Tag Archives: facebook

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. A friend on Facebook pointed me to this hysterical post on Yahoo! Travel featuring excerpts from foreign travel guides about Britain. LOL funny.

2. Speaking of Facebook, here’s a terrific piece from the Montreal Gazette on what it’s like to dumped on FB (via the ever-lovely Sharon Hyman of Neverbloomers).

3. On a more serious note, I was quite taken with this essay by Clay Graham on the New York Times Modern Love column about what happens when work gets in the way of romance (but not in the obvious way.)

4. I always love Michelle Kerns’ quirky and insightful book examiner column on examiner.com. Here she is talking about the seven stages of grief you go through when you buy a hardcover and realize that it wasn’t worth it.

5. And while we’re on the subject of books, if you haven’t yet come across this little gem – I write Like – I’d suggest that you give it a whirl. It’s a website that tells you which famous writer your writing style resembles. I came up as Vladimir Nabokov and I must say that I’m quite psyched about that. Who knew that my writing was so racy?

6. Finally, for those who are interested, here’s my post on www.PoliticsDaily.com about the Church of England’s war over women.

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Networking in Adulthood: Dating For Friends…Online

One of the great things about blogging is that you get to read all this stuff you’d never come into contact with normally, simply because you are now paying attention to – say – adulthood. This past week, for example, I can’t tell you how many wonderful reviews I’ve read of the movie, Where The Wild Things Are, all of which talked about its appeal for grown-ups.

Another great thing about blogging is that you get to know (ok, e-know) all different kinds of people whom you’d never meet in real life. That connection might come about because they left a comment on your blog or started following you on Twitter. Or because you saw them interviewed on someone else’s blog and you decided to get in touch. Whatever the source, the social side of blogging is one if its many wonderful attractions.

It was through a combination of these two channels that I came to discover my new e-BFF, Sharon Hyman. I was scrolling through one of the many “search alerts” I routinely send out on topics like “adulthood” and “middle age,” when I came across an article in the Canadian National Post entitled Imposter Adults. Intrigued, I read on. It was all about Sharon’s reflections on the process of growing up. It read:

I always thought that being a grownup meant you had the external trappings of adulthood: marriage, kids, a mortgage, maybe even a driver’s licence! Of course, having none of these, I presumed I couldn’t possibly be seen as a proper adult in this society. I also figured that being a grown-up meant that you had conquered the hopeless insecurities and fears that derailed you in high school –again, something I have yet to achieve. With these thoughts in mind, I set out to discover if anyone really feels like a grown-up on the inside, and what the concept of grown-uphood really means.

Sound familiar?

I immediately went to Sharon’s website, Neverbloomers (subtitle: The Search For GrownUphood), where I found out that she’s actually making a movie about said topic. I watched the hysterically funny video on the front page of the website, which includes clips from some of her interviews for the film.

And then – because who am I to turn down a personality test when proferred? – I took the Neverbloomer “Have You Found Your Inner Adult Quiz?” (Needless to say, I haven’t, though I did receive the result “grown up in training” which sounded about right to me).

I promptly emailed Sharon to express my delight and appreciation at having found her website. The rest is history. We’re now “friends” on Facebook.

I once wrote a commentary for Chicago Public Radio about the elusive search for female friends in adulthood. The thrust of the piece was to illustrate – by example – what a nightmare it is to have to “date” for friends once you grow up and have kids. But in this brave new world where most community-building takes place online, that’s all gone now. And so, like millions of men and women before me – I’m now discovering the joys of online “dating”…for friends.

And what a joy it is.

*****

Speaking of e-friendships, follow me on Twitter.


Image: 42/365 Meet My Best Friend II by Leah Mancl via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Feeling Nostalgic for Snail Mail

As a relative newcomer to the world of Twitter and Facebook, I will own up to being a complete addict (this, despite being informed today that 40% of Twitter is “pointless babble.” ) And I’ve always been a huge fan of email.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t pine for the days when the old fashioned letter was the communication du jour.

Today, I’m over at PoliticsDaily.com talking about the bankruptcy crisis threatening the US Postal Service . I talk about what it means both economically –  in terms of jobs – and personally, for those of us who feel nostalgic for the post.

Have a look

Image: Mail Day! by Warm n’ Fuzzy via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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Personality Tests: Do We Actually Change as We Grow Older?

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to personality tests lately.

First, The New York Times reported that the psychological profession is up in arms because Wikipedia has reproduced a set of common answers to the famous Rorschach inkblot tests. The psychologists claim that the site is jeopardizing one of the oldest, continuously used psychological assessment tests.

I also happened to take a personality test on Facebook last week. It was the “Which punctuation Mark Are You?” quiz. Here’s my answer, with explanation included:

You are a comma.

You like to spread yourself a little thin, trying to be all things to all people. A bit of a control freak, you try to do the work of 10 people. Relax! Let someone else shoulder some of the burden for once!

Which isn’t so bad, in and of itself, except that it duplicated every personality test I’ve ever taken in my life. I took the first one – the famous Myers Briggs test – when I was first out of college. That’s the one where they evaluate you on four dimensions: extroversion vs. introversion, intuition vs. sensing, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving. Then you’re assigned a type. I was an “ENTJ” (extroverted/intuitive/thinking/judging), which turned out to be the most extreme of the 16 potential combinations you could wind up with. I raised my hand and asked the consultant what you called it if you had a borderline score on a couple of dimensions – suggesting that perhaps you might easily fall into another “type” – but nonetheless ended up in the 16th box?

“That’s called denial,” she retorted briskly.

Years later, I took another personality test in when I was working in public radio. This time, the categories were a bit different, but the result was basically the same:  I came out as “high dominant” or “High D” for short. The consultant gave everyone a print-out of their results. The idea was to go home and review the list of behaviors associated with your type and use that to improve office harmony with co-workers of different stripes. But the person who seemed to benefit most from the hand-out was not me, but my husband. I came home from work one evening to find him sitting on the sofa – glass of Merlot in hand – poring over the document as if it were an original Shakespeare. He was clearly relishing every word, pausing from time to time to quote back to me from the report about typical “High D” behaviors.

Particularly as we settle into middle-age, it’s natural to want to re-examine who we are and where we’re headed in life. And personality tests are one tool to help us do that. I’m also sure that on some level I should be reassured that my own results are so unerringly consistent across the decades – what statisticians call test reliability.

Still, as someone who has defined herself largely on her ability and willingness to change, I find it a tad depressing to discover – once again – that we actually don’t change all that much over the course of our lives.

How about you? Have you ever taken a personality test and what did you learn about yourself that you didn’t already know?

Image: Rorschach Test by Marie.Carrion via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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The Two Faces of Delia: Adopting A Nom de Plume In Adulthood

I have a confession to make:  Delia Lloyd is not my real name.

I felt like I needed to come clean because I joined Facebook yesterday. (Yes, I’m one of those octogenarians driving up the average user’s age.)

And because for me, Facebook is primarily a personal social networking tool (at least for now), I decided to join under my legal name – which is….drum roll please…Delia Boylan. So just in case you cyber-stalked me in the last 24 hours and noticed the same head shot, same bio, same appallingly bad taste in music:  yes, it’s me.

And the whole process of coming to that decision made me think, again, about my name.

I’ve always hated my given name. For starters, it makes me sound like an Irish scullery maid. And then there’s the small problem that no one – in the U.S. at least – can seem to remember it. I’ve grown accustomed to answering to pretty much anything that begins with a D, including “Dee.”

When I was a kid, I disliked my name so much that once – during a high school production of Dames At Sea – I was given the chance to make up my own name for my part (I was in the chorus.) While the other girls eagerly chose things like “Tiffany” and “Sparkle,” I chose – wait for it – Ann. That’s right. Ann. I was dying to have a normal name.

Later on, when I got married and had made my peace with Delia, I still had the (easy) opportunity to change my last name. And while all kinds of different friends weighed in on the politics of whether or not to take my husband’s name, that was an easy one for me. I didn’t like his surname either. So I stuck with Delia Boylan.

But then, round about 2001, I changed careers and decided that as part of the psychological move out of academia and into journalism, I would take on an entirely new persona. And whether because of an inspired moment or because I simply lacked much imagination, I chose my husband’s first name – Lloyd – to use as my last name professionally. (I like to tell people that it’s post-post-feminist…no one knows what to do with that).

My old boss once asked me how it felt to use the name Delia Lloyd, to which I responded: “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” She looked a bit puzzled. So I sheepishly added: “I mean, next to having my two kids and marrying my lovely husband and all that.”

But it’s true. Whereas once I felt a little pang every time I had to utter my real name, once I started using “Delia Lloyd” on a regular basis, I found that I loved it. (And as a producer for a daily talk show I spent eight hours a day on the phone, so I quickly got a lot of practice…)

There aren’t all that many things you can change about yourself once you grow up. You’re pretty much stuck with your hair, eye color, stature, what have you.  But adopting a new name – even if it’s a nom de plume – can be really liberating. It’s like changing careers. You get to reinvent yourself and that very fact introduces a little frisson into your life.

I realize that there may be professional drawbacks and confusions with this down the line. Penelope Trunk maintains that you should only blog under your legal name. (She would know. She ended up changing her legal name to match her blogging “handle.”)  But other people – like Colleen Wainwright, a.k.a. the Communicatrix – seem happy to move between the two.

As for me, right now I’m really loving the opportunity to move between the two faces of Eve Delia. Its just one more variant on slash careers!

*****

Speaking of slashes, I’m also loving my new blogging job over at PoliticsDaily.com. Have a look at this week’s posts, one on the G8 Summit and the other on the evolving Murdoch media scandal in the U.K.

Two-Faced Tasha 1 by sethrt via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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Tips For Adulthood: Five Inspirational Show Tunes

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

So I was signing up for Facebook yesterday – more on that tomorrow – and in my profile, they asked me to list my favorite music.

I wrote: “You wouldn’t want to know. Trust me.”

And that’s because – let’s face it – I’m not much of an audiophile. Sure, I love to sing along to the soundtrack in Tesco. But I’m not the kind of person who goes out and buys CDs, downloads tunes onto my Ipod or otherwise follows any developments in the industry. As I believe I admitted once before, I’ve even been known to watch the odd Barry Manilow concert on TV.

There is one exception, of course. But not one I was quite ready to share with my friends on Facebook…yet. As readers of RealDelia know full well – I LOVE show tunes. So here, without further ado, are five songs from musicals to inspire you in adulthood:

1. Marian, The Librarian – You haven’t lived until you’ve watched Robert Preston seduce a very young Shirley Jones in this most winning of love songs from The Music Man: have a look.

2. If Ever I Would Leave You – On the more serious end of things, here’s Robert Goulet (because really, what’s a musical revue without Robert Goulet?) singing one of my favorite all-time love songs – one that’s full of the agony and longing of romantic love – originally from the movie Camelot.

3. You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile – The title says it all. From Annie. Have a listen.

4. It’s a Fine Life – Here’s a song about making the best of whatever comes your way from the musical, Oliver! It’s a duet sung by Nancy (Bill Sykes’ gal) and her sidekick, Bet. (Truth in advertising: I once played Bet in a Jr. High Production. Ah, those were the days…)

5. Make Them Laugh – Because laughter is the key to adulthood, watch this clip from Singin’ In the Rain whenever you’re feeling blue.

Image: Singin’ in the Rain by elycefeliz via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

This Friday I point you to some worthwhile reading around the blogosphere:

1. Fascinating profile in June Issue of Vanity Fair of Alfred Ochs Sulzberger Jr. , publisher of that most grown-up of newspapers, The New York Times – as he struggles to keep the Gray Lady afloat. While you’re at it, hop over to the New Yorker to read the profile of Mexican Businessman Carlos Slim who is now the leading shareholder (outside the Sulzberger family) of the New York Times.

2. Feel like facebook is aging? Have a look at this generational take on social media over at Macworld.com.

3. And speaking of generation gaps (and the Gray Lady herself), this New York Times article explains why youth may be an asset to venture capital firms.

4. I’ve owned up before to being a regular over at Salon.com’s Life section. These two articles – one on our collective obsession with the First Family and the other about women writers – explain why. Great writing and analysis…often by women!

5. Finally, I always love discovering thoughtful blogs about the writing process. In A Writing Year, novelist Christina Baker Kline talks about the day to day struggles of an (already published!) author. Some really nice stuff in there.

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