Relationship advice on the internet is worse than something in Cosmo or Ladies’ Home Journal, mostly due to sheer volume and banality. The 9 Smartest Marriage Tips Ever from Salon bobbed through the data streams today, its author claiming to provide new, useful information derived from experts who ranged from her grandmother to the latest research. The article disappointed on that front. Two things are worth noting, though: Marriage is like a credit card. Indeed. The economic model is a common trope for relationships. Turning this metaphor into a credit card is both crass and dangerous given today’s economy. Too many people spend beyond theirRead More →

Scare cam proves what everyone’s saying about us – we are all turning into a bunch of narcissistic sociopaths. Our ability to empathize is eroding daily. Most folks attribute this to desensitization from new media technology, but the blame is elsewhere. “Point and shoot” scare cams emphasize that the thing pointing doesn’t kill people, people kill people. Scare cams are a symptom of something bigger, of lost contact. You can fall in love via technology just as easily as you can bully through it; technology can mediate love as much as it can mediate bullying. So the problem isn’t technology. Maybe in the end OctaviaRead More →

coffitivity logo

Great productivity tip: Coffitivity.com is a great website designed to boost productivity. The web app streams different versions of coffee shop sounds as a white noise screen. In college, I learned that some form of white noise helps me work better, and coffee shops made the best white noise. Different learning styles, ADHD, autism, all kinds of reasons explain why white noise aids focus, but music with lyrics can be distracting. Coffitivity is a great idea.  Read More →

Today I am grateful for some old school internet acronyms plus some texting ones that have joined the crew. Don’t ask my why I’m feeling this nostalgia. It just is. 1. OMG (Note: The F has fled the scene.) 2. FML (Note: The F has returned.) 3. LOL (tried and true) 4. BRB (where are you going? You’re leaving?!) 5. BRT (BRB’s texting brethren) 6. OMW (BRT’s texting cousin) 7. WTF (Note: The F persists.) 8. IRL (stands for “in real life,” as opposed to…which…well..yeah…) 9. OIC (oh, I see….I see how it is…) 10. FTW (Also tried and true) To be clear: I amRead More →

Nigerian scams fascinate me. Due to my recent life circumstances, their mutations surround me. I posted on Craigslist because I want to rent out a room, only to discover the barrage of roommate scams. I joined Match.com (yes, ..oy), which is a veritable cesspool of scammers. Nigerian Scam vs. Spanish Prisoner Saying scammers come out like bugs in the night has disturbing racial overtones. Why did “Nigerian scam” stick instead of “Spanish Prisoner”? Nigerian scams, perpetuated by actual Nigerians but by others too, are more recent than others, and therefore the name is more relevant. Also, people today probably don’t resonate with the idea ofRead More →

On this Veteran’s Day, stop fake supporting your troops. Today is Veteran’s Day, a day that spawns a number of cut and paste micro-memes on Facebook.  After last month’s screed on pinkwashing, I feel compelled to repeat my rant preemptively as the first posts start to trickle in. People see the “Support our Troops Cut and Paste,” and they dutifully follow directions without taking a moment to honor the sentiment, and without admitting that they’ve accomplished absolutely nothing meaningful in any way. Flag-waving “support your veteran” statuses on Facebook are amusing. They’re pointless. We might as well cut and paste a status from a statusRead More →

My first version of VoXYgen was posted in 1996. It was fun building the most rudimentary webpage and exploring what could be done on the internet. Since then, things have changed, and I’m suffering from “information fatigue” sans the extreme levels of anxiety or sleeplessness that it presumably provokes. I have noticed, however, that I can’t keep up with Facebook. I bookmark sites that friends post and then waste time deleting them without reading them because the list is obscenely long. I skip surfing my usual reading spots. RSS readers have made blog surfing incredibly easy. The downside, however, is that with a simple clickRead More →

Thank God for Akismet keeping my blog clean.  Some of the posts trapped in the Akismet toilet bowl are hysterical. Here are some trends: 1. People who are obviously not native English speakers posting in “Engrish.” The errors are amusing. Yet, some SEO company is probably outsourcing spam comments along the lines of third world WoW gold farmers. This is not about ethnocentric “English-only”-ism. This is about the ridiculousness of the spam comments. 2. The usual “your post is interesting, you’re brilliant, I will come back and read you every day.” These comments are completely random and usually don’t fit the content of the post.Read More →