wake up from your snoring!

Me...and Daisy, Sarah's hat. What are we pondering?

Hey! I have a guest post at Sarah Reinhard’s blog, SnoringScholar.com, at, um snoringscholar.com. She’s so gracious with her fun sandbox so I’m playing over there today.

Here’s a little bit of what I say:

We’ve all heard it – The Internet is an insidious source of distraction and evil in contemporary society. It’s true!

I blame a certain little addiction to cute farm animals and shiny pink tractors as one of those distractions. Thanks to family and friends mocking me at every obnoxious status update, I had an intervention and am pleased to report I’ve been Farmville-free for 18 months.

Of course, I’m making light of it – or am I? Social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google + or [insert your favorite distraction here], can be a powerful time suck. It can be a black hole that takes us away from our families and friends, makes us less productive, and does nothing, nothing to make us better people.

Is it a crazy anti-internet rant? A public confession and self-flagellation left over from Farmville days? Maybe. NO! One should never rant without a solution. See what a lot of people are doing to inject the internet with some positive medicine. Read the rest of my post here.

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is anybody out there?

I love this video that Msgr. Charles Pope posted on his great discussion of the one-way talking that’s generally going on in social media. We talk about it on this week’s Catholic Weekend.  You can read Pope’s post here, but I can’t help sharing the video with you …

you know what?

I had an interesting experience in my evening composition classes. I teach two sections of what most people know as Freshman Composition I. It’s a challenging class during the day. Add to the mix the likelihood that the majority of my students are older adults returning to school after years of raising kids and working full time, and the difficulty grows exponentially. I have to compete with the kids who are constantly textmessaging and the older folks freaking out because I expect them to submit their papers to an on-line plagiarism detection site and they can’t handle the technology. And to think I used to believe the challenge was getting them to back up their work.

Last night’s lesson revolved around the creation of effective thesis statements. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been doing this for almost 25 years. I can create an academic thesis statement on any mundane insipid topic you throw at me. I can write about healthcare, war, and ice cream.

I discovered last night that I can do this in 140 characters or less.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Are you kidding me? Has Twitter affected the way I write? I’m a little depressed. And a lot amused. Sadly, only a couple of people got it when I did my little dance of incredulity. Oh well.

As a result, I present to you this neat little video that might get you thinking about your own social media use.

so, I never win ANYTHING

100_6967You can imagine how skeptical I was when I checked my twitter one morning last week and discovered a bunch of congratulations (and a few bitter, but funny insults) about having won a MacBook Pro.

Yeah, right.

The beautiful thing is that it happened quite by accident. I innocently re-tweeted a message from Pat Padley, (run, don’t walk and check out the podcast he does with his brother Nick–InBetweenSundays). I didn’t notice a tag at the end of his line, but evidently it was enough to get me a chance at winning the laptop, and … well … the rest is history.

My skepticism was so great that I actually got a direct message from the guys running the contest to tell me that, yes, indeed, I had won and it was real. LOL! Consequently, I will no longer be playing the state lottery because I’ve used up my allotment of luck for the year.

So that brings to me to a couple of things. First, my sincere thanks to guys at MPORA who ran the contest on Twitter @mpora and gave away all kinds of cool prizes, including my MacBook Pro. Of course, the prize was a nice lure, but I bounced around their website and found that it’s pretty cool, and while not the kind of thing you’d see my lazy butt doing, filled with amazing videos (the kind, I think, that my brother and sister-in-law and their friends would think is cool).

Check out Nick and Pat at InBetweenSundays. Afterall, I am enjoying creating this blogpost thanks to them.

And, MPORA, cuz you know, it’s pretty obvious they deserve a shout out, too!

Micro-blogging, social networks, and slackers

Here’s a question for you folks who micro-blog on the likes of Twitter and Plurk, etc., and also have your own blogs. I’m not asking the chicken and egg question–I don’t care if the micro-blogging came first. I am curious to know if the manner in which you approach blogging has changed since you started using the other utilities. Bonnie Gillespie posted a pretty comprehensive observation about her experience that got me thinking. I’ll be delivering a workshop on blogging, micro-blogging, and social utilities in a couple of weeks, and so I am actually posing this as a serious work-related question.

It has not escaped me that work and play are overlapping. I’m curious about how that affects you as well.

I’ve noticed that my own blog, from the original one to this revamped one, has undergone several style changes. At first, it was totally reflective and observational, but I’ve noticed a shift in self-awareness as I have gained (and lost) readers and the content that I now post. There’s no question that I’ve seen some changes.

How have you been affected in your writing?