I’VE HEARD IT SAID THAT people use social media either for affirmation or for information. This is said as if the two motivations are mutually exclusive, but I don’t think they are. I’d suggest that there is a continuum with affirmation on one end and information on the other.
We each fall somewhere along the continuum, depending on the social media we’re using and our mood that day.
I suspect that people probably don’t stop to analyze what their motivations are when they check their FB account, or Linked In account, or Twitter account, or Instagram account. The whole process has become habitual rather than intentional.
Or at least most of the time.
I know that I mindlessly pop onto IG to see what’s up. I’m not looking for much of anything other than a way to pass a few minutes, pleasantly. While there I might experience 20% affirmation [someone liked my photo] and 80% information [photos of new decks, for instance].
I can tell you those percentages in retrospect, but I don’t plan my motivations and how my experience will unfold before I visit the website. Do you?
ANYHOW THAT’S WHAT’S FLOATING AROUND in my head this morning. Nothing controversial. Nothing profound. Nothing humorous. Just a few thoughts about social media, something we seem to take for granted now.
And when did that happen? I cannot remember a life without social media, can you?
All of which brings me to the following informational list of ongoing [mostly] blogging challenges & prompts. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list of all that is out there on the WWW. Instead it features bloggers, who in addition to creating challenges & prompts, have connected with me via comments.
For clarity I’ve stated the names of the bloggers alphabetically using first names, shared a link to their blogs, then added whatever details I could find about what they’re doing.
I didn’t mean to neglect you, my gentle readers, but it was a spontaneous decision on Monday morning. I wanted to finish my online self-directed college class and decided to just do it, get all the reading, research, and writing over with. It took me a few hours every day causing my eyes to blur and spin in my head, but I finished the class a few weeks early, earning a passing grade of 93%.
And that, as they say, is that.
It was fascinating to see lectures, read assignments, do homework, and write a research paper again. It took me outside of my usual thinking patterns, so the mental challenge was a good one. For winter. During a pandemic.
Was it worth it? Will I do it again? That is, take another online university class with homework?
Welp, I’m going to say probably NO.
I didn’t hate being a student, but I didn’t love it either. Fortunately I understood the subject matter [history learned through the interconnections among antique objects and academic disciplines in a museum] but I vehemently disliked the computer user interface for this online course. It was clunky and awkward, visually cluttered– and there were typos and inconsistencies that bothered me, a writer.
The mediocre system made every assignment a struggle and as such sucked the fun out of this whole adventure in higher education. No matter really. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
In fact, continuing on with the idea of something gained, much to my delight while in the process of researching my final paper I stumbled on the word SNAZZY used in an advertisement in the current Vermont Country Store catalogue. Don’t ask how I ended up there, but I did and it was worth it.
Yes siree kids, it’s my all-time favorite word spotted in the wild.
In this case the best word ever is used to describe mild-compression support socks. Granted the topic of socks had nothing to do with the project I was working on and I don’t think I need these particular ones, but I am getting older so maybe I do and just don’t know it yet.
Anyhoo, that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. And you? Whatcha been doing?
Spill the beans in the comments below. Missed ‘ya. Mean it.
WOULD YOU BELIEVE ME IF I told you that by writing this blog post I’m avoiding going to class and doing my homework?
Well, it’s the truth.
You see, in January I signed up for a pass/fail college course that is from the history department at Harvard University offered through edX. The course is entirely online and you do it at your own pace following an official syllabus to keep you moving along in a timely manner.
[Currently I’m failing, btw. I have 63% and need 65% to pass, but whatevs.]
I should be doing the right thing this morning: that would be watching the lectures and reading the articles and answering the questions, but I don’t want to. And therein might be the most dramatic difference between younger me and older me. Younger me was the good “Do Bee” student [Romper Room, anyone?] while older me is a wise “Your Ken can kiss my Barbie” woman [The Big Bang Theory].
Case in point, I’m not doing my schoolwork today and you can’t make me. Ha!
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HOWEVER I WILL SHARE WITH YOU something I learned in the process of doing research for my final project that is due in a few weeks. Interestingly enough I came across a word that can be used to describe the feeling you’d have if you were standing outside in the sunshine, like the birch trees are in the photo at the top of this post.
The word is Apricity[Merriam-Webster] and it means the warmth of the sun in the winter.
Yes this is another word to add to your personal lexicon because who doesn’t like the joy of knowing an obscure word and using it in a sentence? I mean, why else would you be here today if not for another unique learning experience– and the opportunity to answer a timeless question on a cold winter’s day.
Thus I leave you, my gentle readers, to answer and comment below: do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?
Not much happening around here, but I’ll write to you anyhow because it’s Tuesday, my favorite day of the week. Huzzah!
We continue to wait until we are eligible for our first Covid-19 vaccine shot. Then, of course, there’ll be a wait for the second one, which seems to be in short supply around here, so maybe not getting the first one yet is a good thing?
I dunno. We’ve been home together in our own little bubble for about 11 months now, so what are a few more weeks or months? We’re safe, we’re healthy, we’re doing low-key things.
We’ve finished updating our Family Favorites Cookbooks, 3rd edition. Yep, this is a re-do of a re-do of my first home computer project that I completed in February 1994, then updated for a second edition in April 2005. The bottom line is that we now have all our favorite recipes saved in the computer as well as printed, put in binders, and ready to go in the kitchen.
Move over Martha, you ain’t the only kid on the block who has it going on with her recipes. Ha!
We’re also in the process of deciding on a new exterior paint color for the trim and siding of Chez Bean. A new roof a few years ago + a new limestone retaining wall last December + a new deck sometime in 2021 [fingers crossed] = time to repaint exterior of the house bringing the color scheme into this decade.
Deciding on a new color is fraught with design peril. Oh yes it is. We have four seasons with natural light shining in different ways on four sides of the house, and there’s a need to coordinate with the brick and new retaining wall. Thus there are many variables, many possibilities– and one dithering me.
And with that I’ll end this missive about our humdrum daily life, hoping it finds you well. What’s new with you?
Very truly yours,
Ally Bean, the bored
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Food For Thought: When’s the last time you wrote a letter home? It seems quaint now to think about doing that, let alone write one that includes snapshots. Remember doing that, too?