Libraries, Life, Technology

Sensory Overload

Jonny Nintendo, I like this tweet and you know what? I can’t prove you wrong because I agree with it so very much.

I’ve never seen the show Rick and Morty but someone tells me it is about time travel. I really like time travel. But you know what? I read about what their fans did after they didn’t get some special sauce at McDonald’s and you know what? I don’t ever wanna watch this show.

I struggle with being a Weezer fan, and a big part of it has to do with the band’s fan base. Sometimes it is great and sometimes it sucks. It is a thing that now weighs on me heavily when I listen to this band.

This is the way of the world these days. Fans believe that passion should be brought to the table at every moment. Coupled with the internet, a place where people feel the need to be as loud and obnoxious as they can dream of being, and what you have is a hot mess. Things just don’t feel right these days. The world feels a bit off, and I just can’t help but to point a finger towards fandom and being loud on the internet as one of the things contributing to this feeling.

Of course I still have social media accounts. We all do and we’re not getting rid of them anytime soon. These feelings have been brewing in me a long time. Facebook has basically replaced email with Messenger as one of the defacto ways to communicate with another human being (texting being the other). The Facebook News Feed however, is a mess of rubbish, noise, and advertising. Twitter seems to be the place to figure out a way to wittily relevant things in 140 characters or less. It used to be my favorite social media channel that would inspire me endlessly. Now I just want to close the window and log out.

Things are moving so very quickly. Things are so very loud. Sensory overload has taken us all over. We need a break from the fans, from social media, from the world. We need to learn what how to be human beings again.

 

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Libraries, Presentations

A SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR A LIBRARY CONFERENCE I’D LIKE TO ATTEND

7:00-9:00AM: Sleep in because you deserve it.

10:00AM: Eat Breakfast and Talk About Things

11:00AM: Stand up, talk to someone new, and ask someone to go for a walk with you.

11:30PM: FIRST SESSIONS. Choose from one of the following:

  • Let’s sit around a table and talk about books we love
  • Let’s play some video games/board games together
  • Let’s go outside and be nice/do nice things to/for random strangers

1:00PM: Lunch and Talk About Things. There will be a stand up comedian who will put on a really funny performance while we eat because laughing is great.

2:15PM: SECOND SESSIONS. Choose from one of the following:

  • Let’s sit around a circle and talk about what we can do every day to make our libraries better for people. Think about the small things!
  • If you like to make music, join us in a room where we all can play instruments and make music.
  • Meditate: We’re just going to sit in this room and meditate.

3:45 PM: Afternoon Tea/Coffee and some exercise

4:15 PM: We’ll invite a guest speaker to talk to us for a bit. 30 minutes tops. They will be awesome and funny and inspire.

5:00 PM: Everybody needs a little time away. Go get some dinner by yourself or with a group. We don’t have to babysit you the whole conference. Do what you want.

9:00 PM: We’ve organized a get together at a bar. Beer and liquor make people feel relaxed and then we all can talk more and take our crazy ideas even further.

12:00 AM: Dance Party. Let’s find a really great gay dance club and dance for awhile.

2:00 AM: The dance party may close up at this time and we are probably worn out from dancing a lot. Let’s go to a greasy spoon and get some breakfast food.

4:00 AM: Goodnight everyone. Go to bed. You deserve it.

THE NEXT DAY: No sessions, no meetings, nothing. You get to take the day off and sleep in. You deserve it.

Libraries, Technology, Teens, Video Games

REVIEW: Wii U

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Before I start this review, I have to say one thing: I love everything that Nintendo does.  I am going to do my best to give you an honest review of this system and not let this get in the way but….I mean, c’mon.  Mario and Zelda are so awesome.

THE GOOD

  • Nintendo TVii is so very rad…..and I already have a smart TV.  For the past two years I’ve loved my Google TV.  Of course I’ve had complaints with how it is set up but I overlooked that…until I got my hands on TVii.  The design is beautiful, simple, and makes watching TV actually quite fun.
  • Google Wii Street U is awesome.  I haven’t had any situations where it has totally helped me out but being able to use the tablet controller as a sort of viewfinder into a totally new world?  Pretty cool, especially for someone like me who’s moving to a new city.
  • And the games.  I have two: Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Brothers U.  They’re not the best games in the world, but they’re fun.  And that’s why I’m playing video games in the first place…to have fun.
  • Speaking of fun, one more thing: this thing is a BLAST when you have at least 3 people playing.  An absolute blast.

THE BAD

  • Nintendo is pretty horrible at going “social” with the gaming experience.  I find the Miiverse to be very clunky and not really engaging.  Sure, it’s cool to type notes or draw doodles and share but who really cares in the long run.  I don’t.
  • There are still some layout and design kinks they need to work out in regards to the Wii U menu and how players can find things.  I find myself going in circles sometimes when what I am looking for should be right under my nose.
  • And the games.  Like I said above, I only have two and not many of the other ones impress me that much.  I am most excited about the games Nintendo is making and those will eventually come out.  For now, I’d love to see other game developers make some neato things that really make use of what the Wii U can do.

THE VERDICT

  • Overall, Nintendo’s gonna come through and deliver some great stuff.  It will take a lot of time but trust me…they always come through.
  • Would this be good for libraries?  You bet.  It is a social gaming experience.  Get the deluxe set and enough controllers to have five people playing at once.  People will dig it.
  • Will it last?  Nintendo stuff always seems to last despite Microsoft and Sony doing bigger and better things with their systems.  Nintendo has focused on the same thing that they always do with the Wii U….fun games….and this will continue to pay off for them.

 

Music

Music and Technology

Yesterday, my family purchased the new Jeff Lynne album Long Wave as well as his album of remade Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) songs titled Mr. Blue Sky.  My wife Haley and I spent the first few years together listening to nothing but Jeff Lynne and ELO so this release day was pretty special to us.  In fact, on one of our trips from Pennsylvania to Maine we listened to every ELO song and rated them.  At the end of that project, we compiled a Best of ELO playlist (which I hope I can find and share soon…we wrote it down in a notebook, long before Spotify!)

Today, I took those CD’s and ripped them to iTunes.  The files automatically synced to my Dropbox folder. The next step was firing up the music.  My Last.Fm scrobbler started up and let the world know that I was diggin’ these new albums.  Then I synced them to my Google Music account so that my wife (back at home working her butt off raising our two awesome boys) could listen to them with our Google TV at home.  Once that was done, I clicked share on my favorite Jeff Lynne track from Long Wave and shared that YouTube video on Google+ (which you can learn about here). And last but not least, I manually put them on my trusty old 80GB classic iPod which I carry around everywhere.

The point of this post?  When combined, technology and music can do some really awesome things.  I love being able to listen to, share, and backup my music with just a few simple clicks.  The best part of this?  It’s just going to keep on getting better.

 

Libraries, Social Media, Technology

The Collective Ugggh

Over the past month, I’ve been really down on social media to the point where I’ve been paranoid to log in, comment, or post anything for fear of being overwhelmed.  I believe they call it social media fatigue and I’ve read about it here and here in the past.

I’ve given this a lot of thought and if you’re reading this looking for a cure all or something like that to fix social media fatigue, I don’t have it for you.  I’ve done a number of things to help myself get over this and the downward spiral it can throw someone into (“I’m a horrible person.  I want to sleep all day. I hate people.”) and few things have stuck and few things haven’t.  But one thing that I’ve noticed is what I’m calling The Collective Uggggh.  In fact, I fell into it today.

It makes you feel like this

The Collective Ugggggh is what I’m calling when you log into a social network or read an article on a news site and you see the following filling up your feed:

  • Complaining about something work/life related
  • Reposting about something horrible that was said/did and then scrolling and scrolling to see pages upon pages of commenting that goes nowhere

It’s called the The Collective Ugggggh because it makes you feel that way inside. We’re all guilty of it.  In fact, like I said above I was guilty of it this morning (that’s when I had the A-HA! moment, decided to stop and wrote this post about it).

So what’s the solution?  I could say that you could unfriend/unfollow everyone, not comment, delete everything, and a number of other tricks like that but will that work in the long run?  I highly doubt it.  You’ll miss it.  Why?  Because social media is pretty awesome despite all of its flaws.  It’s great to share, read, and connect with people.

Instead, what I’m going to focus on going forward is positivity.  Sure, I may be having a hard day and want to let off some steam, but from now on I’m going to ask myself is it really worth posting about and then spending the next few minutes of my life reading and commenting on?  To me, it isn’t.  I’ll take that moment, deal with it in my own way, and move on.  I’ve decided that chorus of The Collective Ugggggh isn’t worth it anymore.