I’m going to tell you a secret, but I’d really like you to keep it to yourself.
I’m hooked on Pinterest. That website your wife can’t stop looking at? I can’t stop looking at it, either.
In case you haven’t heard, Pinterest is a site that allows you to “pin” good ideas, recipes, cool pictures, etc., to virtual bulletin boards. You can also share the good ideas of other users, saving them to your bulletin boards that are infinite in size.
Pinterest offers an unending source of information that, if you let it, can eat hours and hours of your time. And the good news is, like everything these days, there’s an app for it, too, meaning you can put it on your smart phone and take Pinterest with you to important locales such as the drive-thru line and the restroom.
Remember when we used to spend our spare moments thinking?
Let me be clear. I’m not your typical Pinterest user. From what I can tell, the typical Pinterest user is very much like my wife. She pins cute pictures, girly clothes and fashion trends, exercise routines and recipes.
Me? I’m looking for cool gadgets, home design ideas and media-related tips and information. I also have not one, but two, black holes into which I can file items that I can’t quite categorize. I named those bulletin boards “Good Ideas” and “Cool Stuff.” So far, those folders have become very similar to the one I have in my e-mail at work called “IMPORTANT STUFF TO SAVE” — a folder I haven’t looked at in longer than I can remember.
Over the July 4th holiday, I sat at a table with my mother and told her I, too, have a Pinterest account. She was surprised and then quickly asked why I hadn’t sent her a request to “follow” her pins. That would mean that everything she pins, I would see on my page. My manly page.
I politely declined after she told me she loves to pin pictures of cute puppies and that, as of Thursday, she’s pinned or re-pinned (posting a pin to your page that someone else had previously posted) more than 11,000 items.
After all, I’d hate to have to wade through pictures of cute puppies sleeping next to cute kittens to get to my pictures of the coolest man caves in the world.
It’s too easy to let things like Pinterest and Twitter and Facebook consume us. And I’m afraid my generation — the mid-30s crowd and those in the same neighborhood — started the fire when we were young. Ours was the first generation to trade in playing outside for video games. Atari was neat, but Nintendo changed a culture in America forever.
So many from the World War II generation had the “thousand-yard stare,” that numb, empty expression caused by witnessing the horrors of war. These days we have the “16-gigabyte digital drool.” You know, that empty, only-half-listening trance we fall into when we’re immersed in our electronic devices.
A recent article — yes, that I found while perusing my Twitter feed — spelled out just how lost in cyberspace we are. According to Business News Daily, a survey showed “ ... the average Internet user spends 23 hours a week e-mailing, texting and using social media and other forms of online communication.” That’s close to 15 percent of our week.
The article goes on to state that 54 percent of the survey respondents said they have tried to decrease their reliance on technology in the past year in favor of in-person contact.
Trying to decrease our reliance on technology sounds as easy as trying to decrease my consumption of shaved ice during the summer months.
Our dependence on the Internet is crazy and we say we can’t do without it. Yet I’ve been to Africa twice in the past three years, where Internet is generally found only in pay-per-minute cafes, and I never seemed to miss it. Imagine a world where your pocket isn’t chiming with text messages and incoming e-mail. It was like living in (gasp) 1995!
But we all know knowledge is power, and there’s a heck of a lot of knowledge being dispersed on the Internet. Knowledge we just can’t do without.
You know, like all that stuff we find on Pinterest.
Jayson Larson is editor of the Athens Review. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m going to tell you a secret, but I’d really like you to keep it to yourself.
Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase.
Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze.
It means no worries for the rest of your days.
It's our problem-free philosophy.
Congratulations, if you have watched the Lion King a couple of times you now have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
It was a week in the depth of heat, then cooler
Sunday and Monday of this week have been very uncomfortable. The air conditioner at our house has been down, and the temperature outside and in the house have been way up.
Thank God for the blessing of the cool temperatures and the rain that fell on Tuesday, then on Wednesday. It changed things just a little bit.
Time away is necessary for everyone
I can remember as a kid writing essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” As the years pass, and we are more in-tune with the workplace, those vacations get shorter and shorter.
Do you ever have those days when you just need a vacation? Sometimes you just need to get away.
Taking time off work should be fun and rejuvenating. We all need a recharge every now and then. But vacations aren't what they use to be. We rarely disconnect ourselves from our jobs.
Student athletes: Time to wake up and get to work
Hey student athletes, it is about time for you to wake up and get to work.
Your summer is coming to an end, and the early morning wake up calls for practices are right around the corner.
I am talking to the football players, volleyball players, cross country kids, band members, drill team members and cheerleaders.
Remember who you are
Are you running so fast that you have forgotten why you started the race in the first place?
Life moving at a blistering pace that it is tough to keep up?
Maybe it is time to stop, take a deep look into the pool of water and remember. Remember who you are.
On numerous occasions, I have had to do just that. Ironically, various movies have caused me to look inside.
CSUMC provided a memorable experience
My wife Jean and I went to a very interesting, and what I consider a very unique event last Saturday night.
I had heard that the church where we are members, Carroll Springs United Methodist Church, was having an event in which people sitting in the audience would sing their favorite hymns into a microphone.
Independence ultimately won on battlefield
I always enjoy celebrating Independence Day, and hearing some of the stirring words written in the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that our Creator has given us certain rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The way I see it, if I have life and liberty, that gives me a pretty good start on the third one.
But as eloquent as our founding fathers were, and how moving the texts they left behind, one fact can’t be overlooked. Our independence was ultimately won and secured on the battlefield.
22 years – and they said it wouldn’t last
I was a high school senior when I first entered the world of newspapers.
I found my way to the The Dallas Times Herald after graduation, when a number of kids I went to school with were working part-time at the paper.
It was summer, and I needed a job. I first applied for what was referred to as the night crew.
Roadblocks happen - find a way to power through them
You ever had writer’s block? Everyone gets it once in a while, especially journalists.
Charles Bukowski once said, “Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all.”
People always ask “how do you come up with your ideas?” Those are easy when it comes to writing sports, finding the right way to make it intriguing at the start is when it can get interesting.
The events of 2014 have set a brisk pace
This will be my last column before the year 2014 reaches its midway point, and I’ve got to say it’s been a challenge to keep up with everything going on in the county.
It always is, of course. Henderson County has almost 80,000 people, two major lakes, and if I counted right, 18 incorporated cities and town. Athens, is a small city, but three major highways cut through it. It’s the seat of county government and the site of three district courts.
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