THE PERSONAL STATUS BOARD (PSB™)
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A personal status board (PSB) is a web page used as the central location for a given MC’s members to have great communication of wants, needs, plans, and statuses in general. A PSB system can be gotten at PSB Pro or Social PSB.
A Personal Status Board™
A block of MC homes contains families which are physically no closer than any other block of homes, but as friends, they are unusually close. For example,
each of the 6 MC homes on a block have enough computers and smartphones so that anyone can get to the MC’s PSB in seconds. Johnny is 5 and needs
attention but his dad is gone and his mom is busy with the ironing. This is normal. But he doesn't respond to these circumstances normally, by whining to
his mother and getting negativity back (because she's busy), sulking and being sad in some lonely corner of the house, or becoming a TV zombie.
No, he knows his mom will stop ironing if he really feels he needs her and says so (because she's his assigned caregiver). He also knows that his alternate nurturer, two houses away, is available for him. And if for some reason he feels incompatible or uncomfortable with both of these people today, he could try adventuring, which is calling or contacting certain members in person to see if they want to nurture for a while. But if he doesn't want to, he has yet another alternative: He enters a "need nurturance" code on the PSB, and 10 minutes later a neighbor who is a member calls to see if Johnny wants to come over (to the house next door), which he does.
Or perhaps Johnny sees a "would like to nurture" code on the PSB and calls up one of the people with that personal status—the one of his choice. If Johnny is so young that he can't read or use the status board, he can get his current caregiver to help him by calling or texting members. The vast majority of the time, at least one if not both of the scheduled caregivers will be experienced by Johnny as totally fine, but it feels secure that he not only gets to choose between them, he also has a couple of other alternatives to choose from. Put yourself in Johnny's shoes. This is one happy kid!
Or—in the same MC—Mary wants to get help with her math homework but no one in her home is good at it or available. She looks for a "ready to tutor" or at least a "ready to help" code, and if she doesn't see one she enters a "need math help" or "need homework help" code, and in 5 minutes Sue calls and offers to come over and help. (Sue may be an adult or child.)
Each person in each MC is to have his/her own personal space
Mr. Brown has been feeling lonely and alienated for 2 days. He's been giving himself "alone space" for several hours each day, solitude which he hoped would help him recognize what was going on with him. It hasn't worked. So he's wishing he could express his feelings to another human being. Before he was in an MC and got a PSB, he used to simply drink away his troubles and then feel even worse. Now, he is becoming used to the idea that human contact is vital and helps him find out who he is and helps him feel more alive and whole, so he enters a "would like to express my feelings" code, and within 30 minutes there are 3 separate people who display an "open to hearing feelings" code, and he also receives a couple of calls.
Max is studying hard for a final. His code has read "00" for "ALONE (do not disturb)" for 2 days. No one in his family nor any of his friends in the neighborhood call him, come over to visit him, or disturb him in any way. That is, until the night after he gets an A on the test from all the intense, uninterrupted studying, and his code reads: "let's celebrate!" There are several takers. He even calls up one of his friends whose code means "I'm not sure what I'm into," and another who is displaying a code meaning "who wants to play cards or some other game?". He makes sure he DOES NOT disturb anyone with "ALONE (do not disturb)" or "need nurturing" codes, or other codes that would indicate that the people would be displeased by his call.
Once people get used to updating statuses when they change, PSB use becomes a way for refreshingly efficient and effective communication that lets them
feel very in touch with their MC members. It’s like mind reading of a couple dozen people at once. But the statuses indicate only what they wish the
others to know. Private thoughts or feelings get an "ALONE (do not disturb)" code (00). If they are alone but need help a 09 code is used to mean "Alone
feelings (need help)."
If they are caregiving a child or elder, they display “I am a scheduled caregiver” (13) or “Will nurture” (11) if they are not scheduled. If they are caregiving Johnny but have something important come up that needs handling ASAP, there is always one other scheduled caregiver, but if Johnny is not feeling like Stan is an okay caregiver currently, the current caregiver changes Johnny’s status to a "Want nurturing" code (10) unless Johnny is old enough to handle that. The current caregiver will not leave his responsibility to care for Johnny until Johnny gets an “acceptable” caregiver, unless it’s a serious emergency.
Nothing stops the PSB administrator from customizing the codes so that either (11) “Will nurture” or (12) “Could nurture” is changed to “Am nurturing” which unscheduled caregivers might display when they are caregiving. Or perhaps it would be (92) “Text me” that would be changed to “Am nurturing” when it turned out that no one was using (92) “Text me”, since members tend to just display codes like (99) “All is well” when emailing, IMing, texting, surfing, or Facebook-ing. Each MC is different, and the status codes need to be the most convenient, helpful, and relevant statuses for that particular MC. Some MCs have more kids, some less kids, some no kids. Some have elders, others do not, and some have both elders and kids. These factors should determine what codes are available. Editing MC code meanings is simple. Keep in mind that nurturing applies not just to kids but to adults as well. All humans need nurturing, love, TLC, attention, to express feelings. All humans want to be caring to others. Humans who have no interest in caring and TLC should not be in an MC but in a shrink’s office.
View a PSB system at PSB Pro or Social PSB. With the PSB Pro anyone can change anyone’s status codes and comments. With the Social PSB one can only change one’s own code. Each PSB has all of one MC’s people members listed on it in the same order regardless of who is using it or how many are using it for status checking or changing statuses. PSBs are online web pages which one logs into—it looks the same for everyone in one MC. Each MC has its own PSB. See a demo.
When a code is entered, it is sent to the PSB web page. First you login if you haven't, then press the Change Status button. Then you enter your status code, and, optionally, a comment. The status code entering causes the status code for (e.g.) Tom White to change from a 00 for "ALONE (do not disturb)" to a 74 for "Want Ride
east - A.M." on the PSB page. But if 3 people are checking statuses from various computers or smartphones right then, nothing will change on their browser's PSB page until they press
F5 (refresh), regardless of the fact that Tom White's status has changed on the server.
In other words, only pressing F5 guarantees getting everyone's current status. If any of the 3 people that are checking statuses from various computers or smartphones right then press F5, they'll see Tom White's status change. We put in this F5 necessity, rather than auto-refresh like with chat rooms, so that when people log in, they’ll see all current statuses, but if people have had their PSB windows minimized or in tabs for hours, clicking the tab or minimized task bar task will not refresh the screen, but show older statuses. One click on their F5 or refresh button will refresh all statuses to current. But seeing the old statuses and then watching what changes when you refresh can be enlightening. What was Sue doing before her current status of (09) “Alone feelings (need help)”? Was it (38) “Want to play game(s)” and is she sad because no one wanted to (or had time to) play with her? Is she experiencing lots of confusion because she went on a date that went sour and she’s going nuts trying to understand why? A code of (65) “I'm Out with friends or date” that changed to her current status of (09) “Alone feelings (need help)” would give not just a hint about what she may be into, but also give you an idea of whether you or another member would be the best ones to offer help. You get the idea. Perusing old statuses for a few seconds and then seeing what changes when you hit F5 is useful and more informative than auto-refresh could be.
Businesses (Business PSB) may also find personal status boards useful, as a way of determining in an instant where everyone is and what they are doing. Just think of all the wasted hours in the average business playing telephone tag! This might even be a way to get employees to be more organized and purposeful, because entering a new status code would be like a commitment to be doing something. And if supervisors found that workers were often not doing what they were displayed as doing, perhaps this would indicate a problem. Weeding out the fakers is definitely important to the overall efficiency of personnel. Would this be Big Brother watching everyone? No, since PSBs cannot see what you're up to. They can only display what you indicate you are presently doing. We expect that we've barely begun to recognize the various potentials of PSBs in the business setting. There are lots of status boards for businesses to choose from but only ours is free.
There has been a considerable amount of press in the last few years or so about how people are becoming so pseudo-independent and "freedom-conscious" that they no longer have any feel for social responsibility, nor make any commitments with other people, nor establish meaningful connections with community, neighborhood, friends, and sometimes even family. They're alienated and isolated. (Studies show that alienated people trying to use Facebook to get friends often end up more lonely than before, although those who took a lot of IRL friends with them when joining Facebook get less lonely.)
People’s social resources are more limited than they realize, and they are unknowingly using TV, movies, drugs, alcohol, and other escapes as a way
of coping (or attempting to cope) with the stress of friendlessness, disconnectedness, isolation, loneliness and alienation, regardless of Facebook use.
Most status updates and posts and comments are about escapism such as gabbing about movies, movie stars, videos, music, or consumer goods. Nothing is wrong
with this, but does it stave off loneliness or make people feel closer to anyone? Hardly.
People consider that their escapes are them simply doing what they prefer to do and "having a good time," not escapism. Besides, other people they know act pretty much the same way. It doesn't occur to them that the main motivation behind all the diversions, and the "feel-good" substances they take (drugs, alcohol, overeating), and vicariously living through TV and movie stars, is to escape their real feelings: loneliness and sadness due to lack of solidarity, lack of meaning, lack of intimacy, no close friends, and no real love in their lives. Sometimes such normal people decide to have kids, never realizing that avoiding confronting emptiness and despair are very naive reasons to become parents. Such need-driven actions normally have negative outcomes, as these people try unsuccessfully to get their needs filled by their kids, and also try to live through their kids to escape the emptiness of their lives. A lot of abuse, neglect, broken homes, and parent-child unhappiness and chaos originate in just such scenarios as the one we've been examining here.
The PSB-utilizing MC is the perfect antidote for the above problems and symptoms. Its aim is not only to cure such problems in existing families and relationships (the disconnected become reconnected), but to prevent such problems from ever developing in the first place (the connected remain connected). Think of it as social evolution in action. See Why Register?
There is general agreement, although much discussion and disagreement about the specific details, in the area of the effects of technology on our future. Futurists and other authorities who make it their job to study trends in depth are warning about accelerating disconnectedness, isolation, divorce, loneliness, overdependency, alienation and frustration. Here is an example from the World Future Society (The Art of Forecasting, Bethesda, Maryland: The World Future Society, 1986):
The automobile, improved refrigeration, and television have these accelerating consequences: "Residents of a community do not meet so often and therefore do not know each other so well. . . . People stay home more . . . Strangers to each other, members of a community find it difficult to unite to deal with common problems. Individuals find themselves increasingly isolated and alienated from their neighbors. . . . Isolated from their neighbors, members of a family depend more on each other for satisfaction of most of their psychological needs. . . . When spouses are unable to meet heavy psychological demands that each makes on the other, frustration occurs. This may lead to divorce."
They point out that the unintended, long-term effects of these technologies are even more important in the long run than the direct and intended effects of these technologies. (We want convenient and effective food storage, transportation and entertainment, and we use technology to get it, but at a great psychological and sociological cost, since it gets rid of any real, pragmatic reason for people to relate to others outside of their own homes.)
The question that suggests itself here, of course, is HOW CAN WE ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF SUCH TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS WITHOUT HAVING TO SUFFER FROM THE SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES? Or, in a phrase, HOW CAN WE AVOID THE CULTURAL LAG?
The answer, before this website was created, was not to be found. A few courageous souls took a few theoretical potshots at these dilemmas, but no real headway was made. One purpose of this website is to offer a solid basis for a clear, concise answer, and then to outline the general steps in the answer. MCs are specifically designed to allow technology to work FOR abolishing the cultural lag, in the form of PSBs, extensive use of computer databases for MC matching, and using mass media to spread MC information. MCs are also designed to reverse the accelerating prevalence of the maladies of alienation, disconnectedness and isolation via simple steps of cultural evolution. TV isn't socially harmful in an MC because people-to-people relationships, parenting, being parented, friendships, and social life in general are experienced as unquestionably superior and more satisfying than TV-based vicariousness and disconnectedness. Why settle for the illusion of connectedness when you can have the reality? And automobiles aren't needed as often in MCs because people live near friends, childcare, sometimes relatives, and sometimes their workplaces (cottage industry MCs), so cars keeping people apart is no problem.
And all this demonstrates that technology per se needn't alienate, isolate, and disconnect (PSBs do the opposite). It also demonstrates that the only basic prerequisite for technology being mostly a blessing rather than half blessing and half curse is keeping cultural evolution and progress moving at the same speed as technological progress. MCs are the epitome of cultural evolution.
The MC is the proper context for PSB use. It is in association with this type of environment (microcommunity) that a PSB will be most effective as a high-powered communications device. After all, who wants any of their present neighbors to know "where they're at" most of the time? The Personal Status Board is like a form of telepathy. This can clearly be seen as a liability if the people "tuned in to you" are relative strangers, but can just as clearly be seen as an asset when you want to establish enhanced, dynamic, efficient, nondisturbing communications with the people you care about most, including family, best friends, relatives and others whom you'd like to have as a meaningful part of your life. An MC can be sort of like an extended family, and in some cases, actually may be one. What's most important, in addition to the superb caregiving opportunities, is the solidarity, support, enhanced resource access, and joy of relationship that MCs allow, not whether or not the MCs contain mostly related or mostly unrelated people. And the joy of relationship that MCs furnish has much to do with the specific type of relationship and parenting expertise employed—which is usually P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training or one of the other Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs.
How many times have you stopped yourself from relating to someone because you thought that "oh, he probably wouldn't want to do that," or "he probably is not into this sort of thing," or "I'm sure he is too busy to be able to do that with me," or "I wonder if he's really the type that might enjoy that? . . . Nah!" A PSB would either validate or invalidate your "suspicions" about this fellow. After glancing at this fellow's personal status code occasionally over a period of days, you'd either feel free to call him and share the activity with him, or you'd feel that it didn't seem to be something that fit "where he was usually at," so you wouldn't call. Without PSBs, a lot of people might get bothered about the possibility of sharing the activity who have no interest in such things; or the potential hassles of finding the right people to share the activity with might just make the idea's originator give up before s/he started. All this would tend to limit the number of one's friends and confidants to a very small number, or even to nil.
"It's not worth the bother!" is what people generally tell themselves as they abandon the risks of connectedness and head back to the deadening safety, vicariousness, alienation, and isolation of pseudo-relating with their TV sets or getting lost in YouTube videos or links on Facebook to movies, pictures, consumer items, and music. With the advantages of PSBs, one doesn't have to "pre-reject" oneself as one ponders potential relationships. The insecurity that produces this phenomenon would be precluded; instead, one would have the security of knowing that one's idea was in line with "where the other fellow was at." Even if it wasn't, the MC contains lots of other IRL friends and family to consider connecting with. And, of course, since MCs would produce people who were more mature, fulfilled, aware, compassionate and "together," MC people and non-MC people alike would discover that these MC people are the type of people they prefer to be around, whenever possible.
What about a person getting introduced to new ideas and activities and people? No one would be likely to display a status meaning that s/he's open to something s/he knows nothing about, or has had no previous experience with or interest in. So how does novelty get handled? The answer is mostly the "Open for something interesting" code in the Social PSB or the "Want to play" or "Want child company" or "Want adult company" or "All is well" code in the PSB. A person not currently into alone space and who happens to have spare time might want to display such a personal status a lot—whenever s/he's in an open-minded mood. If you know the activity you want to do—let us say golf—then you can find people to play with you by showing a "Want to play sports" code with a comment "anyone want to play golf with me?" If you get no takers you can play with non-MC members or members of a different MC, or you can change your comment to "anyone want to play miniature golf with me?" and you're likely to get takers—especially kids.
And there's another way. One can easily manage to relate to others, initially, in ways that their personal statuses demonstrate that they are already "into." Then, in the midst of such shared activities one can propose new ideas to these people, so the communication is not experienced as in any way invasive, pushy, or out of place. The others were not forced to interrupt their lives to answer phone calls from you that were specifically about the new ideas. Instead, they merely made a quick response to a trial balloon in the context of some other enjoyably shared activity. This is a wise and considerate way to manage communication patterns in multiple friendships since communication efficiency is needed because there are 10 to 40 people in your MC and asking that many people individually would be foolishly inefficient and ineffective. And, as mentioned, if you know exactly what new idea it is you want to try out, using the "Open for something interesting" code in the Social PSB or the “Want to play” code in the PSB can be supplemented with a comment that asks: “wanna try Canasta?” “Anyone like water polo?” or whatever.