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Tag: Social Media

Election Season Thoughts

On the election emotional chart, emotions look like a banner day at the stock market, with no downturn in sight.

In my physical life, those I do talk politics with, we listen to each other and respond civilly.

In my digital (but no less important) life, it is usually the same. But today, I ran afoul of a commenter who had choice words about the governor. I am definitely ready for a new conservative one. However, no enemy warrants name-calling. I called for “keeping it classy” and got a childish, unclassy response. (I love the block button sometimes.)

I believe extreme faith will need to be exercised up until God sends His answer. I believe it is going to be biblical. When evil is world-wide and beyond the scope of ordinary law-abiding citizens, extreme lawful measures have to be taken. I believe revelations are coming that will rock the world over, one tsunami wave after another.

God delights in last-minute answers so He gets all the glory.

Faith

Happy Reading!

Today was a mailbox bonanza for me: two books and two writing magazines to peruse.

Both books had to do with road trips, and I did not even realize it until I had clicked the order button. It’s likely my subconscious, or conscious desire, is to get out on the road like I did before the lockdowns.

First up is Nala’s WorldOne Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride around the Globe by Dean Nicholson. Another unmet desire is to own a cat again, but due to circumstances I can’t right now, hopefully in the near future. So I read vicariously. Color pictures in two sections of the book made my heart smile. If you have an Instagram account, you can find them at @1bike1world.

Second, is Writing In A Convertible With The Top Down by Sheila Bender with co-author Christi Glover. Looks to be an encouraging and fun guide to navigate the writing life.

Third, I have pointed to political bias in the writing magazines. One this time was no exception, though it wasn’t as bad as the last issue. (Throat clear – that would be Poets & Writers). Maybe they should rebrand themselves as a political writing magazine. That being said, looks to have some nuggets for me to panhandle. Writer’s Digest is celebrating their 100th Anniversary, and it is thicker than usual. I am really looking forward to reading this issue.

To all you readers out there – Happy Reading!

ReadingWriting

Are Social Media Platforms Viable?

Today, a few well known conservative YouTubers sued YouTube. Many of the social media companies, I would say almost all of them, have stifled conservative voices, before the election.

Many writers who depend on social media sites for their livelihoods, e.g. Facebook/Instagram, and Twitter being the major sites, will be blindsided if they do not draw alternative plans. I see nothing on well known writing sites alluding to the possibility of this loss.

Social media companies are blurring the lines of Section 230 Communications Decency Act protections – are they publishers or public forums? Facebook and Twitter will not be far behind YouTube, and leaders of all these companies may be facing criminal charges for election interference and more serious issues.

And as writers, do you want to use a social media platform that stifles one side of an argument? Myself, I am tired of Twitter throttling and shadowbanning me, and I have an alternative account. (If you are curious, it is the link icon on my sidebar social media widget.)

A few new alternatives have started the last few years. Twitter and Facebook/Instagram at one time were new. Also, other alternatives besides social media exist for publicity/marketing – forums, enewsletters, blogs with RSS capabilities.

The writing world is changing, just like everything else in the world. But is this not a chance to be trailblazers, and start anew?

Writing

Solitude and Community

I decided seven years ago to move from Missouri to Oregon. Roughly my modern day version of the Oregon Trail. I had high hopes of making a new life here, and to be fair, I have, just not in the way I expected.

I am finishing Walden, and in the chapter called “Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors,” Thoreau talks about the lack of human companionship during the snowy winter months, and how he would visit people in his memory for company. It is with the beautiful geography I have made friends, along with a few hardy souls here. In a waiting room a few years ago, I read a travel magazine in which the writer stated the Oregon coast was more beautiful than Costa Rica. Very surprising to me, but understandable.

In The Imaginative Conservative, this article confronts the loneliness of our times. It mentions two books that I have read, which stress the importance of community, and more specifically, conservative communities – The Benedictine Option by Rod Dreher, and Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. What these two books also say, is sometimes it is necessary to be in the world but not of it. During Germany’s pre-WWII and beginning years, Bonhoeffer ran an underground seminary, and his book is the story of how it actually worked.

That being said, the hiding of our identities behind masks, the stay at home orders, and the lack of human touch through certain businesses being shut down is cruel and inhumane treatment. Even the most introverted people – that would be me – crave some social time every now and then. Some of us do not have the local option of community. And social media helps.

While on the run from the Catholic Church and living in a redoubt at least part of the time, Martin Luther translated the Latin Bible into German for everyone to read. I have a plaque in my house that artistically says, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” I could be bitter about my lack of local friendships, but I see it as a time of learning to be a writer. And as much as I despise this time of separation we are living, Romans 8:28 (KJV) states, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Faith

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