Saturday, January 29, 2011

Internet,Social Media,etc-are we too open about all of this?

As I sat at the break room table at work last week,people around me were saying how people reveal way too much on facebook. I have heard this all too many times before. The statuses that people put on their facebook and twitter raises eyebrows for those that are not into divulging very much. Many people view these social network sites as evil but those same people have profiles themselves.

Recently the Egyptian protests have caused their government to shut down the Internet,blocking users to use facebook and twitter to get the word out on what is going on,although some news still gets leaked out of there. Are we taking advantage of our right to freedom of speech? What would happen if the Government shut down the Internet in the US?

Or are we too liberal when it comes to social media? Why do people reveal as much as they do on the Internet these days? Or has freedom of speech reigned always in America and this is just another way to express this right? Another theory could be that it is a form of journaling,which is known for it's therapeutic effects. Or it can be as simple as a way to keep in touch with people as we get older and become more busy with jobs,marriages,kids,etc.

There are times where I refrain from revealing too much on my blog,which kind of defeats the purpose of having a blog,but it really comes down to what you are comfortable with. Some days I feel like revealing more than other days.

And I think that is what makes all of us unique in a way,just as in real life,some are more extroverts,while others are more private. And this country allows us to choose which route we want to take when it comes to this topic.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

City vs Suburbs-the ever so debatable question.

So 2011 is here and this will be my fifth year living in the city of Chicago. It has its cons(they JUST raised taxes,parking meters,crime,and the highest gas prices in the US) but it's pros outweigh them-wonderful parks, restaurants, museums,a variety of shops to choose from,a convenient public transportation system,and a very diverse ethnic scene.

Now comes the critical part-where to live once kids come into picture? This is something that even though I am not pregnant(don't be spreading rumors now lol),I am looking down the road when I do have kids,what will our family lifestyle be like? City dwellers? Or Suburbanites? I recently had this conversation with a fellow colleague over lunch today who is working in the city as well as living downtown with her husband and one year old.

I grew up in a typical suburban town where the most exciting thing to do is hit up the community mall,TGIF's(or any of those big box restaurants,Olive Garden,etc,you get the pic)or a sports bar dive. Everyone for the most part had at least 2-4 cars in their driveway,garage,and a backyard. I had a pretty good childhood though,complete with backyard,swingset and sandbox.  As I got older however,it didn't seem to appeal to me the suburban lifestyle so I went to Grad school in Chicago and loved it ever since. I did have to move back temporarily but hated it. Luck and persistence had enabled me to move back to the city where I wanted to be.

Now of course,the ever so ending advice pours in as I contemplate my next move. I live in the city but work right outside the city in the suburbs where most of my coworkers live. Numerous times have they advised me that the schools in the suburbs are better,and you get a backyard,a garage,etc. Oh and the kids! The kids will have a backyard,you cannot raise a kid in the city without a backyard! My colleague views it otherwise: she takes her child to the public library often and takes advantage of the wide variety of parks we have,especially along the lake. The Chicago Public School system,however,is one up for debate,as different parts of the city apparently are "better run" than others. As Mayor Daley steps down and others try to take over to be the next mayor of Chicago,this will be a focus on their agenda.

Part of me wonders if staying in the city is such a great idea,and there are times where I do have this inkling that I want to be in the suburbs,because my childhood was great and would want that for my future children too. But then I also think of the numerous things I can do with kids in the city too that I was unable to as a child with all the attractions it offers. And being able to walk to let's say, to the dry cleaners,theatres,and shops is such a big bonus(and good for you healthwise).

Either way,I have to just ignore the noise that everyone tries to give me(including my parents who definitely want me back close to them in the burbs) and figure it all on our own with my husband. One thing we don't want is live in the middle of nowhere just to afford a McMansion and an Escalade which so many people we know are doing,but I see no point in that.

If you live in the city and are starting a family I would love to hear your advice on how you are doing it! So far I am hearing good things from the ones that do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Free entry to Art Institute of Chicago January 3rd to February 4th

Picasso.Monet. Renoir. Starting January 3rd to February 4th the Art Institute of Chicago will have free admission all day long including evenings! Check out some great classic works as well as modern pieces in one of Chicago's greatest landmarks it has to offer. With winter in full swing in Chicago, what would be a better way to enjoy it while staying warm at the same time.