"Millennials feel like they're entitled... to a future."
<<< First of all, I want to express my condolences to the people of Paris and France as well as the families of those affected by the terrorist attacks that just happened. It’s so sad but we have to be careful not to hate just because others share commonalities with the perpetrators. This post, which I had been mulling for some time, is pertinent in a lot of ways. >>>
I wrote more than 4 years ago about how as I became older, I increasingly felt the need to express my opinion. That was back when Facebook wasn’t nearly as popular and things were a little different. I always looked upon my blog as a way to share my thoughts and opinions to hopefully make people think. In this way, I might influence the world. I might as well take advantage of the fact that the internet is an amazing forum from which we can express ourselves. But recently, things have gotten ugly… and hateful… and divisive. It’s getting to the point that opinions are becoming so extreme and polarizing that they keep us from getting along. I blame this on many factors.
Because opinions can be given anonymously, people feel protected to spout off how they really feel and that’s not necessarily a good thing. They don’t have to look you in the eye or meet you to realize that you are also just another human. It’s disheartening to know how many people hate others just for their ethnicity or religion. Ultimately, some thoughts are better kept to yourself. And by sharing such thoughts, the fervor increases and others are emboldened to spread more hatred
It’s hard to believe that this blog has been in existence for five years (as of January). Thanks to my readers and random visitors throughout the years. I haven’t been consistent in posting and this blog is not a moneymaker (as it’s more of a money loser), but I still enjoy writing posts. It comes down to me wanting to share thoughts that I have. I may have mentioned this before, but when I was younger, I hated to write. That probably contributed to my majoring in engineering and thinking about majoring in art. As I became older, I realized that I like to express things I notice through comedy or website bulletin board comments. Then after I took an MBA class on blogging at Michigan, I started "Things I’ve Noticed" as part of a project. When I tried to decide what to include in the blog, I realized that I could use it as a creative outlet and that I was in charge of the content.
Many of my posts are just lighthearted fun posts based on observations I’ve had, but some are based on heartfelt opinions. As I’ve gotten older, I have realized that I feel the need to express my opinion more. I’m not sure if others feel the same way as they get older. I’m also not sure why this is the case for me. But I have some ideas. Perhaps as I get older, I collect more information and evidence and I think more about why things are the way they are. This makes me more sure of myself and my opinions (at least from my perspective). And so I feel the need to share with others. Perhaps this is an expression of a need to share my beliefs to convince others. There is power in a blog in that it is searchable and it’s a small way to spread influence. If I can change a few minds and a few votes, then I have made an impact. If it can make people be more accepting of others, then I have made an impact.
Perhaps I feel the need to share my opinion because I get sick of opposing opinions and lies being spread by outlets such as Fox News. Of course, there is a downside. When you share your opinion, you not only make instant friends but you also make instant enemies. Even if it’s difficult, I'm of the opinion that one shouldn’t let differences of opinion get in the way of friendships.
For the foreseeable future, I will continue to blog in a random fashion. That’s just how I roll and I’m the boss. I have a Word file with plenty of blog post ideas and quotes that will supply material for at least a couple of more years so keep visiting and reading. Comments are great too.
Google is a formidable search engine that has stood the test of web time so far even though Bing from Microsoft has come out with their “Decision Engine”. As the writer/owner/tracker of thingsivenoticed.com, I have signed up for web analytics service that tells me how visitors to the site reach it. If they searched on Google and clicked on a search result link to my blog, I see exactly what they typed in for search, (but I don’t know who the person is). What I see is usually normal, sometimes weird, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes sad. People search in Google with questions basically asking Google to solve their problems. I’ve seen searches like, “why does he hate me?”, and “is it ok to wear the same clothes every day?”. People who get to “Things I’ve Noticed” via those sites need to realize that the internet will not solve all of your life’s problems, (and neither will Sudoku). I doubt that Bing can make decisions for you either. You might get lucky and get to see a link where people write about experiences with solutions to similar problems on a site bulletin board, but vague general problems mean nothing to Google or any other search engine for that matter. Yahoo Answers has a better approach, but people vote on the best answer and it may not be right or helpful.
These search sites do their thing through impersonal mega-algorithms and they care nothing for you. They haven’t spent any time in a human body and don’t have personality. Talking to people probably helps the most. In some cases, Google comes through with information that may help you make a decision, but that’s often just luck. I suppose one has little to invest in searching for, “where should I sit on a bus?”, so it’s worth a shot. But instead of getting answers, they end up landing on sites, (like mine), that exist to make you think and for entertainment. One other aspect of relying on search for solutions to life is that the websites that come up in the search results often have conflicting information or answers. What to do then? Information overload can be confusing and stressful.
Perhaps it’s just a sign of modern times. We use the internet to pay bills, make reservations, and even to maintain and establish friendships. Why not use it to solve problems in life? It seems to make sense, but computers aren’t good at figuring out humans and the sites can’t take the place of a friend or psychiatrist. Or perhaps nothing can take the place of you. Eventually you may be able to figure out how to handle your problems yourself.
I'm proud to say that this blog has been running for three years now. I never expected to still be writing, but blogging has a special appeal to my creative and analytical sides as well as my Leo side that likes to get some attention. I take joy in knowing that I can make an impact on the world by making people think. I also like making people laugh, (or chuckle), and allowing others to get to know me better, but it does expose myself to people knowing too much about me, (like Facebook does, but in a different kind of way). I've also had a few nasty comments from people who hide behind the veil of internet anonymity.
It's interesting how I come up in theTop 5 on Google search results for…
This is my 371st post. So far TIN has had 51,359 page views which amounts to around 47 per day. Google says that there are only 1,794,466 websites more popular than mine! The average visitor spends a minute per visit and 85% just bounce in and out, perhaps not finding what they were looking for from searching on Google. (Or perhaps they don't like my picture). Repeat visitors make up 11% of the visits. I even have human subcribers that are a subset of the number shown on the right of the page. That number includes automated subscribers. I have more readers and more random visitors than I ever would have imagined.
Lots of article ideas still in the hamper, so don't expect me to stop writing anytime soon, but I don't think I'll ever be consistent in how often I write or what types of things I write about. I keep talking about redesigning my blog, and it just never happens. Part of me says why mess with a good thing(?), while another part of me hasn't had time to do it perfectly. I don't want a half-baked redesign. (To start, if anybody can help me figure out how to make the center column wider on Typepad, I would be grateful).
Now that TIN is three, I expect it to start paying its way, so it has new advertising. I make about $5 a month so it doesn't do much to defray the blog hosting fee I pay, but I don't care. One expert told me that with the Google page rank of 3 that this site has, I could make $100 per month with the addition of some text link ads. In the meantime, please click on an ad or two after you're done reading. Think of it as a tip.
On a side note, I have one person in Tempe, Arizona who seems to be in the process of reading every blog post I've ever written. I'm curious to know who you are since you are the first person who has ever done that.
I'm still waiting for Andy Rooney, (my inspiration), to visit this blog and comment. It's too bad he can't access my site from his typewriter. I also wouldn't mind getting his job when he retires, but he's still going strong at 90! Thanks to all you readers for keeping me going! Here's to another 3 years of blogging.
I started a Group on Facebook called
Fans of the blog "Things I've Noticed"
I may not have the best blog in the world, but it's better than some other ones that have a lot more fans. Feel free to join if you like. It will help others "refresh their mind" on a regular basis.
Before you read about it in the newspaper, I'd like to announce that the home office, (and the writer), of "Things I've Noticed" are moving to somewhere in the Minneapolis metro area. I know it's hard to believe that after almost 14 years of this car guy living in the Motor City, I'll actually be leaving. Even though it will be nice to remain in the great Midwest, I'll also have to accept that I'll be moving further from my family in the Cleveland area. It was a tough decision, but I felt as though it was time to make a move in my career. I have to get more out of my University of Michigan MBA and all those years of experience that I've managed to string together. I'll be doing product management work for a smaller company whose name I won't mention. I'm excited to be going to a new town that's in better shape economically, but it's sad leaving the Detroit area which I have grown to love. It's depressing how hard our local economy has been hit. Let's all just buy cars from the Big Three and help turn this town around. Anyway, I've heard that Minneapolis is a fun town with some beautiful areas (and lots of blonds which isn't a bad thing). I don't mind snow, but the extreme cold will take a bit of getting used to. I will be buying a nice warm coat as soon as I get there. I heard there's no sales tax on clothes there.
In addition to leaving the aspects of the Detroit area that I like, (such as areas like Birmingham, Royal Oak, Ferndale, Ann Arbor, great ethnic food in the suburbs, being in the heart of the auto industry), I'll also be leaving friends, coworkers, and soccer and volleyball teammates that I've played with for years. It's all starting to sink in. I don't really know anybody in Minneapolis, but some of my friends have already introduced me to people there. It will be time to get used to new roads, new grocery stores, local culture, drivers, news broadcasts, and new friends. It seems like a big deal to me because I haven't moved much in my lifetime, but to others, it's no big deal. Anyway, if any of my subscribers are from Minneapolis, drop me a line.
Now it's time to get to looking for apartments on line. Prime candidates for apartment locations are St. Louis Park, and Hopkins.
You would never know it, but I used to hate to write. (I blame it on English teachers who didn’t appreciate my writing style). As you can tell, I now really like to write, (thanks to English teachers who taught me how to write better and who appreciated my writing style). And as I get older, I feel the need to express my opinion more often. I think I’m becoming more opinionated with age. Thank God for blogs. I have actually been able to share my ideas with people other than the individuals I know. Some of them I believe are important as I think they can help change people’s attitudes about things from my small-time virtual pulpet. People often don’t get why I blog. Part of it is to write for fun, but part of it is to make a difference by conveying what I want to tell the world on the web. If I come up high in search results, then I can be more influential than the next girl or guy. And I get to entertain people with some hardly useful thoughts I come up with. I find that satisfying too. But blogs aren’t just about me. I came to the blogging world very late compared to others.
An important point that my friend and long time reader of TIN, Dave, brought up: blogging is a great media equalizer. It’s like democracy for news. We don’t have to rely on corporate-tainted media telling us “the facts”. Now, any one of us with internet access and a few bucks can spout off. And that’s great. Plus it gives a search user easy access to the pulse of the world. It does create a new predicament though. No credentials or credibility, (besides a basic command of language), are needed to do this. Dumb people of the world can spread their misinformation and hatred.
My next objective is to actually make some money off of this blog. You may have noticed the Google AdSense advertising at the top. I would love to make a living off of blogging, so if any of you would like to advertise on here, drop me a line. According to this website, an ad on my site should cost $9 per month. I do get close to 50 visitors a day, have had more than 27,000 visitors in the two years since “Things I’ve Noticed” launched. I don’t foresee myself shutting down anytime soon. That’s because I don’t stop thinking and I can’t stop noticing things.
My friend, "The Boss", (but much younger than Bruce Springstein), has created a new site which I find quite interesting. It's called OfficialDebate.com. It's just starting up, but it has lots of neat topics that are at times controversial. Every good debate needs lots of debaters so click on the link and register if you like to argue with people on topics that you know you're right about. I did. Please argue respectfully and soon the site will add other interesting features including debates in which the users get to vote to determine the winner.
Oh and tell "The Boss" I sent you there.
Sorry for the lack of posts. The supposed high speed wireless modem I bought here didn't work for a week due to a backlog of people signing on and then it was unreliable and not fast at all. Posting or uploading pictures would have been a pain. All is well here in hot Mumbai at a friend's place with better connectivity. Highlights of my trip included St. Peter's Cathedral, some temples in India with great architecture, spending time with extended family, and seeing a real Asiatic lion in the wild.
I fly out tonight so I will be back to the U.S. very soon and will write a post this weekend for sure. Among other things, I miss my friends and family, good internet connections, Mexican food, my home, and driving my cars.