Category Archives: Social Media

Social Stew: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 17, WordPress “Powerful Suggestion”

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Social Stew

I’ll admit that I read Facebook and post on it as well.
When I can’t “ping” on WordPress, it’s my idea of Hell.
I care what followers think of me and follow every friend,
though facts about their lives and loves never seem to end!
It’s great to know that Cousin Pam soon will be a granny,
but must I know a mere acquaintance lifted up her fanny?
Ann Garcia hates my riddle. See how she berates me?
On OK Cupid, no one writes and no one ever dates me.

I’m not brief enough for Twitter and Instragram escapes me.
I’d post myself on YouTube, but no one ever tapes me!
I don’t know what they are and so I am forever gagged
on Pinterest and Flickr as well as Vine and Tagged.
MeetUp and also VK are eschewed at my behest.
My link to Linked In’s broken and I’ve overlooked the rest.
One day I’ll be less social. Say, “I’ve been there and done that.”
I’ll close my blog and Facebook, unpin pictures of my cat.

My life will become private. I’ll be quiet as a mouse.
If you should choose to see me, I’ll be right here in my house.
My blog I won’t read constantly to see what viewers say.
I will not count my “likes” or compare viewers day-to-day.
I will not be obsessive. No more followers will I seek.
Still, now and then I might have cause to go online and peek.
For though I am compulsive and my posts have become endless,
the only thing that might be worse would be to end up friendless!

The WordPress Daily Prompt: What’s the one piece of advice someone gave you five years ago that you wish you’d followed?  Well, perhaps it was not to get too caught up in social media.  As you can see above, I’m undecided about whether I should have followed it or not. (Wink, wink.)   The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a Social Media poem, so as you can see, again, the two fit right together.  Somewhere, Carl Jung is smiling and nodding his head.              https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/powerful-suggestion/

IMHO

 The Prompt: IMHO–Link to an item in the news you’ve been thinking about lately, and write the op-ed you’d like to see published on the topic.

IMHO

I gave up reading the news years ago. I just got too depressed when I did so. Certainly, stories filter through and then I hear the pertinent details or look them up online, but gone for me are days spent listening to and watching repetition after repetition of the same facts, many later found to be untrue or exaggerated.

So, this prompt is one that sent me out into the news Internet, looking for a story. The first one that came up was of the French pilot who it seems deliberately sent his plane careening into the Alps, killing everyone on board. Then I found a story about Korean twins, separated at birth, who never even knew of each other’s existence but who found each other over Facebook. Then a story about a woman who transforms abandoned Bratz dolls that look like hookers back into dolls that look like little girls.

Then back to President Obama’s Iran negotiations, a small girl born with two heads, The Voice finals in Australia, a letter of thanks gone viral, written by the mother of an autistic child to a businessman who had put away his papers and played with his seatmate for the 2 ½ hour flight. I flipped through dozens of other stories on the way: about the royal family, dogs, cats, a cow furnished with prosthetic legs and saved from slaughter. This hodgepodge was heartwarming, heartshattering, overwhelming, and two hours later, I had still not chosen a news report to write an op ed piece on.

I guess, instead, I will write it on how the internet seems to be substituting for our lives. This flood of information furnishes the vicarious existence once limited to The Soaps: The Edge of Night, Another World, General Hospital. I still remember the day Joan Lenzi came running into our room in college, tears streaming, shouting “Laura died, Laura died!” My heart flipped over in dread as my mind searched madly for a mutual friend named Laura, only to discover, once Joan had collected herself a bit, that a character on our favorite Soap had just departed our after-lunch afternoon.

No more skipping Astronomy to experience the next vicarious thrill. Without Laura, who was Luke? With no further excuses to skip, I dropped Astronomy, insuring the necessity to attend summer school to catch up.

Now it is harder to avoid excuses. When one internet heroine or villain passes from sight, there are ten thousand others to take their place. Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, OkCupid, Match.Com, Christian Singles, Pinterest, Blogster—ad infinitum. There is so much to fill our lives and furnish excuses for what we don’t want to do that it is no longer really necessary for us to assemble a life around ourselves at all. So long as we can somehow manage to feed, clothe and house ourselves, the rest is available online.

When I suffered a debilitating migraine lately, the first to know it were internet friends. My Skype near-romance phoned my oldest friend, now rarely communicated to other than through Skype or online Scrabble games. She talked me down from a near-panic attack and I eventually fell asleep. The next morning I wrote about it (Here) and had a flood of sympathetic comments from blogging friends. Another friend who lives in the town where I live Facebooked me the name of a medication that might forestall future headaches. No neighbor arrived on my doorstep with chicken soup or offered to feed the dogs, but cyber friends gathered round, giving me that warm feeling formerly reserved for a down comforter.

I had to look up IMHO before I wrote my response to this prompt. It’s a term often used in the past by my Skype near-romance. But every time, I forget this initial-speak. It’s as though life has been shortened enough. Emails have become Tweets and emoticons have replaced phrases of opinion, affection, disgust or frustration. Hyperlinks replace restatements and hashtags replace the social organizations where we used to gather for coffee or a coke and a good old-fashioned in-person gab session.

In my humble opinion, everything is finally short enough. If we become any smaller, we are going to implode. Computers now fit in the palm of one’s hand and I’ve heard of technology where one day they will be implanted into our eyeballs and transmitted to our brains. At that point, what do we become other than human robots? Perhaps it is all a plot by the machines of the world to be the next step of our evolution. Perhaps what the most far-out science fiction writer once imagined has become our world. In my humble opinion, we have gone far enough. We are able to know too much by doing too little. Experience too much by doing nothing at all. The time has come where observing life is more interesting than making it happen. Time to stop!!! But that is just “my humble opinion,” expressed as a full statement—railing out against this too-short world.

Note: Once more, my NaPoWriMo and Daily Prompt subjects seems to have intersected, so to read my other short post today, go HERE.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/imho/

The Old Ones Deign to Tweet

The Old Ones Deign to Tweet
(With Character Counts)

Immanuel Kant
on the subject of building “platforms” for
blogs, websites, Twitter accounts or Facebook:

. . . the favor of the multitude is seldom got by honest and lawful means.
Seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them.
(140)
*

Charles Dickens
on the subject of tweeting, texting , e-mailing, or other social media:

Electric communication will never be a substitute
for the face of someone who with their soul
encourages another person to be brave and true.
(140)
*

Mark Twain:
On the subject of those (like me) who resist
tweets, texts and ubiquitous handheld devices:

One who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80.
One who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing you can do is keep your mind young.
(140)
*

Me:
And, a further comment about those tweets:

Mind without heart conveys no wisdom.
Where brevity is the only rule,
larger truths may be lost. (96)

We must remember that “character” has two meanings
and count our truths as closely
as we count our keystrokes.
(109)