Archive for April, 2009

Apr 27 2009

Why I Love Twitter

Published by under Social Networking

One Summer Day
They were the days when a scorching sun didn’t bother us. We ran around outside and sweated profusely, searching for a sprinkler to run through. We ate snacks from dawn to dusk. Summer as a little kid! One summer day in 1988, I was 8. A dump truck had just unloaded a city block worth of rocks into the neighborhood’s community garden. The daily baseball game ended abruptly when the delivery ended. Ten of us, aged 7-10, mounted our bikes. Baseball cards clicked in spokes as our pre-pubescent army moved in for reconnaissance at the garden. On arrival, bikes were strewn about on their sides. Twenty small feet now clicked on the rocks.

“THIS ONE IS SHINY!” someone yelled.

The Rush
Our energy level neared pandemonium, each rock inspected for shininess. It was a modern-day gold rush. In following days, one of the boys discovered the shiny streaks were quartz. We couldn’t have cared less. To us, quartz was the same as a diamond.

Back To School
That fall, our teachers introduced us to the best of public speaking disciplines – show-and-tell. I brought my sack of “diamonds” and showed them proudly, telling everyone about the “mine” near our house.

School years wore on. Show-and-tell disappeared. We traded our fat black pencils for skinny yellow ones. And our huge, dashed line paper for wide ruled. We learned school was boring. We wanted to spend time with our friends. So, we traded our cursive exercises for notes to our friends and we secretly passed them around the classroom. 

Adult Swim
Then we became adults – a time to grow up and leave childish ways behind. But our inner-kid isn’t so easily defeated. Twitter is the trump card. To me, Twitter is a communal, note-passing, show-and-tell for adults. Every day, we see and do things we think are fun and interesting. Something inside us wants to tell someone. It makes us happy. Maybe it will make someone else happy.

To be sure, people use Twitter for different reasons, but the ultimate motivation harkens back to show-and-tell: we want to be seen.

Who wants to sit in a cubicle and work all day at their job without talking to their friends? Twitter gives us the possibility of group text messaging. 

The Reason I Love Twitter
I love Twitter because it reminds me I’m still a kid. I still want to be special. I want other people to know about my life. I want to know about theirs. Real-time.

In a society that has molded us into such fiercely independent people, social networking tools like Twitter are the pushback of our HEARTS – an attempt to reach out – however awkwardly – to make connection with others. We’re not supposed to live life alone. And we instinctively know it.

Since 2009 started, I’ve used Twitter a ton and, without exaggeration, it has helped to build some of my closest relationships. Twitter has supplemented, not replaced, face-to-face time.

Get Your Bike
When you get on Twitter, you, your followers, and those you’re following are riding to the community garden. You’re there together, looking for quartz, and getting excited about life. This side of heaven, that’s about all we have – life and friends.

If you don’t have an account yet, get over here! The click of baseball cards in bike spokes has been replaced by fingers on a keyboard. It’s the sound of a worldwide digital classroom – bite-sized email – with 140-character notes that get passed instantly!

Andy has too much time – to both Twitter and WRITE about Twittering. His username is @andymerrick

10 responses so far

Apr 23 2009

Where In The World Is Carmen Andy-iego?

Published by under Daily Brief

It’s been 22 days since I last wrote. Hi, friends. I’m still here! And I want you to know what’s going on in my life right now – why it’s been so long, how I’ve been spending my time, why After-Lunch Breakdance disappeared, and other tidbits.

The last 3 weeks of my life have been spent in lots of reflection and research among so many other things. To get you up to speed quickly, here is me interviewing myself with about 30 words for each question.

How was the writer’s conference?
So good! Learned about writing. Learned about publishing. Met new friends. Talked to a lit agent who wants to see a manuscript and proposal for Why Guys Aren’t Asking You Out. Good first step!

What have you been doing with your time?
Figuring out how to make money. I don’t think writing is going to pay me much for quite some time (if ever) so I faced that reality and brainstormed a new way to make money.

How are you gonna do it?
I don’t think I ever want to work a 9-5 job again. It’s not me. I don’t want to program computers anymore. Money still doesn’t grow on trees. I love music. And film. So I decided to buy this – the Panasonic HPX170. I also bought a bunch of gear with it (normal production stuff – tripod, mics, cases, lights, 35mm adapter, primes).
What are you gonna do with it?
I’m gonna do unique-looking, simple music videos and other video projects. I’ll also be doing original shorts. You’ll see videos toward the end of May!

Do you already know how to do that stuff?
Nope. It’s brand new to me. I’m learning everything as I go.

Isn’t that kind of risky?

Are you scared?
For sure, but I’m getting more comfortable as I learn more about the camera and all the skills I need to develop.

Why has it been so long since you last wrote?
I’ve done a lot of research about all the equipment I’ve bought. It took a TON of time. And I’ve spent time writing ABOUT writing (but you haven’t seen that) and writing Why Guys Aren’t Asking You Out (more on that in a second). I’ve been putting my mind in order. It’s still a mess! :)

Are you still going to write?
Absolutely! I’m going to try for M-F. I’ll be writing about random life things – processing my life – and trying to help you process yours!

What happened to After-Lunch Breakdance?
For now, I’m going to stop doing it. I love the idea, but I need to focus on building my business and becoming a better writer.

Are you going to finish the Why Guys Aren’t Asking You Out series?
Yes and no. It is going to be finished – as a book (which I’m working on). I was advised by lit agents that only 10% of what’s on my blog can survive to a book. So I’m cutting the series short here so I don’t have to re-write so much. If my book doesn’t get picked up by a lit agent/publisher then I’m going to give it away for free as an e-book when I finish.

Now what?
So this gets us a little up to speed. I’m going to start writing more about my life and just general observations. Sorry I’ve been gone for so long! I’m ready to write again! -andy

8 responses so far

Apr 01 2009

After-Lunch Breakdance: April 1, 2009

Published by under After-Lunch Breakdance

For those of you new to After-Lunch Breakdance, WELCOME!! Check this out to know what’s going on. If you can’t see the YouTube videos, it means your work or RSS reader is blocking them. Forward to yourself at home to see it!

It’s April, peoples!!!! No April Fool’s Day joke for you today. You’re going to start seeing more writing from me pretty soon – about all different stuff! (Oh, HEY, take the poll on the right, would you, please? It’ll help me make ALB better!)

Some of you know this, some of you don’t. I’ve been working on a series called Why Guys Aren’t Asking You Out (you can read it by clicking on the banner at the top). For those of you wondering why it hasn’t continued for a while, there are reasons. And in time, I’ll explain why. But the series is going to continue. I’ve been writing the past week and as I’ve written, one of the biggest things I’ve realized in my own heart is how little I care about other people.

You can be around people all day and care little about them. People can serve to make you feel important. They can serve to advance your career. They can serve to give you pleasure in different ways. None of these things is wrong. In fact, they can all be good. But what happens when your only care for people is what they can do for you? You choose not to talk to someone because they’re not going to be interesting or won’t be able to help you advance in your line of work. I realize there is a super fine line between being a wise steward of your time (i.e. selectively choosing who to talk to) and being a heartless grinch (i.e. being selfish in your decisions).

My purpose in writing this today isn’t to give guidance on the topic. It’s merely to point out that I can have a really cold heart. And I saw this video that moved me. It’s super simple. A couple guys went out with a camera on the streets of New Orleans and talked to people. What strikes me so much is the raw humanity. There are some things said in the video which may offend people’s sensibilities. I’m posting it with the knowledge that may happen. These are real people. And there are people just like them that we might meet later today or later this week. This video reminds me of people’s beauty and fragility. I think you’ll see it. There is something inherently beautiful about just seeing people. But we (or, maybe more accurately, I) so rarely look at them in the way this short compels us to. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

If you want to tell your crew about ALB (FB status or Twitter or email), try this:
after-lunch breakdance. take a break!

34 responses so far