Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Best and Brightest

Today I served as a judge for the annual Best and Brightest competition sponsored by the local newspaper, The Patriot News.  These are the kinds of things that I really enjoy and find worthwhile - being involved in mainstream efforts as just another person (not defined by any one aspect of myself), doing something worthwhile for students, and just generally being around positive energy.

I was asked to be a judge prior to my resignation from The Center, and I'm thankful that they still wanted me to participate to represent the community.  There were 8 judges, including the Governor's wife.

When you do these kinds of things it really strikes you how amazing some of these kids are.  When you read these stories and see what some of these kids have had to overcome in order to excel at scholastics and at life in general.  It really puts things into perspective.

Next topic:  Social networking is like fire.  In moderation, and when properly used, it helps.  But when it's out of control it's a disaster.

I like to think of myself as being somewhat technologically saavy, but a more accurate statement is that there was a time when that was probably true.  I was programming using dBase II way back in the day, remember Lotus 1-2-3, learned Fortran as my first language, and I remember when an acoustic coupler modem was a "nice to have".  But, here we are in an age of Tweets and assumed online identities.

I've set some boundaries around my own personal online social networking.  Some of them are probably pretty arbitrary.  For example, I sometimes get requests for professional networking via LinkedIn, but I don't get involved there.  Not my thing.

I don't use Twitter, and don't expect that will change.  I don't want it to change.

One good friend recently gave her Facebook account to her husband and I was a little surprised to realize that I have a problem with that.  All these people who became her friend because they knew her or in some way wanted to stay connected to her now find themselves Friends of someone else.  Even though her husband is a friend of mine as well, the concept of this kind of thing bothers me.  It feels like misrepresentation to me - he should create his own FB profile if he wants one.  Anyway - it makes things that should be simple complicated.

In an exciting personal development I've been granted media credentials for the US National Wrestling Championships so instead of competing this year I'll be taking photographs there.  That's way cool.  Thanks to those who helped this to happen.  :)

Between now and then I have a number of travels.  There's a storm threatening the northeast that could well bring some snow here between now and the weekend.  That's not funny....

There's lots going on in the advocacy world right now.  ENDA was introduced today.  But my big contribution today was to review a pile of applications sent by a group of amazing kids from around the Central PA region and make decisions that will help to shape young lives.  Somehow, I feel like I've done my part today...

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