I’m defining it now. Dinnernet. It is a modern cultural phenomenon that will only increase in it’s significance as time moves forward. Dinnernet is when a person replaces the social, familial bonding that culturally (and biologically?) occurs during mealtimes. When a college student orders a pizza to eat by himself while surfing the Internet, that’s dinnernet. When a teenager grabs her food and eats in front of the computer screen to watch reruns on Hulu, that’s dinnernet. Even when a father constantly draws his attention away from the family meal to check the score of the USC vs. Notre Dame game on his smartphone, he’s really eating dinnernet.
At one time it was the television that threatened the sanctity of the family meal, but the Internet, in it’s infinite versatility, is able to do everything the telly can and more. With so many of the families that I work with, dinner time is the only time during the day when everyone’s busy schedules collide (if at all). It is a healthy practice to use that dinner time to check-in with the rest of the family, to make sure that everyone feels that they matter to everyone else. It’s true that teenagers are less likely to share every event of their day with everyone else, especially when it comes to the outfit their crush was wearing during 7th period today, but simply asking them about their day gives them the message that they’re important to you. If they don’t feel like sharing, instead of probing deeper, offer to share something about yourself.
Now, this type of interaction can be difficult in a family without distractions. When you give family members an excuse to avoid the conversations that they already might not feel like having, relationships are sure to grow distant. The Internet is the ultimate path of least resistance, and while it can make things simpler by eliminating work (read: dissertation research), work is what is needed to maintain relationships.
And there you have it. Dinnernet. Until someone can show me documented proof that they invented the word first, I’m taking credit for it’s creation.
I realize that it has been a month since I have updated Psy-Splash, and this will not be the norm. As soon as I finished my dissertation the lease on my place ran out, and I needed to move ASAP. Now that I have completed moving, I need a few minutes to catch my breath and unpack. HRRGGH: how I despise life in disarray.
At one time I had a status message referencing the song Bad Romance: “Lady Gaga, with grammar like that, everything you do will be bad.” For readers not familiar with the tune, the lyrics of the refrain are, “You and me can have a bad romance…” Somebody probably pointed this out to her, because on her next album, she released a song entitled simply You and I. I wonder if the title was a specific rebuttal to mockery she received for Bad Romance? I wonder if I’m the only person anal enough about grammar to even ask this question?
I still have to make edits and touch up the formatting, but as far as content creation is concerned, I finished writing my dissertation.
I actually felt a bit sick to my stomach, but that may be because I’m hungry or tired. Or it just may be something else. I don’t know. But I’m off to bed- it’s been a rough couple of days. It’s been a rough couple of years.
none of my results are significant. :/
I still believe my hypotheses are correct, I really just don’t have enough data to support them. A lot of the tests that I ran were invalid because too many blogs had negative comment counts of zero. This is the two biggest shortcomings of my study: data collection was a royal pain in my eyelash. It was impossible to find a blog that the blogger didn’t delete or otherwise filter negative comments. If it wasn’t that, it was trying to find something that didn’t have half of the posts deleted because it was written before 2006. Another problem is that many blogs are password protected now (or at least the juicy content is), and so I couldn’t get to them. All in all, these problems can all be fixed by running an experimental, controlled study (as opposed to a correlational, descriptive one). If I ever decide to do more research I would definitely LOVE to do that study. Almost all of the literature review is complete, and the design pretty much writes itself.
In the meantime, I think I want to mine more blogs for data.
Love this application
Since I will be done doing this project as a dissertation, I can change the selection parameters for the blogs that I use, and a lot more blogs should qualify.
I don’t normally like to promote other people’s products, but I have to say that Apple’s Numbers application kicks the stat out of Excel. There are some subtle differences between the two programs which make a huge in how easily you can accomplish your work. I had over 360 paired data points that I ran through multiple analyses, and it would have been a nightmare keeping track of them without Numbers. This was one hell of a project, and I needed all the help I could get.
I’ve been reading therapeutic blogs all evening. It’s a far easier task to read these entries than it is to read scientific journals. However, what they lack in academic rigor they make up for in emotional demand. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fascinating to read these people’s stories because they are candid in a way that you rarely see in real life, however it’s depressing and in one case extremely frustration. This young blogger was keeping repeated abuse a secret and refused to tell a soul. The people reading her anonymous blog were the only ones that knew this was happening to her. Her readers repeatedly advised her to tell someone, sometimes using guilt, sometimes by being supportive, and sometimes by insulting her. She expressed several times in the text of her blog entries that she did not want people to pressure her to tell someone. In the end, she abandoned the blog, announcing in her final post that the lack of support was making things worse. She said that she started writing about her abuse online to her her get through it and to heal, but that in the end she was turned away because people kept pressuring her to tell someone in the real world. I wanted to scream every time that the abuse was repeated, and I completely understand why her large group of readers kept urging her to seek help. The last entry was years ago, meaning that we’ll never know if or how this girl’s story ended. I hope she finally found the courage to end her suffering and to start healing.