Monday, February 06, 2006

Stream of Social Media Consciousness

I love social media. It’s so addicting. What is social media you ask? Well, most likely you are already a heavy user. From AIM to MySpace to Blogger to DotPhoto, it’s all social media.

With the huge opportunity in marketing and advertising through the web, companies like Yahoo! and Google are investing in social media applications like crazy. NewsCorp already bought MySpace, Yahoo! bought Flickr, and you know Google is always developing applications. Seriously, check out this Google Downloads page. I hope you’ll all sign up for Google Talk and join me in the Google Revolution. If you need an invite, leave me a comment and I’ll send you one. I believe I have 99 invites remaining.

When did my infatuation with social media begin? I suppose it began with AOL. Remember back in the day when we were just starting high school (circa 1997), Internet (Yes, it is a capital “I” because I got a triple word score taken away from me in Scrabble) access was becoming more commonplace and AOL was mass mailing those free CDs? You could create some super cool screenname and chat endlessly with your friends. No more long distance phone bills! Don’t forget that we were still just getting out of the Zach Morris epoch of mobile evolution, and wireless service wasn’t as affordable so you couldn’t use your anytime minutes or unlimited Sprint-to-Sprint minutes. People were also on dial-up so we couldn’t just stay online 24/7 like we are wont to do now. I would get extremely angry when my mom or dad would pick up the phone and interrupt my deep IM conversations about whatever it was I talked about when I was in my mid-teens. (Side Note: At The Agency, this girl likes to use the term “mad maxed” to describe extreme anger. This amuses me to no end. Perhaps I’ll incorporate it into my vocabulary, much like I incorporated “amped” after two seasons of Laguna.) I’m sure it was probably about my hot neighbor two houses down the street with whom I was too afraid to speak even though she made a couple attempts to talk to me. (Side Note: I have no clue why she wanted to talk to me. I like to think it was because she watched me practicing my futbolling skills on my driveway, and was attracted to futbollers.) Believe it or not, The Dirty Burrito was not always so outgoing and open to exposing his soul to the world. You can thank Northwestern’s Hottest Guy on Campus and the rest of the Rochester Knights for making The Dirty Burrito who he is today. Why am I talking in the third person and carrying this paragraph like I’m talking to myself? I need to move on before I lose sight of my goal of explaining my addiction to social media.

Screw it. I normally write my posts in MS Word and save them to my desktop with relevant names. For example, this post was originally named “social media.” I just changed it to “Stream of Social Media Consciousness.” It’s in CAPS because it has a 99% chance of becoming the name of the post. I haven’t written in a couple weeks; I have many thoughts in my head. I suppose I won’t need parenthetical phrases or side notes henceforth (I could’ve used “from this point on,” but I always wanted to use “henceforth” in writing) because I’ve decided this is a stream of consciousness. Damn…I guess I still do need the previously aforementioned literary devices. I think “previously aformentioned” is redundant.

I still remember the first time I used a search engine. I’m not sure what it was, but it might have been Yahoo!. Anyway, I had to research how to prevent ankle injuries for a report for gym class. Yeah…gym class. It was a stupid attempt to make physical education actually informative. I also could’ve chosen the pros and cons of Astroturf, however, I did not think my research skills were that refined for me to take on such a complicated subject. I forgot where I was originally going with this paragraph because I had to return to the third and fourth paragraphs and change the creative direction of this post. I suppose I’ll move on.

After discovering instant messaging, I didn’t really use the Internet for much of anything besides research for school, registering for classes, and illegally downloading music. High school and college just flew by without anything significant happening. OK, well I guess some stuff happened. In no particular order, there was me being a “menace” to my parents, some speeding tickets, a totaled car, an MIP and UIP, a couple girlfriends, a PT Cruiser, Giuseppe Biondo, Dillo Day, an alcohol addiction, a couple screenname changes, 11+ part time jobs, Ben’s sister, John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band being convicted of child molestation which subsequently ended their careers (I WISH), Bartender, The Moon Party and Pipeline Party, discovering Chipotle, Elden Campbell, some LSD, hookers, and a car-racing squirrel. All of the aforementioned events are true. By the way, my definition of “true” is the same as that of James Frey.

Let’s fast forward to July 2005. I am in Minneapolis, seven months removed from graduation, two months removed from college, and not that excited about my new job at The Corporation. They’re showing Laguna Beach marathons on MTV every weekend in anticipation of the second season. There are challenges to the “realness” of the show, like fake Webshots of Lo. An idiot girl at work is challenging me on the show and making up nonsensical arguments, but I can’t deride her publicly at work. I had so many thoughts running through my head, and I needed to talk to someone about it. I couldn’t just randomly bring up Laguna in normal conversation because people would think I’m crazy. What was I supposed to do?

I read someone’s blog on Blogger, and I decided I wanted to start blogging, dammit. (Just for the record, I believe it is spelled “dammit” and not “damnit.” Why do I choose “dammit?” Because Blink 182 spelled it “Dammit,” dammit.) This was the perfect outlet for me to voice all my views on the world. From my postmodern views of Taiwanese secession and its effects on nuclear proliferation and economic interdependence of compensating wage differentials in third world oligarchic regimes to whether LC was hotter than Kristin, I wanted to write about it all. I named it after the nickname that the immortal Ben Walker coined for me…only because he thought I was Mexican. It got off to a slow start but with the help AIM profile links, debate-stirring Laguna Beach posts, and the legendary Foreigner (not “I Want to Know What Love Is,” but foreigner like me) post, people started IMing and clicking on links, and the counter just started spinning.

Oh yeah…I forgot to mention that during college I joined some online social networks, or stalker directories, as I like to call them. These directories would include Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster. At first, I resisted the urge to join these networks because I really did believe there was something wrong and sketchy about stalking people online. However, I got extremely drunk one glorious night in November and instead of getting some late night eats or even just passing out, I signed up for Facebook. It was the best decision I ever made. It led me to sign up for MySpace, and eventually Friendster. Friendster is not so popular in the US, however, it is hugely popular here on The Island. In fact, people use it to screen prospective interview candidates. It’s really rather amusing. They also prefer Yahoo! Messenger on The Island. Though I do have a Yahoo! ID, I have yet to join the Yahoo! Messenger nation because as I said before, I am trying to support the Google Revolution. (Side Note: I think whatever scientists do this kind of research should study why different applications and programs got popular in different parts of the world. I think it’s analogous to dialects developing in different parts of the world, e.g., French in Quebec versus French in France or Spanish in Latin America versus Spanish in Spain. [Side Note to the Side Note: For those of you that are confused, "e.g." is like saying "for example" and "i.e." is like saying "in other words." I see too many people make this mistake and feel the need to correct them.] Why did AIM gain dominance in America and Yahoo! Messenger in the Philippines? Why is Friendster more popular on The Island than over on US soil? I need these questions answered because I am a huge geek. As an additional FYI, they logically call their messages "YMs" whereas we call them "IMs.") Whoa...that side note looked like a math problem with all those parentheses.

I really need to wrap this up. I’m going all over the place. I have no clue what I’m even writing about anymore. I guess the last things I need to mention are my online photo album with Dotphoto and my online bookmarks through Del.icio.us. Yeah…check my out my online bookmarks. You now can see most of my bookmarks and what I currently find amusing. I’ll also link to it in the “links” section.

On a completely unrelated note (not that this article has any cohesion or anything), though I’ve spent most of my life living in suburban Detroit, I’ve managed to disappear for every major sporting event that happened there in the last two years. This includes the Pistons’ 2004 NBA Championship (I was driving through a hail storm in Nebraska with Hottest Guy on Campus on our way to California), the 2005 MLB All-Star Game (I was slaving away in a cube at The Corporation), and now Super Bowl XL.

I’m not even going to proofread this or spellcheck it (The man that helped invent spellcheck was the commencement speaker at my college graduation. He was the most boring speaker ever and no one cared for him until he mentioned his role in creating spellcheck, and subsequently receive loud applause and cheering). This post is a mess. Maybe I should just try writing short little blurbs instead of magazine articles.

Until next time…

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