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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ansleigh's Corner

Recently, I was thinking about how impersonal life has become. Rather than sitting down to a meeting or a lunch with our associates, we send an email or have a conference call. We’ve created “social networking sites” where we get to know one another by reading profiles rather than talking. Even cell phones, which initially made everyone so much more accessible, have replaced face to face chit chats with scratchy, hurried phone calls. And worse, even that small contact is further removed by texting, which eliminates the tone, personality, and emotion that a voice conveys. With the advent of all this technology that is supposed to be bringing the world closer together, I can’t help but wonder if the definition of that ‘togetherness’ is somehow changing.

For a college class I once had to collaborate with a group of ten people to create a presentation. With such a large group, scheduling conflicts made it impossible for all of us to be at a meeting at the same time, so our entire project was orchestrated via email. We did not meet in person a single time. I knew the names of each member of our group, but I only knew a handful of the faces that went with those names. Sure we managed to get the assignment completed, which never would have happened were it not for email, but I wonder what we missed out on by never meeting one another.

Occasionally, I really get fed up with being so “plugged in”. Sometimes I think that Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and all the rest aren’t really adequate for communicating and getting to know one another. But then often I am reminded that I can be completely wrong.

Recently, we have lost many American Icons, perhaps the most well known of these was Michael Jackson. Certainly Jackson had a colorful character and often caused a sensation among the media, but whatever your opinion of him, there is absolutely no denying that he left an irrevocable mark on pop culture. Michael Jackson overcame many obstacles, crossed many barriers, and smashed many records during his astounding career. He was greatly loved by many, many people, and it is a testament to his extreme talent and popularity that the music he created is timeless: it was loved then, it is loved now, and it will be loved always, just as he will.

In no way was this fact proven more in these past few days than in the realm of the internet. The sad tidings appeared on news websites and from there were picked up and spread around the world. Instantaneously, people began posting their grief on the web. In overwhelming numbers, Facebook statuses were updated, Tweets were issued, and blogs were written by disheartened and devastated fans. The reaction was felt all across the internet. It seems fitting that a man who was such a phenomenon during his lifetime, who set so many standards and defied so many social tenets, should with his passing cause such a public outcry as to rock the internet to its very core; something previously unheard of and therefore right up Jackson’s alley.
Though I am saddened by Jackson’s death, seeing his fans come together using the tools of the internet I had previously resented shows me that they really aren’t all bad, and reminds me of the power of something that I really do love-music. Jackson’s music touched millions of people around the world. It brought together people from all walks of life, all cultures, all creeds, and all races. For some it was his lyrics, for some it was the driving beat, for some the fantastic show and spectacular presentation, but for all it was the man himself. They loved his flashy personality, his dancing, his charisma, and how he brought them all happiness with his songs.

The loss of icons like Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon reminds us how ephemeral life can be. Those we love can be gone in an instant. That is why it is so important to let our loved ones know how much we care while we have the chance. Here at Wilder, we always, but especially now, wish to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the friends, colleagues and clients who have helped make us what we are today. Thank you so much for your continued support and loyalty. Please know that it is never for an instant forgotten or taken for granted.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead of you. Take a moment to let your friends and family know how much you love and appreciate them, which, although I hate to admit, is made incredibly easy by Facebook and the like. I also encourage you to pull out your old copy of Thriller and put it on. No matter how sad you may be, the music is just too good to allow your spirits to stay down for long!

Wishing you only the best,
Ansleigh Beverly
Administrative Assistant, Wilder PR