Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are you a Facebook Addict?

Have you ever experienced some kind of a high after noticing that someone sent you a comment on Facebook, someone tagged a photo of you doing something either incredibly nasty or stupid or possibly both? Are you one of those people that spends endless amounts of time looking through people’s profiles on Facebook and other such community networking sites? If the description fits you, you’re a Facebook Addict!

I thoroughly understand when something’s new and we all want to be constantly on it especially in today’s high tech digital world where everything is…..well digital! I was quite excited when I signed up on Facebook 2 years ago. I learnt a few new things about some people I know, caught up with old friends and had some laughs looking at old pics.

It's always great to catch up with old friends from around the globe and see pictures of their kids and the family vacations I guess. But people, please know when to draw the line. I read somewhere that a lady was prosecuted when she ignored her daughter’s request for homework help because she was too tied up with Facebook. Turns out she spent an average of 10 hours on the website!

On a separate note, sites like Facebook promote a certain narcissistic approach towards one’s self. I think it is because we think we are all interesting, we feel the need to let people know about the important details in our lives. But seriously people, know to differentiate between the milestones & the unwanted notes in your status updates. You might want to share the fact that you just got married or gave birth to a really cute baby but please don’t let me know if you’ve just trimmed your toe-nails or shaved your goatee! And yeah another thing; if you’re down and depressed, how about you pick up the phone and call a friend. (this holds true for bloggers as well btw)

Here are 4 signs that you may be a Facebook or Twitter Addict:
- You spend over an hour on Facebook a day
- You spend half your time at work on Facebook
- You’re spending time sending your Facebook buddies virtual gifts, drinks and forgetting the real world of friends
- You’re accumilating a lot of Facebook time reconnecting with your high school sweetheart (particularly inappropriate if either one of you or the both of you are married)

Ways you can detox from sites like Facebook or Twitter:
- Disable SMS alerts from facebook and Twitter; these can be quite distracting especially when you’re enjoying a holiday with the family or a quiet weekend with your girl.
- Stop adding friends. In real life, you’d never be able to keep up with all the 300+ people on your Facebook or Twitter account so at least when you stop adding friends, you’ll keep your circle of friends down to a more manageable level.
- Make friends with people that are not or these sites. And when they ask you if you’ve heard abuot them, pretend you don’t know what they are! ;-)
- Call your close friends or try and meet up with them if you can instead of leaving him or her a tweet or a wall posting

The best piece of advice; check your profile once a month (like me) and only make contact with people you know well or knew well but went out of touch with over the years. And remember, making new friends is an art best practiced in person, not online. Cheers!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - GONE TOO SOON

My wife and I are deeply saddened to hear about the untimely loss of Michael Jackson, the undisputed King Of Pop, a man that is considered to have single-handedly changed the face of pop music & pop culture in the 80s and 90s. From his beginnings as the youngest member of the Jackson 5 to setting new standards in dance and music videos Michael was in more ways than one – an icon who through his sheer talent and artistry unified the world through his music.

We will always consider him a representation of our age; someone who inspired our generation (and so many other generations). We grew up listening to his music, watching his videos, collecting his memorabilia & keeping track of his exploits.

I “Remember the time” I was a kid and looked forward to doing the moonwalk in front of friends and family to “Beat It” and “Billie Jean”. His music was so universal; it appealed to everyone no matter if they were “Black or White”. He was always trying to do so much, trying to “Heal the World”. We danced to his music and had to “Blame It On The Boogie”. His music is so invigorating, “You Can’t Stop Till You Get Enough”. No matter what anyone says about Michael Jackson, most people will consider his life quite the “Thriller”, most people will always consider the King of Pop an indubitable part of “HIStory”. In one simple word he will always be – “Invincible”.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Handling the Recession

Researchers and financial analysts (these are the same people that said the US economy was solid for the next 2 decades by the way) say that even through we’re undergoing a recession; some communities are seemingly less affected by the global downturn than the others. This means that if you’re in healthcare or education, you’re less likely to lose your job than if you are in the banking or financial services sectors. Of course this doesn’t mean that teachers, doctors and nurses are recession proof; it just means they are harder to get rid of than the annoying investment consultant bugging you with incessant phone calls telling you to diversify your stock portfolio.

Maybe it's about time some of us switched professions? ;-) Either way, I think we're lucky we live in the GCC. Although things are rough at the moment with job-cuts, pay-cuts and budget-cuts, at least we're better off than the people in the US where the scene is almost literally cut-throat!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Wife and I

For those of you wondering why I have been out of circulation for the past many is why:

It’s hard to get out of bed these days. It’s partly due to the chilly weather outside but it’s more to do with something else. It isn’t like the old days when I’d just slam my hand on to the snooze button on my alarm clock. I used to hit the button about 5 times, toss and turn in bed and jump out of it after realizing I had snoozed for an hour! Now I have to adjust to someone else in bed next to me. The first bit of realization that I’m not single anymore (the first bit of realization of the day I mean). I have to be careful not to let my flaying hands hit my wife who’s sleeping snugly. And I realize the real reason I get up late these days; I just can’t seem to drag myself out of bed with her right next to me.

Just to fill you readers in, I got married last month and am just about getting adjusted to it. Honestly, some of my friends told me it would be a piece of cake. Others said it would take a lot of time getting used to. But on the whole, it’s been great!

Why? Because after you’re married, you’re a team. I love having a team-mate who will go to all lengths to ensure our team wins.

Take shopping for instance. My evaluation of products stems from looking for items in attractive packaging. Men don’t generally look at food-color types, calorie content and most importantly – expiry dates. How else would you describe the heaps of expired products in my refrigerator before I got hitched?

Then think about instant foods like making pop corn at home. Unless you’re a chef, you’re not going to take the trouble of putting oil into a frying pan, adding kernels of corn and standing next to a vessel full of them until they’re popped. Men just like popping the stuff into a microwave, giving it 3 to 5 minutes and voila! Pop corn! Or how about salad dressing? How many guys have actually taken the time to prepare the dressing from scratch? Now I am being trained to make every food preparation from scratch.

Being married has its other advantages. It’s great that you’ll find someone who laughs at all your jokes no matter how many times she’s heard them just to make sure you don’t look uninteresting or boring.

It’s great that you can have someone tell you very subtly via sign language that you’ve something in your teeth while you’re having dinner with friends.

Let’s look at it from another perspective. Before you’re hitched, you’re always on the phone to your boyfriend/girlfriend. Endless amounts of text messages and phone-calls later, both your budgets take a hit in the negative. But once you’re married, you’re literally living together. No needs to text or call, your wife’s right there next to you. You can judge the complexity of a situation (if there is one) without having to second guess and what’s better is your thumb doesn’t get stretched typing or dialing.

If the two of you are driving together, you have company and don’t have to listen to sloppy radio programming. You can have simple conversations about why the fender of the car in the next lane looks crappy to subconsciously complex conversations like why you didn’t let her know her favorite TV show was on while she was taking her nap. And conversations get even more fascinating if you’re stuck in a jam.

Planning a weekend is tricky. When you’re single, you’re more than ready to mingle. You’re more or less ready to set the dreary desert sands of Kuwait on fire with only your thoughts of being in a foreign land sipping martinis. If a friend calls you over, you oblige. Now it’s a different ball game. “I have to check with the missus and get back to you mate” is the reply to those impromptu invitations I have these days. And rightly so. I love saying things in the collective noun way. Like “My wife and I are having a blast” or “my wife and I will be dropping by later” or just plain and simple “my wife and I are planning on staying in tonight” I love saying sentences with “my wife and I”, it sounds so grown up.

Another fun-filled task is ordering take-out. Somehow you’re stuck between Chinese and health-food and after tossing a few take-out menus back and forth for 20 minutes you both decide to order a pizza with the works.

All said and done, for those of you thinking I’m being a know-it-all on marriage, I most certainly am not. Just treat this as a spiel from a guy wanting to impress readers with his astute first hand views on being married. After all it’s not smart taking marriage advice from someone who’s been married for a little over a month, is it?

This is from my January article in the bazaar magazine

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A New Year's Message from BarryUno

Cyberspace has not seen Barry for quite a while and admittedly, it is because of a lot of reasons. Blame it on new responsibilities at work, the new employees we hired, the new Sony Experia and what have you but mostly it is thanks to my wedding that took place in November in Goa, India.

Needless to say, planning and executing weddings are arduous tasks that need to be accomplished with the panache and dexterity of a lion tamer on his last bit of meat. My wife and I have worked tediously to ensure a smooth transition from single-dom to wedded bliss which has been attained by the both of us and even though the world bliss isn’t easy to put right next to wedded (except of course in wedding speeches), we’re doing quite well, thank you very much.

Any-ho…without further ado, I will now subject you all to my effusive new year’s message as usual to be taken with a pinch of salt and perhaps some lemon-barley water; something I’ve got addicted to since my wedding…makes you piss like a horse!

First of all, forget all this hogwash about life being a roller coaster, life’s a bitch etc etc. Life is life. And no, before you smartasses think I am referring to the Opus song of the eighties Life’s is just what we make of it.

The past year has taught me just that. The only difference is that we all have a multiplicity of choices to make. Some of us choose wisely while others think we have time and go about knocking the wrong doors. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We screw up, we get ourselves out of the mess we made and move on. That’s the beauty of life.

For me, the year 2008 was great. It was great in the sense that I got a new perception on life; in the sense that I moved up a little at work. In the sense that I now get to share the rest of my life with my wife Eva who is now my best friend in the whole wide world. (I know some of you might be cringing now)

And so I say: 2009…bring it on baby! Bring on the tough battles along with the light-hearted moments. Bring on the emotional quandaries and the rag tag arguments at work. Bring it on….bring it all on!

But most importantly, bring on the good times. Here’s to a happy, wonderfully charged up, excitement filled, (terrorism free) new year!

Happy New Year Everyone...!!!