging. Why am I telling you this? Guilt I suppose. I can’t promise I’ll be around as often as I was when we first started out; and Twitter will still be part of my life. But I’ll do my best to spend more quality time with you if you’ll allow me to have an open relationship.