Monday, April 13, 2009

I Gotta Be Me !

As an interviewer, you quickly discover most people just love to talk about themselves. Even more, everyone loves an interested audience. Befriend anyone, from any walk of life, and chances are they will pour their heart out to you if you are willing to listen. It's a basic human need: Self-esteem and building self worth could be the most important ingredient to long-term happiness.

What if casual day-to-day encouragement is not readily available? Your boss just isn't giving you enough attention. Friends simply don't realize just how wonderful you are. Achievements aren't producing the kind of recognition or monetary gain necessary to make it all worth while. Even your dog isn't enthusiastic when you come home at night. Where can you go to assuage your thirst for a pat on the back?

This is the year 2009, after all. It seems like the entire world is centered around their computer. Constantly checking your e-mail, you search the Internet for nearly everything: shopping, information, entertainment and fun all await you at your fingertips. Your computer is not just your virtual friend. It can become your most avid audience! Finally, here comes your thunderous applause!

Welcome to the new world of ME. No need to wait for the world to react. Just go online! It all started with MySpace, where you can instantly create a showcase for you and your work. MySpacers discover, early on, that building a site and a cyber-identity takes a lot of work. Your place will be compared to others and competition is stiff. This is especially true when you participate in MySpace Music. To garner notice and renown, content must be concrete, creative, alluring and unique in every respect. Creators know MySpace can be enormously effective, but often it's just not that much fun. It's hard work!

Let's fine tune this idea and turn up the fun. Who needs formal content, anyway? Self-esteem can be found in a flash with Facebook. Here, not only is your immediate stream of conscientiousness worthy of worldwide exposure, everything your friends are thinking can become a part of the soup, as well! It's not formal. It's not structured. It's wild in the streets with nothing barred. The spotlight is on you and you'd better like it.

Participating in Facebook requires a good dose of courage and lots of time! You'd better monitor the outside world and how they respond to your postings. Here comes another hit-and-run vandal about to post 20 year old pictures of you at a wild college party or in a suit of clothes now not fit for intergalactic aliens! Friends of friends you barely knew will want to cuddle up to you. Good or bad, is any publicity good publicity? Did you really need that much attention? (I didn't even like Martha Ross!) Everything I have to say is funny and important, but do I really want to hear what you have to say?

OK. OK. MySpace was way too much work. Facebook is fun, but can be really embarrassing. (Did I really post what I thought about...) Let's move on to Twitter. No pictures. No fluff. You get 140 words, at any given moment, to speak your mind. At very best, you get to post an icon picture and your concise bio. Now you are talking! In a flash, you broadcast to the world! "I am so great because...!" All your e-mail contacts and friends are awaiting your next move. Now I really need my Blackberry!

Twittering is immediate! The stage is lit. The crowd has gathered, but, wait a minute. There is no curtain! There are no intermissions. Don't post for a day or two and the masses get anxious. Is there a problem? Did something go terribly wrong? Twitter requires for you to be up and rolling 24/7. You are on the air, with your A personality, and we await your every move. You wanted attention. This is it! Go baby, go!

Twitter is mainline right now. Members of Congress were using it during Obama speeches. Rush Limbaugh has 13,200 Twitterers following him around. How long can it stay truly now and hip? Just when you thought Twitter cracked your figurative bathroom door just a little more than you like, here comes a site which will slam it open! Take a look at the latest meteor to flash through the sky:

What an amazing idea! Heartbeaters wear an all-in-one sensor to allow complete monitoring of not only your every thought but your bodily functions, as well! Now you can discover what your spouse had for lunch, what made your sister's heart rate accelerate and when your kids sneak a snack. Using the GPS plug-in, (now in Beta version,) you can literally know where everyone is! Your site's map plots your location on a cool map that you can customize with your own colors. I can't wait to get my starter kit! (I hope this never becomes reality!)

Of course, there are also the old-fashioned methods of gaining love and self-esteem. Remove all electrons and think about writing amorous words with a pen. Give your spouse a hug and a kiss. Walk the dog with your kids. Have lunch with your best friend and walk away with new bounce in your step. Consider where we might be if all the effort that is poured into cyber-sites would energize people directly. You could gain warmth in your heart without exposing your soul to the world. Technology has its place, but once in awhile, you should get off the highway and enjoy old country roads. It's waiting for you. Now cue Sammy Davis, Jr's "I've Gotta Be Me!"