Monthly Archives: May 2012

Let Me Google That – How Our Vocabulary Has Changed in the Digital Age

Back in the day, before computers, we used books. Remember, those things with words printed on paper? Dictionaries, thesauri, and – wait for it – encyclopedias. Now our lives have been made faster and easier (open to opinions) with the digital age. We can look up baseball stats, find old friends, and order a pizza, all in a matter of seconds, and usually from a handheld device like a smartphone. Thomas Edison has nothing on T-Mobile.

With the introduction of these digital devices into our lives, our vocabulary has slowly changed. I’m talking about brands and services that have now become verbs. It’s really kind of fascinating when you think about it. When things were introduced before, say, the phonebook, we never used to say “Oh, let me Yellow Pages that.” But we have managed to incorporate brands into our everyday language, as normal to use now as “LOL” or “BRB”. Here’s a list of the most common ones.

Google is probably the most common brand that has become a verb. Have a question about your computer? Google it. Need the address of your doctor’s office? Google it. Want to know something about anything at all? You get the idea. Google is the most popular database for fact-finding that’s out there.

Wikipedia is an extremely large collection of user-generated content. It works like an encyclopedia, except people can edit the posts, which can lead to erroneous (and sometimes just outrageous) information. Advice: don’t use it for your history report. But if you want to find some useless information about a celebrity, you can Wiki it and you’ll find pretty reliable information.

Yelp is probably one of the most used apps I have, aside from google. When you want to find out what’s close to you, you Yelp. Food, entertainment, activities, pretty much anything you can think of. It includes information about the place, and user reviews. You can also write reviews to help others in their Yelp quests. One of the more functional brand-verbs out there.

With it’s recent IPO (epic fail), Facebook has been in the news a lot lately. But for those of us that have been using it since it became available in 2004, the action of Facebooking is a normal activity. We use it when gossiping: “Guess who Facebooked me the other day!” Or when talking about sharing what we’re doing: “Oh, I totally need to Facebook this.” Everything in our daily lives goes on Facebook, which has generated the verb out of the name. I actually wrote a post about this a few months ago, completely unrelated to this, but check it out anyway.

Ah, YouTube. Probably one of the most entertaining sites out there. Search for any video, and you are able to find it. Generally within minutes of it even happening. For example, celebrity snafus like Madonna tripping in the SuperBowl halftime show. Or, entertainment like The Bed Intruder song. Or, user generated content like my best friend Sam’s channel. Whatever you’re looking for, you can YouTube it and you’ll most likely find it.

With new technology emerging all the time, I’m sure we’ll have more brand to verb words in the future. I’m interested to see how our language evolves in the future.

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I Never Want Roommates.

Unless I really like you. And we really get along. And there’s no chance of us ending up hating each other. Which, right now, applies to about 3 people in my life. Friends, sure. But roommates? Not likely.

I’ve had roommates before, so I’m speaking from experience here. There was tons of stuff that bothered me about living with other people, but I’ll just outline the biggest issues. Otherwise this post will go on for days.

They’re never as clean as you are.

I don’t know what it is about kitchen sinks, but they always attract the grossest stuff. And for some reason, people think its okay to leave bowls half full of tuna salad in the sink for days and days. Okay, so maybe I leave a plate or glass in there from time to time, but for the most part, if it’s something that’s going to get gross, I clean it right away.

To that end, I usually seem to be the person always cleaning up after people. And I’m not a clean freak by any means. (You should see my room. War zone.) But it just really bothers me when there’s dust build up, dishes everywhere, gross spills….you know what I mean. We’re adults. Clean that sh*t up.

They eat your food and drink your booze.

And they never seem to have good stuff for you to steal. Now, I’m all over communal grocery shopping and just having the food be for everyone. But no one ever wants to do that. So they write their names on their food, and you respect that. But as soon as you leave your booze out unattended, its gone. And when they buy you replacements, that’s gone too before you can drink it. True story. Happened to me.

I’ve also noticed that if they do steal something from you, they never have anything as good as what they took for you to steal. It’s always super healthy, or super gross,  or super something that you don’t want.  Never a fair trade.

They’re passive aggressive.

If you have a problem with something I do, just tell me. Don’t dance around the issue, constantly be pissed about something, or, the worst, leave me notes. Just tell me what’s bothering you. This is the single reason why guy roommates are better than girls. You can tell them something straight out, and they fix it. They don’t take it personally, they just say “Okay, cool,” and go about their daily business. Makes life much easier.

This pisses me off.

Like I said, those are just a few reasons why I don’t want roommates. Hopefully, I won’t have to deal with them any time in the near future. But if I have to, I’ll be sure to let you know how it is.

Cash-only businesses kind of piss me off.

I promised myself I wouldn’t be all complainey in my blog, but this is something that I feel is an actual issue (as well as being a complaint).

Cash-only businesses are few and far between, to be sure, but they still exist. And they seem to exist in the most inconvenient places. To be fair, I understand that not accepting credit cards reduces your overdraft from eliminating swipe fees, but carrying cash is getting less and less common. With debit and credit cards being the norm, and apps like TheLevelUp (https://www.thelevelup.com/) and Google Wallet (http://www.google.com/wallet/what-is-google-wallet.html) allowing you to pay with your smartphone, cash is becoming the exception to the rule. I’m probably biased because of where I live and my age group, but I honestly don’t think twice about not having any cash in my wallet.

Which means I usually don’t have any.

Herein lies my problem with cash-only businesses. I’ve complied a short list of the most common places that are cash-only; coincidentally, they seem to be the places where you would want the most payment options. I also realize that some cash-only places have ATMs available, but that’s beside my point.

Gas Stations – Everyone needs gas, at one point or another. The worst feeling in the world is riding on E and thankfully finding a gas station to learn they don’t take credit cards. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be riding on E (thanks, Dad). But, still. At that point I need my gas and can’t get it because you won’t take my debit card? Lame. In most cases gas stations that are cash only are cheaper, but out of pure convenience I would rather go to one that takes credit cards. I hate going inside, paying, and then having to get change if I overpay. I’m actually really shy about that sort of thing (if you can believe that), so I do anything I can do avoid it.

Coffee Shops – Yeah, I know. You’re hipster. Big business is bad. Wah wah wah. I just want my damn coffee. And maybe that coffee roll. And I just want to use my debit card. But you won’t take it. I’ll just go to Dunkin Donuts. Take that, Mr. Skinny Jeans.

Parking Garages – This one seems kind of obvious to me, but apparently it isn’t. I work in the city, so I’m used to parking garages. The majority of them take credit cards. You’re usually in there for more than 4 hours, which means they charge you half a year’s salary. I probably wouldn’t have that kind of cash on me anyway, so I’d prefer to use my debit card. I parked at one the other day that was cash only. I went to the ATM prior to leaving, and got what I thought would be an adequate amount of money because I had parked overnight. Turns out I was $10 short. I had to back out of the lane (someone was behind me, by the by), park, and go back to the ATM to get more money. Annoying. Just annoying.

A lot of people might see it as my problem for never carrying cash, and maybe I’m in the minority because of my age group and the fact that I live near a city. But I just feel like this is a thing. And it’s going to keep being a thing. And I will continue to be annoyed.

Career Change at 25…WTF am I thinking?

I wish it was that easy.

No one ever really knows what they want to be when they “grow up”, even when they get there. People change careers all the time. What they don’t tell you: it’s one of the hardest things EVER.

I went through college thinking I wanted to work in retail for the rest of my life. So, I worked 40 hours, had two days off (during which I went to class) and happily (read: ignorantly) started to carve out what I thought would be the career path of my life.

WRONG.

Retail sucks. Anyone who has ever worked in it, or works in it, or knows someone who knows someone who worked in it, knows it sucks. The hours suck, customers suck, corporate sucks. It’s all just awful. Sure, shopping is great. I love it. But being the person who makes it possible for the shopping to happen? Not so great.

But I digress. I went to college for marketing, because it was something I was vaguely interested in, and frankly, I needed to pick a major. Towards the end of my college career, I started thinking that maybe I would really like to get into marketing, but by that time I was already close to graduating and my opportunity for internships had passed me by.

So I graduated, worked some more retail, was unemployed, worked more retail, and got an office job. Simple admin work for a career training school, no big. Left there about a year and a half later, went back to retail. Do you see a theme here? Decided to try waitressing for a year (the deadline of which is fast approaching) while trying to land a marketing job.

But here’s the thing: I’ve been trying to get a marketing job for a few years now. I have no experience because I didn’t do any internships. Oh, and the economy is in the pooper. Needless to say, the job search hasn’t been easy. Why hire me, when you can hire someone with a ton of experience for the same amount you would be paying an entry-level know nothing? It’s like being a salmon during mating season. If you don’t know what I mean by that, look it up. I’ll wait.

All set? Good. Because now, here’s the fun part: Now I’m in career transition, and I’ve finally found a job that I actually want to be doing (managing social media), but it’s part time. And it’s technically an internship. And they probably can’t hire me full time. So, I’m basically back to square one: the search. Where will it lead me? I’m not sure. But I sure as hell hope I find out soon.

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