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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I am Happy (Sad,Mad,Glad, etc) Thus I Must Tweet

Last night an Amtrak commuter train carrying passengers from Washington DC to NYC overturned and derailed in Philadelphia causing at least 7 fatalities and 200+ wounded, some in serious to critical condition.

It was a terrible tragedy.

I felt very sad over this and quietly prayed for those who suffered and for any next of kin..

Now here is what I did Not do..
What I didn't do was sign on Facebook and post my thoughts so everyone would be impressed that I had compassion and see how many 'Likes' I could accumulate

And I didn't go on Twitter and re-post photos of the wreckage with some empty hashtag slogan in the hopes I'd be re-tweeted and perhaps others would add me to follow

No, I wasn't that vain..  Or insecure..

And that is what social media is today -- a place where the vain and insecure come together to 'share' in the news, events and trivial gossip of the moment.
Of course it is not Real sharing.

To actually share with another human being in any meaningful way, you have to be in contact with them, preferably in person, face to face..

This often involves looking together at the same experiences or reality, feeling the same warm sun or cool breeze at that given moment..

Sharing can also be done via phone conversation and even Internet chat where you can express ideas back n' forth and engage in discussion or debate as necessary.

'Sharing' is not posting a photo of yourself at an event on a social site and typing "Wish you were here" -- that is vanity.
Ever notice when a celebrity passes away, everyone even other celebs have to flock to Twitter to pay condolences..

I didn't know the dead could access Twitter from heaven..

One person after another spending 20 seconds to leave condolences while attempting to see who can out-clever or out-shine the other then moving on with their day

 And after a while of scrolling down, looking becomes one big waste of time.

Much like compiling all those signatures in your high school yearbook then years later re-reading the comments.
Back in the day when I was a Senior, that seemed to matter to me..  So I spent all my energy to acquire as many signatures as humanly possible..

I tracked down friends, acquaintances, passers-by, teachers, counselors, librarians..  Who knows, maybe I even got the janitor to give me his John Hancock..

I ended up with over 120 signatures which is pretty good considering the class size..

Some people wrote things that were meaningful and special..  Others wrote empty comments like "Glad we were in Spanish class.. wasn't Ms. X a blast!"  and "U R 2 cool 2 B 4 Real" (Translated as 'You are too cool to be for real' for any elderly readers)
All meaningless..

And as a successful adult many years removed from that world, how many people do I stay in contact from those 'good ole' days?'

The answer is like what you would respond if asked...  Zero.

Collecting those signatures was a total waste of time..  Like people today collecting online 'friends' and 'followers' and 'Likes'

Right now A&G gets over 20,000 daily visits which is great for a blog that is spread through word of mouth with no advertising or intent to seek money from readership..
Of course I and the rest of our staff would still keep doing as we do if only 5 people visited..

Been hard at work writing on the truth of things since early September 2010 so we're not about to slow down now.

But back to our bigger point..

Its really a shame that something like Twitter or Facebook exists..

Its a shame we allow others to get away with posting brief keep-in-touch messages in lieu of making a phone call or actually spending face to face time with someone..
Its a shame celebrities who tweet nothingness like "What a sunny day.. Off 2 work!" have millions of followers who possess no real identity or individuality of their own

It is a shame there is an outlet for so many lonely people to think they are part of something special and bigger than themselves when its more likely your thoughts will have longer-lasting resonance if you wrote them in a journal

Or the wall of a bathroom stall.

As technology advances, inter-personal sociability becomes further stunted, the sense of community further weakens and thoughts & feelings are expressed merely by typing instead of vocalizing

Quite a Sad New World