Day: June 29, 2009

Genius Social Experiment

Give a 13-year-old a Walkman for a week and see what happens.

I remember my first Walkman well. It was actually a knock-off, since those early Walkmans were quite expensive. And it was the obvious knock-off: had some crazy decals on it and, worse, a pull-out antenna for the AM/FM tuner. But I loved that thing.

<a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8117619.stm”>Giving up my iPod for a Walkman</a> –
<blockquote>When I wore it walking down the street or going into shops, I got strange looks, a mixture of surprise and curiosity, that made me a little embarrassed.</blockquote>

 

Cyber Stalking

As I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve been thinking about Michael Jackson the last few days.* I’ll have some thoughts on the self-proclaimed King of Pop eventually, I promise. That third kid really is affecting my blogging, no?

(Yeah, yeah, Farrah died too. And Billy Mays and Ed McMahon for that matter. I was about two years too young to really get the Farrah thing back in her prime. I remember a neighbor who was a couple years older being very proud of his Farrah poster and me thinking, “She’s pretty and all, but what’s the big deal?” I figured it out a few years later. So very sad that she died, but in a way it was a relief. I saw the two minute, Nightly News version of her recent NBC special that showed her going through cancer treatments and thought, “No way am I watching that show tonight.” Sometimes death is a blessing. I’m not sure what happens to us when we die, but I hope that she is in a better place and feeling no pain if we end up somewhere else.)

Anyway, here’s another story about the curiosity that is the social networking side of the web. Back in grad school I wrote an article for the campus paper about a series of nature walks that took place near campus. As a good reporter, I took part in one of the walks. It was a little new-agey for me and I’m pretty sure the person that lead the walk had some mental issues. This person literally hugged a tree on our walk. I pulled the “I’m a grad student” card and wrote a first person account of the walk, since I had no idea how to crank out a newsy story about this walk.

So that was a couple years ago. Periodically, the person that lead the walk has popped up in the areas of the Internets I spend time in. I forget if they requested to be friends on Facebook, but I do know I got a Linked In request from them.

I have a Twitter account that I use to follow people, but I never post anything to it. It’s hard enough keeping the blog updated and adding something to Facebook on occasion.

This weekend I got a message that the nature walk person was following me on Twitter. Two years after I interviewed them. Who does that? It’s getting a little creepy. If I get a phone call I’m going to freak out, I think.

 

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