The Ever Fleeting Sun

So, It’s been a while, but it’s a new month. With that comes new and glorious things. Actually, that completely depends on where you are in the world…but I wont go into that right now.

I am writing to tell you, my readers, my family, and my friends; whether you are on wordpress, facebook, twitter or something else, that a change is coming. For some of you, this change will not matter and wont effect you in anyway. For others, it will be a welcomed change.

In the recent months that I have been in New Zealand, I have been thinking. While I know that this is a dangerous task to engage in, I have been doing it none-the-less. In the last few days, this thinking has been fed by a desire of intentionality. Why do we do what we do? Is it the best way? Is it the wise way? These thoughts have been centralized around one device. The Smartphone. Now, before I get into this, you should know that I am very tech savvy. I fixed the network for the social service agency I worked for, I taught my mom how to work around the computer, and I used to work at an Apple Store. This is no nudge on myself, but rather a product of the age I’ve been born into. Kids are just amazing at this stuff now.

STILL, in January of this year, I owned my first smartphone. I know. I know. Somehow I was living without one until now.With the integration of this new device, I promised myself that I would NOT be thr675239_4945798[1]at guy who is always on his phone, telling people he’s paying attention, when in reality how could I be?! Pretty soon I had people telling me that I was consumed with the device. It sickened me. But on I continued.

One of the few changes I will be making is the choice to stop using apps on my phone that use data. Whether that is Google search, a web browser, facebook, twitter, etc. Unless I’m in a bind, I will be checking these things on my own time, on my laptop. I have done this for my whole life, without having it literally at my fingertips, and I am wagering that this is what everyone can still do. I will go so far as to say that we don’t NEED (“need” being the key word) data for our phones (aside from using phones for text & calls)

This is a decision I normally would have made on my own, without broadcasting it to the web, making me look ‘holyer than thou.’ The reason I chose to write about this and publically tell you about what I’m doing is because I think that this is a pretty serious problem taking over. We don’t sit still anymore. Stillness/silence is feared and even seen as ridiculous. And I think that taking small steps to slow down, and remove the smartphone from my tight, unforgiving grip….is a good thing! Think about it.

Now, on a different note, with me living in New Zealand, I feel a great obligation to write about my life here as well as share photos with those back home, to give them an insight to my life. “TAKE PHOTOS” were scellphone-taking-pictures_53382_600x450[1]ome of the last words said by some of my friends before I left. And yet, I am not ignorant enough to realize that my life here can look much more incredible than what my friends and family back in the flattest state in the U.S. are living. My photos can inadvertently cause others to hate their life, or resent my happiness. Without realizing it, I can come off as someone “having it all” showing the best parts of life, rather than the flat tire I just got, or the dull monotony that occurs on most days (even in New Zealand). I run risk of deifying this land in a manner that is in no way accurate, or fair to those back home.

I have thus decided to stop subjecting my friends, on facebook or twitter, to my photos on instagram. I will still post to instagram, but those photos will only be available to those following me on the site. Those people choose to see my photos, rather than me forcing people on facebook to look at my “amazing life.” Please note that my reaction is not a response to anything that anyone voiced to me, but rather a product of my intentional thought process. We need to be considerate, and we need to know the effect we may be having on one another. What is wise?photo

Finally, I have started a side-project called “The Ever Fleeting Sun” where I post the photos that most people will now not be seeing on facebook. If you choose to go to my site, you will see the beauty that I see, as well as the moments that I personally feel like capturing in this incredible country.

Thank you for reading and hearing me out. I think that this will be a good change, and I think that I will enjoy it. Much Love from the great land of New Zealand.

Eric

 

A New Frontier in Freedom

Well, this morning I went to my commencement ceremony and walked. Just in time too, four people after me, they announced a severe weather warning and suspended the ceremony! I was so proud to be done, and to re-join my family waiting for me with open arms and bright smiles. Kisses, hugs, and laughing are a big part of my family, and they were in no short supply today. Right now we are waiting for the weather to die down a bit before we fire up the grill and get eating.

I wanted to address the fact that my blog has been receiving SO much attention as of late. Two days ago, my blog post, “Here at the End of All Things…” was Freshly Pressed by WordPress. I couldn’t be more ecstatic and surprised by this, and I want to thank WP for doing that. I first starting writing blog posts in 2005, and I started writing for myself and for the entertainment of others. I never began writing to gain the approval or admiration of the masses, but merely to make you laugh, make you think, and make you love. If I’ve done that, then I’ve done my job.

Now, something I’ve noticed recently, that caught my attention, was a realization I had the other day. The realization was about facebook status’s and the progression of technology in today’s world. This is my thought: If something cool or weird, or awesome happens to someone, they will usually make a status about it. Additionally, if something stupid, unusual, or strange happens, someone will make a status about it. Finally, if something pointless, annoying, or completely irrelevant to me happens, someone will make a status about it. What I came to think is this: Facebook status’s, or “stati”, are just the unfiltered, textual, outward reflection of our minds. It’s Mind poetry, mind education, mind vomit. It’s all of these things. The interesting thing is this: Never before have we been SO in touch with what is going on in stranger’s minds. Never before have we even had the means to express our minds on such a large and public scale.

This strange change in communication has left many with a sense of intrusion that they don’t exactly know how to handle yet. They feel like the world is their stage and they are free to just say what they want. To a certain extent, that’s not far off. Their freedom doesn’t exactly make good dinner conversation, but it is yet another layer of freedom that has been explored. Still, I caution you this: Think…before doing something. Take this advise and use it for multiple situations. If there is something that doesn’t really need to be said, and may offend/hurt, then be aware of your words. They hold more power than you may realize.

I was just driving in my car when I thought about this phenomenon of sorts. I feel we are so used to updating status’s that we don’t realize whats really going on, but these statements are becoming more and more of a representation of “what is going on inside my mind.” This is how my brain works” “These are my thinking patterns.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see some research studies being done on “stati” in the upcoming years.

If you like my recent, “Important pieces in the world” style of writing, here are some other Proud Works that I have written up for you guys.

KONY 2012: An Unbiased Summary

Teenage Pregnancy at 70 year Low

Wordless, (on the treatment of women in the workplace)

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

The Id, Ego, and Superego Explained

Love Hurts…Literally.

Wind: The story you never knew.

Elevendy 11, 2011

FAT…otherwise known as “Insulation.” 

I used to listen to music on the Radio….

Late nights and Interweb fights

Hey everyone. Whoa. [yawn/stretch/scream] Alright. So I just woke up and it’s 11am. I know that it is kinda late in the day, but believe it or not, I had a GREAT productive stretch the other night and didn’t get to bed until 4:35am. So really…I got about six and a half hours of sleep. Not quite as much as I wanted, but what can you do?

To give you a little idea of the master piece I created the other night, click on this link. I am glad that it turned out so well, but I am not even done! Ha. The assignment was to make our own Midterm and the best one gets a PERFECT grade for the Midterm. Yeah. Just a little incentive. If your Midterm does not get picked, then you have to take the Midterm when you get back from Spring Break. I’m hoping that mine is the best. Still, I have to add 4 essay questions to my Midterm, AND, just like all the other questions, I need to answer them. So that’s what I’ll be doing today.

So, I have done a very good job of not going on facebook while I was working the other night. I have to admit to you though. I feel like I am becoming anxiety prone to checking everything that I usually check throughout my day. It’s sad and very interesting to me. I would wager that you check it everyday as well. I would challenge you to try going 24 hours without it as well and gauge your reaction to it.

I have done this in the past and I have loved it. Leaving facebook for a little while has always helped me to recalibrate and not become a slave to the web, ha. Still, I’m not hating on fb, I am NOT going to delete my account when it’s all said and done. I love keeping in touch with all of you, and have even managed to keep a very valuable long distance friendship going for over a year via facebook. The site is doing a good job at its core focus: brining people together. and I appreciate that.

STILL, we need to be real with ourselves people. When does something become unhealthy? This is a valid question, and one that will change from person to person. And yet, you should be asking yourself that question about the internet, especially for this reason: The internet may bring people together, but it also has the power to keep people apart…Physically. Make sure that you are taking in healthy doses and geting out once and a while to actually SEE the people you interact with online.

Me? Well…I’ll be a prisoner of my computer for the next three days, but it is not because I am glued to pinterest, reddit, youtube, netflix, stumbleupon, or facebook. The reason is because I am working tirelessly to get the Masters Degree and see you all at my Graduation Bash I’m throwing on May 12th. I’m doing this for my parents, my friends, New Zealand, 19 years of schooling…and myself. God is my strength, and in the end, I always have to give Him the credit for getting me through what I thought I couldn’t. Thank you all for your support. And as always, I’ll keep you updated as I walk along this journey. Peace and live in the sunlight.

Eric