Monthly Archives: February, 2012

Change Calls Constantly

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1983- My grandfather wrote this note to me:

Happy I am now that I’ve seen the world change from log house to stately walls.  I’ve seen horse and buggy to car and wheel.  I’ve seen time go from ‘judge the sun’ to digital.  I’ve seen my life pass before my eyes. Grandpa.  At the time, my mom (Grandpa’s daughter) mused at how much change Grandpa had seen in his lifetime and that she would never witness the vast changes he had.

2012- I asked Mom to reflect on her musing of the ‘80s.  To paraphrase Mom: Wowzers, was I wrong!  We have seen even more technological progress than Grandpa did!  I’ve seen telephone go from being a party line restricted to the wall. You would physically turn the crank on the phone set to reach the operator.  You would ask the operator to speak to Jane, and the correct Jane would be connected in a click.   It was a local exchange—everything was local.  I’ve seen telephones move from crank to rotary to touchtone to cordless to cellular to some kind of smart thing the kids speak of these days that I have no idea how to operate.  In my day, operating a computer meant taking 3”x6” paper cards and punching strategically placed holes in the cards then inserting about 50 of these cards into a building-sized computer that ran the program (which, incidentally would merely provide consolidated data).

2012- I asked Dad to comment on what he’d seen change before his eyes. To paraphrase Dad: Things have moved from real to virtual—lives, money and relationships.  We no longer have acres of land on which we can feed ourselves self-sufficiently.  We have 400 square feet of condo space within which we play Farmville on Facebook, and some of us have to Google how to grow an egg.  Grow an egg?  Exactly! People live on projection and credit and alleged worth.  It’s virtual money with virtual value, and bankruptcy is a solution just as getting another life is a solution while playing online.  But we’ve lost a lot of human interaction and the joy of life.

If you haven’t seen Louis CK (one of my favourite comedians and philosophers) talk about how Everything is Amazing and Nobody’s Happy, I urge you to watch this!  http://youtu.be/8r1CZTLk-Gk

2040: What will the changes be that pass before my eyes?  Will I have a bumper sticker that says: “My other life is on the internet”?  Will I even have a bumper to put it on or will I be transport-mutate-catapulting myself everywhere by then?

The advances in computer ware and virtual relationships I’ve seen in a mere 15 years is staggering.  We don’t even use the conventional phone much anymore.  Who still has a landline?  Our personal cell phones (read: computer) are used for calls probably 10% of the time.  We compute.  We text.  We update our status.  We comment and like.  Every 6 months we need to update, up-convert and up-power.  We gain a thousand potential friends but lose accessible time to actually spend with them.  We are wide-eyed and enamoured with the devices we hold in our hand.  But will we eventually dismiss the true life forces that surround us?  If we misstep, gravity takes the EFF over way faster and more powerfully than a Terabyte of G-Force or a video-gone-viral could ever do.  And it doesn’t rely on a power source or clear connection.  It is its own self-sufficient force, a constant authority that is un-up-convertible and un-bankruptable. In 2040 will we dismiss the flowers, those adaptable and real, oxygen-producing blooms? Will we no longer bow to soak in the bloom’s fragrance then reach with a fleshy hand to pluck a stem and present it with a genuine smile to a true-life friend?  After all, it’s way easier and more efficient to just click on an emoticon and send to an entire friend list. I dunno.  I wonder what our relationships and objectives will be in 30 years.  I’ll report back around 2040, okay?

Love, KAT 🙂

My website: www.KatLeonard.com

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Note To Fans: WIP In Peace

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This week I realized how much I apologize to myself for not “finishing”, for not being where I “ought to be”, for continuously being a WIP (Work In Progress).  YouTube was the subject of this week’s 9 Weeks… and this week I was on the verge of despair with thoughts that I had so much work to do on my YouTube channel (inputting and tagging and shooting and editing and uploading and analyzing and strategizing and setting and matching and aligning) that my channel would simply never be finished.

Then I realized that NOTHING is ever truly FINISHED.  Not really.

One can never truly FINISH the laundry.  ‘Cause even as you’re putting away that folded T-shirt, I bet you’re wearing a pair of underwear.  That’s dirty underwear now, and that means laundry.  So the laundry isn’t finished.  It’s only just begun!  It’s a work in progress.

One can never truly FINISH their YouTube channel.  You will always be adding new videos, changing themes, adjusting colours.  Right now I’m on a 9-week music administration mission during which my music and video production has been put on hiatus.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t have sounds dancing with images in my head.  My notes of inspiration still accumulate in my Sponge Bob Square Pants lunchbox!  My creation is a work in progress.

One can never truly FINISH themselves!  When will I be done?  Will there be a day when someone says to me, “Wow, Kat, you’re, like… really… so… done.  You’re finished.  How did you accomplish it so completely?” And if this happens, this extraordinary finishing: Then what?  What’s actually so GREAT about being finished? When a bag of Doritos is finished, it totally sucks!  There’s no longer something to look forward to, no potential, no hope.

I don’t wanna be without hope!  I wanna maintain my hopeful, unrefined, unfinished edge!  I wanna remain a work in progress! Yeah, man!  I shall remain a work in progress!  And I won’t lament it!  I shall be a WIP in peace!  Yes I will.  In fact, screw it.   I’m not finishing—

LINKS:

My new video: Note To Fans
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/katumbrella
My website: www.KatLeonard.com

Echo Of A Click: The Social Media Party

Social Media: It’s like going to a party when you’re sick.  You feel like ass and you don’t wanna go, but once you get there you see all your friends and have a good time anyway.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, his tube, my blog… countless others…  Like me here, like me there, subscribe to my this, subscribe to my that, click me here, click me there– oh ya, click me there again– it tickles!  Follow me!  Come on!  Follow me!  Tag me!  But only if I look good.  Share!  Share!  Share!  Where is my space?  Is that my opinion?  Where was I having that conversation?  A blog forum or a Facebook group?  Where’s the bathroom?  I can’t find that girl!  Where am I?  Who am I?  What am I wearing?  I swear I know that guy.  Wait.  Are we enemies?  Now, that would be an interesting tag:  “Tagged: Enemy.  Please click his mean face to read my blog for the story of our enemyship.  And sign this petition requesting that he be nice.”

In the Social Media Primer section of 9 Weeks… we are advised to put up as many profiles on as many Social Media sites as we can and make friends.  I am not averse to friends.  I love friends!  But I feel like I’m fragmenting myself like Voldemort and the horcruxes!  Although I’m not committing evil and I have no enemies that I’m aware of, I feel a little bit like I’m diluting myself over the interweb.  I feel like I’m throwing a self-omelette onto the Social Media cyber wall but the cyber wall isn’t a wall at all but an abyss where omelettes go to pick up other chunks and boomerang back with all they’ve accumulated on their sticky omelette trails.  And there’s no telling what will come back out of that deep dark Social Media abyss.  At a real-life party there are significant signs– chemistry and body language– hazard alerts.  At a Social Media party you’re partying less aware.

What I prefer is to sit down with you, have a beer or a coffee or both, spend some real time as opposed to cyber time.  When we share a laugh, I’ll poke you for real.  When we share a hurt, you will have the undivided immediate concentration of my horcrux-free self.  We will know the character behind the avatar.  And we’ll know, by the sincere twinkle in each other’s eyes when we part, that we are friends and we really like each other beyond the echo of a click.

Real life will always be the real party.  But like most parties, not everyone’s invited, not everyone can stay long, and we don’t get to spend a lot of quality time with each attendee. Social Media provides a cyber party where you are a click away from steady and new-fangled friends at all times.  It allows us to nurture relationships 24 hours a day; when we can’t sleep, when we’re waiting in line, when we’re bursting with expression and no one is around.  And we’re able to tag our friends on our online journey, which in real life is like having them along amplifying the fun.  I like it.  It’s not the same as a real-life party, but I like it.

Social Media parties, however, will never know and appreciate the real us as well as our real-life social circles do.  For example, Klout.com (for measuring social media influence) lists my most-influential topic as cats.  If you know me in real life, you know that I rarely speak of cats and that when people around me speak of cats at length I get that glazed look on the outside while my insides are strategizing how to exit the conversation and get to the bowl of Doritos.

Social Media and real life share many similar rewards, but I hope we recognize and respect their differences as well.  I hope our culture never overvalues the virtual over the real. Fun? Yes.  Overwhelming? Yes.  Vulnerable to regret?  Maybe.  Open to friendship? Always.  Either way, may you always have a friend, and may you always be a friend.

And, if you like what I’m saying, please share this with your friends real and cyber… and Like my Fan Page and follow me on Twitter!  And subscribe to this blog!  And subscribe to my monthly newsletter– you’ll even receive a download of my greatest hit, (I Wanna Be Johnny Depp’s) Jockstrap! ;p  Oh, and you can subscribe to my You Tube channel too.  See what I mean?!

Hope to see you at the party!

Love Kat 😀

www.KatLeonard.com