Category Archives: blogs

emoticons are the crutch of the word-disabled

i abhor emoticons.

let me be more specific: i abhor the little yellow faces adorning blog posts, comments and forum posts all over the internet. a simple, old-fashioned emoticon constructed of punctuation elemements — not so bad. like the smiley made from a colon and an end-paragraph. i’ve been known to occasionally toss one of these onto an email or blog comment when it may have otherwise been unclear that the preceeding sentence was meant in humor. it becomes my body language.

but these ones: ;) :) :( — i cringe when i see them. they are the e-equivalent of being deep in thought and having someone get right in your face and say: hey mr. grumpy-face, did you lose your smile? and the high-tech ones, with abnoxious little outfits and parts that move? well, let’s just say there are moments when violence makes just a tiny bit of sense to me. and more than one in an email, post or comment? this is time for natural selection. people who use multiple emoticons in one paragraph should be banned from the internet for life.

some punk is gonna comment here and put a bunch of ’em, aren’t ya. remember, i can delete comments and block further ones.

really, i’m not cranky today — had a great day at the water park with my daughter; then took her to see The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (we both cried). but i actually woke up last night thinking about this emoticon thing. consider it my little attempt to make the world better.

conflicted: occasional cut-n-paste humor posts or not?

ok, so this morning, sitting at my wife’s computer, i read a little mildly funny list (the post below this one), and posted it.

then i got myself dressed and drove into work. and the whole time i was thinking, “crap, now i’m one of *those blogs* that don’t actually write stuff, and are just full of random junk from other locations” (that kind of blog occasionally pisses me off (ooh, rage-man!). and, the level of actual humor in the post is only a 6 or 6.5 on a 10-point scale, i’d say. i decided to remove the post as soon as i got to work.

now i’m at work, and i’m undecided. on one hand, i don’t want this blog to either…

    a. get filled with copy-and-pasted stuff that’s interesting to me and no one else, kind of like a person who can only repeat other peoples’ thoughts. or,

    b. get filled with copy-and-pasted stuff, thereby allowing me to hide behind it all and never self-disclose or deal with my own thoughts or emotions that feel risky to put down on e-paper.

but, on the other hand, i don’t want to slip into…

    c. pretentious blogger who thinks i’m solving the problems of the universe and takes himself way too seriously, even deriving his self-worth from his presence in blog-land.


i’m caving in…

so. people have been bugging me about blogging for a year or more. and i’ve wanted to. i’ve almost started many times. here’s been my two primary concerns: i don’t want a cheesy blog that’s just a marketing front for Youth Specialties. i keep seeing organizational leaders are starting blogs simply for this reasons (of course, there are great exceptions). i could easily write laundered, sanitized, and even occaisionally fiesty-but-well-aimed thoughts in a organizationally-promoting way. not interested (as much as i love promoting YS).

But the rub has been this (and my 2nd reason for a year of hesitancy): if i blog about what i’m really thinking, i stand to alienate a reasonable portion of the YS crowd! i don’t really want to do that either.

so, i sat and stewed about it for a year.

about a month ago, i decided, “crap, i have to do this.” then, this past weekend, i was reading (WAY overdue reading, i might add) Kenda Dean’s Practicing Passion (the link goes to Jonny Baker’s review of the book, because it’s such a great summary) on a plane, and kept thinking, “ooh, i wish i could blog about that!”

i want to do this as a sort of spiritual discipline. i know this will help me work things out — whether they be personal issues, faith issues, church issues, youth ministry issues, whatever. if you choose to read, so be it.

here we go!