Category Archives: Social Media

FPQ95: Privacy Please!

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

Which is more important to you, privacy or security? How much privacy are you willing to give up for security?

Why not both? 😁 Actually, I’m a little bit confused by this question as I’ve always thought it was a balance between privacy and convenience. To me, privacy and security go together, while convenience can whittle away at both.

Bitmoji peeking

Personally, I have caved to the mega-corps and given up a lot of privacy in order to save time (and money). Forex, I pay my bills online instead of writing a check and buying a stamp. I have no choice with medical ~ all the docs are online now, and that’s how you must communicate with them. How secure are the “portals” through which I pay my utilities and ask my doc for a refill? I don’t know. And naturally I shop at Amazon and Wal*Mart, giving my info to them so I don’t have to prowl germy stores for stuffs. Also, I’m back on Facebook, that notorious data-grabber. This is more to do with feeling lonely than convenience…

Bitmoji typing

The worst “data breach” I’ve experienced is when some assh*le debt collector lied to a sheriff, saying I was still married, convincing the sheriff to serve a writ for my ex’s debt on my bank account. THANK GOD my brilliant boss got on it and made them reverse it. I don’t know what I would have done without immediate legal help. The reason the DC was able to do that is because he found my info online. Why should it be possible to find out whether someone is married or divorced or has unpaid parking tickets or ANYTHING by doing a google search? Sure, I enjoyed that convenience myself when I was on dating sites, but still. (NB: they’re all liars.)

Bitmoji boo

As I understand it, most of the data-grabbing is used to shovel ads at us, which doesn’t bother me that much. Ads? Pffft. It’s on me to watch my own budget and resist buying things on impulse. There were loads of ads on the old TV shows I liked and in the women’s magazines I used to read. Same dealio. Maybe I’m just making excuses for being too lazy to write checks…

I don’t think it’s possible to have as much privacy as we might want, if we use social media or shop/pay bills online, unless we are totally internet savvy and lock everything down like my friend Dusty.

Bitmoji shrug

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

An Award from Sadje 🌸

Blogger award

Sadje kindly nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you! 💗 I’m happy to respond to the first 4 “rules”…

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site.
  2. Do a post to show your award.
  3. Give a summary of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers.

Numbers 1 & 2, done! ✅ Now, onto the summary. I began my first blog in 2003 and it was a lot of fun, but ultimately I became burnt out by obsessing over stats. Next, I had a purely silly blog, but that got boring. After that, I started a few private blogs, and they worked out okay, but I missed writing fiction and poetry. Then, I began a very general blog, where I posted song lyrics and snippets of writing and just blabbed about whatever. That blog was on blogger at first, and I continued it here on WordPress.

Writing ink

My advice for new bloggers is to write your own words. Sure, some quotes and lyrics are nice to start off a post, but no one wants to read an article copypasta’d from the news. That’s just annoying. We all know how to find the news ourselves!

My second nugget of advice is to spend time interacting with the blogging community. Most of us are not going to visit your blog if you simply blitz us with “likes.” Comment from time to time to show that you’ve read the posts we’ve put effort into. Then you will likely see more visitors, comments, and follow-backs.

Above all, have fun! This is social media, so be sociable. Please don’t try to sell us stuff other than your latest book. 🙂

Books

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sense and Sensitivity

Dr. Tanya continues her series of blogging about blogging bloggers with new questions, including some from Melanie.

Blogging insights

MELANIE’S QUESTIONS :

A) Warning “labels” when one is writing about something that could potentially be ‘touchy’ to some folks. Pros and cons and that segues rather nicely into the second topic.

I haven’t used warning labels much, except for spoiler alerts when I discuss a movie in great detail. I don’t think my blog needs any warning as I don’t post images of violence or porn, nor do I discuss the the commonly known triggering subjects. Of course, I can’t predict what every person might take issue with… if someone gets upset over atheism or cupcake love, they can walk away. 🧁

I appreciate warning labels online. I don’t want to see pornography or read about self-harm. I also don’t want to read any idiotic conspiracy theories, racism, or support of our hideous impotus, but most who post that crap don’t consider it offensive and wouldn’t think of warning labels.

B) Censorship. Is it censorship if one blogs ‘sensitively’ (aka soft pedals hard issues)? Should writers have to think of every possible reader their writing might touch, every single scenario where a reader might take offense and so on? I’m not thinking of blatant offensiveness (and what’s offensive to one person isn’t necessarily to the next one in line), but a general trying to cover all bases all the time type of thing.

What you’re describing is self-censorship and there should be more of this, not less. Just as we should proof our posts for typos, we should reread for potential offensive content and edit or eliminate it. Over the years, I’ve deleted posts where I sound whiny and pathetic because that triggers me into being disgusted with myself, so I figure others may have similar reactions. I also swear a lot less now online because it’s simply not necessary and many people dislike it.

We can’t know what will upset everyone, but most of us understand what type of topics are generally offensive, unless we’re being willfully obtuse. Naturally, there are some who relish being offensive, nasty, trollish, etc. and we can easily avoid them by taking them out of our newsfeed and/or blocking them from commenting.

Bitmoji haters

MY QUESTIONS:

1. Do you post about touchy or sensitive topics on your blog? If so, what kind of subjects do you like to discuss?

As I said above, I avoid the generally known sensitive/triggering subjects. I do read other blogs that hit on some of these topics, and I may comment in the same mode, but here? Nope. I’m mostly into writing poetry and short fiction, complaining about minor issues, and sharing bits of my boring life.

2. Do you respond to sensitive or controversial subjects in the form of prompts?

I avoid them, and I also avoid questions that are overly personal. I write a lot about my life in general, but I don’t talk much about work, sex, or go into specific detail about my daughters.

3. Do you take part in controversial discussions as part of a comments thread?

Sometimes. I often comment in support of Fandango’s impotus bashing, though I don’t do it here that often. On other blogs, I’ll write about relationships and/or mental health more than I do here.

4. How do you think sensitive subjects should be handled on the blogosphere?

Generally, it’s considerate to post a warning label if you’re going to discuss violence, mental health, or porn. Put a tag in the title or simply state it in the first paragraph. As noted, we can’t predict what everyone will get upset about, and that’s okay. People can unfollow blogs and delete comments, which I believe is a far superior method to deal with being offended than engaging in useless, prolonged arguments that descend into nastiness. Just walk away and take deep breaths. Also, it can be cathartic to write a long screaming diatribe about a horribly offensive person or situation… and then poof delete it!

Bitmoji breath

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Monday Peeve 59

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the TMP tag, link back to me (or not), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen. I have feelings!

Today’s peeve is about WP itself… more specifically, the app. It has nothing to do with the block editor. 🤣 It’s about missing things on my reader (old issue with a new wrinkle), which has me super stressed out. I’m talking about my own stuff! I follow myself, as you do, and I’ve noticed lately that my images are randomly not appearing in my posts even though they exist. I use an image (sometimes more than one) in every post now, so no post of mine should ever appear with text only. Yet, these “missing” images actually exist on the post; I know this because when I “visit” a post at my main site, the image appears. Why is it missing from the app feed? Sometimes it’s an image I’ve had around a while, such as a Bitmoji, and sometimes it’s a new image I’ve downloaded from someone else’s prompt post. And I’m not talking about that dreaded X in a box you get when an image has been deleted. No. I’m talking about a post appearing as if no image was ever uploaded with it, when it was. 🤯

I like using the app on my phone ~ it’s super convenient for reading posts and saving the prompts I might want to do later. But this missing image issue has me SUPER MEGA ANNOYED! Naturally, I’m not going to bother asking for help from WP because (1) I doubt they will even understand what I mean; and (2) they never help. Plus, sometimes the image appears, so with my luck, they’d look and see one and think I’m just crazy. I may be crazy, but it is a FACT that WP is glitchy and irritating regardless.

Look at this evidence…

Post screenshot app
Recently published posts in my app tab on Saturday morning.
Post screenshot app
The same freaking posts as they appear sans images when I look up my blog on the app!

Happy Halloween week! 🎃 Don’t forget to remember your peeves for next Monday! 👻

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ92: Anonymously Yours

FPQ

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you blog anonymously? Why or why not?”

I do not blog anonymously, though I understand why people do, and sometimes I wish I had. My name is slightly altered from my “real” one, but I can be found and I use my actual face photos to make that process even easier. 🤣

Why am I not anonymous? Well, it’s mainly because I began writing online 20+ years ago with this name and I want to refer to my published work, mostly self-published, but even so. I also write as Anna Fondant, which I’ve made no secret of either. Supposedly, it’s best to have one name per genre, and Anna focuses on romance and erotica. I have a third name for a completely different style of writing, but I unpublished that novel. I intend to edit it and make a trilogy of it… someday! It’s sort of science fiction erotica, or it appears to be sci-fi, but maybe it isn’t.

Dark keyboard

I try not to identify real people in my blog or otherwise unless I have their permission. My “dating stories” have many details obscured, though one guy recognized himself, which turned out to be fun. Once, I ranted about someone (without naming her), and she read it and bitched, so I took down the post. I’ve been more careful since then. I don’t post pics of others until I receive their OK, or if they’re in the public domain, such as Pexels or Pixabay. I also avoid discussing my work, family, or friends in any great detail. In that way, I’m discreet, if not anonymous. I cringe every time I see a “mommy blogger” post embarrassing stories or pics of her kids. One day, they will google themselves…

If I’d been anonymous from the start, I could have used blogging as a great catharsis for my thoughts on relationships, marriage, sex, work, politics, religion, etc. But I didn’t and I don’t. When I say anything on those topics, I’m very careful, sticking to bland stuff like “Vote Blue!” My Twitter is connected here (you have to go to the main blog to see it), but even there I retweet only mainstream Democratic stuff. You may think you know a lot about me because I’ve posted so very very many words, but you actually do not. Even those who were “privileged” to read my private blogs years ago know only a sliver more.

Secret admirer

There was a time when I was extremely depressed because I thought I’d never meet a “soul mate” I could be 100% myself with, and vice versa, but I’m over it. Pretty much. I remember those few times though when I thought I had someone like this, or someone was a potential “this,” and it was ecstatically life-altering. Then came the crash. I’ve now accepted that it’s not going to happen, and hoping for it makes me feel worse, so I have to continue to censor myself with everyone everywhere, in various ways.

Cue sad whiny music… 🎶

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

On Folding Our Posts Into Swans…

Blogging insights

Dr. Tanya presents questions from Sadje this week on blogging etiquette.

How long should the comment thread be? For example, if some blogger likes your post and says so, you thank them. Then they say that you’re welcome or it’s a pleasure, afterwards most shift to emojis or smiley faces. It can go on for quite some while. So I would really like to know what is the acceptable cutoff number.

I don’t think it’s necessary to continue this chain after “liking” a thank you. There’s no need for “you’re welcome,” etc. It simply clutters up the comments with meaningless gibberish. “Liking” a thanks is equivalent to a welcome. And honestly, though I’ve been saying thanks to comments, it’s really okay just to “like” them without a reply, if you have nothing to add. I’m not loving the idea that my comment boxes are stuffed with my own thanks thanks thanks. Boring!

Reblogging etiquette; I reblog the responses to my prompt as I state in my prompt post. But if I want to reblog a post which I like or was moved by, should I ask them first? What is the accepted protocol for that?

I’m not a fan of reblogging or quoting gobs of material from another source, whether the news or Wikipedia or someone else’s opinion. Write your own words! If you need to reference something, simply link to it. Quoting a large portion may deprive the original writer of a visit, which is uncool.

What should you do when people don’t respond to your comments on their posts? Should you stop commenting on their post or give them a reminder about your comment?

Nothing. Don’t keep count of such petty things. Certainly do not remind them that they didn’t respond! Some people may not want to clutter their comments with a lot of replies, or they may not think of blog posts as a venue for chitchat. If a blogger annoys you, for whatever reason, simply and quietly quit following them.

Cat walking away from explosion

Award posts; These are the trickiest regarding etiquette, as most people don’t even acknowledge that they were nominated for that particular award. What should be the proper way to deal with this situation?

Ignore it! People don’t have to respond to tags and call-outs. Many are opting not to do awards at all, as the questions are mostly pointless and silly, not to mention repetitive. If this bothers you, stop nominating anyone and instead note that your questions are open to all. If we all quit doing awards, they’d fade away… like a miracle! 🤣

Basically, my view of all this is that bloggers are not required to respond to comments, tags, call outs, etc. It’s not a breach of blog etiquette to ignore those things and focus only on your own writing. What is a breach of blog etiquette then? Using other people’s words without giving them credit. That’s pretty much it. Not everyone is using a blog to make friends and jabber Facebook style. Some simply wish to write.

Pen and ink

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Brain Candy Share

SYW

Melanie has some brain candy questions for us to crunch…

1. “How many people in real life or on social media (including WordPress, which has become a rather social media site) do you consider good enough friends to help you ‘hide the dead body?’” [via Rory]

Since I don’t do anything illegal, I’m going to take this question in its most general sense… how many people can I count on to offer actual help (as opposed to virtual hugs) if I have a truly serious problem. I was in a down mood when I answered “none” to Rory, so I’ll amend that now. My daughters will always help me as much as they can, and vice versa. I have a few RL friends that would (and have) offered assistance to me, such as help with moving ~ not bodies, just boxes!

2. Are You Ready To Order? What Are You Having (craving) right now?

I’ve been craving a lobster roll for ages. It’s on my “bucket list” to nom up on my epic retirement trip across the country, which is likely just a dream now. But! A lobster food truck called “Cousins” has been making the rounds in Orange County, and I plan to meet them soon and get one! 😋 (To eat alone in my car…)

3. How’s the weather in YOUR neck of the woods?

Partially sunny and 72. 🌤

4. There has always been something. Before there was something, there was only nothing. Which do you think is more likely?

I’ll start with “I don’t know,” which is a fine answer to many questions and imo more people should avail themselves of it. But we are very uncomfortable with the anxiety of unknowns, so we attempt to fill them in with our limited human experience. I’m not sure why filling in unknowns with supernatural entities satisfies some people, but perhaps the magical area of my brain isn’t activated. In any case, my “feeling” is that something has always existed. Where it came from, how, when… I have no speculation other than I don’t believe in magic.

This week I am grateful for funny movies to distract me. 🤣

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

HallChall18: Mask

Masks

Masks [reblog from June 2019]

Since the beginning
Of this tangled electric madness,
This social soupy media mess,
I’ve been in a quandary
Over how much of me
To reveal to the galaxy
Of virtual strangers.
When alone at the keyboard,
It feels foolish to be phony,
As if I’m so important
That anyone will care
What I dare to share.
Why wear a mask
And maintain a facade,
When one slip of the tongue
Will give me away.
I learned a good lesson
From fibbers and fakers
That truth is a bargain
Against the time it will take
To keep frosting together
All the discordant pieces
Of a big liar cake.
But even so,
I find it hard to relate–
People don’t know me,
Though they’re not to blame:
On the remotest shelf,
I have masks that I wear
When I talk to myself.

~*~

Written for Tourmaline’s Challenge.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My Favorite Mistake

Blogging insights tanya

Dr. Tanya continues her blogging about bloggers’ blogs blog bloggery by asking what we did wrong way back when. My wayback is probably older than most, since I began all this in 2003, with a blog on blogspot named “Ultrablog ~ Purple prose from Orange County… it’s ULTRAVIOLET!” That was my Usenet nickname and a group of us were fond of trying new fads. I took to blogging right away and even purchased a template to match my purple theme. Loads of my fellow Usenetters have disappeared from Blogland and simply hang out on Facebook now. But I like blogging best of all social media. 😍

Bitmoji happy balloons

My posts back then were about me and my opinions. I didn’t post much or any fiction/poetry; instead I blabbed on about my takes on the news or annoying incidents and just whatever. I did jabber way more about my kids, people I knew, and even work a little. I hate to say this, but because I was married to a lawyer, I felt safe in doing as I pleased. I had no fear of writing absolutely horrible stuff to other Usenetters while engaging in “combat prose” (it was mutual) and adding my bit of badness to the atmosphere of awfulness that has become exponentially worse as time goes on. My Usenet attitude/persona carried over into my blogging. 😎

Bitmoji zero chill

Most of my posts were short then, except a few frothy rants, and I generally flung some nonsense out 2-3 times per day. I received tons of comments and views because I had linked up with other bloggers who wanted to increase their stats, and we all visited each other’s posts constantly. I got totally caught up in the stats obsession and felt bummed out when my views sunk below 300/day or a post failed to get comments in the double digits. I participated in blog arguments and deliberately took on controversial views, all in order to get more “hits.” Finally, I ended up in a nasty flamewar (over pit bulls, lol), flamers began impersonating each other, my comment section got wrecked, and I quit. 😡

Bitmoji over it

My mistakes were obvious: worrying about stats, deliberately fanning flames, jumping into arguments at other blogs, and revealing too much about my life, including photos. I consoled myself that I did less of all this than the super-popular mommy bloggers, but even so. Ick! 😝🙁😢

I missed blogging though. I began a few new boring ones, a couple private ones, and this one… which ended up as my favorite. The others are all gone with some archived in my own files. When I started on WordPress, I was determined not to care about stats, not to post about politics, and not to get involved in arguments. If anyone starts crap here, I ban them. I did make some new mistakes though ~ when I was dating (🤮), I would post about some of the things that upset me or that I found funny. Then, when I met someone I actually liked (rare), I’d frantically delete all the dating posts before they could read them. Rinse, repeat.

bitmoji dizzy falling spinning

I haven’t deleted a post here in a long time. I doubt I would even if I met someone I liked romantically. They’d just have to deal with who I really am, and vice versa. 🤪 Not that I can imagine this happening imminently or even ever! 🤣 Anyway, I still enjoy blogging a lot, love the feedback on my writing, and have no plans to quit, despite the periodic glitches we have to deal with. Personally, I find the block editor a lot less annoying than that jerk who was copying our content a while ago. There will always be something…

Bitmoji amirite

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Bitmoji

My Turn [rant]

Bitmoji laptop

Soooo, I have tried to avoid bitching too much about WordPress, as imperfect as it is. Not to mention that I don’t hate the block editor (heresy!), though of course I have empathy for anyone experiencing difficulties getting their writing to publish. The thing is, blogging is my favorite form of social media by far, and I’m super grateful it’s surviving when almost everyone else just twitters and faceplops. I blame a short attention span… I remember when some of my writer friends kept interesting blogs, but now they just quote boring political crap on FB, or repost dumb memes. I guess it’s easier. 🙄

H O W E V E R!

I had the damndest time getting my last post to publish properly. And this has nothing to do with the cursed BE because I was using the app in classic mode. Ooh, maybe they’re screwing with the CE to get us to switch over entirely (I use the BE on my laptop). I had to keep fixing it and republishing it to get all the links to “take.” They would disappear in the process and I’d view the post only to find them poofed. So maddening!

Bitmoji fire flames angry rage

I understand that the outcome of writing to WP for help is zippo, nada, crickets. So why bother? Instead I’m venting here, especially because this wasn’t a one-off. I’ve had to repost other pieces of writing due to formatting glitches. Sometimes my video links don’t show up with previews, and it looks stupid when the html link sits there alone instead of a nice music image. Btw, I’m in the process of labeling all my saved images, since the WP search function is crap. Not talking about their library, but trying to find something I’ve used before and saved in mine. Yes, that’s a different issue, but why not throw everything into the Big Casserole of Doom?

Must chillax somehow…

bitmoji meditate calm breath zen

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Bitmoji