Jed Cohen

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I’m Moving

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I’m moving across the country in two weeks. I accepted a new position with a company I love working for, in a place I’ve wanted to live for some time, working in a role that should teach me a ton. So as I alternate between excitement and anxiety, I’m faced with sorting through my belongings and deciding what I want to move from the east coast to the west.

I’m no stranger to moving. I moved in and out of Loomis Chaffee for three years of high school, Franklin & Marshall for my first year of college, and NYU for the remainder. But unlike my experiences going back and forth between school dorms and home, this is it. There’s no coming back. And even as I type the words, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it. You see, I always knew those places were temporary. And I approached it like that – to the point of rarely putting anything on the walls of my rooms, since I’d just have to take it down at the end of the year.

Now you might be saying that that’s no different than anybody who rents an apartment, right? So why not decorate? It certainly didn’t stop my peers. But the truth is that while I lived in those dorms, I still had my room at home. Which meant a place to keep important items, an attic to hold left over things, and a house to, well, live in. I suppose moving back in after I graduated didn’t help any in that regard (like a good number of my peers, I ended up back home after college to save money). But I’m not going to have that anymore. Anything I want to keep I need to take with me now. Which has led to a lot of emotional decision making.

It’s such a “first world problem,” right? It’s something that has resulted from the culture I grew up in and afforded to me by my parent’s socioeconomic status. After all, modern American culture allows for the accumulation of stuff, and my parent’s financial resources enabled me to collect and house the flotsam and jetsam of my life. And it’s true that I’ll be able to keep some of it. Hell, I could keep all of it if I wanted to – so long as I don’t mind shipping it to California.

But why should I? What possible reason would I have to keep textbooks from high school and college for things I don’t even study any more (microbiology textbook anyone?) The answer is that I don’t. So I dropped off five boxes of books at the library. And I’ll probably be donating some portion of the contents of my closet in the next few days. But that stuff is easy. The books and clothes are replaceable, and if I haven’t worn/read it in the last six months then I’m probably not going to in the next six.

But some items are difficult. When I graduated from NYU, I put all of my notebooks in the attic (right next to the box containing my textbooks). I haven’t looked at them in two years. Logically, it’s just paper that can be recycled. Emotionally, it represents hours and hours of hard work. This isn’t an issue so long as I had space to keep these things – I could keep my notes in the attic, just like I keep my memories of those classes somewhere in my head. It joined some boxes of childhood toys up there, right next to the suitcases. But I don’t know where I’ll be living in California, so I have no concept of how much space I’ll have. And let’s face it, my notes from school are hardly important. Nor are some of the other items I’m unsure about taking.

I could keep this stuff here. I might still. But unlike when I was in college, I can’t bank on the house being here for a variety of reasons I don’t care to share on the internet. So it’s now or never. It’s take it with me or give it away. A simple dichotomy, right?

So why is this so hard?

Written by Jed

December 4th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

A Different Strategy is Required

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I wrote a post a little while ago about how I was going through a period of social media fatigue.  It kind of faded into the background a bit, but ever since then I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to engage with others online.

We do this in a variety of ways.  Some of us form deep personal relationships.  Others joke and play.  Still others network on a purely business level.  We all choose different ways to join the digital community.

I joined Facebook (five years ago!) to keep in touch with high school friends as we all spread out to varying colleges.  I joined Twitter (it’s already been over a year) first because a variety of friends were on it and then because of all the interesting people I could follow.  I joined LinkedIn because that’s what you do for business networking (not going to lie – still don’t know what I’m doing there).  I joined a host of other networks that I don’t even use (just in case I want to some day).

And then there’s this blog.

It’s a bit weird to consider writing a blog as a form of engagement, in that it is kind of a one way form of communication.  After all, I moderate the comments, I write the entries, I control how my posts are distributed to the public.  But the fact of the matter is that I release this blog out into the world for others to read.  And I read the blogs of others.  In a manner of speaking it’s a two way network, because what I don’t control is what you think of me (and what I think of you).

I originally created this blog in part because I wanted to express my opinions.  Because I wanted to control what people would see when they Google me.  And because it’s kind of what you expect from Gen Y-er who is interested in social media.

What does this mean exactly?

Looking back at my usage of this blog and other social media networks, I’ve decided that a change is in order.  Here’s three things I hope to do:

  • Stop following people on Twitter just because I like the idea of following them.  More often than not I end up skipping over/missing their tweets anyway.  Why do I follow a ton of internet marketers and graphic designers when I am interested in the fields but not involved in them?
  • Explore new networks.  Brazen Careerist recently relaunched their site to incorporate more social networking features.  I’m not sure if I’ll use it yet, but I should at least invest time in the network to see if I like it.  As new networks launch (and old ones evolve), I would like to alter the way I use them to match.
  • Make a commitment to this blog.  Even if few people read it, this is still my own little corner of the Vox Populi.  My own place to express my thoughts and figure out what works for me in the digital space.


Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to experiment.  I’ll be starting by posting short commentaries about a few things at the same time.  Chances are some of these will be revisited when I write full entries, but most things will probably start as these “seed” posts.  You can think of it as something between the 140 characters of Twitter and the paragraphs of more traditional entries.

First up?  Probably a thought or two on the new Brazen Careerist, plus a look at the difference between reciprocal and one way relationships in social networking communities.  Check back soon.

Written by Jed

September 2nd, 2009 at 7:16 am