Friday, March 27, 2015

An All-Ears Solution to Date Night

My friend Valerie was telling me how she frequently brings a book to dinner with her husband as he’s often distracted by calls, emails and texts. She feels silly sitting at her "table for two” with no one to talk to.  Really?  Is this what date night has come to?

Here’s an addition to restaurant etiquette that I think would do us all a world of good.  The Opérateur de Cellulaire. (Things sound better in French, and they are exemplary when it comes to luxuriating in a leisurely meal).  Yes, in addition to the Maitre d’ who looks after our dining experience, and the coat check person who attends to our jackets and umbrellas, we need a responsible individual to chaperon our precious cell phones. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Give Them Roots, Wings and Virtual “Busy Signals” – The Greatest Generation on the App Generation

What does The Greatest Generation think of the App Generation? 

Upon surveying her friends, my very wise 80-year-old mom explained that when it comes to social media and cell phones, there is a wide range of understanding, but almost a unanimous opinion…they are concerned. 

We may giggle along with eSurance’s commercial where to save time, Grandma Beatrice literally posts her vacation photos “on her wall.”   But there is some brilliant truth, and several layers of insight, when her friend declares, “That’s not how it works.  That’s not how any of this works!”

How does it all work?  Or, is the better question, “Is it all working?”  When it comes to parenting and texting, my mother is especially concerned. 

“Why do Amanda and Jake need to text you from school with every little thing?  How are they suppose to make any of their own decisions when they are wirelessly tethered to you?”

We all grew up in the age of corded phones, telephone booths, busy signals and collect calls.  If we needed our parents, we could connect, but it took some effort and we often had to wait it out.  But, now our text-messaging enabled smartphones offer instant gratification.  And, knowing that our teens have a phone, literally in their back pockets, alleviates anxiety for both parents and kids.

No doubt, we are living through a sociolinguistic transformation brought on by the ubiquitous Internet.  Not just a media culture shift (radio, TV, computer, Smartphone), but also a communications culture shift where the majority of us are texting junkies, and use hash tags and smiley faces to communicate.  With our digital natives as the experts at putting all of these new communications tools into practice, we are, fortunately or unfortunately, compelled to follow.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Celebrity Speak's Contagious Influence, Like, Ya' Know?: Three Excerpted Interviews with Zooey Deschanel, Lena Dunham, and Caroline Kennedy

It should be a party drinking game. Take a drink when you hear a celebrity say “like,” “ya’ know,” or “I can’t even!”

Turns out, the same celebrity role models that influence the way we look and act, also influence the way we speak.  Even those we admire most are riddled with verbal crutches – like, um, ya' know, whatever, ah, so, I mean, I can’t even!

These disfluencies are contagious and most everyone I know in Generation X, Y and Z is guilty of the "like, ya' know" syndrome. But, in order to present our best selves, we should speak to mpress.  

With this is mind, here are three excerpted interviews with Zooey Deschanel, Lena Dunham and Caroline Kennedy.

I love singer/songwriter and “New Girl” actress Zooey Deschanel, but this interview made me think, maybe she should be renamed the “Like Girl”?

Hollywood Reporter, Sept. 12, 2011, on writing the theme song to “New Girl.” 
There were theme songs I had like in mind as like inspiration, like, I love the theme from Welcome Back, Kotter. John Sebastian wrote that, from The Lovin' Spoonful. I really like love that sound, so I like wanted something upbeat that really felt like a theme song. Like the theme song from Mary Tyler Moore felt really like upbeat and like gets you ready for a show about someone who is um ya’ know taking on a um like a new um life.  So, um so yeah, so that a was basically my ah, my inspiration, musically, um I wanted something uplifting and then when we went in to produce it, we sort of thought like we wanted to have like a Lovin’ Spoonful type of feel to the production, so ya…