Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Embarassing Social Messages

This post reports on unintendedly embarrassing social messages, illuminated by Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate, and Virginia Heffernan, NYTimes, The Medium Commentator.

I realized this week that my social network sent notice of my birthday to distant acquaintances, casual friends, clients, and business colleagues. Mortifying.

A reading by the Poet Laureate Kay Ryan on Tuesday provided solace.


Connections lie in wait--
something that in
the ordinary line of offenses
makes offense more great.
They entrap, they solicit
under false pretenses,
they premeditate.
They tie one of
your shoelaces
to one of a stranger,
they tie strings to purses
and snatch as
you lean down, eager
for a little something gratis.

And last month, Virginia Heffernan’s piece in the NYTimes took a new, for me, slant on the whole idea of being connected, an excerpt below

Only the poor — defined broadly as those without better options — are obsessed with their connections. Anyone with a strong soul or a fat wallet turns his ringer off for good and cultivates private gardens that keep the hectic Web far away. The man of leisure, Sterling suggested, savors solitude, or intimacy with friends, presumably surrounded by books and film and paintings and wine and vinyl — original things that stay where they are and cannot be copied and corrupted and shot around the globe with a few clicks of a keyboard.
Let Them Eat Tweets: NYTimes Magazine,
Virginia Heffernan, Sunday, 04/19/2009

And I learned that May 22, 2009 – the date in question -- is the release date for the movie Night at the Museum II: Battle at the Smithsonian. The first in this series was so, so bad in every way. However, I was thinking that we could all take ourselves out for some pre-summer-silly/stupid in honor of my birthday and our love of museums. And in praise of museum guards, who never get the props they deserve.
Please don't send an cyper-card to celebrate my milestone, but if you want to share ways to disconnect or to control your cyber life (I am not doing email in the morning), feel free to post them here.