'Cause I Said So…

Thanks for Your Concern But I’m Still Alive

Posted in Social Media, Twitter by kevinsoberg on March 19, 2011

“Thank you!” goes to everyone who has expressed an interest in my well being since I became absent from Twitter. No, I am not dead. I have just taken a hiatus from social networking (and NO, those are NOT the same thing). I truly do appreciate all of your tweets, from the immediate to as recently as a week ago, asking about me.

To be honest, I really didn’t think anyone would miss me, nor did I know I would be gone this long. Most tweeters follow, and are followed by, hundreds of others who probably post more frequently than did I. So, it would be understandable if my absence were to go undetected. However, it seems that wasn’t the case. I really do appreciate all of you.

Here’s what happened: I like to take off work at the end of the year. This last December was no exception. A few days before Christmas, my wife asked if I was going to “spend the entire day ‘twittering’… again?” Well, being very attentive to my spouse, as I am, I took the 101st time she had said this as a hint, and being passive-aggressive I told her “No, I will not.” I haven’t been back on since, until today.

After a while, I began to realize how much time I had been spending on Twitter. I began to be able to read all of my news sites and to get ahead on take-home work and to keep up with the “honey does” and to do all the stuff I should have been doing all along, but for “some reason” I never had enough time to do. There are only so many hours in the day.

Also, during this time, I had an attack of pancreatitis and had to go to the emergency room. I was in the hospital for almost a week before my enzyme levels were low enough for me to have my gall bladder removed. In the hospital, I realized the friends and family who came to see me and who sent flowers, cards and gifts were the same people I had, on many an occasion, grudgingly socialized with while tweeting on my phone. I selfishly wanted to talk about those things which interested me, and to not pay attention to those who love and care about me, regardless of my position on a given issue of the day.

While I was away, I found out that a couple I know almost ended their marriage. One of them had been on that MyFacePlace-whatever, and had become reacquainted with a person they had known twenty-plus years before. It had started out innocently enough. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay that way. They are still dealing with the repercussions of the emotional, and almost physical, infidelities which resulted. (Calm down! I’m not giving anything away. If you don’t know, this ain’t gonna tell you. If you do know, I thought you didn’t read my blog?)

During my couple of years on Twitter, I’ve usually kept my personal information “close to the vest”, so to speak. I’ve never said if I was married or not, gay or straight, or black or white (except for that picture). I’ve liked to keep it all about politics and issues. Because of this I may have attracted some followers who made their own guesses about my status on any of these, and may have made decisions based on them. I do tend to be polite, friendly, and sometimes “flirtatious”, but my page has always been open and my wife has my passcode. She could check it any time she wanted. I always thought this meant I was keeping it “above board”, as far as my marriage was concerned.

I’ve been gone from Twitter for a while now. I’ve seen improvements in my productivity and my relationships. I’ve seen how I’ve been selfish with my time and my interest. I’ve witnessed an example of what could go wrong, and it honestly scared me.

In case you’re wondering, I haven’t quit Twitter because my wife wanted me to quit. She never asked me to quit. As a matter of fact, she chuckled and shook her head when last she asked me about it. When you think about it, that only makes it all the better, she’s not checking up on me, and I’m doing it because it seems the right thing. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but being trusted while you do the “right thing” just feels good.

Maybe that also means I can begin tweeting again. Everything’s good in moderation, right?

Thanks again, guys.

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An Assignment for the Willing

Posted in Cinema, Ethics, Films, Health Care, Media, Medicine, Morality, Movies, Popular Culture by kevinsoberg on March 19, 2011

Last weekend, I watched the movie Never Let Me Go (2010), starring Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley. I had an immediate reaction to it and have been thinking about it ever since. The more I consider the theme and plot of this film, the more it affects me and the more I have to say.

What my reactions were and what my thoughts have been are for another posting. I have much to say about it, but not in this post. I don’t want my thoughts on it to bias or direct your reactions. This post is for one purpose: I want you to watch the movie.

I want you to watch Never Let Me Go and think. I want you to think about what you are watching and think about how it makes you feel. Then, when the movie is over, I want you to think about it some more.

I don’t work for the production company. I don’t work for the distributor. I have no financial interest in it in any way. Hell, I don’t even review movies.

Why am I asking you to do this? Because I believe your reactions and thoughts about this movie tells me, and can tell you, a lot about your thoughts on any number of subjects. Call it a Rorschach test, if you will.

Do I think the writer, the producers, the director, or any of the actors had my reactions in mind when creating this work? No, nor do I care. I have no way of knowing their intentions, not without possibly reading a lot of interviews. Even then, their intentions would be beside the point. My visceral and intellectual reactions to this film are mine.

If I were to watch a documentary on the Soviet Union, my reactions would be the same regardless of the perspective of the documentarian, pro or con. My reactions to viewing totalitarian socialism would be based solely on my personal philosophies. Even if dressed up and prettily painted, I would react negatively to totalitarianism given my libertarian beliefs.

Now, go watch the film, if you are willing. I know it’s available on Time/Warner Cable systems’ OnDemand. I don’t know about the other cable systems or the satellite providers, or what video rental places have it. I’m kind of doing this on the fly.

I have a lot of work to do, myself. I now have to put all these thoughts down into something which will be, hopefully, cohesive and understandable. Please, give me some time, as I am ponderously slow.