Posts Tagged With: online

Static Intersections


Ever have one of those conversations where it seems like the more you try to explain, the more confusing it gets?

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

“See, you’re not hearing me.”

“I never even said that!”

“Wait, let me start over.”

You know, there comes a time when you realize and have to accept that your explanation only serves to further frustrate the person to whom you’re talking. For the most part, I try to avoid those moments whenever possible. The good news is that my wife and I are usually very good communicators. We talk A LOT. And that truly helps mitigate any potential misunderstandings. The bad news is that even under the best circumstances, confusion will sometimes still manage to creep in unaware and I have to step back, see it for what it is, and just laugh.  See, I’ve realized that I have to make a very serious decision once a discussion arrives at the intersection of confusion and frustration.

Doh! Life would be so much easier with a hovercar.

At this point, I find that it’s better to re-evaluate the wisdom of pushing ahead and risking hurt feelings or anger. Besides, the love I have for my wife outweighs any selfish need to win a debate. In those moments I ask myself a simple question: Why?

Why am I doing this?

What exactly am I trying to prove?

Emotions can sometimes cloud the thought process. So I have to first understand and be clear about the purpose of what I’m saying, for myself. Once I determine why I’m having a particular discussion, it becomes a whole lot easier to convey my point without emotional distraction. Meaning, I cease trying to hammer my wife down with my perspective or somehow convince her I’m right by aggression or volume. I can put my ego and pride aside and either diffuse the situation or let it go altogether.

This works for online conversations as well. Just sayin’… 😉 

Categories: marriage, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Your Protection


I’m a relatively transparent kind of guy. Meaning, I don’t mind sharing some information about my history, my family and where I work. I certainly wouldn’t post my home address or social security number online. But for the most part, I will answer just about any question asked of me within reason. But there are many people who are none too keen about sharing anything remotely personal online. Everything is locked down… real name, city and state, cell number, school they went/go to, names of relatives, etc.

Why do I bring this up? Because I was listening to the news on my way to work this morning and I heard about the Colorado DOC Chief who was killed in his home after answering the front door.  I immediately began to wonder what the assailant’s motivation may have been and how they found out where the Chief lived. I wondered if they were a disgruntled subordinate… maybe a recently parolee seeking revenge… maybe just a deranged person who gets kicks out of wounding or killing authority figures. Or maybe it was none of that and it was a random act of violence, a case of mistaken identity, or a jilted lover.

Maybe we’ll never know.

But that line of thought also reminded me of a conversation I had a couple years ago with someone who was concerned about the fact that people knew my real name. It went something like this:

THEM: Aren’t you afraid of what people might do?

(said with genuine concern for my safety)

ME: Do? Like what?

(not really understanding what they were getting at)

THEM: Well, that someone might use your name to find out where you live or work and like, come kill you or take you hostage or something.

ME: (laughing) Nah, I’m nobody important. No one cares where I work or live. If I were more in the public eye, I’d certainly err on the side of caution. But for now, I’m so far off the radar that I have first cousins who couldn’t even tell you the city I live in to save their lives.

(true story)

THEM: Yeah, maybe. But still… I NEVER post my real name online. Not even on Facebook.

(as if Facebook is a breeding ground for stalkers)

ME: I can appreciate that. I just don’t think my first and last name is an issue of privacy. Names are easily acquired. I can go to the grocery store and see the cashier’s first and last name printed on the badge they wear. Or I can go to a city website and find out the name and office location for the director of Parks and Recreation.

THEM: I guess so. Still, I’d just rather be safe than sorry.

ME: To each their own I suppose.

It makes me wonder how concerned other people are about their privacy online. I know it’s not just an issue of paranoia. Some of the concern is definitely justified. But I think that everyone draws the line at a different point of comfort.

What’s yours?

Categories: commentary, current events, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

People Watching


In support of my referentially unsubstantiated, but scientifically plausible belief that confession is the first step toward recovery, I’d like to say this:

My name is Riis, and I’m a People Watcher.
(sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it? )

Wait, wait, wait. It’s not that I think People Watching is anything to be ashamed or cured of. It’s just that maybe some things are perhaps not as socially acceptable to confess? Maybe? Perhaps? Now that I think of it, I wonder if more people are this way than are willing to admit here online. Hmm… whatever. I don’t mind being the first.

At any given time while I’m driving (and of course, paying VERY close attention to the road), I will see people at intersections waiting to cross the street, a drove of teenagers walking to school… while texting, an older Hispanic man with a bicycle-cart carrying groceries or paint supplies or Vote Obama lawn signs (true story), or two young guys criss-crossing each other on skateboards heading toward the park.

What I find fascinating is that I’m starting to see design patterns in regard to people and how they look. You know, common physical traits that group people together in what could easily be labeled a body-fashion template. I can’t tell you how many pale, young women of varying body sizes I’ve seen who all have dark, shoulder-length curly hair and seem to shop at the same clothing store. I’ve also come to believe that this one lanky, goth teen boy with glittery, dark purple hair who was crossing the parking lot of El Camino College just moments before I saw him eating a hot dog at the outside table of a Wienerschnitzel, can fly or teleport. It’s the only explanation that works right now. :-/

Anyway, I think people watching is what drives some people to photo-stalking. Not that I’VE done that, but I can understand that curiosity often spurs peculiar behavior. Like having an increase of random people send me friend requests after posting fitness photos on some of my recent posts. o_O They’re just people watching, right?

So… anybody else people watch?

Categories: commentary, humor, personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Random Dove Thought: Trying To Hide


I think the inability to give and receive positive feedback further undermines society’s ability to form interpersonal relationships of any meaning. We all then become ultra-superficial as a means of self-protection and erring on the side of caution. We’ve birthed an entire social group that embraces paranoia to the likes of:

“I don’t want anyone online to see my face!”
“I don’t want anyone online to know my first name!”
“I don’t want anyone online to know what school I went to or what city I grew up in!”
“I don’t want anyone online to know where I work!”

It’s as if they fail to consider the hundreds of strangers offline and IN FAR CLOSER PROXIMITY that see their faces, know their names, watch them go to work, or see them at school EVERY SINGLE DAY. What makes them any less suspect than the guy online that lives across the country in Hoboken, New Jersey? I’m not afraid of society. But maybe that’s the very reason that society is afraid of me. Because by knowing me, they won’t stay hidden.

Categories: RDT, Series | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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