Thursday, December 29, 2016

Social, Media and Social Media

Seven years ago I had been in a protracted period of fighting my Dad's health and maintenance problems. I posted some tweets (which got sent to Facebook) and today they are in a stream on Facebook called 'On This Day.' So seven years ago I was dealing with lots of issues that, I guess, I can now look forward to in my own future. (Unless I get the bus hits me, instantly killed, death. One never knows.)

Social media keeps us informed of the drumbeat of normal folks. There are friends and acquaintances who end up in the emergency room or having surgery or suffering at home. I'd never know about it but for social media. People create art and plays and music and pictures and snippets there on social media are all I ever know of it. There are lots of real stories there, too, Links to genuine news media. And links to junk and lies. I skip most of it. (Yes, Carrie Fisher is dead. Her mom, Debbie Reynolds, too. No, I don't think that there is a war or Christmas or cops.) I read three newspapers and dispatches online from a couple more. I read The New Yorker. These publications employ fact checkers. 

But I'll keep reading social media. Because I want to know if you are sick or hurting, lost a loved one or are just enjoying life by eating, drinking, going to shows or movies, and visiting with family. It is a pulse for my family, friends and acquaintances. The other day I realized how much some people rely on my feed for a pulse of what I'm doing. I got an email from someone asking if we were all right. Because I hadn't posted in a day or two. 

I hope social media keeps going as a through line to people's real lives. But I hope we rely on real media produced by journalists to give us news.

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