Shaker’s on the brink, bringing the constructs of until-now juvenile-targeted Habbo Hotel and Gaia Online to online and mainstream masses via Facebook. I’m personally not so sure if this virtual party is a direction that I need to go in. It may actually be one level of social beyond what I, already a massive oversharer, can handle.
Despite the increasingly growing reality that I don’t like going to movie theaters (They smell of feet and the ticket prices reek of “3D.”) or dealing with long lines (I’m so over food truck festivals.), I do think crowds – hustling, bustling throngs of real-life people in crowds – are necessary to true social situations once in a while. Perhaps I am dating myself and hitting a proverbial wall with this virtual hangout business, but I don’t think parties should happen online. Sure, you can connect with other hobbyists online, foster each others’ knowledge, participate more confidently in conversations because you’re using a screen name, and coordinate a date or two based on gamely worded profiles (Truth: I have dated someone off of MySpace.). But “parties?” Parties should happen in person.
As industry shifts drive me to analyze this direction for the perceived “next phase” of social networking, I’m finding technologically tied ways to become a hermit. Over the last couple of weeks, I have made great strides in doing things to improve myself while never having to leave the house. And when I say “great strides,” I mean “I registered for this or maybe inserted the game disc for that.”
She’s a Brainiac: Lumosity
I feel legitimately concerned that I am inducing ADD unto myself. I don’t mean to use a clinical term lightly; I just know that the way I work (if not my line of work itself) is going to lead me toward a specific type of mental burnout. Parts of my job require skipping conversations like people skip rope. That means that not only do I have a perfect excuse to mess around on Facebook all day long, but I also hop from project to project in short sprints. All the time.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I try to forcibly engross myself in print. I’m trying to consume things at my leisure in a way diametrically opposite from how I consume them during business. But for those moments where my hand subsconsciously removes my phone from my pocket, there’s Lumosity.
Lumosity is a pack of brain games cooked up by some brainiacs in the Peninsula. You can train in attention, problem solving skills, flexibility (of the brain, not groin), and more. While Lumosity earned a lot of accolades for its Web offerings, I think it really takes the cake with its mobile apps. Many of the games seem better-suited for the tactile nature of mobile devices, but if you’re more comfortable with learning through a larger screen, you can sign up directly or get a free trial to the web edition after downloading the mobile app.
Anyway. Lumosity is what I’ve been turning to when my mind wanders away from my music and commute reading. True, I often end up on Lumosity after a spell of distraction, but I like to think I’m at least winding up in a good place.
Work That Body: Dance Central 2
If you come to my house, the probability of you being invited over a second time increases if you play Dance Central with me. We will begin with my growing playlist, which starts off with two wild cards:
- Darude’s “Sandstorm” – At first I shunned this track. Like I’ve said before, I largely outgrew my techno phase in the middle of college. I still favor the more hip-hop side of Dance Central’s spectrum, but this meant I left a number of songs untouched. Which meant I would never unlock my full potential or Dance Central rewards. So I gave up one day and did “Sandstorm,” and I was surprised by how great a warm up it is. It’s like Richard Simmons found a new place where his neon and Spandex would be appreciated. I just wanna bounce and clap.
- Nikki Minaj and Sean Garrett’s “Massive Attack” – Okay, so at first I neglected this one, too. I’m picky with my music in general, but Nikki Minaj requires her own rating system with me. I just…all her work in that “asbestos”/pre-actual album period sucked. It didn’t just rub me the wrong way, it was awful. So when we first got Dance Central, I was hardset on touching not a beat of the wigged out Barbie. But then I tried it (again, because I wanted to unlock more things), and it’s my favorite. Not a Dance Central session goes by where I don’t “got tom-toms over here bigger than a monster.”