Social Integration Is Ugly

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I hope that you’re looking at the headline image and thinking “That is butt-screamin-ugly.” Just think though, that is probably nothing compared to amount of social icons you saw before lunch.

I liken social icons to chickenpox. They are merely the symptom of the affliction of social integration. Common affected areas include the header, the footer, side panels, before a story, after a story, on billboards, in restaurants, commercials, magazines and your perception. First, I can’t emphasize enough that any of these icons are the last thing a designer wants to add to something of beauty. I do admit their purpose and usefulness, but I will play Devil’s Advocate. Starting now.

While you go on with your day and when you’re not checking your facebook or your other popular social sites, companies are gathering your information. When you “like” or “plus” a page or company or musician they then have access to that information through an API offered to registered developers. Do you think these sites make money just from you clicking on an ad? HA! User data is not only harnessed to offer you a better experience but also to make the experiences in making you offers better. In other words, they want to keep selling you more *@#?!

When you “like” a comment or a photo, take a moment and think of how useful that is for you. Can you easily go back and see all those comments and photos you clicked that thumbs up for? No. You as the user are the one made to work for that information, loading every old post on your wall and revealing every related post. So while you play farmville, databases are gobbling up user information to be digested through queries and displayed as graphs and charts to analysts, eventually to become an ad. The backlash is all around: Eyesores others call social icons and your data being flung around like your mother when you were conceived.

However, I also revel in the fact that social interactions online have helped us become more connected as people like never possible before with BBS‘s, the plain Internet, livejournal, friendster, myspace, the list goes on as long as this sentence. I’ve read stories of people recovering photos from floods and sharing them to be able to send them back to their owner. People have found family because of having that chance to connect online. It’s amazing to think that we can be connected through a few keystrokes and clicks. That’s the experience we share and can’t see, unlike the natty-ass blobs of uncomplimentary colors.

So while you go on being social online, keep in mind that what you share is never truly private. If you entered the data or participated in sharing your data, it’s stored in a database and someone has the user rights to get to that information and use it for whatever purpose; Be it a drunk photo from last night or where you used to work.

Be aware of what you share.

It’s Been Too Long

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Charles Law with a beautiful handlebar moustache that spans about 12 inches.

Photo courtesy of hasn’t been fresh for at least two years. It’s been a real shame hasn’t it? All of the stories we missed out on sharing! The shock, the awe. Ugh. Where did the time go? Well I am happy to report that I have been off growing. Got more into electronic music (Switchblade Etiquette) and theatre. I’ve been working it to get serious about JavaScript and understanding how to come up with a machine with all the parts I make in my brain pocket. Been rebranding ID10Tz and that’s going deliciously. OooOooh! Got hitched to the amazing, talented, and extremely hirable Jason Sharp. Also, been working on improving home life with some organization, de-hoarding and home cookin’. Finally, exercising when I’m not dorking out, so basically not often. That’s the update!

You may be wondering now if I’m going to finally explain that image of the handsome mustache on that man. Well, that is Charles Law of Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. I found that he and I share something in common. We can overreact at some pretty harmless things at times. However I don’t share that impulse to knife my brother or actually kick a 13 year old for making fun of an obviously obscure wide-set-curl-tipped-waxed-up-super-crackafied handlebar mustache. As a result to scaring the Judas out of teens he was told that he had to shave his ‘stache because he clearly can’t brush off the taunting comments people give him.

It goes to show you that maybe all it takes to get over your hang up is to ditch the source of your frustration. For example, I can be funny, goofy and nonsensical a lot of the time. This has proven to diminish how serious people take what I have to say or do and, that’s frustrating at times. So what would I ditch? The need that I should be taken seriously. Proof is in the pudding y’all and I like that I love to have fun when I’m working hard. If you don’t, that’s your problem then, huh?

I leave you with this:

“I don’t care what you think. I care that you’re thinking.” – Jayson Potter, 2011

CMYK, not just for colors

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A photo of the band members jumping above a floor with scattered oranges, apples, lemons, and watermelonsCMYK is a new band for me, but the sound is so true to the rhythm of Seattle. Well, at least the nerdy-synth-lovin-happy Seattle side. I liken CMYK to potential sounds like CASY&BRIAN or of The Fitness. If you want to talk geek, there’s a lot of grindy squares all up in their waveforms. You can hear them having fun in the music and I think that’s what makes them so fun to listen to. I haven’t seen them in person, but you can listen to their musical colors right from their site at You can also buy their music from the site at a name-it-yourself price and if you pitch in $5+ they will throw in 5 bonus tracks on top of the 5 featured. I’ll give you a hint, they’re worth it.