For those of us who grew up in a mostly physical world, there are some virtual curiosities that cause us to pause and ponder. One of the most fascinating to me is how people relate to one another through games and social tools. One of my talents in real life is the ability to read nonverbal cues and adjust to the social situation accordingly. Since most virtual worlds are devoid of such cues, I have at times been left in difficult, sometimes even embarrassing situations. Suffice it to say, I’m still learning how to interact with other people through the electronic tools that are now so pervasive in our lives.
I am a Christian.
It took me a long time to say that on this blog. Not because I’m ashamed of the fact, nor that I’m unsure of it, but because I was worried about being perceived as something I’m not. Afraid of being improperly categorized due to someone’s preconceived notions of what that label means. And let’s not pretend that it doesn’t happen. Simply by saying the word “Christian” I’ve placed a picture in your mind of someone, or an idea of someone, based on your past experiences or education. Same as if I were to say “Cowboy” or “Blue Collar” or “Politician”. Those words carry with them pictures, attitudes, and the temptation to reach down into the toolbox, pull out the broad brush, and paint an entire landscape of individuals with the same color. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s how the human brain makes sense of the world. The problem is, even within our own specific category, we’re not all the same, are we? There are some Cowboys that even other Cowboys, true Cowboys, don’t want to be associated with. Like Roy Rogers.
I know I’m probably about a year behind the times, but I’ve only recently started listening to Google’s streaming “radio” stations instead of my own uploaded library. Music is a funny thing. You’re really into it for a certain phase of your life (typically pre-teen to college age), and then you get busy with other things and you stop paying attention to it. Subsequently, that era of music tends to become the standard by which all other music encountered is measured. In a sense, your musical tastes freeze even while artists and styles continue to wax, wane, and evolve. One day, you find yourself yelling down the hallway at your teenager to turn the volume down on whatever annoying bits of sound are passing for audio art nowadays. It happens to the best of us. Don’t laugh, your time is coming.
Have I mentioned how much I like following Jessica (Liore) Cook on Twitter? My former MMORPG.com’s Game On co-host is not incredibly wordy, but when she does tweet, I give it my full attention. Her posts are simultaneously witty and insightful, and always uplifting. I should probably take tweet lessons from her, honestly. That’s a thing, right? I think it’s called social media branding.