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When Is a College Reunion Not a College Reunion?

5 Jun

brandeis_reunionSo, here’s the thing about college reunions. Mine, anyway.

Ten years out of school is a significant milestone. Which is probably why, at my 10-year reunion, there was great attendance — in addition to many members of our class, there were lots of spouses and kids in tow. And it very quickly turned into a disappointing, awfully superficial affair: Many people overdid it with the hyperbole (they had “the most wonderful husband” and “the best kids”) to show off how well they were doing, and made all kinds of excuses about why they hadn’t stayed in touch over the years. It was kind of like the old-fashioned cliché of reunions, complete with social anxiety and lots of one-upmanship. (Remember: This was in 2006, when most people weren’t using Facebook.)

Suffice it to say, as a single guy who was frustrated personally and professionally at the time, it really wasn’t my scene. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there were folks there I didn’t care to see (like, ever), who I went out of my way to avoid. So I didn’t enjoy that reunion very much. No surprise. And I skipped my 15-year reunion altogether.

This weekend, at my 20-year college reunion (a fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around), it was a very different scene. Continue reading

Sharing the Love: 50 Reasons Why Social Media Is Awesome

13 Feb

social-media-loveIt’s no exaggeration to say that using social media has changed my life.

It’s helped me to build my professional and personal networks (often blurring those lines); introduced me to new music, places, and foods; helped me score free stuff; and allowed me to be a louder advocate for the brands, sports teams, and people I like.

Heck, I’ve even scored a few dates.

So you shouldn’t be surprised when I say I love social media. That’s right, love.

Sure, like anything, social media isn’t perfect; there is plenty about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, et al that drives me nuts. But the truth is, as I’ve said before, if you don’t like social media, then you must not be using it.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a list of 50 reasons why social media is so lovable. Here they are, in no particular order. Continue reading

Stop Doing This on Social Media. You’re Driving Me Nuts!

11 Feb
Photo credit: Martin Lieberman / Instagram

Photo credit: Martin Lieberman / Instagram

When you use social media as much as I do — and admittedly, it’s probably a bit too much — there are bound to be a few things you don’t like about it.

To wit: Not too long ago, my friend Christoph Trappe compiled a great list of his top Twitter pet peeves, many of which I agree with. That got me thinking about some of my own. In an effort to not be repetitive or redundant with Christoph (or my own previously published thoughts regarding unfriending), I decided to expand my purview to cover the social networks I’m most active on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. (And Vine too, mostly because I’m not a fan.)

Yes, there’s plenty about social media I love (come back in a couple days to see that list). But for today, we’ll stick to my pet peeves.

Here they are, in no particular order. Continue reading

Are You Ready to Check in to a Life Less Social?

6 Mar

Foursquare-stickerHow times have changed.

It wasn’t so long ago that I used to check in on Foursquare everywhere I went, to an almost obsessive-compulsive degree.

The supermarket, the gas station, the post office, my home, every store I shopped at in the mall, T stops, my parents’ apartment, my friends’ houses … if it was on Foursquare, I’d check in there right away. And if it wasn’t, then I’d create a place or find somewhere close by to check in to.

I was a stalker’s dream.

But now, I hardly check in at all. Only when there’s a mayorship I need to maintain, or it’s a particularly interesting place (like a movie or a good restaurant or a special event).

Otherwise, checking in to the same places all the time — whether it’s an office, gym, coffee shop, or whatever — isn’t all that exciting anymore. And more important, no one really needs to know (or, if I’m being honest, cares) where I am at all times. Continue reading

Something’s (Cat)Fishy on MTV

7 Jan

catfish-tv-show-logoWhere do all these gullible people come from?

On MTV’s (relatively) new show Catfish, week after week, young people learn that the person they’ve been chatting with on Facebook (or some other site) isn’t who they think he/she is.

If the name and premise sound familiar, it’s because the show is based on the movie Catfish, in which New York photographer Nev (pronounced “nieve”) Schulman meets and falls in love with a girl on Facebook, then learns she’s someone completely different when he and his two friends travel to Michigan to meet her. It’s a true story. (Mostly, anyway — depending on how cynical you are.)

In the hour-long TV show (which airs Monday nights at 11 p.m., and multiple times throughout the week), Nev and his buddy, Max (and a film crew from MTV), travel around the country interviewing people who have met and fallen for someone online. (Like, seriously fallen.) These people chat all the time, speak on the phone, and develop a bond. There’s just one problem: Every time the subject of meeting offline comes up, or even of chatting via Skype, the faker comes up with an excuse, like that he/she has to go out of town.

catfish-the-show-mtvThe stories always sound suspicious and too good to be true — especially to television viewers who (should) know better — which is partly why it only takes a simple web search and a phone call or two before Nev and Max have evidence that the online paramour is likely a fake. Then they take the episode’s subject to meet the person offline, where they all learn that the person is, indeed, not who he/she said he/she was. Continue reading

Could You Ever Quit Social Media Cold Turkey?

21 Aug

A friend of mine disappeared last week.

One minute he was there, and the next, I couldn’t find him.

Perhaps I should clarify: He disappeared from Facebook last week. He had posted something funny, I commented on it, and when I went to look at the post an hour or two later, it was gone — as was his entire profile.

I checked Twitter, and he wasn’t there either.

These days, that’s tantamount to someone disappearing off the face of the earth. Continue reading

People Who Don’t Like Social Media Must Not Like Birthdays Either

11 Jun

Thursday was my birthday.

Maybe you heard me mention it once or twice.

Not that I’d ever avoid the Day of All Days, but these days, when it’s your birthday, you couldn’t even if you tried. Continue reading

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