On December 31, 2006, almost 10 months ago, I decided I was going to do a text blog. I needed a title, since I didn’t want it to be called “Bill’s Blog”… *YAWN*
As I searched my mind for a title that meant something to me at the time, “Wasted Days” is what I decided was the most relevant. At the time, I wrote:
The blog is named â€œWasted Daysâ€. I donâ€™t know why. I just like that name. Wellâ€¦ I think I DO know why, but the reasons arenâ€™t tangible right now, so thereâ€™s nothing to say/print/type about it.
I did know why I was writing “Wasted Days” at the time, however, I didn’t feel like ‘flavoring’ the blog with the reason, so I left it out. Also, the reason didn’t permeate my existence, so it wasn’t really fair to call the blog “Wasted Days” to begin with. I didn’t want to add to that unfairness by clarifying my personal meaning for the title.
As this seems to be the season for people ending things, such as blogs, and starting new ones, I was prompted to revisit my text blog, which I had long since abandoned anyway. I figured I’d wrap it up, so that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m ending “Wasted Days”, because the ‘period’ is no longer relevant, and things have morphed so much in the last 10 months (really, even the last three months) that it’s really time for something new. 🙂
To me, Days are Wasted when you know there’s something you want to do or that you feel you *SHOULD* be doing, and you’re not doing it. For me, at that time of title-creation, my not-doing was that I had (and still have) a very special and important-to-me friend that lives on the other side of the country that I had never met IRL, and I knew that as inspiring to me as she was [is], that I wasn’t going to go see her.
The Ghost in the Machine
This was a strange situation for me at the time, because I’m not a long-distance person. It’s basically “out of sight, out of mind”, and I’m not usually inclined to even consider girls that don’t live in Manhattan, and even then, within about 15 minutes on public transportation from my house. 🙂 Nevertheless, thanks to the wonders of the internet (no… not J-date), here I was, admiring someone that I would be bugging every day to hang out if she lived within my AO [Area of Operations], but since she doesn’t, I remained here and she remained there, and my days remained wasted.
“Wasted Days” had the fringe benefit of loosely alluding to alcoholic beverage consuption, 😀 but it was really about “What would you do if you couldn’t [wouldn’t] do what you really felt like you *should* be doing?”. This is why, in December of last year, my days were wasted.
I believe the first thing I noticed was that since I was blogging, the days weren’t actually wasted, almost from the beginning. I was being creative. I was doing something I felt was interesting and worthwhile. I was also learning… Learning about the process of blogging, tagging, social sites, myspace, facebook, linkedin, ning… I was learning about editing with new software & incorporating new techniques. I was learning about compresson, flash, h.264, fps, data rates… So, once again, even though, inspirationally, the days were wasted, they really weren’t wasted at all…..
Meanwhile, I was making new friends.
I’ve always been blessed with fantastic friends… the few, the elite. Ever since kindergarten, and probably before I can remember, I’ve always had my “crews”. Necessarily, as time goes on, we move from social location to social location, from Elementary to JHS to HS to College, some folks to Grad School, then to the workplace, different neighborhoods to live in, different gyms to join… There’s always the building and eventual dissolving of “crews”. The internet in general, and videoblogging in particular has now changed all of that. People are seeing, hearing and learning about like-minded individuals and groups all over the planet and making global, international alliances. This has completely replaced… for me, anyway… local interactions based on physical proximity.
Without recapping the last ten months, which has included 202 linkedin contacts, 279 facebook friends, 247 twitter followers (lots of overlap between all three), etc etc etc… (which I only bring up because it’s an OUTLANDISH number for someone like me that’s used to selecting a few CLOSE, CLOSE friends and staking our claim in the universe)… there were a couple of events in particular that really made me “sit up and take notice” as far as what was really going on and how my Days were TOTALLY not being Wasted….
The first event was meeting Roxanne Darling IRL (In Real Life). We had met via the Yahoo Videoblogger’s group and she had reason to be in NYC, all the way from her home in Hawaii. The first thing that was striking to me was that she just set up the camera and was ready to do an episode of her show Beach Walks with Rox… which now that I checked out that post, that was actually last November 9th, before I even started “Wasted Days”… Anyway… she was ready to just do an episode with no rehearsal, no talking about what we were going to discuss… NOTHING! :O … Just turn on the camera and talk to each other… I was like WHAT??? But I rolled with it, and it came out ok. 🙂
That was a learning experience in and of itself, however, we hung out afterwards and had this really great, intelligent, fascinating conversation, mostly about videoblogging and “the space”, but also about life in general. As I’ve told Rox, that was the best IRL conversation I had had with someone I knew from the internet in AGES. I wasn’t aware at the time that *THIS* is the potential of the internet where people get to express themselves and align themselves with people who have similar viewpoints or even people who have opposing, yet intelligently articulated viewpoints. I knew there was something ‘odd’ (read: FANTASTIC!!!) going on, but I didn’t have enough data to figure it out.
The second event was in January, 2007 @ Andrew Baron’s house, which I have labeled as Rocketboom Party Photos. I don’t remember what the genesis of that party was, but I don’t believe I even had *MY* camera with me that night… Which shows how long ago it was, because I ALWAYS have my camera now. 😀
At some point, I saw Bre Pettis, whom I recognized from Jonny Goldstein’s show on Phovi.com, “Reinventing Television”. When I walked up to Bre, I introduced myself and started to explain something about myself (that I don’t remember) to him, and his reply was to look at me oddly, as if I had amnesia, and he said “…I know who you are”.
Now, this was somewhat shocking to me, because I considered myself a spectator of Jonny’s show. Until that very point in time, I hadn’t given a single second’s worth of thought to the possibility that people that I didn’t specifically personally solicit to check out my site might have done so. I CERTAINLY hadn’t considered that someone on a show might actually research members of the “studio audience” that were there in the text chat. Whatever the actual circumstances were, I never found out, because my mind was suddenly off on the tangent of “what’s really going on, here?”. I now had to consider my interactions on the net as TWO-WAY instead of one-way, like television. To me, that situation was as if I had walked up to Chow Yun-Fat and told him that I had seen his movie “Hard Boiled”, and he said “I know who you are”. Strange, yet fascinating, amazing and transformative all at the same time. 🙂
Also at that party, I recognized Kenyatta Cheese. I had had a chat with him via blog comments over a quasi-contoversial topic, and I was aware that he had no idea what I looked like, but I knew what he looked like. I walked up to him and introduced myself, and he gave me this weird look, like “How come this guy I’ve never seen before is addressing me in a friendly manner?” I went on to bring up the blog comment conversation I had had with him, and his entire demeanor changed to one of recognition and acceptance. We went on to have an extended, IRL conversation about the blog post in question as well as peripheral topics that we most likely would never have gotten into in text comments.
I still didn’t “get it” after Drew’s party. I think I considered both the Bre and Kenyatta incidents to be easily explained away as isolated situations. I wasn’t getting that people were forming actual friendships and respect for each other that had never met each other IRL. I wasn’t getting that people were learning things about me that I didn’t tell them, because I posted it on the net and they read or watched it without telling me they did. I wasn’t getting that as opposed to selecting compatible people that are within our physical locations where we live, hang out or work, we now have the opportunity to interact… A. LOT…. with people with whom we share similar likes and interests that live ANYWHERE in the world.
I get it now… At least to the degree that I can write this post and wrap up my “Wasted Days” blog. What I get is that it’s not so strange… hehe well, to me at least! 😀 … to admire my friend across the country even though I’ve never met her IRL. It’s not uncommon to make friendships with people outside of one’s neighborhood, town, city, state, or even COUNTRY!
The Days aren’t Wasted just because I’m not in physical proximity to her. There are so many other ways that people communicate and get to know each other and build respect and create friendships and all formats of relationships that the only way your days are going to be wasted is if you aren’t figuring out what YOU want to do with your own life and your own time…. and DOING it! 😀