Posts tagged ‘Networking’

Excerpt from “Under Pressure: The UCI Law School Musical”

NARRATOR:  Law school, even “the ideal law school for the 21st century,” has a tendency to bring out the worst in people, particularly as finals approach (which basically applies to every day (except maybe during orientation). Although I made a lot of lifelong friends and opened many doors, law school became quite a struggle, especially during the final semester. The most common problematic themes I witnessed during my three-year stint were entitlement, lack of self-reflection, hidden insecurities, “Mean Girl” behavior, and . . . oh yes . . . greed.

♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    ♫    

BRAD:  Thank you so much for meeting with me, Ricky. I really appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule.

RICKY:  No problem! Actually, things are super chill this year, what with my federal clerkship and firm job taken care of. I don’t even bother to go to any of my classes. What are they gonna do . . . not let me graduate and help boost this school’s graduation rate and reputation?

BRAD:  That’s exactly why I think you’re the guy to talk to. I mean, some of the 3Ls have positions with A-/B+ firms. But Remington, Orr, Young, Gibson, Boyd, Irving & Vance is an A+ firm.

RICKY:  Well, you’re right about that. Quite frankly, I didn’t come to law school to work 80 plus hours a week for an A- or—God forbid—B+ firm. Besides, the A+ firms have the deepest pockets. [winks]

[dollar signs flash in BRAD’s eyes]

April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

I was so busy—and so  distracted—I almost didn’t find time to read Google’s newest updates to its privacy policy. The changes would be enacted on March 15, and the symbolism was not lost on me. With less than an hour before the consummate adjustment, a friend dropped off a hard copy of the policy updates. She had altered the text so that a video camera couldn’t easily pick it up.

The apprehension festered in the pit of my stomach. I read down the page to the important part:

Whenever you use our services, we aim to provide you with access to your personal information. If that information is wrong, we strive to give you ways to update it quickly or to delete it – unless we have to keep that information for legitimate business or legal purposes.

A rigid lump welled up in the back of my throat. The broad scope of the language made me dizzy. I scanned the rest of the document. The policy was concise, so I quickly memorized it. Of course, I could have summed it all up in one sentence. But let’s not go there yet.

As I drove toward The Dalles, the following language kept playing in the back of my mind:

Where we can provide information access and correction, we will do so for free, except where it would require a disproportionate effort. We aim to maintain our services in a manner that protects information from accidental or malicious destruction. Because of this, after you delete information from our services, we may not immediately delete residual copies from our active servers and may not remove information from our backup systems.

February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

Even if you think you have nothing to hide, it always makes sense to cover your e-tracks. When it used to matter, I had three browsers I’d use for different purposes. Google Chrome was for email, LinkedIn, casual browsing, and other activities I generally didn’t need to purge from my record. Firefox . . . I forget. And then there was Internet Explorer.

At one point, I had two YouTube accounts—one I’d open with Google Chrome, and the other I’d open with Internet Explorer. But then they made you link your YouTube account to your Google account. So I linked my “legit” account to my Google account and dropped the other one, the Internet Explorer one. So there were some videos I just didn’t get to see after that. Which was a shame. It wasn’t like they were illegal or immoral or wrong or anything. I just felt paranoid about looking at anything restricted through my Google account.

I liked at least to pretend I was anonymous. That’s what I’d use Internet Explorer for—all of my anonymous activities. I had some silly username like gemini84 (I’m a Sagittarius and wasn’t born in ’84), and I’d change my password regularly (It would always be something nonsensical like &%$#fraDujlKja9899i9W23). None of that ultimately mattered, but at least I felt I had a sense of autonomy and privacy in a world of virtual spotlights and actual predators.

Turns out I was wise to drop that YouTube account, never to enjoy those restricted videos. Somewhere out there, they really do have more records than the KGB.

December 5, 2011 at 12:28 am 2 comments

Excerpt from “Safe Mode”

Professor Heart Attack (not to be confused with Professor Heartache) used to always tell me that the future—and the now (then)—was all about information sharing and social networks. He had a bit of an obsession with Mark Zuckerberg (and, incidentally, with me). He used to tell me things like, “If I were Mark’s father, I’d tell him to marry you.”

It just so happened that I was a freshman at Princeton when Mark Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard. (No, I don’t know him personally. I know a handful of people who went to Exeter with him, but whatever. It doesn’t matter.) When I joined Facebook my sophomore (or was it junior?) year in college, back when it was called “The Facebook,” I had no idea what a key role it would play in my undoing.

I used to resent that Professor Heart Attack, more than 30 years my senior and (last time I heard) without a cell phone or personal email account, was so ahead of my time. He was seemingly compassionate, extremely intelligent, not at all attractive, cosmopolitan, wealthy, and—it turns out—deeply insecure and duplicitous. It seemed cruelly ironic that he—of all people—appeared to escape the disaster when most of us had our worlds ripped out from under us.

Of course, he hadn’t anticipated the ultimate irony. Neither had I.

October 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm 6 comments

Awkward Facebook Moments #1-3

It’s totally awkward…

#1 …when someone unacceptably rejects a friend request

Sometimes it’s not okay to not be someone’s friend. We all have different thresholds of who we will “accept” as friends on Facebook, but I think a vast majority of people would agree with me that “rejecting” or “quietly ignoring” the following people is unacceptable:  someone you’ve slept with (assuming, of course, there’s no drama involved); a close friend from high school, even if you haven’t spoken for many years; a family member you’re on at least mildly decent terms with; a fourth-grade “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”; a friend’s pet or child or sibling; someone with the same first and last name as you; someone who accompanies a friend request with a totally clever message explaining why you don’t know him but should “accept” anyway.

So remember: The next time you log onto your account, think twice before rejecting or ignoring. Karma is a bitch (See awkward moment #3).

#2…when you’re in a relationship but not “in a relationship”

Tsk, tsk, tsk. I just don’t get it. I understand not putting “in a relationship” or even “it’s complicated” when “it’s” legitimately complicated or not too serious, but when two people are in a bona fide relationship, there should be some indication thereof (and leaving relationship status completely blank doesn’t count). Unless your profile is completely bare-bones, hiding love behind privacy settings is unfair to you and to your partner.

#3…when you realize you were…D-E-F-R-I-E-N-D-E-D

I’ve been on Facebook since it was called “The Facebook,” so I have quite a few friends. The great thing about having a lot of friends is that you’re much less likely to realize someone’s done the d-word to you. Unless, of course, you happen to be stalking that person. (But only sociopaths with too much time on their hands use Facebook to stalk, right?)

In all seriousness, being “defriended” is awkward as hell, especially if you have no idea as to why. It’s happened to me at least once (that I know of…eek!), and I remember thinking, “Hmmm…glad I’ll never be stumbling into you again.” Then I realized that the awkwardness would really be on the “defriender” and not the “defriendee” if the two were to cross paths again.

Think about it: What’s more awkward than bumping right smack into someone you “defriended” unnecessarily? Karma’s a bitch, indeed.

July 8, 2010 at 5:11 am 2 comments

How Social Are You?: A Simple Test Determines Connectedness

In the age of burgeoning social network sites, people want to share the statistics of their virtual black books. Some people seem to know just about everyone, and Malcolm Gladwell calls them “Connectors” in his best-selling The Tipping Point. He uses the following test to estimate a person’s sociability. These 250 surnames names were randomly selected from a Manhattan telephone book. Give yourself a point each time you run across the last name of someone you know (Gladwell broadly defines “know” as anyone you have at least exchanged first and last names with). If you know 4 people with a particular surname on the list, give yourself 4 points. The points will add up to equal your connectedness score.

Algazi, Alvarez, Alpern, Ametrano, Andrews, Aran, Arnstein, Ashford, Bailey, Ballout, Bamberger, Baptista, Barr, Barrows, Baskerville, Bassiri, Bell, Bokgese, Brandao, Bravo, Brooke, Brightman, Billy, Blau, Bohen, Bohn, Borsuk, Brendle, Butler, Calle, Cantwell, Carrell, Chinlund, Cirker, Cohen, Collas, Couch, Callegher, Calcaterra, Cook, Carey, Cassell, Chen, Chung, Clarke, Cohn, Carton, Crowley, Curbelo, Dellamanna, Diaz, Dirar, Duncan, Dagostino, Delakas, Dillon, Donaghey, Daly, Dawson, Edery, Ellis, Elliott, Eastman, Easton, Famous, Fermin, Fialco, Finklestein, Farber, Falkin, Feinman, Friedman, Gardner, Gelpi, Glascock, Grandfield, Greenbaum Greenwood, Gruber, Garil, Goff, Gladwell, Greenup, Gannon, Ganshaw, Garcia, Gennis, Gerard, Gericke, Gilbert, Glassman, Glazer, Gomendio, Gonzalez, Greenstein, Guglielmo, Gurman, Haberkorn, Hoskins, Hussein, Hamm, Hardwick, Harrell, Hauptman, Hawkins, Henderson, Hayman, Hibara, Hehmann, Herbst, Hedges, Hogan, Hoffman, Horowitz, Hsu, Huber, Ikiz, Jaroschy, Johann, Jacobs, Jara, Johnson, Kassel, Keegan, Kuroda, Kavanau, Keller, Kevill, Kiew, Kimbrough, Kline, Kossoff, Kotzitzky, Kahn, Kiesler, Kosser, Korte, Leibowitz, Lin, Liu, Lowrance, Lundh, Laux, Leifer, Leung, Levine, Leiw, Lockwood, Logrono, Lohnes, Lowet, Laber, Leonardi, Marten, McLean, Michaels, Miranda, Moy, Marin, Muir, Murphy, Marodon, Matos, Mendoza, Muraki, Neck, Needham, Noboa, Null, O’Flynn, O’Neill, Orlowski, Perkins, Pieper, Pierre, Pons, Pruska, Paulino, Popper, Potter, Purpura, Palma, Perez, Portocarrero, Punwasi, Rader, Rankin, Ray, Reyes, Richardson, Ritter, Roos, Rose, Rosenfeld, Roth, Rutherford, Rustin, Ramos, Regan, Reisman, Renkert, Roberts, Rowan, Rene, Rosario, Rothbart, Saperstein, Schoenbrod, Schwed, Sears, Statosky, Sutphen, Sheehy, Silverton, Silverman, Silverstein, Sklar, Slotkin, Speros, Stollman, Sadowski, Schles, Shapiro, Sigdel, Snow, Spencer, Steinkol, Stewart, Stires, Stopnik, Stonehill, Tayss, Tilney, Temple, Torfield, Townsend, Trimpin, Turchin, Villa, Vasillov, Voda, Waring, Weber, Weinstein, Wang, Wegimont, Weed, Weishaus

May 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

I Hate MySpace

For the past handful of years, my MySpace page had been the epitome of anonymity: I had one friend (Tom, the founder, who is friends with everyone) and no information about myself other than an old email address. Today, I uploaded a pic, filled in a few “about me” blurbs, and even added a couple of friends. Mixing one part truth with two parts myth, I concocted a minimalist profile with absolutely none of the bells and whistles. I felt that embellishing my profile a bit and navigating the site as a bona fide patron would allow me to become further cemented in my hatred for MySpace. And here’s why:

MySpace is sleazy. Many of the profile pictures (including my own…to prove a point) depict scantily-clad women or people in the midst of something illegal or profane. A lot of men in the 18-25 age group post pictures of themselves exhaling smoke from an unknown source or kissing a nameless chick at a frat party or bar. People I know have lied about their relationship status or have hooked up with someone they met on the site. If MySpace had a scent, it would smell like a brothel in violation of health code mixed with the sweaty floor of a nightclub.

MySpace promotes idiocy. Poor grammar and spelling seem to have found a home on MySpace: I feel dumber just reading a profile or two! My friend recently posted the following repugnant conversation she had with one of her MySpace fans:

him: Hi
him: how are you?
him: asl?
her: You must have looked at my profile or you wouldn’t be msging me but 21.f.Gainesville
him: yeah i saw your picture
him: your gorgeous (notice the misuse of “your”)
him: looking good enough to eat out for a few hours [drool smiley] [smiley]
her: well… i was actually going to talk to you until that…

A note of caution to those who use MySpace as a dating site (and, by the way, there really are too many of you): If you are going to post information about yourself or write a message on someone’s publicly-read wall, please spell check and have a few buds proofread it before exposing it to the World Wide Web.

MySpace is going out of style. Just like Friendster, MySpace used to be “the” site for social networking. Now that Facebook has opened its doors to all people, regardless of collegiate status, it seems to be on its way (or already there) to becoming the most highly-trafficked site of its kind. But even Facebook has gotten out of control by offering an annoyingly large array of groups to join and programs to add. The beauty of all of these sites is their ability to reunite people and to allow easy access to useful information. On the flipside…well, I’ve already gone over that…

All this said, I still cannot deny the inherent fun of logging in and browsing for a bit. Hate it or not, I guess that’s what keeps us all hooked!

June 15, 2008 at 12:54 am 3 comments


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