Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going through the motions that lead to odd conclusions and real questions

Ever have one of those days where you are simply going through the motions of the daily grind but your head is just somewhere completely different?  That was certainly me today.  This was the direct result of a very long day the previous day which was capped off by a night of work that ran late into the evening and a dose of chatting it up with a friend until the wee hours.  So while I'd like to blame my work for the complete lack of sleep, I can't really do so in good conscience.

But my day was quite literally a case of trying to get through it all, and just go through the motions.  But I did notice a strange side-effect of sleep deprivation that I wasn't quite expecting.  Exceptionally brutal honesty and perhaps a bit too much transparency.  When you consider I work in a service delivery model and interact with customers, that can be a bad thing.

This concept did make me think though.  I've been reading a book by Vineet Nayar, he is a CEO of an Indian outsourced provider of IT services.  And one of the precepts of his book is that of maintaining transparency.  And I wonder how practical a practice that is within a very political environment such as the one in which I work.  The idea that transparency of thought and of open sharing as being something feared.  Are we covering something up?  Afraid of inadequacies?  Worried of being judged?

When it comes to my work, I am my own worst critic.  I strive for a higher level of delivery, and try to push myself when possible and constantly seek feedback on what I do deliver.  I want to be judged objectively.  So why should I worry about maintaining secrecy, transparency should be good enough.

I guess this goes back to my previous post regarding the facets of our lives.  But I wonder if those facets sometimes are forced to take on a different value system.  I'd never compromise my integrity or honor for most any reason but most of all not for personal benefit at work, which may be a naive concept in and of itself as I have aspirations that are not quite yet met professionally.  However I sometimes do feel that my moral compass can be challenged and at times given more latitude for the sake of judgement when dealing with the workplace.  What do you do when you are given something in confidence from a higher authority that you somehow feel compelled to share because maybe it is the right thing to do?

I try to rationalize this on a daily basis.  But at the end of the day, I know I can sleep well at night as I haven't done anything to compromise that compass to date.  To do so would be a crushing blow as all I have left to stand on and take home to the loved ones is my integrity.

So stay tuned for my next slightly fragmented post.  I need to maybe consider not authoring while on less than four hours of sleep in the future.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A sliver or a facet?

Oh how we fragment ourselves and our interactions with people across all mediums and social circles.  Do you ever wonder if it is the real you that you are portraying to those you interact with?  Can you truly show any one person every aspect of yourself and really get to know someone entirely?

I do not believe that you can.  I do not believe that it is possible to communicate everything that you are to any other soul on this planet.  Because the real you that you may be portraying at any given moment is most likely to be a piece of what you are.

I've heard people say that we only gives slivers of ourselves to people.  But I'm not sure I fully agree with the notion, I'd like to take it a step further.  I think that we are all multi-dimensional personalities, meaning that there are so many facets to us much like the many facets in a cut gem.  And which facet you are presently interacting with depends upon which world I might be swimming in at that given moment.

Take as an example the various faces we all wear.  I wear one face to the office, and I have another that I wear at home.  When I'm with my friends, that is another face.  When I am surfing the net, there are even a few more faces that might be worn.  The gamer, the photographer, the intellect, the blogger, the researcher, the explorer, the conversationalist, the politician, the citizen, the architect, the artist, the dreamer, the inspired.  The list can go on and on.

So while I do feel we have various facets, and sometimes those facets are made to be contained within a facade as we all have various defenses we must maintain in EVERY walk of life.  In the case of the internet, your identity is golden and must be protected.

I'm not suggesting that I am openly deceiving anyone in my life, regardless of the medium.  I'm suggesting that the portion of my life that whomever I am interacting with across the various mediums is observing and engaging with whatever facet is catching the light of said medium.  They are not necessarily separate and distinct sides of me, but rather various surfaces that make up my whole being.  I cannot separate them, for they are all equal parts that make up who I am.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do we ever really go online anymore?

Just a quick thought for you this evening.  Ponder the question or rather the act of "going online".  Do we actually ever do that anymore?

The reality is, we have devices in our pockets or purses and connections to the home that keep us online perpetually.  The notion of opening a browser or application to "go online" is a bit of a misnomer.  We are more connected than at any other time in history, and we are always online.  It is not a state of mind or a physical act, it is just there.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Social interactions: fragments in time or real connections?

I find myself wondering if the true art of social interaction is dead. Is the the art, skill and often times poetry of a meaningful conversation on the social downturn? What ever happened to having an opinion, true emotion or a strong feeling about a topic? How do I take a contrary or even controversial point of view in 140 characters or less?

I say this as I browse through the Tweets or various Facebook status entries of friends, respected industry veterans and other socialites of various walks. And while from time to time I stumble upon (no not the website) an interesting notion or concept but more often than not it is meaningless gobbledygook. Some unintelligible or non-valuable concept or random thought that really has no bearing of resemblance to a connection between two people. And why is this such an acceptable idea? Why do we not care, and just continue to exacerbate the issue?

I wonder if my children will live in a society where everything is fragmented. I look at the concepts of the new normal that face the twenty first century and I wonder out loud at times if the hopes of meaningful discourse are gone. But I have hope, I try to engage them and to draw conversations and thoughts out of them. But is that enough? Am I waging an uphill battle?

So with these hypothetical questions dropped into the ether, or meta, however you choose to refer to that what is the "internet", I have hopes. I have hopes of enterprises and organizations embracing the concepts of Web 3.0, Web 3D, meta, cloud or whatever you would like to call it (these topics are best reserved for future blog posts as I have opinions in what they are and what they mean). Essentially, across all mediums and verticals, I have hopes that large organizations and small will seek to engage us or to deliver mediums within which we can engage each other and indeed find ways to truly connect to other individuals across the globe. I'm not speaking of notions of alternate realities, but of means by which we can embrace the new realities of our daily lives that go beyond the Facebooks, MySpaces, Foursquares and Twitters of the world that connect us on such a superficial level.

While this first blog post was intended to plant a short seed and to allow it to germinate, I leave you with this last notion before I call it a post and ship it off into the ether. Analyze your group of friends for a moment, both those that you call close and those that you call acquaintances. On what level are you indeed connected with them? Are the connections significant and deep? Do you have meaningful conversations with those friends or merely idle chit chat? Do they share enough of your ideals and interests? If you could expand your search criteria to a much larger pool, would your close friends still be close friends? What if you had a much larger sample size to include in your demographic of common interests? Despite the interpersonal and tactile needs of every individual and the associations of proximity, could you have deeper or more meaningful connections and conversations with someone you have never met in person because they live on the other side of the globe? Where your only level of interaction is through the various peer points (such as computers, smart phones, kiosks or other mediums) by which you access the internet? Can you really connect in an intuitive or thought provoking way?
I certainly think so. We'll explore this in more detail soon...