Internet Tone

No I am not talking about how the internet sounds, or that horrible dial up noise. In my last podcast I mentioned how some people have an internet persona, and well yesterday wired had an article about how easy it is to misinterpret tone in electronic communication. Read the full wired story.

“People often think the tone or emotion in their messages is obvious because they ‘hear’ the tone they intend in their head as they write,” …

…The reason for this is egocentrism, or the difficulty some people have detaching themselves from their own perspective, says Epley. In other words, people aren’t that good at imagining how a message might be understood from another person’s perspective.

Being a part of a couple of online communities has opened an unusual door to the world of missinterpreted messages. I have come to despise some communications online and more importantly “internet personas.”

I used to have a rule for years, if I did not know you IRL (In Real Life) I would not talk to you on the internet. People missrepresent themselves too often and don’t understand that while the internet provides some anonimity, you should still feel accountable for what you claim to be or what you say. Little by little I stopped being so closed minded about it and I actually allowed myself to establish a couple of online friendships. For the most part I like to meet the people IRL before I call them friends, but people like April, Bea, Marchal, Berry, Michael, Pol, Evil_Ataril and others I call friends just through online interaction. While I think meeting them in real life is still the ultimate test, I still find myself capable of calling them friends. I also call friends some of the online buddies that I had the chance to meet in real life like TheGuru and MikeP.
All the people I mentioned there are part of the blogsphere, and while in a way it could be considered a huge internet message board, it is not. Internet message boards have been a difficult thing for me to deal with because of how different people tend to be when you meet them IRL. Maybe it is partly because the boards that I am a member of (gaming and motorcycle) are full of testosterone and who has the fastest machine (both motorcycle displacement and processing power.) All of the places that I visit I have the opportunity to eventually meet the people IRL. With CLSB I ended up making some friends that I will keep for the rest of my life, same with the Michigan gaming community. However, I have also had encounters with people that wear a mask online and then IRL they are either the complete opposite or a toned down version of who they are online. I cannot understand why.

I know we all have some level of self image that is different than what others might percieve of us. Some of the internet personas though are so extreme that they are unpleasant to the point that I would not want to associate with that person at all. Racism has been a big issue for me. Some people feel that on the internet they can state their beliefs in a very open way, calling people names, singling out a whole race with a single statement… but then IRL those people don’t back up those words, they cannot look at you in the eye and say those same things.

Other people have been simply very confrontational, very in your face. I thought a couple of them would be people that would actually come up to me and try to hurt me physically, but then you meet them IRL and it is laughable how just being behind a keyboard made them grow virtual muscles that deflate rapidly as you stare at them face to face. The most annoying instance to me is when I have had internet encounters with people that I have grown to really dislike, but then people that have met the person IRL say, that guy is one of the nicest people you would ever meet. My question is, then why does he play a low life ingnorant bully wannabe in the internet?

I admit that everything that is inside of this blog is only a portion of who I really am, it is a little window to my world but not a complete view. Not just because it is written and it is at times hard to transmist tone over the net, but because you have to be around me to really experience how weird, geeky, cool and overall different I can be. However, everything that you see online from me is something that you can see in real life too. There is no mask that I wear or persona that I portray, what you read is what you will hear come out of my mouth too… only it will have a Colombian accent.

Friday Feast Feb 10

I used to do a Friday Meme long ago… and well this week has been super busy for me so a Meme will have to do for posting today! :) Here is the Friday Feast!
What was a class or course you took while in school that you realize now was a total waste of time?

No class should ever be a waste of time. I believe knowledge of any subject is super important. That said, my networks security class in College was a waste of my time because of my teacher. He did not do anything with the subject but state the obvious to computer mayors that knew what a Trojan horse was beyond Greek Mythology.

Who is the tallest person you know?

The aptly nicknamed “TooTall” is about 6’7″ and is one of my College buddies.

What’s your favorite midnight snack?

I don’t have one; I have never understood that whole wake up in the middle of the night and eat. Never done it… now if we are talking about an out all night and then get something, it will have to be Taco Burrito King back in Chicago. Burritos as big as your head :)

Main Course
Have you ever found money somewhere? If so, where did you find it, and how much was it?

I actually have, My Dad and I were riding back from a Sunday of soccer at Comfandi back in Cali. When all of a sudden we saw bills flying in the middle of the street and no one in sight (it was somewhat of a rural road.) I got off the bike, grab everything I could get back and took off. I don’t remember what we did with the money but I do remember at the time we needed it.

Where would you like to retire?

Somewhere warm for sure. If Colombia ever gets better as far as security, I would love to have a house there, preferably a rural area. As far as the U.S. somewhere warm with tons of good roads to ride motorcycles. Would have to travel some more to find the perfect place.


“Find fault with thyself rather than with others.”
Ieyasu Tokugawa

Admitting that we are wrong is probably one of the hardest things we have to do in life. At times it feels like we are compromising who we are by admitting that we are wrong, yet it is the only way to really learn and grow in life.

I am not sure where in life it starts, but we seem to develop a sense of guilt during our lifetime. I have seen it in different degrees and in different situations, but it is present in almost all of us. Some people call it arrogance, others just simply finger pointing, but I believe every time that someone tries to find fault outside of themselves, they are at fault themselves.

We are not in control of the world around us, but we are in control on how we react and interact with that world. We are responsible for our own happiness, and I think that every time that we point the finger at someone else we are taking control away from us and giving it to that other person.

Professionally I have seen this behavior more than I like to admit. I have gotten to the point before that I think becoming a mason and doing brick work would be a lot more rewarding, I would then not have to deal with the so called “professionals” that are there to take every single credit but when there is any kind of wrong they are the first ones to run or finger point.

We have all heard that we have to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, but no one tells us how to accomplish that. I think the first one is to do away with the notion of fault and replace it with accountability. It might sound like an oxymoron at first since to be accountable, first fault has to be determined but bare with me. If you always have ownership over your mistakes and hold yourself accountable it will always be easier to find solutions. Once you determine your stake on the situation you know what you can and cannot do to change it.

In the end it is a lot easier said than done, but believe me I think that a lot of what is going on in the world can be at times be blamed on people always blaming others for their situation. If we could all just take charge of our own lives instead of looking at others for excuses on how they are affecting us (not us letting us be affected by them), we could all be better at making our lives better and therefore a better world for all of us.


Yesterday I posted about Juanes over at Proyecto Colombia. Juanes is a Colombian singer that has really done well in the US market but has not “crossed over” (as in recorded an English language Album) like Shakira or Ricky Martin. Juanes defends his move by saying tha the still thinks, dreams and writes music in Spanish, and I personally think is an excellent point of view. Music is supposed to be about self expression, not about making money. We all know how many artist “sell out.”

Juanes is an artist that writes music that moves your soul. From very politically charged music to love songs that expose his tenderness and passion. I have translated a couple of his songs to English and find his sound both unique and get up and dance worthy. His blend of Colombia and rock makes for an interesting mix that attacks the senses in a very moving way. That and the ladies thinking that he is not harsh on the eyes makes him a superstar that is really shinning.


Check out Juanes website. (You can listen to clips of his music)