Friday, April 17, 2009

New Beginnings

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, from March 21 to April 20th (approximately). It's a sign of youth, of initiative, of drive, of sexuality, of courage and it starts on the vernal equinox (beginning of spring). And the sun is a planet of vitality, of energy, of our basic natures. So Aries is roaring high with the Sun's support.

Are you an Aries? Learn more about having your Sun in Aries here!

Makes me think about new beginnings, especially since I'm starting this blog. Why not? This year has been a year of new projects and it's only April. There are so many things I feel that I can write about with a generalized topic like beginnings, but this blog is probably the best focus for a first entry. And not just blogging, but expression in general.

Who knew that blogging would become such a trend? I used to have a blog back when we called them LiveJournals. I was doing a 9 month gig at Amish Acres, a national historic site in a one-light town in Indiana. I would write all about the adventures I was having so that people back home could see what I was up to without having to constantly call each person and update them. Needless to say, I didn't have a great deal to write about, but hey, the family liked it.

Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a blog. Whether it's on Facebook, Myspace, IMVU, or here on Blogger, blogging is the new black. With everything that's going on in the world, it seems like a lot of people are able to express themselves; a vital outlet for frustrations, excitement, and opinions. Journaling has been taken to a new level. The difference is that many of these are public and if you're entertaining enough, you develop a following. People rely on you for entertainment. Some people have a gimmick, like Aaron Karo's RUMINATIONS or Others are able to offer advice or insight to those who might be searching for information on certain subjects, such as Kristin Nelson's PUB RANTS. Some people just want to express themselves, and I think it's a great idea.

For those who prefer something more immediate (and let's face it, in today's society, who doesn't want immediacy), we've got Facebook, Twitter, Myspace (if people still remember Myspace), and, going back to the Jurassic period, Friendster. It started back at Friendster as a networking tool. That moved to Myspace where we added backgrounds and the like. Twitter is a new site for me. I'm "following" a few people on there with their "tweets" but I still don't understand the importance of learning that my friend is showering or eating eggs or dancing around their room naked. I don't really need the constant updates on the lives of my friends, but I can't help reading them.

Facebook opened a whole new world and now that they've updated, you can not only find out the status of your friends, but you can find out what Musical they are, what their inner Animal is, even what their power Color is and what that means. I'll admit that I enjoy the quizzes, even though they clog my live feed, but when I found out what type of BACON my friend was, that was almost enough to make me quit cold turkey. On top of that, Facebook has a million apps, complete with those that cost money. Then there are the Notes with surveys. It's a full time job to keep up with Facebook. A few weeks ago, a friend asked me if I was attending her birthday party and I asked her if she had emailed me about it. Scandalized, she responded, "No, I Facebooked you!" This is what life has become. If you're not on Facebook, you might as well not exist. And yet, somehow, my sister managers to work and have a social life and a healthy relationship without a FB account. I admire that. I don't know that I have the strength to give it up. Besides, there are so many wonderful addictions to play with on FB. Similar to Twitter, FB offers the status update, though people tend to post slightly more abstract ideas instead of what they are doing at that moment. Depending on the post, each status update my be a Rorschach Test of your friend's emotions based on your interpretation and how well you know them. But of course, you know every one of your FB friends intimately, yes?

Recently, I discovered LinkedIn, a networking site for professionals. I've worked in two major fields - Writing and Theatre. Both rely on who you know, so sistes such as this are essential for my professions. I don't know of many fields that don't consider networking a vital tool. Perhaps taxidermy, but then, not many animals are Twittering about their deaths. I'm still discovering the secrets of LinkedIn, but I have to admit that there's an excitement to see my network grow.

IMVU takes it one step further. You have a profile there, but it's for a virtual self that can then explore a virtual world and chat with other people. You create an avatar and shop and earn badges. It's Myspace or Facebook meets SecondLife. Definitely takes profiling, blogging, and networking to a new level.

Now, with the iPhone and its colleagues, we can stay in touch at all times. There are many benefits to these connections - our world is getting smaller by the day - but I remember the days when you had to wait until you got home before you heard a message from someone. And then, there's AIM, the precursor to the FB status, with its away messages. It's still there, but I don't see as many friends there anymore. As more and more networking systems emerge, we leap to keep up. It's exciting and frustrating and addicting.

And as Aquarius is the sign of innovation and technology, one might say that we are truly experiencing the Age of Aquarius. :)

Stop back to check out what's happening in the stars and what that might bring up for discussion!

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