Google

Dear Job Market, or, Ode to the Digital Reinvention Revolution

It doesn’t matter how cool you are. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. When hunting for a job, you are a person in need of something that someone else has. That will never change. And until you get there you are a candidate on the sidelines, uncool and waiting. You hold your resume in your hand. You second guess every word, every bullet point, every comma.

The Internet comes along. It teaches us that nothing will ever be the same. For better, for worse.

The power shifts, just slightly.

Now: social media, infographic resumes, personal blogs, online portfolios, LinkedIN groups. A digital revolution to broadcast your personal brand, to make a splash, to recruit them to you!

The power shift! Good lord, I have so much power!

In the end, does any of it really matter? I wonder if anything has changed. Active networking and personal contacts, certainly, are as important as ever. And isn’t fate? A properly timed print-resume, or running into an old friend who works at a new company, or a chance encounter with a CEO in line while buying Dippin’ Dots.

Who knows, really, what it will all come down to. You certainly don’t. Either do I.

Hello, Dear Internet, Dear Job Market, and friend. 

My name is Kevin. If you’re new here, let me introduce myself:

I’m a lifestyle blogger, five years running now, and I’ve had some (albeit limited) success. During this time, I’ve also been pursuing college. The official term is “nontraditional student,” but really, that just means I’m old. 28, I know, isn’t ancient, but at a private university, when I’m first into a classroom, I’m often asked for the syllabus.

In May, I graduate. We, my wife and I, are hoping to move back to the West Coast. Currently, we’re in sunny Rochester, New York. You know, sunny as in Sonny. As in, the mob boss from A Bronx Tale. As in dead. It’s 5 degrees outside with a negative windchill of 15. (more…)

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Pinterest, The Musical

The internet is pretty busy these days. (Hey! Over here. Stay with me.) There’s a fierce battle of eyeball real estate going on; somehow, I won you over to my blog. I promise to be quick.

Have you noticed attention spans weakening at a frightening pace? I’m as bad as anyone. Lately, I’ve felt less like Greek Homer and more like Springfield Homer.

SIDE NOTE: I may or may not have just spent 20 minutes on Youtube watching old Simpsons videos.

The internet is just absolute madness: eons and eons of digital stimuli. Remember not knowing the answer to things? That was awkward. What once took a lifetime of information to collect, can now be searched and understood in less than five tweet-seconds.

But I can’t help but wonder about the negative long-term effects of all this big data and short segmented behavior. If things keep going the way they are (and one can only assume it will) humans may just become the most annoying creatures of all time. A Keurig will even be too slow. Maybe that’s why, in the movies, when people discover how to travel through time, they always escape the future and prefer the past. Terminator, obviously, just wants to chill.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a worthy case study and is my favorite example of short-term focus. (more…)

What We Ask About Worship

One of my favorite features of the WordPress statistics page (web hits & clicks, etc.) is the “Search Engine Terms.” This means that if you Google a phrase that leads you to my blog, I’m told what the phrase is. For instance, I once wrote a blog about getting my butt stuck in the passenger seat of my car due to a bubble gum accident. Now, I’m privy to a good amount (more than you would think) of butt-gum internet searches: butt stuck in window, butt in gum, left butt stuck, my butt is stuck, and so forth.

By far, the most common search terms that bring people to my blog have to deal with worship. Last year, I was Freshly Pressed due to my blog Confessions of a Former Worship Leader. In short, my thesis was twofold: the church encourages musicianship without calling it music, or concerts, fostering a milieu of anxiety ridden (red-headed, guitar playing) church musicians; and the church, or us, has gone overboard, or obsessed, in presenting a program-over-people approach of worship.

I don’t mean to revisit the post fully; I have no intention of that. Personally, I’m very much beyond it (admittedly, because, I don’t attend Sunday service anymore). However, since the worship blog brings droves of readers to my site—with a bevy of search terms along with it—it seems wise to share what I have learned from the people who frequent my site. (more…)

Internet Fasting: My Googless Week

Google is a lot like toilet paper: everyone uses it but no one admits it. Recently, I took a week off the internet empire. Here were the rules:

 One week, no Google. Also, no Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. I did leave gmail accounts open for work and personal purposes. Maybe next time… Also worth noting, this was not a spiritual fast. One could claim, however, that I was searching… for myself… (GET IT?)

Dependency 
Without Google image search, this was the best I could do.

googless.

I’m a big fan of the internet. Besides blogging, I really enjoy social media, online shopping, and of course, the ability to watch TV whenever and wherever I want. These benefits may seem juvenile, but in all sincerity they’ve reshaped millions of lives.

The average user spends most of their time on mediums that weren’t available just ten years ago. And knowledge, well, that has come a long way. Remember not knowing the answer to a question? Awkward.

Like a sovereign empire, Google rules the world wide web with an iron fist. The simple “search” has changed more than we ever imagined it could.

I am not here to attack the internet but—rather simply—contribute to the conversation of our internet dependency.

Here’s What I Noticed

It turns out, I’m not an expert on every topic ever. Once I removed my ability to acquire instant knowledge of everything through Google search, I was starkly reminded of the work required for real expertise.

I’m capable of finding the answer on my own. Earlier this week I wrote a blog about the book of Esther. Without Google, I dedicated ten minutes to rereading and searching my own sources for context questions. I am capable!

still googless.

still googless.

I’m not a photographer. Every good blog needs a good picture. Without “Google image search” or any other picture service, I was reminded of real photography talent (unfortunately, I don’t have it). Also, I need to be better about photo cred.

Human dependency isn’t all that bad. This last week a customer asked about baritone ukuleles. Staring at a blank Google search, I almost caved in and faked some knowledge. Instead, I took a deep breathe and declared, “Ya know, I just… have no idea whatsoever.” Believe it or not, she actually understood. What I did do was direct her to a co-worker with expertise on the subject. Though not available at the time, she happily came back later.

It’ll be okay. With or without Google, it’s not the end of the world. I don’t want to rid myself entirely, but instead, set boundaries.

Fin

I hope something jumped out at you regarding my bullet points. Expecting a challenging week full of great stories to tell, I was instead left with a simpler message of patience and humility.

Would you be wiling to try it? Take a week off and let me know how it goes!

I’d also be interested hearing other takes on “internet dependency.” Have you had any experiences or viewpoints you’d care to share?