Monday Musings

  • All my students could talk about today was “that guy who broke his leg in half in basketball”.
  • Hundreds of teens mob pedestrians on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – U.S. News  And all I can think is, “Gallaghers”.
  • The ONLY April Fools’ joke that I’ve smiled at today has been the news report that they found Thor’s Hammer in Sweden.  I giggled politely, but that was about it.
  • This is the year of the 17-year cicada cycle.  Gross.
Thoughts on Social Media
As a teacher, I try very hard to make sure my social media is private.  My blog is not, because I’m not going to sacrifice the freedom to express myself as an adult.  Everything else, however, is mostly private.
I started social media with MySpace, like half the world.  Ok, all of the world with Internet.  I remember setting up my first Facebook account a long time ago.  I have connections on most of the sites.
Facebook is fast becoming irrelevant.  It’s too personal, too hard to use effectively and anonymously, and generally is considered “the place where you’re friends with all the people you hate.”  The (okay, ONE) problem with Facebook is that you’ll be friend requested by colleagues and acquaintances who assume you’re just like they are.  When they find out you’re not, through posts or responses to people who ARE like you, they tend to be unkind.  Facebook is like being forced to go to a family reunion at which everyone must sit around with their religious and political affiliations pasted to their foreheads and they all judge each other silently and gossip about it to the other people at the party.
I’ve since moved on.  I use Facebook to update about my life- new jobs, new cars, new babies (not that I have any of these).  I post pictures and sometimes check in to restaurants.  Mostly I look at other people’s statuses and wonder if they’d be just as comfortable sharing that face-to-face with the 145 people on their Friends list.
Other social media- Tumblr, Twitter, Livejournal (which my best friend hilariously refers to as The Site that Shall Not Be Named)- are safer.  They are easier to lock and harder to search.  Although I’m not posting pictures of myself in compromising positions or cursing like a sailor on any of them, I feel much safer voicing my political opinions and religious views in those environments.

Do I understand social media?  Absolutely.  I feel the need to connect and to find people of like minds and situations because there are a GREAT many times in my real life where I know I won’t find that.  I’m a Liberal, half-Jew, half-somekindofhumanistwhobelievesinGod and none of that is of particular value to a lot of people in the South.  I have some phenomenal Southern friends who think like me (including my incredible husband), but on the Internet, I can find exactly the people I’m looking for.

And that is valuable.
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