Jess Maher

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Jess Maher

Co-director / Consultant

Social Media, IM & Business Development Consultant 

social media, social networking sites, social media policy, human resource strategy, knowledge & information management, business development, business process design, administration, small business management & employment relations

The 3 R's

posted 14 Nov 2011, 16:12 by Jess Maher   [ updated 14 Nov 2011, 16:30 ]

Rights, Responsibilities & Repercussions.

Firstly consider the first R, Rights, that is surely one that myself and other, what I will term loosely as “youth”, have plenty of experience and knowledge of in life... You hear it all too often- “I'm entitled to this..” or “I have rights about that..” Now I'm hardly one who could accuse others of pushing the bounds of these limits but online, its relatively boundless. Most of us who are old enough to remember the threat and impending doom posed by the Y2K bug can appreciate the nature by which we take for granted modern technologies.

Think of the simple task of doing just one thing at a time, for example the washing... In the “old days” people had days scheduled to do the washing or feed the animals.. life was much more simplistic. And maybe as a species, meaning humans, maybe we were “happier” that way. Now days we ALL tend to find “things” to fill our days with. Be it our jobs, addictions, children or others- what ever it maybe, we are all so 'busy' – like little bees we dart around collecting our 'pollen' and finding ways to feed our families.

Responsibilities are a little harder to define. We all see the level of our responsibilities or more accurately, the scope to which our level of responsibility extends differently. Now Freud who is the 'father of modern psychology' once said he thought we had more than “one self”. He referred to it as a “loci”. Now days, more disconnected from our church's- our sense of self, one of our 'loci's' is in the 'hands' of media, more accurately, mass media- TV, radio, the internet (& social networking sites) for starters.

But I doubt Freud knew much about advertising, or at least he really knew little about advertising in this time- giving credit, where credit is due of course- he lived in a time much different to ours (). But any literature will tell you, information overload, especially for youth today, sees one sense of 'self' or one of our 'loci's' as external from us- its in the hands of the screens that occupy our time- be that the computer screen, TV screen, or even our windscreens. Drawing again a reference to nature, think of flowers- any kind you like. They all require either a bird, bee or the wind to be pollinated. In fact, when you look at it in such a way, flowers are natures advertising. But since the time of Freud , we have all become “smarter” and with us, so too has advertising become more manipulative, underhanded and tricky. Psychologists and marketers together have collaboratively developed many 'tricks of the trade' to get us buying more. And as we all become more dependent on the screens that occupy our lives, we are continually tricked and conned.

As for the third R, repercussions, that's obviously one element that is integral to youth today. Bringing in aspects of mindfulness, which is the latest buzz word in psychology at present, it maybe beneficial to considering in interactions online. Thinking of the 'equation' of any given event online, one has the choice to either react or respond. Being that you can be taken by a moment by stopping to think, given that either a reaction or response creates a different or alternative outcome.

Repercussions of ones actions teaches the “acceptable response” from society. In an online setting as with the offline, the social norms are set by common behavior and accepted values. The repercussions enforce what is wrong or right, be that governed by politics, mass media, religion or social networks alone. It should make all users stop and think, “how much is my 'like' worth? What example am I setting? Who really takes notice of what I am uploading and what picture of me does that really paint to others?

Making dough "socially" online...

posted 4 Oct 2011, 13:19 by Jess Maher

Secondly if you are a creative content creator, making social contributions online, how do you make money out of this?

If you are a band or artist trying to make a working living, “socially”, its a hard fight. Two polar approaches from bands differ greatly in their approach. Consider them Band A and Band B.

Band A embraces the social aspects of free use, YouTube delivery of latest releases, encouraging sharing of their content. Their approach is to create a “meme”, a social trend aiming at their target audience to encourage them to buy their product and associated merchandise. They have created a brand and are working with traditional venture capitalists to make this business model work for them.

Band B on the other hand takes an alternative approach. They too utilise platforms such as YouTube, but its hard to make a living when iTunes is selling your tracks for only a few dollars. Their approach has been to utilise the wave of a good cause, doing an anti-bullying tour in Australia. This band offers their first album free to download on their website, after all its all about getting your name out there and your content heard. One has to be a rather big deal before any real money can be made over iTunes or from live performances.

What is the better approach is still unknown, they are just different ways of tackling this new digital world, and it is still unproven what the best strategy for making money is, if that is the intention.

Latest Untitled Post

posted 20 Sept 2011, 18:21 by Jess Maher   [ updated 21 Sept 2011, 19:23 ]

First up, when its all about the $ decision making gets poor. When you don't make any money, what is the point- surely that at some time needs to be the conversation on everyone's lips, and essentially, its all about "Paying Lipservice" to the "money man". Now I'm not going to be sounding arrogant or deceptive about any such conversation on the topic should be taken with the following disclaimer: "I am not wealthy myself, but I do not have any fluid cash capital of great substance or degree. Like us all, I am "a slave to the money man" be it similar to those of you in paid employment, cash happy or working your guts off without getting paid your hard earned cash from our "private industries, welfare or other state service employment, public sector, beneficiary or student". 

We give youth a lot of flack when it comes to the media really, this is a great example of lack of faith we have in each and our own examples being set in their collective consciousness certainly isn't of high regard considering the news titles such as the following (see below; ) but if you look through the lens of someone who has to question the "truth" or suggest it to be the example of collaboration and respect- how far we ever going to get really...? Now I'm back to the grind and heading for the pile up of unpaid frustration- also known as, my "in tray" :S 

What do you do when the person your trying to "catch up" with is all over the show...?

posted 7 Aug 2011, 13:20 by Jess Maher   [ updated 7 Aug 2011, 16:39 ]

Hey there (to whom ever may find themselves reading this),  

I just felt it should be made explicitly that I am aware there may or may not be "an audience" that wants to listen to me anymore and as a result, may or may not get my "buzz" right now or why I clearly felt the need, to portray myself as an "example" of some kind...  I guess, like most stories I should start at the beginning- but where that truly is depends on what you already "know" to be  true... see the thing about communicating with others, is that by default, we automatically assume that who ever one maybe talking to, the chances are, in doing so-you will get some opposition and the main saving grace is that there is this "faith" in the hope that hopefully be outweighed by the excess votes for the "yes camp" so to speak... 

Authentic verse Genuine? Saying what you think & saying what you think you should say?

posted 7 Aug 2011, 02:07 by Jess Maher

So I have also to and will continue to say, "I just have this horrible urge to say what I think", it has always been much "more true" than I think most people have ever realised, least of all my parents... :) They have together provided me some incredibly unique ways about tackling problems and thinking about situations, even if I alone may always be my no 1 and possibly even lone fan for every... my internal judge is rather moody and dependant on the context I am placed... I am generally just pretty good on my feet and very much a humoust and realist I do really love to joke about the sometimes horrible things I find in my reality and have this great longing to always know the "truth" at all costs even if I am subbornly frank about it, I seem to struggling sometimes which battles are worth fitting and those worth losing but thats not a struggle I am sure we have all had to come to learn at some point, much I imagine to be part and parcel of the "growing up" process which I feel very much like James & I both have quite some way to come clearly...

See a friend just a few days ago said to me "You both need to grow up, you need to realise there are going to be times that you can't get what you want and NO ONE will care-not even your mother and James, well he needs to learn he can't predict the future and to do that while you are around is going to be hell for you both!" (its nice when we know despite all else we may have friends who will be there despite everything that has happened! Authentic and Genuine, I thought had the same meaning, just like I thought "knowing" and "learning" were relally different but when I didnt get something when I was a teenager, my mum straight up told me to shut up and that was the topic of the table and Dad would entertain every crazy idea with great veracity... I had somehow, LONG LONG ago, got into my head thought or at least felt me often "events/things" that happen do so becuase of something (not nessicarly from my perspective, to be really explicit) but from the persepctive of my Mum and Sister and "family" that my Dad was not close to me personally.... I have been just struggling to come to terms with the fact that for years I have truely believed I need to talk to process what I think... but that was a "new content" probably that I had only just come to get- thats inspirattion. whats not inspiration, but instead tends to be described by most I imagine as fore throught, well ytthats where we are meant to be thinking before behaving and what "everyone else" thinks, I guess that dependant on your attitude understanding and faith in many things not just yourself and your partner or parents...

But I've been "losing time" for years, I remember he turned up on my doorstep one time, when I must have only been about 16 or 17 and I hadn't been to school in, god, what must have been months (i think it was approximately 6 months, though those who were at school with me at the time would probably be better off with expressing that one as I think this may have been the beginning of rather hazy and turbulent years for me, some of which I remember, others feel like a vauge story that someone once told me... something i often "quizzed" my dad about especially before he died in those few months when, for whatever reason, the dynamic between dad and I had changed... I cannot accurately tell you all the things in his life that where going on then, cause at the time, I still seemed to take some interest in my life and the things around me, without there being a "cause" or "reason" to.. James and I had been together for two years and my Dad was busy in the middle east with my Mum working on Vodafone related work and life with thier friends up there.

For me, obviously, there were alot of more factors than just those two in the world and somewhere along the way, admist what surrmonts to the last 5 years of my life, especially as I have "lost alot of weight" and I think even more difficult has been my attention & concern for this factor/aspect I always ignored in life, and since I've continued to struggle with how I was percieved by other women... It was as thought they felt I was more a threat, and while I understood it, I have never and will never get the chance to truely "see myself from the outside" and have for a long long time, felt there was someone (maybe more a something as I had always imagined a MONKEY to be honest) that was reporting to someone all the "horrible things I'd done" and seeing as this monkey seemed to inverably grow and chance its form and shape, the presssure didnt change. After Dad died, I went into the mode of what collectively mum and he would have expected of me and when I thought I was doing fine, there was always Mum & James to caution me to stop being reckless...

I just dont think when I am in the moment, and Im not sure I've "left it" since long before Dad died... maybe even in Adeliade the last ever "family dinner" we had down there... My father, the responsible saint everyone thought of him to be in most lights, got incredibly "shit-faced" drunk and I remember last thing, walking my cousin and his girlfriend home down rundle mall and "playing on the pigs" trying to stop my baby cousin (who for the record is about 7.2 ft and male if nothing else relevant) and walking him home before he got into a punch up on the street, and in the end passed out just outside his door with his wallet in his hand and the key half way out... We (James & I) took the card from his hand and put him and his girlfriend to before heading there ourselves... But the next morning, Dad comes staggering out the hotel doors as we were walking in with our coffee's and he turned and said, "where did you fuckn get those? my head hurts sooo badly and I better get one before your mum wakes up!" When we told him how far we'd gone, he was like, "Nah f*ck that, I know where you mean thats ages away... come on give me another option?"... we suggested across the road and walked away...

Since then, well alot has happened I guess, to much to explain it all just now to one person and I have decided it best for me, in my life time to not only focus on balance but save my "good" stories for those who do love and care about me and I am going to now drop whatever that comes to mean for anyone else as I chose that is what it at least means to me! I have recently come to learn that alot of the words my family may have used as meaning one thing, may have well and truely another opinion of thier meaning... its not that hard to see why I may have overlooked some of these very minor short comings or misgivings in my "learning" or knowledge between what is right or wrong.. and I would like to for the first time in quite some time start by saying (writing) that I personally may be right or wrong and am open myself to being & taking some level of responsibility if it is due and I am able to, this is a difficulting & complex "story" to unravel and if I am completely honest, I would much rather explain things in person as I much prefer face to face contact...

but there are but two things I know for sure and have had confirmed for me in recent week- that women, well we such as asking for what we want, and the one thing not advisable to continue to tell children, until the minute you "relincquish" control at which point- which there will I imagine, especially if I am any "example" to "learn" may find, could cause them to either inflict catestrophic devastation to all that & those they may find still around them, and/or potentially they could be found somewhere in a deep black hole or "another world". If they are incredibly impatient, stubborn and determined with a strong inability to make any kind of decision without external approval or validation to give them that "backing" they need to know they were on the right path... some others may refer to it as an "inner critic" or the regulator of our individual judgements or ideas of what is wrong or right.... and for those, much like me, they may EXCESSIVELY find themselves jumping between and for sometime find themselves bounching between one whole and the next... 

I've never really "got" why people may percieve me the way they do and I guess no one ever questioned it cause I didnt think it was a "worthy/interesting" topic... So I guess I screwed up my ways of thinking and hence why I may not have even got myself for so many years and just seemed so adamant that "I knew" what my parents would say or think about something... but they are and were very different messages particularly when I was growing up and I guess there must be pleanty of things people must have told me before that I just don't remember. And I now realise this is more a reflection on the life style habits and choices of myself and I guess by proxy my partner... but I have for a long time been intelectualising things.. and by things, I mean all kinds of shit, big, small... Shinny or filthy,, I just like to get amoungst it... to try everything... I felt like the minute Dad died someone started a stop watch ticking... and not connected or aligned to my biological clock I must add (f*ck I am only 27 after all) but I felt like my "emphasis or pressure" on time constraints was somehow now placed else where... I dunno, maybe in the sky even... its kind of irrelevant... the point is I lost sense of time years ago it turns out... I've just taken this long and gone through so many different "ups and downs" or if you like "mini series" in this bigger plan or picture of which I am not sure yet what "we do" as the time goes on... and I guess it froze me in the time hole if thats something you can take the time yourself to imagine that would be nice...

I confused myself about my "problem", my work, my life and my family and forgot that while James is willing to share everything will me and I had happenly handed over to him my hopes and dreams, that during "waking hours" he had better make sure to be responsible for me, despite what ever I did... (and I have to admit to some clearly insane moments in the last few months alone... I did take a novelty hammer to a jib wall inside a closet as "I have decided that we cannot have this, it is not ok and we are going to knock out the window... you may not agree with me I understand, but you may want to move as I am not intending on hurting anyone so much, I just need to get my way right now and u don't understand")... but the one thing that is important to note, while online or offline I think the biggiest difference is when its online, you percieve me (at least) to some degree as you would like to perceive me... or as the way I imagine others may look at it, the way I would like you to percieve me... and to some degree its true, I mean I put everthing out there that anyone can find today and if I "google" myself or set "alerts" for myself, then I can try and manage or at least manicure that to some degree.. but that whole, "well at least I have my work" factor, thats what has I guess until possibly this moment if not before (and maybe I do have to "learn" it again and again even) is that I am infact so far from my mother and father both as could be, while at the same time being both a part & aspects of me reflecting them... )

"even winning a nobel prize doesn't guarantee that the ideas of scientists will be accepted by thier peers"   -  AMERICAN PYCSOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION - (August 2011)

I dont imagine to many of the worlds "great minds" sought out the outside acceptance or approval from those around them to say sleep at night, likely that such things are not high on the agenda for them really... Yet that is an assumption, and I am unsure that Schumpeter or any of the others, were just "talking shit" about things like the fact we left "redunant words such as family off the start of terms we had come to share... In fact I know from history and reading his book, that through out his life he dealt massively with the fact that no one was interested in hearing what he had to say... and when he did mange to convience them, he got incredibly frustrated and  if i were a scientist I would be the kind that does epic big explosions that everyone can come enjoy (like the fireworks I have seen "Young Matt" play with) rather than a careful methodical *boring* shit James does in the lab like "reading some kind of report that explains the toxicity of something" which has very little real validation from a higher standpoint let alone to watch up close!

Angering the "Twitter Masses" or possibly just screwing with my own head...?

posted 4 Aug 2011, 21:48 by Jess Maher   [ updated 7 Aug 2011, 07:47 ]

From @NZBen "Bloody interesting (if obvious) stats. I wonder what it means for focussed thinking time? "

Twitter must at least have some influence to influence your moods and self talk if its the first thing you do in the morning!


I'm a researcher at heart. It has only been in recent months that I have not had uni papers or research assignments on the go as I did my Post Graduate Honors Dissertation Research in International Business & Human Resources... But my Dad lost it when I got a fail on my "online" submission for my research thesis "The use & integration of Social Networking Sites in NZ SMEs" which also featured a Wiki, interactive segment and guided submission to go along with the traditional written version.. Telling me it was "just not good enough" he wanted to talk to my lecturers. Hehe I explained to him, I think the were probably fair in doing it dad, I tried to cram too much in and my mentor was rather vauge and unhelpful with his commentary so it likely my own fault. He still wanted to talk to my lecturers obviously and clearly there was no chance I was going to let him.

But in the months building up to his death, for some reason- he tended to call most days and we would be speaking rather regularly.. and the dynamic between us had changed for some reason, which I am ovbiously aware of but coming to terms with I guess, he would call me when he couldn't work out what to do, "so I have a question?" - see I always had questions... I just did not realise what that meant for me.. my Dad was the same, but he something, in fact, many pieces of the puzzle that I had not considered-or been made aware off... And I well, I didn't want to be told what to do. But I had become uset to being the cause of the "problem" or at blame for the ills in my immediate short term history especially and it really didn't make sense to me... until very recently! And I am embarrased to admit to myself what I have managed to do to myself and my family and friends through this process and am still, and I imagine for a long time to come, still apologizing for what was undoubtly the biggest fuck up in my life time yet! And hopefully it will be forever for that matter... Unless I'm in the habit of wanting to always do this- which I'm certain I don't!

Dad always told me he "it" was about shock and awe.. when he died, I felt the need to help my mum through what we all knew was going to be for all of us an incredibly difficult process, but my Mum & Sister and all other extended family are overseas and I just wanted to have something intereum, like something to "throw myself into" however I did not mean it quite as literally as it turned out... I always felt the need to push the boundaries and rebel whatever it was my Dad and Mum said to me as a kid, but when Dad died the expectations became obviously changed as my Mum became the leader of the house hold so to speak. I just tried to do something positive to "pick" some kind of problem bigger than me that James & I could collectively try and solve in some way.. "it" became how to protect and prepare teenagers and children for the threats that faced them online... after having a family friend come to me with issues they where having, I attempted to facilitate or at least organise a "workshop" of other people working in the area and/or were parents themselves. Four people turned up (two of whom were friends of my Da's - including my Godfather who happened to be around at the time- and a someone else from the industry that one of them had brought along, then another lady whom was part of a computer business locally and who wrote weekly safety tips for parents in a email mailer format.

But by the time I got to Social Media Club with the politicians on the panel, and seemingly had managed to get the conversation to at least at some level, influenced by talk of values and protecting youth.. well I started to get iratic and increasingly frustrated... that is when my iPad problem and Twitter Addiction really kicked in (along with my over active imagination which kind of kicked in my fear induced mainia/ stupid pot-brain idea!) The moment I felt I agreed to "play the role" of someone who I had fictionally created as being the "reason" for doing this... it was someone like me, around the same age, maybe even on of the girls who I had gone too school with back in the day, probably one who was already a mum, someone who I knew off and had known at one point in time, but at a time when I was not "myself" as I see myself to be today as I sent my "loci" outside myself... making the judgement of what I had done or was thinking of doing, so way removed from myself, maybe as a subconcious need to be able to excuse myself- I threw myself out and hoped the "I" would find its way back, but its only now that a long series of stories, all as much more complex and entwined with the next would be to follow, and not ones I found interesting but ones I felt would have some relativity or influence/involvement from my end.. I went about trying to understanding how to best prepare the world for the "hell raiser" kids that James & I hope to one day have which we are no doubt going to need what help there is around for us at the time...

While we pick up the pieces of our lives together now it seems my "Im all over the show and need a problem to solve so I smashed a whole in the world" thing, and try to stay off the internet all the time, but particularly when I am angry myself... I am going back to the script I wrote all those months ago and asked Shizzi's awesome parents if she could help me with and the script I wrote one evening in the darkness. when I do all my best work of course, from the bed also- maybe I should change my professional...? I do feel owned already so maybe that would be the best thing to do, staying off line of course, however I think in my "offline life" I have been talking about this damn tattoo I finally am going to get as an ode to China... We found it at the Science & Technology Museum in China... right next to the Earthquake Machine - its authenticity is part of the sheer beauty of things one possess in life ... Im not 100% of the transluation, but I'd say its something close to "Pain is my friend, it lets me know I am still alive" maybe slightly sadistic to some, I felt this was the perfect fit to me and the context for which I see it signifys...

From the Memorial Site for Grahame Maher at

Some people have misinterpreted that I concieve it to stand as a reminder that I should live my life or act in the way my Dad would have given himself in the same context or situation. What they fail to recognize is that while a reminder of just how awesome and incredible the impact my Dad managed to achieve in his life time, that is not to say that I mean it to be transferable or directly related to my life as a result. I continue to miss my Dad on a daily, if not at times hourly or what seems almost sometimes, continuous & ongoing basis in my day to day life - but what  many people seem to overlook in this context, given the tragic & sadness intrinsic to this & others "stories" is just how beautiful the whole "issue" is in the first place..  Dad had many great interviews and quotes from his work while he was alive that I could reference here have already been posted on the Facebook page, "memorial" website of sorts I created or somewhere else online in his memory... 


The day I let Twitter become my self talk...

posted 20 Jul 2011, 04:04 by Jess Maher   [ updated 20 Jul 2011, 04:22 ]

In an attempt to try and understand the difference between the perspectives and outlooks on the “free internet” and “cyber bullying” situation more generally, I have been letting myself get completely engrossed in the technologies at my disposal and have an admission…. ummm, ok while I wish I could say this was an intentional and planned process I have an omission to disclose that this was actually a complete f*ck up that I just so happened to learn quite a bit of insight from indeed… some insight I am willingly putting up here for uncomfortable judgement of a potential, disconnected & invisible “audience”. Getting your head too often stuck in a screen of some kind or another, really quickly begins to screw with your head a.
Its unnatural, you know, the fact that so many of us get up and go to work somewhere, having driven there from our homes, in these gas guzzling cars, through traffic of hundreds of others doing the same thing… We “work for the man” destined to live every Monday reliving the weekends events and then every Tuesday and week through, just longing for the weekend. We have these obsessive needs to give ourselves labels and titles and some abstract, defined construct of belonging. “Who are you working with? What endorsement is offered? Where are your project plans?” These kind of questions to me seemed irrelevant and unimportant in the larger scheme of things for a second there. In fact, even trying to sit down and have the attention span to write this, I feel myself constantly compelled to get up and move something, get a drink, turn the radio on or off… any great number of alternatives that would enable me to give myself the excuse to leave the keyboard.
Hahaha unbelievably, since the time I finished that last sentence, I managed to distract myself for almost 5 hours on a multitude of things I was busy doing… You see the longer I seemed to let myself get taken in by the now “heavy use twitter addiction” I have developed in recent weeks. See like most twitter users I’ve had my profile for probably some years now I imagine… While being a very occasional user of twitter in the past, it was really only once I started going to workshops and the such, where the “tweet stream” was live at the event on the big screen. I remember one politician at one of the events recently saying, or maybe it was tweeting, the it was the closet thing they had got to reading the audiences mind.. and I think there maybe a lot of truth to that to be honest.. But I am not wanting so much to report on what I think following the event or what it all means to me or anyone else for that matter in this post so much as I am wanting to “report my findings” if you like…
Its funny, I feel like I dived in some kind of portal a few weeks back and am slowly but surely managing to bring myself back to reality. See the thing is, when I meet James for the first time, I had “heard” about him plenty of times before… we have since worked out in fact, that we had been tip toeing around each other with various mutual friends for years before we meet-with the details recounted it sounds like I made up a cheesy story I am aware of that, so I keep it at the humorously, light level I have been trying to maintain on Twitter for the past few days especially… I had heard James was pretty smart, and on meeting him I could tell indeed, he at least thought he was pretty smart (that was sincerely my take at the time- a friend of mine, JP, always said a guy had to piss me off before I would take any notice… :P ) so I asked him what I thought was a pretty hard question, I can’t recall what the topic was now, but when he answered- I had no idea what he had said. Like he could of replied in Spanish for all I know!
See here are a few things I have always known about myself: I am mildly average at most things I attempt, I am determined, stubborn and self righteous, I have a high level of empathy and tend to perceive things in a way that some interpret to be negative or cynical… but it was now only very recently that I am able to conceptually articulate what the process of “growing up” is known to be, at least I think so-you see the internet and my recent twitter engrossed addiction, well I was at risk there of turning myself as crazy… but it is a freeing process to be able to understand something isn’t it.. I always hated on myself because I had this crazy arsed illusion that boosted and maybe even bullied somewhat by my Dad, I think he thought I must have the same “problem” and it was his responsibility to help me prepare for it in a way he knew best… but life is funny isn’t it? I would say it was twitter that made me crazy, but maybe it actually helped me in this process… I’m not sure, but without James I could have never understood it that’s for sure!

And while he right now seems like he is for the most part shit scared I am embarrassing myself, at this point I truly feel like I have little choice. Everyone in the world who will give me the time to explain myself to them either truly believes I may potentially require institutionalization or indeed maybe severely crazy and having not realized I required an audience to understand myself as I truly was that self centered, I had never for a second considered I could be self centered. See I knew being wrong was something I was open to, but I hadn’t considered that I could be like fundamentally wrong about everything. See its not till you drop every assumption and grounding till you can be truly free or so they say… see I always made a fool of myself, I knew that making a joke of yourself was ok, and when I had questions I couldn’t answer in life, well, my Dad told me to blame him or he would look into it. I know while he consciously told me to believe in myself and that I could do anything, well then I could. But it was the sense of duty that I had fundamentally been rebelling ultimately. If the process of growing requires me to accept & reqtify both the constructs of how I see myself and how the world sees me, its not that I am crazy at all. If it is a process that requires me to accept responsibility of something, well then I feel like I did it long ago. 

 Its eerie, time I mean… I’m sure it more likely that we should have some kind of ratio measure, like the length of clock hours and minutes comparatively to the number of incidents and the levels of stress induced in doing them, or something like that… but in Doha at least, (or the “sand box” as I would jokingly refer to it with Dad) it for some reason feels a little like ground hog day after a while… Its the same bright blue sky and crazy, blaring heat and then just sand. Sand and dust and more sand. I remember on that trip I went in to the desert with Dad and this professional dune driver guy he had hired for the day. We went duning through the desert, smashing it over dunes at crazy high speeds with the car flying through the air. All while casually, this guy just jokingly recounts stories of high speed, mid air collisions he’s seen in the past. While we were out there, this sand storm started rolling in, like you could see what looked like this wall of, well dust really, a real fine, fine kind of sand. Once it hit, you couldn’t see more than 30cms in front of you!

But Doha, its like this surreal other place. Like it sounds really cheesy and unbelievable, but that’s just so typical Doha, cause stuff there really is kind of backwards and story book and just crazy over there. See, back in New Zealand, when my family where living here, Dad felt he had found a way he could articulate his purpose in life. He wanted to make a ‘world of difference’, hence the foundation/charity name I guess… When they got to Doha, the thing I know that Dad was really struck by was the disperancy, the difference between the rich and the poor, the workers and the “privileged”. See its weird how in that part of the world, you have a guy in the office working as a coffee runner, (I am seriously not just being a dick and making this shit up by the way) like the guy who gets a whole stack of orders for coffee, gives it to the barrister and then returns them to people who ordered them. And seriously, this guy has like three degrees in electrical engineering or something. And they have a fault on one of the cell towers one day and my dad’s got this guy out in the field, helping them work out the problem.  Meanwhile other “work class” employees in other businesses, get probably not much difference in pay, but their accommodation would be the size of a standard Kiwi home’s main bathroom. And that would sleep four people in some cases-like the guys that sleep in the security shed at the front gates of the “compound” my Mum still lives in… Compound, I always thought that made it sound like a jail really.. 
I am rather naive as it turns out, I did not really realize that people don;'t really mean it when they "say what they think", and no one every really told me that when you ask a question and it cuts to close to an uncomfortable personal truth for someone, that silence you hear when people stir silently and shuffle in their seats- that was uncomfortable. I never really got that one. I know that sounds ridiculous, but you see you have to realise that the way I felt belonging to the world, if that again makes any sense, was through my Dad’s eyes. See, I don’t think while he was alive, there was every really going to be a time when I had not at least to some degree, valued his opinion of me any lower than anyone elses in the world I can think of. See my Dad was an insightful man, a loving, giving and kind man, he had a real warmth about him and something that made everyone he talked to feel like he had all the time in the world for them… But he was also about shock and awe, you know, that kind of jaw dropping, attention grabbing kind of spectacular. I mean this is the man who rode an elephant down Queen street for gods sake. I really shouldn’t take the lords name in vain, I hear a old Religious Education teacher of mine in my head when I say that- “don’t take the lords name in vain”. My bad. Ah religion, now that’s a topic you don’t bring up around the dinner table if one can help it, or so I am told. Well theres an interesting one… I remember a family friend once said over dinner, “oh Christians, yeah I like their beliefs but I’d rather flag it on the church and shit”.
My Dad was by no means religious, but he was quoted in a number of magazine articles as saying that he would like to go and become a monk… random I know. But you see, my grandfather, he was a priest. I’m not sure if he was always the Uniting Church but he was a great story teller and a kind, gentle soul with a bit of an indulgent side to his personality. My Dad, he liked fun. He was a bit of a party animal back in the day I hear, meeting my Mum at a dirt bike riding competition where Dad was riding side cart. He was running one of his earlier entrepreneurial pursuits where he and his mate from high school (close to my God father I guess) Mark Hambour, where running a show called “Break Down Disco”.. and they always broke down! Nanna told me about how he made them go along to one of the events so he would have an audience and how the generator kept cutting out all the time! Its something that comes with being a parent, or some may say even, growing up in the real world. See people of “my” generation, being an objective term, have always been told, “you can be anything you want in life” or “there is nothing you can’t do”. We have been lulled into false belief that for some unknown reason we have a god for saken right to be on this planet that for some reason or another must make us better than someone. Surely? Cause that’s what its all about in life right? The race? The score? The measure in one way shape or form. Is it because we need constant reassurance to feel belonging in these unfair, nasty and judgemental social groups we have unwittingly formed? Who’s your tribe? Is it you alone? Is it your nuclear family? Is it your community? Country? Facebook friends?
See I think in this turmoil of hell I seem to have put myself through, including the near insanity with the two account’s and tweeting to & about myself- I swear to god I nearly gave myself some kind of skisophenic episode! See I think its just the nature of the kind of person that I am but I am sincerely just naturally very inquisitive and I can also be a bit of a magpie, like, I like shiny things and stuff that looks cool or draws my attention! I mean, maybe there is a possibility that some of us may just mistake “fear” for “bravery” and “crazy” for “enlightened”? Or is perspective really not all that relevant…? Are the rules here to be broken or are they really just someones legacy institutional construct we are holding onto for security and comfort? Is change exciting and danger all part of the thrill? Or is a stupid, arrogant act of stupidity that comes off brazen and harsh? And why does it have to be a question? Why do we always have to know? Or in the case of determining whether or not one may have “grown up” as what I have come to understand it to be, why do “I”-they, youth (whatever term you want to put here) always have to have the last word. Potentially just stubbornness, maybe the drive for power or greed or money? Maybe everyone wants to just be right all the time? Maybe its just been our institutions telling us for so many years that we must strive for exponential growth, constant “furthering of ourselves”, what has sometimes been refereed to as mastery? Why do we Kiwis & Aussies feel this whole Distance of Tierney thing? Why do we tell each other to go away when we start becoming successful in Auckland particularly?
Like tall poppy, what is that all about a? It seems to be a result for unhappy, frustrated people who take themselves and life all a bit too seriously I imagine. I would recommend to them that they “go do ‘something fun’ for a few weeks, you might like it!” Why can’t we all just be supportive and protective of our vulnerable tribe? Who is our tribe? What defines who falls inside that boundary and what level of significance does that level of acceptance from them play an important role? Why in this context is no one asking any questions? Why when we know people of all ages are out there seemingly lost in the big bad world and in some cases- even worse, with the impulsivity and reckless dis-abandon of youth, yet without the light that one is meant to take joy in in life, through the fulfillment that to some degree somewhere and somehow in the world, possibly in a different time and space, where it is still possible to find hope and dreams alive and well.  The thinking you know everything part and cutting your own self down to size is important. But in my own learning, its interesting to consider the matter of fight or flight.… that instinct in you to just act on impulse and decide afterwards weather or not it was a good idea… I mean after all the hero is only the guy who stayed standing after all the braver, cockier ones were slayed down. I imagine the line between heroism and ignorance are also rather fine, yet I have no evidence to suggest this… 

I defiantly know the different between fear and courage and I too know what it is right and wrong in the world, but by letting technology become all engulfing and its intrusive pervasiveness really eat at ones self confidence as the sense of self goes floating out the window. I read somewhere that the younger generations have a fall removed external loci, like as in unconscious mind… that it makes them reckless and unpredictable. That kind of thing is why we created social order, and systems and structures, labels even… but that doesn’t mean that we did it write, that we shouldn’t question it or it couldn’t be up for review… Yeah sure some of them are tough questions I know and as a child I was often indulged with my confronting questions, like when I asked my grandfather, the Priest, “how did Jesus really walk on water? You can’t walk on water.” My grandfather replied, “oh I think its metaphorical really, probably a sand bar, you remember those?”

We now have in my opinion at least, one of two choices… Given the AA mantra or Lessig’s keynote speech from the NetHui conference, “we need to change the things we do not like and learn to love & accept the things we cannot change”. Rather than looking for the differences or the problems, can we just not accept that somewhere along the way, someone, somewhere must have stuffed up cause to have a government that is held ransom by this imaginary power & figure of inflated debt. We get that money is something we all have in common, but its disparate distribution among communities is insanely unbalanced… I feel some sense of duty to these amazing, generous, talented and also largely unchallenged, rebellious or disinterested youth. Give them the tools and support they need to stop resenting the world or someone in it because of the hurt they have experienced in their lives and reigned back in that “loci”. And Twitter should come with a user warning I am starting to think... If you have children on it, I would recommend making sure they use a closed and private account. In fact it would probably be worth it to make sure you don’t get to the state I did… 

Selfish or Self centered? Different no..?

posted 18 Jul 2011, 03:55 by Jess Maher

Having self esteem is very different in life to having confidence. You see, until now- not only have I never felt "free" but I am also never been sure if I was really smart at all..? You see I think I have some kind of learning disability.. like I know I am dislecek some what, and when I write something, then try to read it back, well I seem to get it around the wrong way... but you see I really am by my very nature incredibly inquisitive.. I like to ask questions... something my dad encouraged and I can be incredibly impulsive, again something my Dad encouraged, but I can be moody and demanding and well, just down right (as my Dad said at my 21st speech) "worse than my mother" but you see I think I was totally fooled into my Dad's potentially narcissistic beliefs about life, either that or he just talked me up and played me like a puppet!

I knew I always had a connection to my Dad and Pa, but I also knew my Dad still had "Daddy issues" like he carried some kind of resentment or confliction there... but you know, I think I was literally bullied into not believing my own self talk. Like I couldn't feel out of the grip of my dad while I still felt not responsible for myself if that makes any sense.... And while I isolated myself and went about tackling the online rights of youth as my "problem to solve"... I never realized I would actually be trying to find myself... in the process, I think I may have worked out what soul mates are... they are the person in the world who helps you cope with your reality and believe yourself enough to get to the point where, together you are able to make your  dreams and hapinesses in life can come to be blended and blurred with reality...

And not only have I discovered all that, but I have also realized that I have always felt responsible for some one... the dynamic between my dad and i had changed in the year or so before he died.. he used to tell me what he had done, then I realized a shift... he was calling me for advice... like telling me he had no idea what he was doing and what did i think? like what the fuck, i have no idea what you should ok I'll give you an opinion.. hmm lets see.." but like talk about pressure... here I am with no fucken money on this pursuit to do anything possible to not have to get a 9-5 job... see what i've actually come to learn to be my reality is that my Dad must have been manic depressive or bipolora or something, but I was just bullied so much by pretty much anyone and everyone in my life while at the same time unwittingly bullying them also... 

see i can seem to be almost able to control my emotions to a degree, i am also abit of a magpie and well, I just like to talk alot... but I have myself changed physical appearance to the degree where it seems like 

See I was the kid that when I did a play and got the lead role, I had this massive smile on my face and was super excited about it all and my Dad, after I said, "didn't I do awesome?" he said to me, well yer but so did the lighting guy and the sound guy and all the rest of them... and I was like, "are you serious?", he would always chuckle and finally after how long agree with me. But you see no one ever really told me I was smart when I was younger, like ever, and I've always felt like I was different, I just never realised I was like incredibly incredibly cynical.. like to the point where I am clearly rather funny sometimes.. I thought I was just saying what I thought...

Do I think I may know a thing or two about the plight of youth online...?

posted 14 Jul 2011, 08:44 by Jess Maher   [ updated 20 Jul 2011, 03:51 ]

Ok, so I have been ranting on and on about cyberbullying now for sometime... and I think I owe at least a few potential *invisible* confused "followers" a bit of an explanation right about now... See I am pretty quick thinking when I want to be, or rather when I'm feeling onto it... and I am almost myself what I would class a digital native. See I am from Adelaide, South Australia: I grew up there with my younger sister, Kate where my parents owned a modest house in the "foothills" of Adelaide City. They also owned and managed a small business (however, to this day my mother will tell you she just "did the books"!) called Adelaide Business Machines. They sold photocopiers and electric whiteboards that printed out what you drew on them (pretty flash for the late 80's for all ya young ones out there!) and guillotines, shredders etc you get the picture... anyway, my Dad had decided he wanted to buy this business, and so one day, without my Mum knowing at the time and with two young children and a mortgage already, Dad went and got himself 6 or 7 credit cards in the same day (again for all you young ones out there, this was in the 80's so banks were not electronic and manual transactions where saved till the end of the day) and went and bought this business. The next day, when the banks had worked out what he had done, my Dad I imagine would have received some pretty angry phone calls!

After my Dad died, I was in another world for a wee bit I guess, but I'm one of those people who in a hard situation, I am "all go-full speed ahead, give me the problem and I'll solve it". I think that's why I enjoy the challenge of the networking events integrated with the tweet streams.. its like the only time besides BBIM days that I really feel that both sides of my brain are engaged and I'm constantly left in this somewhat uncomfortable space around me while I guess, people try to size me up... I mean I say I guess as it has only been a rather recent development and one alongside a completely separated and different "social media" parallel for me as I am currently assumed by approx 500+ facebook users to be the administrator and "presence" of my Dad's RIP page, which is a complete headf*ck in itself!

So a few weeks ago, I went to a Social Media Club event and saw Nikki Kaye, Clare Curran oh man I suck with names, can we just say- I saw some politicians talking at this event and I remember looking at my wrist and thinking f*ck it, I'll just trust that maybe my Dad did know a thing or two about life, he had 30 years on me after all.. so I didn't get my "professional look" going (I had been sanding a wooden floor with a tiny edge sander earlier that day and all...) and I just rocked on in as is. Obviously, I do realize I can be a bit of a weirdo and this was a room of potentially the most concerned/ threatened group of people at the risk of me tainting anyone's reputation or image. The video above was from that evening as was this if I remember correctly... I felt frustrated at the lack of proactive or actionable resolutions available out there for parents. 

That night i made a post of how I felt I would have written about myself if I was writing as though I was a ghost writer for myself... a crazy concept in the first place right, so in the following few days I took the post down as James complained and complained... I uploaded this following that... Leaving the idea alone for a short while at the time, I also remember reading a research paper on the topic of information overload, a topic I am trying (somewhat frustratingly) to write on at the moment. The paper touched on the construct or idea of having ones loci, externally focused and dependent. I was trying to imagine myself writing about myself from the third person- I guess that's when I began to screw with my own mind... 

Since then, the time frame has seemed exponentially long and extended... And things went from curiosity, to confusion and despair, right through to embarrassment, angry, others infuriating disappointment & concern- I have a habit of taking things too far sometimes and this time, it was my own self that I screwed with... I'm not sure what motivated it, if I was confused about my Dad's death or was not fully accepting it before now... or maybe I jumped into some stupid idea and just got waaay way to carried away with it.. or there is always the possibility I am bonified insane and crazy.. all I know, is it seems I wanted to prove a point and in the process of doing it, totally screwed over myself and have managed to upset many of my loved ones as it turns out. I f*cked up and I am sorry. 

Confused and frustrated about the "growing up" fact of life and a process I had mistakenly felt I had already overcome, yet it turns out, instead of proving my point alone, I have managed to also make a complete fool of myself and not only embarrassed myself but my partner, family and loved ones. Twitter too easily can become ones thought stream, almost an unconscious rattling of ones self talk. However in my process of an ethnographic researcher, I am ashamed to say I think I managed to fool myself even... I think I literally in a frustrated state with iPad in hand, managed to convince myself that I was on a bit of a power trip! I have been putting myself under too much stress and after getting rather "tweet-happy" while also having conversation with James on a regular basis, I started to quiz and question some of the things I saw and came across while going through the process. 

New Zealand is a small and connected country, to ruin ones reputation on any of the social networking sites or services within the country is highly detrimental (hadn't considered what that means for me now)... but we also act as a adolescent country often and are accused of assuming we know what everyone else is thinking.. in this sense, we often are not even aware of our own innovation or ingenuity.    


You know you need a new laptop when.....

posted 10 Jul 2011, 20:52 by Unknown user   [ updated 11 Jul 2011, 08:50 ]

Seriously this is fuct! Check out what happened when I tried to record a video in a hurry this morning! I'll admit it, its even better this way than if it worked the way I wanted, but isn't it fuckn creepy...?? 

its kind of creepily like someone told me to shut up at the 2 min mark and they were right but how creepy is that...?? 

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