Rory offers up another weekend quickie and I have time to squeeze it in between my rounds of social engagements, of which there are none.
Are you more of a sarcastic or pleasant personality or alternatively a mixture of the two pending your mood of the day?
It depends on the circumstances. I’m mostly pleasant around other people, especially at work. Alone, I mutter to myself nonstop, ranting, cursing, snarking, etc. I try not to be too sarcastic in public, since sarcasm is an unattractive trait and exposes the weakness of an argument. If you have the facts, there’s no need to be a jerk. Sarcasm is not equal to real humor, despite what men on dating sites seem to believe. See what I did there? Oops.
We live in a world of data, knowledge and information – but do we always have the right sort available at the right time?
We certainly do not. Take nutrition, for example. How many times have we been told different or flat-out incorrect information regarding food? And then it turns out certain “studies” were funded by the same industries they touted. Eggs good, eggs bad, repeat endlessly. Carbs good, fat bad, carbs bad, fat good. On and on.
What are three of your favourite ‘go to’ websites [not blogs] for information or relaxation?
I like playing Microsoft Solitaire card games and doing Happy Color pictures for relaxation. I mostly go to the LA Times, CNN, or ABC for news.
How lucky are you?
I’m pretty damn lucky to have been born a white person in the USA. Anything else is frosting on the cupcake.
What’s the best advice you have ever received from a friend?
Not a friend, but an ex: “Sometimes the best thing to do is… nothing.” This applies to many situations, most particularly those in which you are having trouble making a decision. Just wait it out.
You have five minutes to pack a bag with the absolute essentials to be away for a long weekend in an unknown location … what do you pack and why?
Phone, charger, change of clothes plus an extra jacket, teabags, Clif bars. Give kitties extra food and water before I go…
Do you think [TOS violator] should be allowed back on social media now that he’s no longer in office?
I hope Fandango forgives me for slightly editing his question to remove the specific name. My view is that people should be held to the terms they agreed to when they signed up for a service. This means all people, no exceptions.
Let’s use WordPress for our first example, since most of my readers are using this service. Have you read the TOS? There are a lot of terms there… having to do with signing up, payments, disclaimers of WP liability for anything, using the site for e-commerce, more gobble about money, and some conditions having to do with users’ behavior. Here are some examples:
Will comply with all applicable laws and regulations (including, without limitation, all applicable laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content, privacy, data protection, the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside, the use or provision of financial services, notification and consumer protection, unfair competition, and false advertising);
Will not be for any unlawful purposes, to publish illegal content, or in furtherance of illegal activities;
Will not disclose the personal information of others;
Will not be used to send spam or bulk unsolicited messages; […]
You must obey the laws about online conduct and acceptable conduct. What are those? Here’s a look…
Okay, what about, say… Twitter? Anything goes there, right? Um nope. Contrary to what Twitter looks like, they actually have rules. Which they enforce arbitrarily, unfortunately. These sites making gobs of money (FB, Twitter, etc.) should, in my opinion, be forced to hire as many people as necessary to enforce their own TOS. If they can’t/don’t/won’t, they should be taken offline. There is no excuse! If there are too many messages to monitor, fix it so there aren’t. They can and should. No one needs to tweet 500 times per day if the site can’t handle monitoring their content.
Here are some rules from the Twitter TOS:
Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence. Learn more about our violent threat and glorification of violence policies.
Abuse/harassment: You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm. Learn more.
Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. Learn more.
Civic Integrity: You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. Learn more.
Impersonation: You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Learn more.
Isn’t that interesting? You wouldn’t think, from visiting Twitter, that they had any rules at all! But apparently there are so many tweets that they can’t handle monitoring them for adherence to their own rules. They rely on other users reporting violations. Regardless, violators should be restricted, even if they can’t all be found (which they could, if these sites put money into enforcing their own rules).
It’s not only the twice-impeached former POTUS who constantly violates the Twitter rules ~ violations are all over the place there, perpetuated by peeps of all political persuasions. They are simply sliding under the radar. Forex, it’s become a sport online to mock officials for having “dementia,” which is a clear violation of the Twitter TOS, whoever is doing it. Dementia is a serious disease, incapacitating millions of people, and it’s heartbreaking besides. It’s not funny to accuse people of having it because they lie, misspeak, stutter, etc. But folks on the right and the left use this form of harassment as mockery of those they dislike.
Many of us are on Facebook, which also has rules, not that they are great at enforcing them. God forbid hiring more monitors would put a dent in the bottom line there. Here are a few FB rules that are routinely ignored:
Use the same name that you use in everyday life.
Provide accurate information about yourself.
Create only one account (your own) and use your timeline for personal purposes.
We believe that all people are equal in dignity and rights. We expect that people will respect the dignity of others and not harass or degrade others. [found in Community Standards]
I stand by my unpopular opinion that there needs to be a huge change in the structure of social media ~ and that is to create a new global rule of one account per person signed up with their real, legal name, verified with a credit card. You don’t have to use your real name as your handle, but you get ONE handle, to be used across all social media. There needs to be an end to this detachment of words from consequences when you want to “troll” and harass others. That’s the thing about social media ~ people want to be separated from the consequences of their behavior. Unlike other areas of life, we aren’t required to accept any responsibility for our words, words that are casually tossed out to mock, harass, demean, etc. others online.
Of course, I have strayed from the question. That’s because it’s too simple for me to say, “Ugh, hate him ban him!” The twice-impeached former POTUS has violated the TOS egregiously and repeatedly, so suspending his account was the right thing to do, but more than that… everyone should be required to abide by the TOS they signed up for. Everyone.
I have time today to inflict more posts upon you. First up is Dr. Tanya and her blogging about bloggers’ blogs series. Last week she asked…
Do you like reading posts written for prompts? If so, what kind?
I like reading fiction and poetry best. I also enjoy humorous slices of life. Most of all, it’s fun to read posts where the writer combines several prompts. 🤩
When you publish a piece in answer to a prompt, do you read entries by other bloggers? If so, do you read them before or after you have written your own?
I read posts as they appear in my feed, whether responses to prompts or otherwise, and I don’t deliberately read other responses before starting my own, but often it happens because I don’t have time to write a new post early in the morning. I try to avoid duplicating someone else’s idea, though if the prompt is a question, then it’s fine to give a similar answer. I’ve been trying to choose obscure songs for Jim’s SLS, both to avoid duplication and also in hopes people might enjoy a new tune.
Before you have written a prompt post, if you read someone else’s response that has the same idea as yours, do you abandon the project, modify it, or continue as before?
I would abandon or modify it (re fiction or poetry). One of the things I dislike most about social media is the constant repetition of stuff. 😡
We are all fans of Q&A prompts. How do they spark creativity in you?
They mostly don’t spark anything except the occasional attempt to be funny. I avoid the ones that I feel add nothing interesting to the general conversation, but if they are about the writing process, I may drone on and on.
Okay, now onto PCGuyIV and this week’s Truthful Tuesday, which relates to the above questions by Dr. Tanya…
When you come across dead links, either in your existing posts or in comments on your blog, do you try to fix or delete them, or do you just let them be, and why?
First, I rarely pay any attention to links in comments. I don’t want to be directed to reading material, nor am I usually in the mood to listen to a song someone plops into the box. So, the links all could be dead as far as I know. I don’t care. 😛
However! I have a whole different attitude toward my own posts. If I see an error, I will fix it, even if the post is 10 years old. I have done this, in fact. Last year I checked EVERY link here and deleted dead ones (also fixing any typos or spacing glitches I found). Of course, there may be new dead links now, especially on videos. Lately, I’ve tried to use more of the official vids to avoid this issue. I wish I could correct typos in all my own comments everywhere…
Melanie starts our week off right with a new set of Q’s…
1. Why do we dream?
I consider it a data dump… to get rid of all the bits and pieces of broken code that float around our minds.
2. Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?
3. Does hardship make a person stronger? (example: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger)
Sometimes. Being a lonely child forced me to find ways to enjoy things by myself, which turns out to be a strength. I’m glad I’m not needy for companionship. But hardship can also make you more fragile, like if you were deprived of proper nutrition or medical care…
3. Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions?
Because we are all hypocrites! But seriously it makes survival sense to favor oneself and one’s family over others. I don’t actually see a problem with this most of the time, at least in public. Engage in berating yourself or your spouse in the privacy of your home…
4. GRATITUDE SECTION(Always Optional) Feel free to share some gratitude in the form of images, photos or writing. Thanks!
I’m super bummed out again. I don’t know why I thought Medium would be a good place for my writing ~ not only am I never going to make money there (beyond pocket change), but there’s almost no camaraderie. There can’t be when you need to read as much as possible, react briefly, and move on… hoping others see you and add you to their following list. I’ll never get as many hits as a tech writer or someone who goes on (and on) about politics or making money or whatever the hell people can’t resist clicking. Barely anyone cares about poetry or fiction or personal essays. It makes me so annoyed I refuse to click on the “trending” articles ~ why is the Medium algorithm helping the popular writers, those who jabber on about tech and money, instead of assisting others in becoming visible? Welp, I’m thinking of canceling my membership ~ why should my $5/month help support someone writing about writing for money instead of engaging in ACTUAL WRITING? Eff that!
And it’s not just me. I see great writing there, really excellent poetry, funny rants, solid flash stories… all with minimal recognition from other readers because the site pushes articles about bitcoin, Trump, or having a colonoscopy (the first three trending stories in my feed today). It’s super discouraging. 😢
I know we’ve talked a lot about the “hit & run” in Blogland, but the difference is that here I feel like I “know” some people and have valuable interactions with them… Sadje, Fandango, Angie, Melanie, Rory, Di, Barbara, Jim, Ashley, et al, plus the people I knew already from other venues, such as Keera, Roy, and AD. There are more in both groups, so please don’t be upset if I didn’t mention you ~ those are some of the people I saw in my latest notifs. Point is, interacting with these folks makes the “hit & run” bloggers tolerable. I understand that the majority of likes here are from bloggers who don’t know me, won’t ever care about my writing or buy one of my books, and only pay attention to me (for the nanosecond they do) in hopes I’ll follow them down a link-strewn path to some garbage video where I’ll be assaulted with ads. However! The small community of kind and fun folks who continually interact make WP a happy place to hang out.
I have spent so much time writing online for the past 20+ years. Usenet, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, yada, and now Medium. Not to mention that I’ve written actual books! And… nothing. Minimal book sales. Scant interaction on the other sites. Why do I keep wasting my time? I just don’t even know. I really don’t. Maybe I’m just not good enough or funny enough or poetic enough. I AM NOT FISHING FOR COMPLIMENTS. Please don’t. It’s actually worse for people to keep saying they like my writing (I know you mean well, so thank you) when the evidence is in that I can’t make it as a fiction or poetry writer, not even as a small side hustle. I do earn money via business writing, but I’m not talking about that now. I’m talking about the writing I love to do. Fiction and poetry. 💖
If I’m only writing for the love of writing, then I’ll do it here on my blog exclusively where I’ve enjoyed writing and interacting all along and where there’s no money to be made in the first place, so I don’t have to obsess over the lack of it flowing my way. It’s not like I’ve neglected my blog or anything, but I’ve spent almost all my other free time the last couple months on Medium, and it’s just depressing to me now. I can’t help but see the parallels to dating. It took me many years to acknowledge that I hate dating sites, dislike meeting new men who are going to judge me as a romantic prospect, and don’t even want a relationship at all under these crummy conditions. Since I’ve quit trying, that area of my life is calm and peaceful because I’ve filled it with more family time, friends, reading, movies, and painting. Why shouldn’t I do the same with the writing venues that are causing me distress? (I’m not dumping Twitter because it’s a good source for info, but I haven’t written poetry there lately.) That includes putting out more books for Amazon Kindle, where they’ll just sit on a virtual shelf growing mold like old banana bread no one wants.
First thing, we come up with a cute name like beach-kitty or butterfly-candy. Nope, taken. Okay, how about miz_write? Clever, isn’t it? But no, they suggest miz_write473 or miz_write_taco or miz_write_aardvark. Wow, are there really 472 miz_writes? I try miz_wryte1 and they accept that. Now, to choose a photo and a font and a format and a tagline. I go with a library motif but soon decide it’s too boring. Then I do cupcakes, but they look childish. Besides, my main “thing” is not baking. Wouldn’t want to mislead anyone. Okay, sunsets obviously! I do my theme in sunset with complementary colors. OMG SO PRETTY! I’m very happy with this whole dealio even if it did take me three years to decide on everything. But wait! Now all my friends have moved to another site. Fine, I’ll go there too.
Rory has a new set of Friday Four questions for us…
1. Do you ever simply stop and wonder ‘Where has time gone to?’ or is it something that never bothers you?
I definitely think about this and it bothers me frequently. I’m sad I haven’t been a big writing success and probably won’t be. I feel bad I failed at romantic relationships. I wish I’d spent more time with my mom; I wish I had more time now with my daughters and grandchildren. The next 20 years will pass in a flash, assuming I even get 20 more…
2. If you had a warning label, what would yours read?
“May spontaneously combust.”
3. What fact amazes you every time you think of it?
That anything exists.
4. What kind of activities do you enjoy doing and what would you never do?
I like boring old lady activities: reading, writing, gentle walking, playing with cats and grandchildren, baking, painting, going to museums and libraries, drinking tea…
Things I would never do include all sports (playing or watching), exotic travel, fishing, hunting, camping, long hikes, and anything dangerous or adrenaline-rushy.