Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pull up a chair

I have noticed Brian D. Meeks books being advertised and I have had one or more on my Kindle for quite a while.  So, looking for a light story, I read "Underwood, Scotch and Wry".  It is the story of an English professor who has written some good novels but nothing in a long time.  The college administration feels his smart-mouthing, his fooling with attractive female students and his general behavior are an embarrassment and reflect poorly on the college.  They require that he teach a course about social media even though he is a famous computer-phobe.  However, the man is witty and intelligent and soon finds that his graduate assistants and the older students make good company.  They help him learn about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other software and programs and tools for communicating and socializing on the internet.


He requires that each student open a Twitter account and "follow" every other student in the class of 100+ students.  The classes are brisk and fun and in no time, students not formally enrolled sit in, too.


I also have a Twitter account, which I basically use to support books I read that I like.  Kindle software makes it easy and quick to select a passage, add a short comment and have the passage and comment appear on Twitter. The grad students introduced the professor to Tweetdeck, a tool for keeping an eye on multiple Tweet streams at once.  Reading a little about Tweetdeck reminded me that I don't do Facebook or the other social media, mostly because I have enough to do paying attention to what happens in my life without additional outlets or habits.


You may have run into the computerized social craze lately.  Walk through a department store (what's a department store?) and you may get offered a chance to give the store your email address in order to received copies of their newsletter and notification of fabulous deals they offer at random times.  These days, you can get many offers to join this, join that, be part of this group or that group.  I just this minute received an invitation to join "a virtual [read "online"] graduate book club."  


I actually have more than enough to do.  It is true that Lynn and others mention items they saw on Facebook that I would have missed but for them.  However, I have them.  I want to pay attention to my thoughts, my feelings, my actions and what is going on right outside, bear tracks and all. 

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