please visit…#2

My ongoing challenge to you, dear readers, will be to “please visit” other blogs in the WordPress community. There are literally millions of others whose voices want to be heard. I can’t guarantee you’ll love all that you “hear.” But they will definitely broaden your outlooks, as they’ve already begun to enlarge and in many cases, enhance, mine.

One of the better advantages of the internet, I find, is the capacity to meet people I would otherwise never know. Not only that, but be allowed inside their private world, be privvy to their innermost thoughts, probably be told things that not even those they hold dearest and nearest know. It’s mind-blowing, if you think of it.

Mark Zuckerberg at South by Southwest in 2008.

Image via Wikipedia

Which came first, blogging or facebooking? I don’t know, but they both serve a great purpose, social networking. Although I’m not an avid Facebooker, since blogging occupies the majority of my computer time, there’s no denying that Facebook has risen to the top of the ranks in social influence. Its millions of users are able to change the course of history with a click of their computer keys. Who knew that it would be a global power player? Maybe Mark Zuckerberg had the tiniest inkling when he founded the media Goliath.

A man wearing a tin foil hat

Image via Wikipedia

But my ramblings about social networking are to largely encourage you to visit 3 sites I’ve recently discovered. Beyond a small introduction, I’ll let you discern more about the bloggers for yourselves. “Ramblings of an Emmett” is a single mom’s adventure. She writes from the heart, and shares moments of joy, as well as frustrations. A recent post about her dad resonated with me. “Haleywhitehall” writes beautifully of sweet remiscences. There’s a light and airy feel to her blog. I don’t recollect that she rants about causes, as I’m oft inclined to do. And finally, “Beneath the Tin Foil Hat,” which I’ve just now discovered is poised to take on any ultra-conservatives among you. He makes no bones about being a liberal, probably as left-wing as he can get. I can sense a big heart beneath his brawn. He and I agreed that the current NFL-management money brouhaha is much ado about greed. As I’ve said before, athletes like professional dancers, get paid “peanuts” by comparison, but show up for work every day because of their passion for their job. I wonder if these over-paid, over-coddled, self-aborbed football players would perform for “peanuts,” for the love of the game? What do you think?

go become a “site-seer”…notice my new gizmo in the right side bar of my blog…it’s still getting “up to speed”…hugmamma.

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“read” the fine print

Whether in black and white or Technicolor, we are all guilty of not “reading” the fine print. The current brouhaha over Shirley Sherrod is proof positive. Of course this is not the first example of our propensity for “signing on the dotted line” before examining all the details with a magnifying glass. Are we a lazy society, an all-about-me society, or just plain dumb?

There but for the “grace of God” go I. Shirley Sherrod went about her work, as we all do, unaware that blogger Andrew Breitbart and his YouTube video snippet was about to catapult her onto the world stage. I’m certain we’d all like our moment in the spotlight; if we could choose the moment. We’d like to “crop” the photo-op to our liking, not assign someonelse the task. Because you know it’ll be to their specifications. Chances are 50-50 that it’ll be a “hatchet” job.

The media, the Department of Agriculture, the NAACP and, it seems, even the White House did not look at the “fine print.” Breitbart had an axe to grind on the back of Sherrod. Called upon the carpet after all the facts were made known, Breitbart has refocused his sights and is now targeting the NAACP. Seems like a more fitting opponent, especially since they were willing to throw Sherrod “under the bus.”

Reader beware. In an internet savvy world we are all open to being misunderstood in a BIG way. We can’t hide. No matter how nimbly we tread, there’s no guarantee that we are not on somebody’s “radar.” What can we do? Nothing, I’m afraid. We’re beyond returning to the “womb.” Privacy is no longer an option, it seems. Proof?

Facebook is being acclaimed as a purveyor of member information. That is not enough to discourage millions from joining. It seems AOL was forced out of India because Facebook dominated the scene there. Rather than relegating Facebook to ignominy, a movie will soon be released giving the internet giant even more exposure. Know what? I’m sure the film will earn millions because moviegoers don’t get that Facebook is really about Facebook, not its members.

Yes, I’m a Facebook member, a very reluctant one. I congratulate its genius for creating a social network that surpasses one’s wild imaginings. However that alone doesn’t atone for their blase attitude about member privacy. My excuse for joining was to view my daughter’s work videos. It irked me when others could see her dance and I couldn’t. If it weren’t for this compelling reason, I would’ve continued to keep Facebook at arm’s length, a GOLIATH’S arm’s length.  But moms will surely agree that our children get us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. 

So how do we live our lives going forward? I would suggest we heed the  ATTENTION TO DETAIL “Read” the fine print as best we can. We’re not perfect so we’ll miss some things. When we do we should pause, breathe deeply, and restart our “engines.” More importantly we should feel compassion for others, for unless we “walk in their shoes” we can’t know what they’re really about. The old adage  “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” still applies. In her 80’s, my mother-in-law still purports to living a mantra spoken by a local tv personality in his daily ’60’s talk show. “IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE ABOUT SOMEBODY, DON’T SAY ANYTHING.” (I’ve taken the liberty of correcting some grammar, because the original phrase used more culturally appropriate language for the viewing audience.)

trying to stay under the “radar”…hugmamma