A MinD in MoTown

Drumroll please…!
June 2, 2010, 9:13 am
Filed under: Yet another girl in the blogosphere

After two months of anticipation – on my end anyway – the time has come to finally debut my new blog. That’s right, “A MinD in MoTown” will be no more as we give way to …

With some MAJOR help from LiLu*, “Behind the Byline” was born on Memorial Day and I’m 110% ready to transition onto my own domain! So change your subscriptions – yes, all three of you, please follow me over! – and click the link above, and find out the whole story behind my latest bloggy adventure.  =)

* Really, there was no way I could do it without her, so thank you immensely hun!

Moving on up.
May 27, 2010, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Yet another girl in the blogosphere

Within a week – I hope – “A MinD in MoTown” will be no more. After more than two years here*, it’s time to call it quits and move up into the big leagues.

That’s right, my own domain.

And with that domain comes a fresh look at yours truly. Will I be staying the course, sticking to my over-opinionated blog rantings and the constant sharing of interesting news items? Of course. But I’m also hoping that the new site provides readers with a bit more insight into the person behind the words. No, that doesn’t mean I’ll be sharing the details of my day-to-day life, but at least offering little tidbits here and there.

With that said, I’d love to know what those four of you who might regularly read would like to see. Is there something I could be doing better as a blogger? What kind of postings do you wish I’d write? Do I complain more than necessary? Ha. I would love for everyone to be honest – yes, I can take constructive criticism – and tell me what changes I could/should make as I dive into this latest project. After all, this blog-relocation probably provides me with the best time to do so.

Stay tuned in the coming days for more information about my new space on the Internets. As soon as it’s ready to roll out, I’ll be sure to let you know!

* And I just realized I never even celebrated my blogoversary nearly two months ago… Oops!

I tried … and failed.

The warning was very clear: Keep blogging and I’ll be forced to hit the little “mark all as read” button that often taunts me and my overwhelming Google Reader.

I wanted to avoid that option. Truly, I did. But with my Reader over 500 posts*, knowing that so many new posts would keep that number from drastically decreasing, I had to give in the temptation. And with one click of my mouse, the Reader was empty.

I thought I’d be relieved, even excited that I could freshly start this week without those blog postings looming over my head, remaining unread. But instead I’m left with a slight remorse for all I’ve missed in the blogosphere by ignoring each and every written word between last Wednesday and today from so many fabulous bloggers. I’m a bit saddened that I took the easy way out, succumbing to the knowledge that I’d never forge my way through those posts rather than taking on the challenge.

Sure, I made a brief attempt to read through a few blogs, but guilt swiftly overcame me as I skipped one blogger for another. I honestly felt a bit remorseful picking and choosing among the many amazing people whose blogs I’ve subscribed to. It was that feeling which forced me into my decision.

Am I the only one who has noticed this guilt-ridden feeling when surrendering to the “mark all as read”? Am I completely alone here in my meager regret? Perhaps I’m just that kind of gal who hates missing out on anything, who loathes falling behind. It’s sadly both possible and plausible that I’m the sole individual to give in to that button’s tempting ways and feel genuinely a bit sorry as a result.

Does this mean I may never again mark each and every posting as “read”? Not at all. I have done so before, and I’ll likely do so again – down the road, of course. But I have to at least hope I’m not left with this guilt after doing so.

If I’ve overlooked something absolutely worthwhile on your blog recently, now is the time to let me know. Delving into the archives is a rarity for myself, so your post faces never being read if you don’t flag it for me.

And if ever you need a guilt-free pass when marking my humble blog as read, consider this my approval. I wouldn’t want anyone ever feeling remorse for overlooking my words when an overwhelming Reader emerges.

* To some of you, 500 might not be that many. However, this was after I skimmed through “Awkward Family Photos” and marked several other threads as read, as well as any shared postings. This number was solely individual blogger-generated posts. Eep! Way to many for me to adequately peruse before the weekend when I go “computer free” yet again (I do that every weekend).

Better late than never.

So… I caved and participated in 20 Something Blogger’s Vlog Day, albeit I was a day late filming, and now I’m two days late posting. (My bad!)

Yes, it was an awkward experience, and yes, I rambled and majorly talked with my hands (what? I’m Italian, cut me some slack), but I tried. That counts for something, right? Oh, and it’s six minutes long. That’s clearly much longer than I anticipated, and longer than you’d likely care to hear me chit chat, so move on. Nothing to see here.

There’s a point mixed in there somewhere, among all the babble. I swear it!

Also – and I just had to include this – here’s an outtake where Sophie decided she wanted to be in the spotlight. I can’t even count how many times she was in another room, completely distracted, until she heard my voice and came running. Personally, this was too cute to not share.

So there you have it, my very first vlog. I make absolutely no promises I’ll ever do this again, ha.

Fighting the addiction.

Like most other days, I turned off the alarm and grabbed my cell phone. A few clicks later and I was on mobile Twitter, seeing what the world was up to before I threw off the covers and rolled – literally – out of bed. And, like those other days, I decided to save my first tweet for the office, which I’d stumble into an hour and a half later after walking the dog, a 15-minute date with my hair dryer, some makeup and the routine struggle to decide what to wear.

But this day – today – was different.

Twitter was down. It was 9:30 a.m. and I was convinced my work computer simply decided to hate me until I attempted the mobile version, which also refused to load.

“No big deal,” I said to myself as I meandered over to Facebook, only to discover error message after error message invading my computer screen. It wasn’t just Twitter escaping my grasp; it was Facebook, too.

After several repeated attempts to successfully browse each site this morning, I realized my attachment to these social networking devices – an attachment most of us bloggers tend to have. Sure, I somewhat acknowledged this beforehand, especially during moments where my boyfriend would harass me for tweeting through dinner, but it wasn’t something I took any more seriously than a joke. However, with this morning’s duo of downed sites, I can accept my position as an addict.

Whether it be Twitter of Facebook, these sites are the first I check in the morning from the comfort of my bed and the last I view before slumbering each evening. To count how many times I wander their direction would be nearly impossible, but I’d venture it’s at least several dozen times a day*. I tweet while driving, while working, while watching TV, while shopping, while eating, so on and so forth**, and I’m regularly checking Facebook just to discover what my “friends” are up to each minute of the day. Clearly these sites have become more than entertainment; they’ve moved into a pervasive element of my daily life.

And what’s worst of all? I know I’m not alone here. Since social networking became “all the rave,” so many of us have jumped onto this bandwagon, refusing to let go. We tweet, we update our statuses, we retweet and we play dumb games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars***, all while blogging our lives away when free moments arise. I almost can’t help but wonder what “real life” things we’re missing out on by engaging in these Internet activities.

Yet each element has become such a common piece of our generation’s existence that most of us – few of us, I’d imagine – stop to think about it until one site goes down and we wander the Web lost, trying to find something else to fill the void. That’s what I did this morning, after all. With Twitter and Facebook incapable of working properly, I read a bit more news than usual, made a few phone calls I otherwise might have waited to complete and skimmed through my Google Reader, all because two pages I frequent were beyond my fingertips.

Is being a social networking/computer addict a natural part of being a 20-something in 2009? Or are some of us taking our Internet lives farther than need be? At what point, if any, does succumbing to this world – the blogosphere, the Twittersphere and countless other sites – invade reality and keep us from completely enjoying a life without the clicking of keyboard keys and mouse buttons? For us addicts, is there truly a time when we’ll have to say “when”?

* An assumption of 25 each per day seems accurate, yet only approximate.
** I may or may not tweet from the bathroom, too.
*** I am only guilty of the first of those two, thank you very much.