Social Media in the Eye of the Hurricane

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Antigua – Harbor Island – South Finger Villas; giggel [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Remembered my post idea from the other day, but with Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Caribbean, and another storm, Jose, behind it, a jokey post about nature feels wildly inappropriate. So we’ll save it for another time.

It’s strange to think as I sit here, the sky a soft Chicago topaz blue, a few clouds in the distance looking as harmless as cotton candy, that a few clicks down the globe the world is blowing apart at the seams. It’s quiet and still, and yet I watch the Twitter feed about Barbuda, the sister island of Antigua, which lost communication hours ago.

Hours ago.

Which I’m fervently hoping is due to a failure of equipment and only a failure of equipment.

Social media has made a small world of a huge world. Now I find myself worrying about people whose faces I may have never seen, yet still with whom I forged a connection across many borders that don’t exist in the virtual landscape.

So these forms of communication can remove us from one another; they can dehumanize and make it easier to say the things you’d never say to a person standing in front of you. But I don’t see them that way.

For so many of us, they humanize. They give us little windows through which we can see that all the world wide, people are people, regardless of language, regardless of lifestyle, regardless of income.

People are people.

And right now, I’m hoping that all of them are safe, well and unharmed.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

When Twitter is my Favoritest

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I didn’t think I’d like Twitter. And I didn’t.

At first.

I warmed up to it slowly, following people, getting some followers. And then I connected with people, and thought, hey, this is not so bad. Not the best thing in the world, but not so bad.

And then I decided to try live tweeting TV shows. It was like the heavens opened and sent a single, gorgeous beam of light. I had found it.

The perfect way to say those things I say out loud to myself while watching TV, but out loud to the world. It’s amazing. If you think it, you can tweet it.*

*(Note: Please, for the love of all that is holy, unholy or mildly perforated, do not tweet everything you think. You do not want to be the originator of the Tweet Heard Round the World Before You Couldn’t Hear Anything Else Because Everyone Is Talking about That Tweet But Not in a Good Way. And yes, there was a probably a shorter way to say that).

True, you have to actually be home at the time the show airs to really have the fun of live tweeting, and yes, there are those thingies, “commercials” I think the kids are calling ’em these days, though prefer to think of them as very short films with a particularly strong viewpoint. It’s not a flawless system.

And I also haven’t mastered the art of tweeting two shows at once, though it appears that some people do, so there are nights where I have to make some heavy choices. What can I say, life is full of hard decisions.

But if you love your shows, and you find yourself saying things to your television even though it can’t hear you — unless it’s a smart TV, then it’s listening to everything you say and storing it, and no I’m not making that up — you might as well say them to all the other people doing the same thing. That’s what Twitter’s for, right?

I think. Honestly I have no idea. All I know is it’s fun when a show is on.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Social Media Surprise

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So I got a truly wonderful surprise yesterday. Jon, over at SloopJonB made me a lovely poster about my books:

Keep Calm ILWApparently, there was something going around Facebook about your favorite writers (I’m not sure what, I am a terrible Facebooker), and Jon chose to make a poster about me! How nice is that? You may notice it up there on the left, where it’s found a comfy new home, and it just may show up elsewhere, as well.

So go read Jon’s blog, it’s a great read, follow him on Twitter, because he’s clearly one of the nicest humans on Earth, and really, how many of those could there really be? You kind of owe it to science.

I’m a social media skeptic at heart, if I’m truly being honest, but Jon is proof of the good things it can bring. I let my Twitter account language for years until this summer, when I decided to really give it a shot, and, in a surprise twist, I actually like it. I met Jon through Twitter, and he became a reader, then a friend, and now a beautiful poster-maker. I never would have expected that from 140 characters or fewer.

There are many small things to try in this mushy thing we call life, and some work out exactly as expected, and some don’t. But if you don’t try them, you’ll never know what you might have missed.