Stalked by Technology

FacebookTwitter… This blog…

They are all a means to promote social voyeurism and encourage some form of narcissism. Everybody look at me, I’m going to the bathroom! YAY ME! Woohoo! Can you HEAR me? Actually, it would be more accurate to ask if anyone READ me, but I digress.

I’m sick today!

I did my LAUNDRY!

Look how many friends I have!

Wow, this truly is fascinating stuff! But, as fascinating as it might be to some, I’m certain that my Facebook/Twitter friends and followers prefer to read updates that are a little less mainstream – like… ‘I’m going to do some naked mud wrestling tonight!

Sure, I’ve been guilty of posting mundane updates, for no other reason other then the fact that I was bored at the time, but, for the most part it’s never really been about getting attention. In fact, a friend once asked me why I bothered posting Facebook updates if I didn’t want people commenting on them to begin with. I mean after all, Facebook IS a social network isn’t it? Isn’t the inherent purpose of Facebook to interact with other people? Friends and strangers alike? At the time, I complained about the uselessness of some of the things that I read on walls and in news feeds. You know those people who just can’t control their urge to comment on absolutely every single post, even those that warrant no response? The ones who clutter your wall just so they can get the last word in? And those who start conversations on your wall, that you’re not even a part of? So annoying. My biggest complaint  relative to such comments leads me to believe that perhaps I’m not meant to socialize using this interweb technique. Perhaps I should stick to the old-fashioned way of communicating – the one where face-to-face meetings were the norm and the internet was just a way to send emails or to look at porn. As it stands now, I admit that I use Facebook to promote my blog and to raise funds for my upcoming breast cancer run. Sometimes I post an update but I inadvertently find myself asking why I bother, and promptly delete it. In any case, those same people that I mentioned above don’t feel the need to comment when asked for important things like sponsorship or donations, even though it’s for a good cause. Go figure.  Anyway, while I agree that Facebook is a great way to stay connected and to do some networking, I have to ask myself if it’s the best way to truly connect. What do you think? Has technology made us lose that loving feeling?

This brings me to my next point:

Mobile devices, Oh how I loathe thee! I have a cell phone that I never use, and I am constantly scolded for being unreachable. Why? Because I never answer it. Besides putting my phone on vibrate so I don’t hear it, and screening my calls, I often forget that I own a cell phone, which results in a dead battery. Oops.

As luck would have it, in January of 2009, I was informed that the former president of my division had put in a request for me. I held my breath as my boss gave me the news: I was going to be the not-so-proud owner of… a BlackBerry.  CRAP. Boy did I try to get out of it – I don’t think anyone has ever fought so hard to avoid getting a free phone. For three months, I successfully dodged the BlackBerry bullet. My former boss wasn’t really pushing it on me, but alas, she wasn’t making the decision. I kept telling her I wouldn’t use it, and she kept telling me that was fine, but I was still getting it. Then one day, I got the dreaded call from IT:

“Hi Ann…”

“I don’t want it dude!”

“OK. But I just finished configuring your new BlackBerry…”

“I told you I don’t want it.”

“But it’s brand new! And you have to take it.”

“I’m not using it – give it to someone else. I’m sure there are plenty of gadget freaks out there who will take it!”

I still got it. Oh well.

My point in all of this is the following: When did it become a necessity to be connected at ALL times? When did we decide that it was OK to be reachable during every waking (and sometimes sleeping) hour? Personally, I prefer emailing my friends to messaging them on Facebook. I prefer meeting up in person over impersonal conversations via BBM. I want my friends to tell me when something big happens in their lives – not discover it in my news feed a week later. I want to enjoy a dinner out with friends, without having to see a row of iPhones and BlackBerrys sitting face up on the table, and everyone frantically checking these so that they don’t miss a call, a text or an IM. Get over it!

Sure, technology is great and offers a lot of benefits and opportunities to connect (were it not for the Internet, I would have no blog!), but sometimes we need to pull the plug and reboot ourselves. No?

What do you guys think? Can you go a day without your Smartphone?


Top 10s and What-Nots


Who turned off my Zen? I’m feeling frazzled at my wavering Zenitude and realize that my inability to practice yoga or do any other fitness activity in the last week has made me totally grumptastic. I suppose it’s to be expected – I’m accustomed to stepping onto my mat every other day and hitting the gym or power walking whenever the urge strikes me. This is how I release stress, not to mention that the more active I am, the more inspired I feel to write. Being unable to do these things has left me feeling rather poopy (are you cringing CB?) – even though I know I need to ‘nurse’ my injuries before getting back to the fitness grind. My poopiness is also compounded by the fact that I feel guilty for not working out.  This is definitely a chick thing. Men never feel guilty about not working out.  I feel like I’ve already complained about this in a previous post… Have I? Oh great – now old age is starting to affect me as well. In any case, now I’m sick. Guess the fitness gods are still conspiring against me.

Right, so rather then complain about sore knees and arms and other assorted body parts, I’ve decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite things to do (for cheap)!

1- Power walking; You can do this on your own, or with a group of friends. One of my favorite places to power walk is on Mount Royal because it’s beautiful and challenging. You may need to drop a few coins into a meter if you drive there, but that will cost you $3-4 at most.

2- Doing a fitness class at one of the four Lululemon locations in Montreal. The best part? These classes are free! You can join one of their run clinics, or pop in for a yoga, Zumba or cross-fit class. Check out your local store’s calendar for details – the class schedules change on a regular basis and vary from store-to-store. This is a great way to get initiated to various forms of fitness. Note that Lululemon has locations in the US, Canada, Australia and China!

3- Practicing yoga at home; If you’re not already practicing, you will need to invest in a yoga mat (you can find these at Winners for about $20-25). I really like Lululemon’s Align Ultra Mat because it has embossed guide lines that help maintain proper alignment. This mat retails for $28 CDN. You might also want to invest in a good yoga DVD if you are new to this and unfamiliar with poses and flows. My personal favorites are led by Rodney Yee or Baron Baptiste. Check them out! Their DVDs are also available at Indigo and Amazon, and in some cases, Winners.

4- Relaxing at home, while listening to good tunes and reading a book. The bottle of wine might run you a few bucks, but is highly recommended 🙂 I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I am particularly fond of Fleur du Cap (South African) and Beringer (Californian).

5- Writing; Obviously, I’ve chosen to blog, but you can keep a journal, or write to your friends… or write a book – that’s next on my list of things to do (after this blog has made me famous of course). You can create a free blog using Blogger or WordPress, though I personally prefer WordPress because it’s more user-friendly.

6- People watching; I love to see how people interact with each other, and my favorite place to do this is on the Plateau. I love to  walk around the neighborhood and see what people are up to; there are a host of coffee houses and shops to check out, and interesting people all around! I would suggest taking the subway, and getting off at the Mont Royal stop because parking is scarce.

7- Photography; If I remembered to bring my camera with me every time I left the house, I would have a lot more photos for the blog! In any case, all you need is a camera and you’re all set. You just never know when you’ll come face-to-face with Adam Clayton (sadly, I do know, and I missed that opportunity – but that is a whole other story). All I’ll say is never judge a man by his blue suede shoes!

8- Sitting on my balcony; I love to enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting on my balcony, especially first thing in the morning. Nothing beats the sound of the wind and trees and birds chirping away. The pervert next door pretty much ruined that for me this summer, and it looks like I won’t be enjoying any cool evenings on the balcony either because he’s still perving around. Must find a new #8.

9- Moksha; OK, technically this is not free, but in the grand scheme of things, the $14 I spend per class is nothing in comparison with how amazing I feel afterward. I love Moksha!

10- Running for the Cure; This might not actually count because a) it’s not something I can do on a regularly basis, and b) I paid the registration fee in order to participate in this year’s run. In my defense, I could have waived the registration fee by committing to raising $150, but little did I know that I would end up raising more then this thanks to a few good friends (and my aunt).

The run is coming up in just a few days, and I’m very excited! I’m hoping that our Indian Summer will decide to present itself just in time for the run – will I luck out? We shall see… if you haven’t sponsored me yet and would like to, please check out my Twitter page for the link. All donations help regardless of the amount, and you can sponsor me even if you reside outside of Canada.

What are some of your favorite things to do? And more importantly, are any of you running for the cure this year?

Think Pink!