Tag Archives: gaming

mind your social networking.

16 Sep

I’ve desperately wanted to tell every Grown Man (or their lady-friends that are the ones actually reading this site) to quit Facebook, Twitter, and all social networking.  Oh, how I’ve wanted to write lines like, “Seriously, why are you looking at pictures of your 6th grade lab partner’s honeymoon!?  Who cares? Go outside!” and, “Looking to cheat? Accept that friend request.”  Oh lord, I turn grizzled and cantankerous when it comes to social media.

Old school networking

However, this Grown Man isn’t a hypocrite. And, not only do I use the e-world to shamelessly promote this here blog and interact with “you people,” but I’m starting to come around to the fact that Facebook (and to a lesser degree, every other social networking option) isn’t just a fad — but a way of life.  I’m realizing that Facebook is not just about being stalked by old high school friends that you’d rather avoid, but one portal by which to produce and consume all business, entertainment, and socialization.  It is, in a sense, the new Silk Road, the new telegraph, the new email, and the Brave New World (or 1984?).

So, how should Grown Men responsibly harness the power of social networking while still remaining respectable and timeless?

1- Just say no. One of the main issues I have with all e-socialization is the wide swath of people that now have access to you and your life.  I’m not all freaked out about Internet security and “the man in the black helicopter” stealing “your secrets.”  I’m more concerned with the fact that you, me, and everyone in the world shouldn’t have access to you, me, and everyone in the world.  Here’s why:  As humans, we have a limited capacity for human connections.  Some theories suggest that we can’t really know more than 100 people well and, after that, our lives get filled with needless information and insincere friendships.

Bro.  For real, listen to me Bro.  I’VE GOT 4,380 freakin’ friends.  And, I’ve poked all of them.

Yuck, gross, c’mon! In truth, you only really know about 20 of them and the rest of them are simply pawns in your quest to feel popular without really knowing anyone.   What I’m proposing is that when you get a friend request, you ask yourself the following question:  Do I care to be in community with this person, or do I just want to be voyeuristic? If it’s option one, go for it!  If it’s option two, realize that nothing productive, respectful, or polite comes from simply looking in on someone’s life without participating in it.  If you don’t care for him or her, just say no to the friend request.

2- Just say no, again. Following the same logic as #1, I’d avoid doing a mass invite of people.  Be particular about who you enter into this community with. You wouldn’t walk into a football stadium and give everyone your email address, personal photo album, and diary would you?  Grown Men practice decorum and keep some mystery about them.

3- Be accountable. My biggest problem with social networking is that it makes wrecking a good relationship, even a marriage, easier than ever.  Here’s what happens:  You and your significant other are going through a rough patch (which will happen).  You’re feeling hurt, she’s feeling lonely, neither of you are particularly excited about the other person.  Now, she’s gone to bed and you check your email only to find that “[High School girlfriend who you lost contact with and remember as being one of the only people who understood me] has requested to be your friend.”  Well now, doesn’t that feel nice? She says, “Hi,” you say, “It’s been a long time,” she says, “Too long,” you say, “We should remedy that.”

Do you see what happened?  Your relational problems have lowered your defences and MyTwitFace (thank you, Conan) has provided a perfect opportunity to feel the attention and attraction you’re longing for. My friend, you are about to turn a rough spot in your committed relationship into and dark season with a person who, guess what!, is also not perfect and certainly flawed.

What I’m suggesting – no, begging – is that you give someone you trust your username and password.  The reason is simple, we don’t do dumb stuff in front of other people as easily as we do it in secrecy.  Which, parenthetically, is why being in a physical community where people can ask how you’re doing is a much better option for networking than interweb socialization.  But, I’m not grumpy old guy, so I’m not going to say that.  Anyhow, knowing that someone you trust is able to see your interactions will guard you from doing dumb stuff and allow you to enjoy your social networks in a responsible way.

You’re a Grown Man, mind your social networking.

Wow.  This was not a funny post, was it?  Well, I suppose it’s not always yucks and giggles on the road to Grown Manhood. But, because I fancy myself the jester of internet masculinity, I can’t end on such a Doug Downer note. To remedy that, I’ll leave you with this super special 4th rule:

4- Plant a garden. If you think playing Farmville is in any way an acceptable option for living your life as a Grown Man, you need to Apple-Q that junk right now and go outside.  For real, Grown Men should have dirty hands at the end of the day — not fake cows getting loose.  Your great-grandfather is rolling over in his grave.

go outside.

30 Jun

We’re coming up on a long weekend and, at this point in the week, I’m sure you’ve completely checked out and are planning your three-day nothing-fest.  Oh the places you will go!  Maybe you’ll have a big Saturday and parlay pancakes into an ice-chest full of back porch Miller Light and round third on an evening of on-line gaming.  Oh no, better yet, maybe you’ll get really active and work out that thumb, switching between Wimbledon and World Cup.  Man, the 4th of July’s gonna’ rule! I love independence!

Guys, we’ve begun equating relaxation with inactivity.  We’ve lost touch with the Earth – our dominion, our home, and our sanctuary.  What we’ve done is sought out comfort at all costs and forgotten how good it feels have dirt in our hands, sun on our necks, and fresh air to breath.  It’s time to get back to the basics.

Here’s the homework:  This weekend, go outside.  For real, start planning something right now that will aid in reintroducing you to the Earth.  Maybe you could take a nice hike, kayak, or bike ride. Maybe you could go so far as to buy a cheap tent and spend a night outside (it’s called camping).  Whatever you do, go beyond working in the yard and find, at least, a semi-beautiful place and bask in it. And by bask, I mean get rid of the phone, sweat a little bit,  look/smell/touch things, and be present for whatever may present itself.  Your instincts will take over when you get there.

Now listen, I know you’ve got World Cup fever (when will this terrible event end!) and have been working hard.  I don’t want to guilt you into not enjoying your home and 97 inch TV.   What I want from you is balance.  A balance between TV and nature, air conditioning and photosynthesis, your natural habitat and the one you’re paying monthly on.

Grown Men, go outside.

get up early.

23 Jun

Wasn’t summer the best when you were a kid?  You’d go to sleepovers at your buddies house and play Tecmo Bowl until the wee hours of the morning. Then, you’d sleep late enough that your friends mom would peak her head in around 11:30 and ask the inevitable question, “Are you boys planning on getting up soon?”  No, of course you weren’t, there’s no plan for getting up, you’re 12 and you’re keepin’ it real!  Lazy summers are part of your childhood and one of the great luxuries of having nothing to do.

However, and I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, you’ve got stuff to do now and it’s time to wake up. It’s no longer cool to be sleeping until 9:15 and looking disheveled as you hide behind a 64 oz. Starbucks cup until 2pm.  For real, “Are you boys planning on getting up soon?”

Grown Man, first of all, I hate your blog.  Second of all, why would I get up earlier than I have to?  What’s wrong with my system of subtracting 27 minutes off the start of my first appointment and setting my alarm for that time?

First of all, I don’t care, you’re only reading Grown Man because you know your girlfriend will quiz you on it – and that’s fine with me.  Second of all, getting up early is part of what makes great men wise, refined, and disciplined.  Your method of dragging your butt into the day and riding the wave of espresso until you catch your first wind at 3:30 doesn’t allow room for things like study, reflection, and – wait for it – silence.

Um, Oprah called, she wants her blog back.

Nice early 90’s joke.  Gentlemen, the day comes at you like a lion.  Getting up early allows you to tame it and create in yourself disciplines like patience, temperance, and self-control.  Think about the difference it would make in your life if you took some extra time in the morning to orient yourself and prepare for the coming storm.  Okay, enough touchy-feely talk, let’s get practical:

1- Tomorrow morning, no matter how early you already have to get up, set your alarm for an hour earlier.
2- Take that hour to read, think, drink a good cup of coffee (preferably French Press) and NOT work on your iBerry.
3- Do that every day.

Grown Men, have you ever wondered why your dad or grandpa was ALWAYS awake before you?  Yes, it’s partly due to an enlarged prostate that makes him pee every time the wind blows.  But also, it’s due to the fact that he’s not a child anymore and he knows the value of greeting the day on his terms, with his agenda, and with the learned discipline to sharpen and quiet his mind.

video games can no longer be your primary hobby.

6 May

Do video games rule? Yes. Is it fun to get together with some buddies and play Shoot Each Other And Yell: IV? OH HELL YES! Is it okay for video games to be one of your primary hobbies? No, sir.

Let’s boil down what a video game is – it’s a TV show. Being super-stoked about gaming is akin to my Aunt Ruth losing her shiz because General Hospital is on – you’re both escaping the real world and dying in front of your “programs”.

Furthermore, when a lady inquires, “Hey, Man I’m Considering for Procreation, what are your hobbies?” Can you imagine saying, “I watch about 6 hours of television a day. The great thing is though, I control an Army man and we destroy zombies on the planet Dorkizar. I’ve won competitions – so that’s pretty cool.” [exit, girl]

Games are meant to be an amusing little addition to a full, rich life – not the main focus of one. Here are some alternate, acceptable hobbies in case you decide to kick the video game habit:


Take care, grown men.

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