Cheaper Than A $5 Whore With Less Risk of Infection

moonlight quote

My friend Craig deserves partial credit for the headline on this post. Click on that link and you’ll read a post he wrote in which he asked for advice. I won’t tell you what he asked for because I am going to ask that you go read the post and comment. Do it for me and do it for Craig. Do it for Craig’s wife who supposedly reads this blog but never comments.

Maybe one day she’ll change her mind. I like the community here and I am grateful for those who comment and those who don’t. I can’t help but wonder about the lurkers. Can’t help but wonder what you enjoy and why you visit. It sounds sort of silly, but sometimes I am surprised that any one reads my words. Still, I am grateful.

Gratitude

I grind my teeth more than I should. I find myself sitting here with my jaw clenched and remind myself that I need money more than my dentist does. It is something that is happening with increasing regularity, the teeth grinding and jaw clenching thing. I know why I am doing it and am working on fixing that.

Gratitude is part and parcel of the cure. That is I am careful to remind myself of the things that I am grateful for. Two of the people I care most for lost their fathers last year. Both of them miss their dad’s terribly and I am very sorry for their loss.

I remember how frightening it was when my father had his heart attack. All of the docs told us to get ready for the end and then it didn’t happen. So I am grateful for all of the time I have had and pray for plenty more.

I am grateful for my health and that of my family in general. It is one of the reasons why 2011 wasn’t a complete disaster.

I am grateful for opportunities that are coming my way and hopeful that some others will too.

Children and iPads

Old Jack the dad blogger (score one for SEO efforts) has a new concern- iPads and children. The issue is that my children and their friends are using iPads to make videos and I am very concerned about them uploading these videos to the Net.

I don’t trust their judgment. They mean well but they don’t really understand or appreciate that once you upload something you lose control of it.  Chances are nothing will happen but my job as dad is to be worried about what could happen. Sometimes that means worry is somewhat misplaced and others….

Since we don’t own an iPad they aren’t making these videos here but that hasn’t stopped them from happening. That is because many of their friends own one or have access to a family unit. I have made sure that my children know that nothing is to be uploaded and they have promised to follow through but I don’t trust their friends.

It is not because their friends are bad but they aren’t my kids and I am not monitoring them. It is so easy to give in to some sort of childish whim, especially when you are 11 or 12 and think you know better.

I have mentioned my concerns to a number of parents but not all of them feel the same way. One mother made the mistake of mentioning how silly my concern was to one of her friends while I was in ear shot. She doesn’t know that I have a juvenile sense of humor and that I considered uploading a picture of her eating a banana.

To be clear I don’t have picture of her eating a banana and there is a 98% chance that I wouldn’t actually do it. It would be funny but I don’t think that she would receive the sort of education I would like. All it would do is create a problem and I don’t need any more.

Cheaper Than A $5 Whore With Less Risk of Infection

I read another post from one of the social media experts that suggested that people should write their headlines first and then fit the post around the headline. I understand why they recommend doing so but it is still not something that I find attractive or enticing.

That is because I see it as another tool for inducing sterility in blog posts. I really dislike that. When I read a post I want to get a sense of the author’s personality.  If their words were food I’d want to have something to savor. I’d want their to be some sort of spice. It doesn’t have to be so sugary sweet I can’t take it or so spicy that flames shoot from my behind.

It just needs a little something.  Give me some personality and a dash of purpose and I am probably going to be happy. Remove the spice from your post and you kill your post. I can assure you that there are many bloggers who disagree with me on this. They don’t want to offend so they take a middle road.

It may be cheaper than a $5 whore with less risk of infection but it is so damn dull that the readers you tried not to offend will end up going elsewhere.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Down with sterility! That is why I don’t bow to the SEO gods…well, partly that and partly because I want it to be my blog, not some cleaned up version with no personality.

    • A sterile blog with no personality is a waste of time in my book. Show me some passion and some spunk and you have a shot at grabbing and maintaining my attention.

  2. I loved the title and I have to say it’s what enticed me to read the post. But, I agree with you; staying true to yourself I find is the best and why I write. Most often I write my post before titling it, but not always and I don’t think it should be the rule to title first.

    As for the iPad, I cant’ agree with you more. My daughter isn’t anywhere near that age yet, so it’s not a problem here, but even as a blogger I think about what goes up on the internet.

    Great post! You’ve gained another follower, and I promise to comment!

    • Hi AB,

      So glad that you came to visit. I love bloggers who have their own voice and write for themselves. It is a nice respite from the echo chamber that we so often find around the blogosphere.

  3. First time here! Enjoyed your post. Always looking for spicy things to write about. If they didn’t happen to me, I can always make it up!

    • Hi Gina,

      That is part of the joy of writing. I enjoy using my imagination and can say that some of the stories that people read here aren’t true either.

      Thank you for visiting, hope you come again.

  4. The whole uploading to the internet thing scares me. I love the idea of kids getting creative and making videos, but sharing with the world? I’m a little too protective for that.

    I never come up with a title first. Usually I’ve finished my post, started to publish and fumble around for what to call it.

    • Hi Victoria,

      We are definitely on the same page about uploading to the Net. I don’t want my kids posting anything without talking to me first.

      It makes me quite uncomfortable.

      If I were a Social Media Guru I’d give you points for writing the post first.

  5. Hi Jack,

    Awesome title. I always add a few words to the title before I start writing the content, and once I finish I adjust the title to fit what I’ve written.

    I have an iPad and I’m a dad as well. I understand your concern, but to me, right now, I’m more concerned that my daughter is playing a game called movie star planet, where she’s meeting real people and chatting with them. Our computer is in the living room so I’m always monitoring what she’s doing.

    My son is five, and I already know that he’s going to cause a lot of trouble once he figures out how to upload content to social media 🙂

    • Hey Jens,

      My 7 year-old daughter likes the idea of chatting with people from all over too. I am very concerned about that as well.

      It is a constant juggling act. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of the world but I don’t want them getting into trouble unnecessarily either.

  6. Hey Jack,

    First of all, thanks, kind Sir for the mention. Appreciate it and you did send a few readers my way. And I give you credit for actually running with the headline. 🙂

    My wife doesn’t read your blog every day, but she does read it. She also keep telling me how funny you and Bill Dorman are. Like he would say, “what am I, chopped liver?”

    Oh, and about the grinding. My dentist keeps trying to talk me into an $800 mouthguard, because I have the same grinding issues, but gratitude is certainly a nice part of the package when it comes to calming the mind and body … and maybe lessening that damned grinding problem. I’m always working on it. With my father’s failing health, I appreciate every day that much more and yes, am big on the gratitude thing.

    My son (12) and his friends are really into making movies right now. I’m just happy because he is engaged in so many creative pursuits, but yeah I’m always trying to stay on top of his online activities. it is tough as every single kid he knows now has a YouTube channel and most have a Facebook account. I still say no to Facebook. Courious to know what you think of kids on Facebook?

    Anyway, this place is pretty damned spicy! Oh, and thanks again!

    • Hi Craig,

      Always happy to help promote a friend.

      I have one of those mouthguards and I hate it. Ok, I don’t hate it but I am not real fond of it.

      It is the grinding during the day that irks me the most. I really have to focus on that.

      Aging parents really have an impact on us. Even though you know that they are human it is really hard to see it happen.

      My son hasn’t asked for an FB account but my daughter has. I said no and will continue to do so for as long as I can.

      Eventually there will be a reason to change and at that point I will let them have it provided that I have complete access.

      I don’t want them to fear the world but I want to be able to guide them. Life experience impacts how we respond.

      Five of my friends have been hacked. Two of the hackers contacted me and pretended that they were my friend and needed money.

      I knew it was BS but I don’t know if my kids would know that Mr. Johnson wasn’t really trapped in Mexico.

      They might try to help by sending sensitive info over. I don’t know, but I figure I’ll do what I can to manage things.

  7. Hmmm, I try not to be dull but probably don’t have the same spice as some bring. Mine is a personal blog but that’s not to say my business community or family might give it a read, so I tend to blend with the crowd I’m hanging with at the time.

    I do typically write about what is on my mind; sometimes more compelling than others, but that can be said about all posts, huh?

    • Bill,

      I push the envelope…often. When you do what I do you have to be able to roll with the consequences.

      I have gotten burned once or twice by things here.

      The main thing is to have fun. If you are having fun all is good.

  8. Your headline is priceless, but I especially love how you illuminated the metaphor at the end. Well crafted!

    I would fear the iPad thing myself. Kids don’t understand the implications of losing control of something like that. And there is always that one friend or new acquaintance that will swear there is no harm…Those are the kids I fear.

    • Hi Dina,

      Sometimes I was that one friend which is why I say that you are wise to be concerned.

      It is a constant juggling act parenting these kids. I love doing it and wouldn’t give it up, but damn there are moments….

  9. “Remove the spice from your post and you kill your post.” One of the reasons I like your blog is the generous amount of jalapenos used.

  10. Hey Jack,

    A little bit of spice might do the trick, but let’s not make it so crazy that some might get the 18+ only certificate 😉

  11. My son was making a lot of videos and uploading to YouTube. He ended up getting seriously cyber bullied -and the. Upright lived in our neighborhood and went to school with my son.

    It was a wake up call.

    There are different settings you can use so videos are visible only to certain individuals. I think it’s harmless until it isn’t, and then you use it as a teachable moment rather than shielding. They need to learn how to use these social media, and some of them may be future Spielbergs! 😉

    Just my 2 cents. Which is a lot less expensive than the $5 whore.

    • Hi Renee,

      I am sorry that your son had to deal with that. It is part of the reason why I am concerned about my kids and their videos.

      I am big on teaching moments (in fact I have blogged about it)the hard part is trying to find the balance between “safe until it isn’t.”

      I am intentionally more cautious about the net. Anything that goes online is accessible. I have been online for about 17 years or so in one capacity or another and I still stumble onto things I wrote that shouldn’t be so easily discovered.

      That is because settings and permissions change and or we forget to set them.

      So I agree with you about the need to educate the kids about the settings and what have you but I am concerned because….

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