Hello my bloggery friends. Have you missed me?
Well, of course you haven’t.
Unlike me, you all have lives filled with adventure, fame, and own six-inch stilettos (of the shoe variety for women, knives for men . . . or perhaps it is visa versa). No time to waste thinking about Robin-Baby when you are busy sipping champagne and supping on canapés along the French Riviera, right?
I am taking a break from blogging to focus on finishing my novel, In Search of Beef Stroganoff. So how’s the writing going, you ask?
I’ve been preoccupied or distracted or unfocused, or all three. We’ve been traveling a great deal and concerns about my parents and uncle give me plenty of excuses to avoid my manuscript like one would avoid an outbreak of diphtheria.
Pardon the interruption from your repast with Rockefellers, but a topic has been chewing on me and I feel the need talk to you about it.
The topic is the burgeoning role social media is playing in our lives.
Two asides here:
1. It is ironic that I am opining about social media on a social media platform.
2. I look for every opportunity to use the word “burgeoning.”
Don’t worry. This isn’t going to be a wild-eyed rant about the evils of social media. Nor it is an engraved invitation to a Social Media for Dummies book-burning party.
A series of events over the summer gave me pause and caused me ruminate (another dandy word). So, I got off my non-blogging arse to put a few thoughts before you.
- The Asiana plane crash at San Francisco International Airport was tragic and thank the stars more lives were not lost. One of the first images of the crash I saw on television was the photo taken by crash survivor David Eun of Samsung. Cell phone firmly in hand, he took an eerie photo of the burning and mangled wreckage on the tarmac and Tweeted it.
If I were lucky enough to survive a plane crash, my first thought would NOT be to Tweet about it. Once I counted my fingers and toes and knew my loved ones were safe, I would rush to the aid of others. Whipping out my phone to take a photo after a near death experience would be the last thing on my mind.
Surely there were people who needed a comforting arm put around them, help in locating their family members or friends, or medical assistance. Think . . . tourniquets fashioned out of belts in the aftermath of Boston Marathon bombing.
In all fairness, maybe Mr. Eun performed CPR on a dozen passengers and THEN Tweeted out his photos. I somehow don’t think so.
- Several weeks ago, a flash flood triggered a mucky mudslide in Colorado and caught numerous drivers by surprise. One of the drivers had the presence of mind to know a good thing when it happens to him. From behind the steering wheel, the driver took a video while his car surfed the river of sludge.
I do believe my first thought would have been, “Oh God. I’m going to die,” not “Hey, I wonder how many hits this will get on YouTube.”
- I think we can all agree that Anthony Weiner is a scosh too social with his media. I refuse to give him additional exposure by posting his sexts.
- National Public Radio host Scott Simon recently lost his beloved mother to cancer. I feel for the poor guy. Losing your mother is heart breaking, for sure. He was besieged with sadness and regret, yet he thought, “I know, I’ll Tweet about it.” Like a color commentator at a basketball game, he chronicled his mother’s last days on the earth via his Twitter account.
I imagine the sorrowful bedside scene went something like this . . . “Hang in there, Mom. Don’t die yet. I have another Tweet to send out.”
Some call Mr. Simon’s Tweets a sweet tribute to his mom. I think it was an exploitive and insensitive move from a man hoping to boost NPR’s rating and his Twitter followers.
- How about this example from the stupid people files. A young man from a small town in California posted this on his Facebook page about his dog who defecated on his bed, “Anybody want her? She’s FREE. Pick her up today or she will be shot and stuck in a hole by 9 p.m.” The police showed up at his door. The dog was fine and the man said he did it because, “I like people’s reaction; I studied sociology, so I get a kick out of it.” Maybe he should go back to school and learn a thing or two hundred.
Call me judgmental, if you will. Call me stuck in the Dark Ages. Call me maybe.
Before you get in a kerfluffle, I know social media has played an important role in many acts of kindness, increased awareness about social issues, and outreach for people in need. I know.
But I think something has gone awry that when people now witness a tragedy they think, “I gotta Facebook this.” One should pull out their phone in a crisis, but instead of Tweeting about it, they should call their mom. ‘Nuff said.
Maybe this was a rant after all. Kindly step aside while I get off my soapbox.
Be well, my friends. I’ll be back to annoying you with my blog posts with regularity soon.