Power Texting: There's a Time and a Place

Sending short text messages from mobile phones have become arguably the most popular method of instant communications among teenagers and young adults. That was established in fall 2007, when Nielsen reported not only that the average mobile customer placed 357 text messages and only 204 phone calls in the second quarter of 2008. More incredibly, mobile users aged 13 to 17 placed 1,742 text messages a month and those 18 to 24 sent 790 a month.

But is power texting in everyone's best interest? While most people agree it is rude to text while eating (also known as "under the table messaging") because you're being antisocial when you're supposed to be social, did you know there's now a law about not texting when in a restroom?

I agree with journalist Tom Steinert-Threlkeld that the only rule that really matters when it comes to power texting is NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. He believes we'll soon logically be at a point where there will be laws in every state where you can't hold or touch a communications device of any kind while driving. This is because with driving while texting, the public safety at stake. If someone wants to waste message units on power texting or use the bathroom while sexting (eww), then so be it.

Just remember power texting is here and it looks like it's here to stay. A modern variation on the old slogan brings it home... let your fingers do the talking.

Goodbye Baby Boomers, Hello GenXers

It was recently reported in Time magazine that in 10 short years, more than 40% of the work force will be Independent Contractors. Not only that, genXers will officially be in charge. Being an IC and a genXer myself, I'm thrilled but more importantly, I'm here to remind you that the work force is changing so it's time to get your act together too.

What does this mean exactly, the transition from a baby boomer work era to a generation x work place? Analysts point to generation y as one of the biggest new determinants in the coming vocational shift. Not only are the millennials unlikely to follow in their parents' footsteps, they've grown up with and assimilated technology in a whole new way. Instead of paying your dues and moving up the ladder slowly, success will not be defined by rank or seniority, but rather by what you can contribute to a project (no matter where you are) and by getting what matters to you personally (like taking winters off to go snowboarding). Even though baby boomers and genXers have seen an increase in job-sharing at senior levels, the notion of collaborative decision-making involving employees scattered around the world will become pervasive.

Frankly it's how essential you are to an organization, according to Seth Godin of the same Time series: "The job of the future will have very little to do with processing words or numbers, nor will we need people to act as placeholders, errand runners or receptionists. Instead there's going to be a huge focus on finding the essential people and outsourcing the rest."

So are you essential? Start by re-writing your resume to indicate the value you've provided in projects (not just the duties you performed), and ask yourself if you can receive a file at the end of the day (from you're colleague in a different time zone) and make your essential contributions by the next virtual meeting. To be an independent contractor is to plan on socking away your own retirement and to be the provider of your own health care, notions that are unfamiliar to most cubicle dwellers. The fact is we're already seeing a more flexible, more freelance, and far less secure work world. GenXers have always wanted to take things into their own hands, now you have the opportunity to do so.

Read the Time article here; see also: co-working, elancer, farm out, homeshoring, laptop nomad, outsource, open source


Lessons from the Online Dating Front

Dating can be bumpy. Everyone agrees that unless you met your partner organically and had chemistry from the start, you've got a series of hurdles to jump. Add the online element to the mix and it's a whole new sport.

Looking for love in the online world often seems like uncharted territory. Where else can you potentially find your soul mate but feel like you're shopping for shoes at the same time? The fact is technology enables us to interact with so many more people than we normally would, its flat out changing the game.

Based on stories by men and women from the front line, here are the Pros and Cons for Navigating Love Online...

* You can meet people you normally might not meet, anywhere in the world.
* You can see what people look like and who they're looking for.
* You can meet more people at a quicker pace.
* You can get fundamental information up front (if they're being honest).
* You can look around and search profiles whenever you want.
* Anyone can contact anyone else at anytime.

* Some people like to keep it only online and never meet in person.
* Some people misrepresent themselves and/or lie.
* Some people are just trying it out or looking for a hookup.
* There's so many people, it can feel overwhelming.
* It can be a major time suck, preventing you from getting out in the real world.
* You never know what you're going to get when you first meet in person.

Online dating may be a good way to cast a wide net but just remember that in the end, it all comes down to chemistry, timing, and having the same intention in order for it to really click!

Tuned In or Tuned Out? There's a Time and Place for Texting

A friend was telling me how he longs for the day when he'd see a woman sitting at a restaurant table, alone with her coffee or cocktail, and she'd be at peace, looking around, smiling and enjoying it. Nowadays you rarely see that, instead, she is sitting there with her drink and looking down at her Blackberry texting. She's unapproachable at that point he said, and whatever peaceful, beautiful aura she may have had, is gone. I agreed with him and explained it's going to get even worse. The younger generation is ushering in a new age of digital addictions. Teens with cell phones average 2,272 text messages a month and social scientists are left wondering what will this generation learn and what will they lose in the relentless stream of sentence fragments, abbreviations and emoticons? =:-0 Addicted or not, hard-core texters find it difficult to be "in the moment" with other people because they are constantly being summoned by someone else in another place. There is a cost when people multitask -- "a kind of a mental brownout." Although it's too early to tell the effects of prolific texting -- on attention span, social life, writing ability, family connections -- questions abound, even as many experts point to clear benefits. In the meantime ladies and gentlemen, put your phones down and look around, life is passing you by! -As seen in The Washington Post, read the full article here...

Coping Skills: Because We All Know, Spam Sucks :-(

31 years ago this week, the first spam, an invitation to a computer demonstration, was sent to users of Arpanet, the Internet's predecessor. Fast forward to today, businesses spent an estimated $42 billion fighting email spam in 2008, up from $35 billion in 2007. What gives? Is there an end in sight? Unfortunately no. Spam continues to proliferate our online world: In addition to e-mail spam, there is messaging spam, newsgroup spam, search engine spam, blog spam, and mobile phone spam. Ugh!
What to do? Firstly, you should NEVER respond to a spam message, it only reinforces the fact that you are a valid e-dress. Not only is it annoying, it can lead to phishing and identity theft. Here are 5 Essential Spam Do's and Don'ts.
Check out all the spam lingo: spam, check my spam, spam filter, spam trap, spambot, spamdexing, spamhandling, spamhaus, spammin', spamouflage

Caught Facebooking or Twittering at work? It'll Make You a Better Employee

Caught Facebooking or Twittering at work? It'll make you a better employee, according to an Australian study that shows surfing the Internet for fun during office hours increases productivity. The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.

The study's author said that "workplace Internet leisure browsing," or WILB, helped to sharpened workers' concentration and that short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total concentration for a days' work and as a result, increased productivity.

Among the most popular WILB activities? Searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube. -As seen in The Washington Post, read the story here...