Sunday, October 31, 2010

the complex book of faces

Do you remember older generations -- whether it be our parents or grandparents -- telling us about how after you graduate high school there will be so many people you'll never have to worry about or see again? ... Well, I remember, because in all truth I was looking forward to it. Not that I never wanted to see anyone again, and it's not like I didn't have my friends that I wanted to continue to see. But let's face it -- we all have those people that we wouldn't mind forgetting about.

Well, thank you Facebook, you destroyed another social script for the human race once again. Because those people I was talking about, yanno, the ones we all want to forget about?? No longer an option. Make no mistake, they'll be on your Facebook page whether you chose to delete them or not. They pop up in pictures and comment on people's statuses. Facebook is so creeper-friendly that you can't get away from them.

Now let me backtrack. I know I sound pessimistic and rude... carrying on about people I never want to see again...

But let's think of it in a different way.

When I used to go shopping with my mom we always ran into SOMEONE she knew. She was always pleasantly surprised because she hadn't seen that person in so long, and who doesn't like the warm feeling you get when you see someone you haven't in sooo long?

Facebook killed that feeling.

Now we randomly run into people on Facebook. And we're interested in people so we creep. Pretty soon we know more about people we haven't seen in 5 years than we do about our friends that chose not to succumb to Facebook.

It's sad and it's awkward. Because when you do run into that person in real life, and they tell you a little tidbit about themselves, it sad because Facebook probably already informed you. For example, you probably already knew that they broke up with their boyfriend of 5 years and they are fighting over the cat they bought together and why does life have to be so hard? .... So when they mention it to your face, it's awkward. You have to pretend you don't already know... and if you're anything like me, you're a horrible liar, and they can tell you were creeping just 5 hours earlier because of the look on your face. You almost want to tell them that their ex posted on their Facebook status that they flushed the fish you bought them down the toilet.

And who hasn't made the Facebook Slip?!

Ya'll know what I'm talking about -- someone tells you something and you reply "Yeah, I know," to both their shock and yours. Because they know they didn't tell you... and then they want to know how you know.


If you're quick on your feet you might make something up. Or you'll panic, and say Facebook. Ultimate creeper? No, not really. We all do it, but it still sucks to bring attention to it.

Pointblank... Facebook makes every aspect of our life more complicated than it needs to be, even 5 minute hellos at the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a white frame house in college town

It's funny how even during the craziest times, times when your life feels like the farthest thing from normal (which seems like every day for me), you can look around and find comfort.

This morning, as I was drinking my morning coffee (which doesn't seem to do much for me anymore, how did I become immune to coffee @ the age of 20?!), I looked out the window and saw the mailman. Call me crazy, but it brought me comfort. In a crazy college town crawling with kids everywhere, it's nice to look around and notice that life as I knew it before Penn State still exists.

If you think about it, it doesn't get more normal and comforting than seeing the mailman. When your dog dies, on your wedding day, your first day of college, and during the best and worst of times, the mail man will always be there. When everything in your life seems so crazy that you can't keep up... just remember there's still a guy out there doing a job so common that we all hardly notice it (unless your dreading the arrival of a bill the comforting mailman might be bringing with him... I don't know that side of the mailman yet).

I know it sounds crazy, but in a world where everything is changing, changing fast -- technology, relationships, the world itself -- it's nice to know that somethings stay the same, even if they are small things. We all need something to count on, even if it is something totally unrelated to us. I encourage you to find that thing you can count on, however small or crazy it might be, and just notice it. It'll bring you more comfort than you think.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Real Beauty"

Please watch this before reading any farther...

This is a great ad, and to many females, very relieving and even exciting. Finally a real ad that doesn't make us feel like crap about our bodies.

Currently, Dove has made a killing off of their "Beauty" campaign. It was a genius idea from PR people @ Ogilvy. However, don't get too carried away with the ad...

Because the truth is...

Dove supports many lines of beauty products -- some of which include L'Oreal, and basically any beauty product made by Procter and Gamble (which, if you feel like looking it up, is a lot.) They put millions of dollars into supporting make up and hair products... Which also means that they are, in part, paying for the advertising for these products. Like that new mascara we see Beyonce wearing and shell out $8 for... or that hair dye we all by because we really believe that blondes have it better.

Sooo.. for every Dove "Beauty" commercial that makes you feel great about yourself, think of all of the other commercials that Dove endorses that make you feel like crap, that you need another product to make yourself look beautiful, and so on...

Sorry to ruin a good thing for ya, it's just the truth! But the real truth is that we shouldn't need products to make us look beautiful. We should all know that we already are :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

maybe life was better when I was five...

I remember when people were just people. The good ol' days. People weren't married/divorced, Democrat/Republican, rich or poor. People did not have mental disorders and people were not good or bad. People were just people, at least in my eyes.

Most people can't remember back that far, back enough when all of the judgments placed on people did not matter. The sole reason they did not matter, is because I did not know what they were. My friend was crazy, sure, but I did not feel the need to make a mental diagnosis of what disorder he might have. That was just his personality. Ah, the good old days.

I would not spend my days talking about a friend that just recently got divorced, and divorce would not taint a person in my mind. Hell, in my family divorce was normal, so wasn't it normal for everyone's family? What is the difference anyways? Did it really matter? Not to me, not to a child.

It might strike many people as normal to judge people... but if you look around, you'll start to notice how much we actually do it, how easy it is, how we don't even think about judging... it just happens. Why can't we get back to that point in our life where things did not matter? When playing on the playground was fun, whether you were with a girl of a difference race or not. I mean, my sisters were always too cool to play with me, so I considered finding any friend in any form on the playground as a good day. A day I wouldn't be so lonely.

Ah, there it is, the big L word. And no, I am not talking about Love. I'm talking about loneliness. Own up to it, we've all felt it. And it sucks. But think about it... maybe we all wouldn't be so lonely if were weren't so concerned with how we pick our friends. Walking across campus, I mentally think to myself -- "sorority girl", "what is she wearing?", "oh, he must be an engineer." So yes, I am not perfect, and I'm guilty of quick judgments as well.

At the same time, I don't consider myself as someone who makes friends easily. I feel awkward. But maybe if I wasn't so concerned with things such as if some one is in a sorority or what kind of clothes they are wearing, maybe I'd have more. Maybe I would be able to rely on more people, and kill the loneliness. I could go back to being that girl that just wanted a friend, no matter who they were.

I do not know why society is the way it is. I do not know why things such as sexuality, racial background, clothes, and hell, even hair color are so important. I do not know how we, as human beings, became so programmed to tick off judgments as we walk across campus. And if you think you don't, catch yourself next time and what your thoughts are. We all have them, because we grew up this way.

We need to get back to the place we were when we were kids. Before our culture molded us into being the human beings we are today. The people who are scared, who talk about other people because they are scared to be talked about first. The people who need to use facebook to post how they feel about the world because they are afraid to do it in real life. The people who are so disconnected with each other because of these tiny judgments that put us in categories.

In light of recent events, discrimination is no longer only a racial problem. It is a political party problem, a sexuality problem, a religious problem, and more importantly, an everyday problem. Let's get back to where we were before we became so "educated". Before the world was so tainted. Before we cared.

Let's be those people again, those people just looking for friends. Because friends make the time pass, they make us laugh, the make us imagine, they make us better people.

Let's stop the cattiness, it is only halting our own productivity. The world is in bad shape. Maybe if we could all just forget for a little bit how to fit people into categories, we could understand each other for who we are, not for the labels we've created.