:)

Oh, hello there. Was it my generic smile that drew you into this post? My undeniable ability to capture a human emotion we all experience on a daily basis? Some say I am predictable, overly simplified, the result of two boring punctuation marks. Others say I am mysterious–that my simplicity holds a profundity to it that causes one to second guess their initial assumptions about me. 

Let me tell you about the parts that make up me. I have remained anonymous for so long, but I have grown tired of everyone using me to personify their emotions, without knowing anything about me. The truth is, I am my own. I do not belong to you and your friends, to use whenever you wish to imply happiness. 

First, we have my eyes. Have you ever looked closely at them? My friend, ! , once exclaimed that my eyes (:), light up a room. My smile ( ) ), is eerily human and has the ability to soften even the harshest email. What you may not know is that I have a body. But that is often overlooked for what is aparently more useful to the general public. No one ever uses my full-body shot:  <=:)-+–< 

I bet you didn’t know that I rarely go out without a hat. Yet, you consistently choose to portray me as less than I am. I guess I don’t mind, just so long as you know the truth. My favorite snack is ants on a log, and I am a world traveler. I don’t mind that you never mention these things when you use my face. But if you could just remember them on occasion, I would feel that you cared about me at least as much as you care about convincing someone else with punctuation that your words carry good will. 

Also, I have a tendency to be rather sensitive. So, if you could leave me out of conversations that are PG-13 or higher, I would appreciate it. When you conjure me to be of use in your adult-rated conversations, please remember that I am probably thinking innocent thoughts until you drag me into your little talks. Also, I have a bedtime. If you want to use me after 10:00pm, I would appreciate it if you gave me some sort of warning. A considerate “…….” prefacing my summoning would be a nice gesture. When I just pop up unexpectedly, it can be jarring, and I sometimes have a hard time going back to sleep.

That’s about all I have. I feel a bit overexposed, and am starting to see why my friend, ?, was skeptical of my writing this public letter. I hope I don’t regret this. Maybe next time I will tell you my name. If there is a next time. 

Respectfully,
:)

Healthy Coconut Bars (no baking!)

coconut-bars-jeneric-generation
 
Do you like coconut? These coconut bars (chilled, not baked), are made with pure maple syrup–they are pretty much healthy! And they couldn’t be easier or tastier. They can also be used as a sneaky way of including more coconut oil in your diet, or as a fairly guilt-free sweet treat.

Healthy Coconut Bars

I found the recipe here, and made only slight modifications:

– One cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-as much coconut oil as you can spare (I used approximately 1/2 cup but some might call that extreme. You need at least enough to keep the coconut combined.)
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt (I used this salt–because it’s good for you)

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Press into a small glass container (I used a small baking dish, but you could use a regular 9×9 baking dish) lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and set in freezer for at least 30 minutes. 

If you don’t eat the entire thing in one sitting, they can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It is completely your call. That’s half the fun of cooking: you call the shots.

If you must know, I just ate almost the entire stack of coconut bars shown in the above picture before sitting down to write this post. You can do the same, if you put your mind to it.

Connect with me on twitter, facebook, and instagram!

The Wizard of Oz (me) steps out from behind the curtain (this blog)

Er…uh…um. This is a little awkward for me, if we are being honest here. But I actually had more fun than I thought I would, making this video. This might not even be the last video you see here on Jeneric Generation, because come to find out, I kind of like editing videos. As you can see, I have a lot of talent in that area (not really at all…).


So, I’m doing this vlog because a good blog friend of mine tagged me (Hi, Melinda!). Another blog friend did a video, too. And as my mother always taught me: if all your friends jump off of a cliff, you should too. 
 
Actually, I just really enjoyed seeing my internet friends come to life. You subconsciously give your favorite bloggers a voice and certain personality traits that may or may not be entirely incorrect, and I think it is fun seeing if you were right!

(I apologize for the quality of this video. Not unlike my biggest pet peeve, the audio is semi-frustrating; the likely cause being that my laptop was sitting on a stack of pillows, which muffled the sound occasionally. Lesson now learned.)

I feel I should clarify that the convenience of being able to fall asleep at a moment’s notice is mostly beneficial at night when I am getting into bed. People don’t actually ask me to take naps randomly throughout the day.

If this video of me is not how you imagined me at all, based on my blog, well, join the club because I am just as surprised as you. If you know me in real life, this vlog could simply just be an awkward experience for you! So, a win-win for everyone.
 
People to tag:
 
Okay, I was starting to write a list out and then realized I basically want everyone with whom I have ever communicated via this blog to do a vlog (Bethany, Michael, Kana, Courtney of Shabby Loves Chic, Niken, Hannah Margaret, Rachel from The Random Writings of Rachel….and many more). Give into the peer pressure, if you feel so inclined! Here are the questions:

1. What recently made you laugh out loud? 
2. What is your favorite thing about yourself? 
3. What did you do last Friday night? 
4. What is your biggest pet peeve? 
5. What is your favorite book? 
6. Something you don’t know about me.
 

Technology and Being Intentional

holding iphone
 
I fall in and out of love with Twitter frequently. It seems like I can keep up an attitude of “twitter is such a great place to connect, and a great place to share funny, quick thoughts that might otherwise not have an outlet, a great place to stay updated on pop culture and world news, etc.” for only so long before it quickly turns to doubting why I was ever drawn to it in the first place. It has become my mission to figure out why my relationship with Twitter is so tormented. 
 
Lately, I have been really interested in the effects of technology, more specifically our society’s addiction to staying connected, on our generation. I have been trying to put the pieces together, and read everything I can about the topic. I would like to think I am coming at it with an open mind, because I happen to love social media, for the most part. It has brought people together, in many ways. This is not a criticism of social media. 

However, I have had a few misgivings. And then I read this article and it triggered something in my thought process.
 
I was slightly convicted of my growing addiction to tweeting when not too long ago I was about to hit “tweet”, and then wondered if a specific friend might find it funny instead. So why not text it to her? I copied it into a text to my friend, and before I hit “send” I had this thought: is it worth wasting this thought on only one person? 

I thought that. And I quickly realized that yes, it is worth it–and it’s not a “waste” to be intentional. And the fact that I had to clarify that with myself gave me something to think about.
 
The thing is, and I am really adamant about this point, is that things are never the problem. People are the problem. Motives are the problem. Tools are never the problem, as they are directed by the good or bad motives of humans. So my conclusion is this: no, twitter is not intrinsically bad. But when I start letting myself believe that sharing my thoughts with the great unknown via social media is of greater importance than connecting with my friends one on one, then it becomes a problem. And maybe it is not fully a problem, but it is a temptation. And it gets me closer to my vague concerns about the world progressing so quickly.
 
In our great efforts to connect with people all around the world on a larger scale (with good motives!), we are more apt to lose sight of the importance of connecting to friends on a personal, less public level; and we risk losing what we longed for in the first place: that human connection that is crucial to our being.
 
And this brings me back to technology as a whole, and its relationship to people. Technology that doesn’t stand still, that grows as fast as our imaginations, is an amazing gift. It’s exciting and holds endless possibilities. But perhaps in the ever quickening pace of our modern world, we are going too fast for our motives to catch up. 

At the very least, our motives should be able to trot along side technology and ask it some basic questions. Better yet, our motives should be a few paces ahead. The last thing our society needs is for our motives to give up because technology is so far ahead, and we let it win the race because we are just too tired to ask questions. 

That is the part that scares me. That is the part that was buried under all my reservations and misgivings about social media. The solution may not be any more complicated than each of us just giving a thought or two every once in a while about our relationship with technology and social media. What are your thoughts?

Also related: Hamlet’s Blackberry