Oh Be Careful Little Fingers What You Type

I’ve always thought I was being smart about living life online. Not scared and overly cautious, but sensible and fully aware that everything I put out there can easily be Googled by anyone who wants to know about me.

But, being the only one in my family to really embrace social media, I’ve apparently become a little bit lax about some of the things I say. Not so much here and at places like Facebook where I know my nephews are hanging out. But, in the 140-character-at-a-time world of Twitter, the one-liner can be hard to resist. And who is an easier target than our families?

You know you’ve seen it played out on TV sit-coms before. The aspiring comedian heads to open mic night with all of his or her best material only to hear crickets chirp after their jokes are delivered. They get nervous, they begin reaching for something to say, they look over at their dear friends who’ve come to support them and out pops some crack at one of their foibles. The audience laughs and it all goes downhill from there. The comedian gets the response they desired, but at the expense of their friends’ feelings.

While much of my twittering online is rather mundane, and I don’t expect people follow me there for the comedy, it still can be hard to resist reaching for a line that you think others can laugh at or to which they will relate. Having become used to the idea that my family was not on Twitter, it became easy to make some of them the subject of just such a tweet recently.

That tweet was seen, printed and shared, and feelings were hurt. When my husband inquired about it, I indignantly responded that I never say anything online I wouldn’t say in person because that’s something I’ve always prided myself about.  But, looking back at that tweet in question, I must admit that I did.

A few days later, I heard this song from Casting Crowns on the radio and while the video focuses on a man who finds he’s slipped into infidelity, listening to the powerful lyrics made me think about how I’d slipped slowly into saying things online I wouldn’t say face-to-face. I’ll be more vigilant again now, and maybe my story will be a good reminder for others that the words you type can turn up where you least expect them.

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Future Machinimists in SecretBuilders

Just before the new year started, I posted my 6th review of kid-targeted virtual worlds over on the This Mommy Gig blog. A reader comment led us to check out SecretBuilders, which just officially launched a month ago.

Well, the team at SecretBuilders read the review and noticed that I mentioned my daughter’s infatuation with The Jonas Brothers (especially Joe). So, today they sent me a link to the following mashup created by one of their builders. If you also have a JoBro fan in your house, you’ll get a kick out of it. If not, it still gives you a peek inside of the SecretBuilders world. Enjoy!

Since it’s really a 2D or maybe 2.5D virtual world, this probably doesn’t qualify as machinima, but it does show that some pretty creative, young builders are getting involved in this one!

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New Year Needs New Job Description

Define your own job. Sounds like the stuff of dreams, right? Or nightmares.

Some of the hardest times in my life have been those when I was faced with myriad possibilities. Trying to decide where to go to college and what to major in stands out as a prime example. Robert Frost’s two paths may be popular for commencement speeches, but narrowing your future down to just an A/B choice like that is not easy at all. Too many options can leave you paralyzed with indecision.

I’ve been feeling a bit like that again lately when after the most recent organizational change in my department (that came even before the higher level changes at my employer), my manager asked me what I saw my job as going forward. We’re about to launch a new content management system and the content I’ve been responsible for on Dell.com is the first to make the transition. When that happens, my job must evolve. Much of how that would happen remains fluid and undefined. So, I’ve been a bit paralyzed trying to decide how to define my job responsibilities when so much is still unknown.

And complicating things more now than they were when I was just a senior in high school is the fact that it’s not just all about me any more. I have a husband whose straight-commission job is not going well (the current economy is just not that good for car sales/leasing) and I have a young daughter who needs food, shelter, love, direction … and time. This leads you to be a little less daring, more interested in defining a job that you know your employer needs.

The holidays should have been the perfect time away from the office for me to do some deep thinking and introspection; but they’ve passed, and I’ve managed to use them to avoid concentrating on this instead. Deadlines have always driven me, though (hence the reason I chose a journalism degree back when I was making that big decision) and the time is here for me to sit down and define my own goals much the same way Aaron Brazell’s friend JessieX did.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

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