Yesterday we started a home improvement project. Theoretically this should be “fun”, but I’ve been through enough of these in the past to know that there will be some significant inconveniences along the way. There will be days without a stove and a kitchen sink and even a few days where we’ll have to stay off sections of the floor. And then there’s the dust. Dust I expect to be chasing well into the summer months. When I encounter a challenge, I like to try to turn the experience into a game. So when the contractors arrived bright and early yesterday morning, I said, “Let’s have a contest to see who finishes first; you guys with our kitchen or Donald Trump with The Wall.” The general contractor assured me that he will win, and you can be sure that I’ll be rooting for him every step of the way.
Speaking of “The Wall”, this is clearly an emotional topic for many. One article reported that Pope Francis told journalists, "A person who thinks only about building walls … is not Christian." Another critically thinking friend pointed out that the Vatican has a wall around it. When our kids were little, and our lives were pretty much tracking all of the activities described in The Berenstain Bears books, we especially enjoyed reading The Berenstain Bears’ New Neighbors. The new neighbors in that story happened to be pandas, and they put up a wall of sorts made from bamboo of all things. Papa Bear initially referred to it as a “spite fence”. But I digress …
Technology lets us build virtual walls quickly and easily. When you un-friend someone on Facebook, you build a wall and protect yourself from perspectives that make you mad or uncomfortable. Or maybe you just don’t want to see yet another cat photo in your Newsfeed. When you password protect your online account, you build a wall to protect your assets, ideas, and/or identity. It would be irresponsible to be careless with that info. Heck, just last week the Tech Frustrations blog post provided instructions that showed you how to block select people from reading your Facebook posts. That’s a wall and one that I claimed might protect, or even enhance, your relationships. Personally I don’t think that a wall along the US-Mexico border is a great idea for a number of reasons, but walls can be helpful in some situations. Especially when we want to avoid Tech Frustrations.
So much information is shared online these days, and when we forget to establish boundaries we can get into trouble. Trouble that may start as a simple Tech Frustration, but very quickly lead to a career and/or other life frustration. If you’re not sure what I mean, ask your friends for some examples. One story that comes to mind is about a young woman who arrived for a job interview right on time, only to be greeted in the lobby by an HR rep. The HR rep immediately informed her that after reading her blog post the previous night, the company was no longer interested in considering her for their open position. And who can forget the story about the data breach of the Ashley Madison web site. Ouch! You may recall that Ashley Madison is “a Canadian online dating and social networking service marketed to people who are married or in committed relationships.” I can’t even remember if the client data was ever published, but I’m guessing that just the thought of it caused a bit of angst for at least a few of their 32 million members. That was a wall that could have used more fortification!
So what’s my point? Good question. I don’t really think I have one. I’ve just been thinking a lot about walls this week. Sometimes I like ‘em and sometimes I don’t. But I definitely like this quote from Maya Angelou:
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
Let me know what you think about walls (or anything else) in the Comments section below.
Do you have any Tech Frustrations? If so, tell me about them on the Tech Frustrations web site.
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