Friday, May 31

Online Social Networks & Relationships

With the growth of social networks, more and more people are developing relationships online that become truly worthwhile. While some still view it as weird to make friends, meet the love of your life, and hang out with someone you interact with through tweets, wall statuses, and blog posts, there is no denying that these people are still flesh and blood. Some might go to great lengths to pretend to be someone they really aren't because when they log out out of a social network, their offline life isn't as enjoyable. Either way it goes, social networks aren't JUST some imaginary place to talk to imaginary people. No matter the level of delusion we make ourselves succumb to in order to say "these people aren't real to me", it sends the message that when you log on, you don't consider yourself to be real either.

While we all use social networks for different things (business, socializing, out of boredom, for attention, etc.), there's no denying, we're STILL on them. No matter how close we allow ourselves to get to others, to discount any interaction we might have had is to also diminish who we are. So what happens when the social experience has worn out its welcome with certain people?

As in real life, it becomes difficult for some to walk away because they don't want someone to get upset. However, if it's JUST Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram, why does it matter all of a sudden? It didn't before they unfollowed you or are people really honest with themselves about these networks just being something to do to pass time? It becomes obvious that there is a bias, depending on who it is that unfollows some people. If you know them offline or knew them before online social networking took over the world, feelings tend to get hurt.

I've been accused of getting into my feelings about being unfollowed when that wasn't the issue. If we are REAL friends AND have an offline friendship, I will ALWAYS address anything that seems off. This is not some right I only give myself; I extend it to anyone who has ever called me a friend. Otherwise, we don't have a real friendship. Do I feel ALL my friends NEED to follow me on everything for us to maintain a friendship? Most certainly not. ALL of my close friends could unfollow me today and while it would strike me as odd, I'm not going to be bent out of shape about it. Maybe they don't like what I have to say when I'm online and they're allowed that. A REAL friendship dictates that we have something of substance whether we can see what each other are saying/doing online or not. 

Why aren't we seriously asking ourselves why online networks play SUCH an important part in whether we stay friends with people if we had a decent relationship before the internet existed? If they were SUCH awesome people we could brag about online, what changed when they unfollowed us that made them less worthy of friendship? If we're fortunate enough to meet quality people online that we care to meet offline, shouldn't our bond sustain us past a follow? I would like to think so but the evolution of the word friend and various levels of maturity state otherwise. 

I've been the unfollowed and I've been the unfollower. Offline, I've been unfriended and I've had to unfriend people. Online, while it might be an easier task, the after effects when someone's feelings are attached to it, are still the same as offline. There should be a clear line of distinction though that if I'm telling you we're still friends after an unfollow, it isn't the same as sitting someone down and saying "I don't want to be friends with you anymore". Being tolerant of others involves leaving people alone to do as they please on their social networks. So if you're constantly contradicting yourself after I've sat and had hour long conversations with you, being excessively negative, an online bully, and/or lying about your life, I'm going to unfollow you. I don't want that experience offline and it's far easier to control ONLINE. 

I say all this to say...I'm of the old school when it comes to having REAL friends. If I got $5, you got $2.50. If you don't want to be lied to, don't lie to me. If you want me to herald you as great, you better be extolling me too. If you say you love me, it requires more than liking my pictures on Instagram, replying to tweets, and/or feeding my ego that doesn't need any more stroking as it is. While the internet has made life easy in tons of areas, ALL relationships STILL require human, not electronic effort. If you don't have it to give or don't want to be honest about preferring not so deep interaction, it isn't going to work. So an unfollow should be the least of our concerns when it comes to our REAL friends.

Tuesday, May 7

Introvert Doesn't Mean Depressed, Sad or Hater of All Living Things

While there are Introverts that are depressed, sad and hate humankind, those aren't the defining characteristics of who they are. 

Living in a world that expects you to be extroverted all the time, can become uncomfortable to an Introvert. Some people want to force them to be around others, participate in things that are of no interest to them (for the sake of the crowd), and smile when they just want to sit and think. Contrary to what lots of people might think they know about me, I'm not an Extrovert. The people I share this with usually stare at me like I'm lying but I enjoy time with myself more than I do being surrounded by others. 

It has made it difficult to be around certain people without being drunk and/or high. When I was younger, I didn't want to have to explain why reading on a Friday night was more enjoyable than chasing guys. Often times, I'd disappear and remain that way until someone came looking for me to hang out. It was always an indicator that I had been by myself for a [more than] reasonable amount of time. It is also the main reason I don't really like unnecessary attention. Many Extroverts will argue (unknown) Introverts down about everyone wanting attention like they do. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Being the center of attention is not an Introverts idea of a good time. So what exactly is an Introvert?

notice who he's with? no one.  he isn't lonely/bored.
more than likely having a himself. 

Introverts are people who don't feel the need to talk all the time. Silence doesn't bother them, in fact, they look forward to it. Chatty Cathy's and people who demand you engage in small talk are at the top of most Introvert's list of Annoying People. Introverts, while liking time alone, do engage in fun activities with others but might disappear from the action out of nowhere. It is the alone time that recharges our internal batteries so that we can feel up to hanging out again. Constant human interaction can be draining and trigger behavior that begins to look like they hate people. Asking them what's wrong, why they aren't getting drunk, why aren't they dancing, why, why, why every 5 seconds, only makes them "hate" YOU, not humanity. Many Extroverts take it upon themselves to pull Introverts out of what they believe to be a shy shell. Not all Introverts are shy. Sometimes they just want to sit and observe the world in peace. Getting in their face about it only pushes them farther away from wanting to be around you.

Whereas Extroverts come across as being activated 24/7, Introverts reside in the land of chill unless provoked to leave. They're about doing things when they're ready to; not a moment sooner. Some people think that Introverts prefer to be Mutes. This isn't the case. If you asked my husband how much I talk at home, he'd tell you that he wishes I would shut up sometimes. We tend to have far more interesting conversations with each other than I do with others. So I have a lot to say. However, he can also attest to many days I will be in the same room as him and have nothing to say to the point that he asks me several times, "Are you okay?" Introverts don't talk just to hear the melodic sound of their own voice. They usually speak when they have something worth saying.

I've been labeled everything from weird to snobbish, to rude because of who I naturally am. Plenty of misunderstandings have been had because what is considered normal to Extroverts, just isn't my cup of tea. I even had someone stop being my friend because she said I didn't want to do everything she wanted to do, when she wanted to do it. according to her, this made me a bad friend. Totally irrational thought process and it happened because she didn't understand who I am. If I had to ask one thing of Extroverts who insist on Introverts liking them, it's to make a better effort to understand those who are not like them. While being an Extrovert is considered normal, introverted behavior is often seen as being anti-social, that we're mean, and that we need to be psychologically evaluated. When none of that is usually the case...we're just different.

Friday, May 3

Trying to Understand Artists

If I had a dollar for everytime someone referred to an artist as "crazy", with disgust in their tone, I'd have enough money to never need to work for anyone else. I use the word 'crazy' heavily because I don't view it as a bad thing. It is my belief that every human being has a level of insanity they reach; others just get there quicker and more frequently so it's easier to identify their "different" behavior. From observance, if your differences are more obvious, you "earn" the negative connotation of 'crazy'.

Regardless of how we individually see mania, It becomes easier to look at these creators without bias when we can comprehend why they behave as they do. 

Trying to understand artists can be difficult as hell because they can be very picky about who they let into their life. A lot of times it is due to the above judging. Other times, it is nothing more than them not caring about others being uncomfortable with who they are and rightfully so. One thing that no one can take from an artist is the beauty that can be produced by redirecting their 'crazy' into their craft. Without obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, multiple personalities, alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, being an introvert/extrovert, autism/aspergers syndrome, sociopathic behavior, and a plethora of other things that can be associated with disorderly behavior, we wouldn't have awe inspiring murals, record breaking musicians, literature that changes anyone's life that reads it, movement that evokes every range of emotion possible, and fashion that greatly contributes to the beauty of the person showcasing it.

Analyzing them less and feeling more can open our minds to whom they are. Even artists who aren't big on conveying feelings outside of their work are still walking balls of emotion. Making everything they do about them being difficult and/or out of control, removes the focus of the real subject: their art.

Sometimes the beauty of who they are resides in not being able to quickly figure them out. It's safe to say that they'd much rather you FEEL them through their work. Due to their gift being part of who they are, they can't help but to include parts of themselves in their work so get to know their work. All the darkness, mania, and perceived negativity begins to look very human and real even to the most skeptical eye. Of course you'd have to appreciate art on that level. Otherwise, they'll still just look like a deck that's missing more than half its cards.

When all else fails though, stop trying so hard to interpret the artist and just choose to experience the art.

[post can also be seen on !kohaus Art !s]
Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips