On Live-Tweeting

Lately I’ve been thinking about the swiftness with which I can exhibit my thoughts and actions to the world. Within seconds I can shoot my 140 character ideas out for the rest of the world to see, or I can post a photo of myself [or anyone or anything else I want] up on the internet, or I can write out [much like I’m doing right now] my thoughts in a very authoritarian manner for everyone to see and [theoretically] be impressed by my superior knowledge or insight or skill as a writer.

Recently I read the most hilarious article on Buzzfeed [which tends to pair gifs with one-liners to get the bang for their buck with every scroll of the key-pad] by someone who decided to live-tweet their first ever watching of the Harry Potter movies. It was hilarious. I wish I’d thought of doing something that funny. And it was good – because Harry Potter isn’t really a big deal.

Now [before you charge at me with pitchforks], I love Harry Potter just as much as any early-twenties-grew-up-with-Harry-person does. Several of my books have lost their covers. All of them have cookie crumbs sandwiched between the pages. I’ve pinned multiple recipes for butterbeer on my pinterest. But, sometimes I wonder if we bring that same live-tweeting attitude that this author brought to Harry Potter into the rest of our lives.

Perhaps some things shouldn’t be for live-tweeting.

I think we know this instinctively. We don’t often see instagrams of open coffins at quiet family funerals with the hashtag #rip. And at church on Sunday we don’t usually make youtube videos of our communion services. Some things are, quite literally, sacred.

Sometimes I feel like I should use my blog to write about things that are more serious. Perhaps I should talk about the horrific violence in the middle east, or the situation taking place in Ferguson, MO, or feminism, or politics. Or many other important things. The truth is, I probably should talk about these things. But I don’t think I should live-tweet them. Sure, live-tweeting is a great way to get short bursts of facts [facts?] out quickly to the general public. But it would not be a good idea for me to give you a play-by-play on my thoughts on sexism. Or my thoughts on healthcare. Or my ideas on education. These are important issues, worthy of my careful thought and, as such, I should take time to decide exactly what to say on the subject.

I could live-tweet my opinions, but, if I did, I think that almost every hour I would post a revision, or a disclaimer, or a retraction, or a rephrasing, or an update. Or, I might end up saying something totally embarrassing and ridiculous and then I’d end up posted all over the internet as a “Fail” and I’d never live it down.

So, for now, the hard and pointy-edged subjects will remain sequestered in my computer’s documents folder – snippets of phrases and opening statements ready for constant revision and rethinking. It’s likely that many of these subjects will never make it off the cutting board and onto the internet. And that’s ok.

Some things are sacred and I think that, in the same way we don’t instagram at a funeral of a loved one, we already recognize when we are in this situation. Some things are sacred and require our quiet concentration and reflection. Some things are sacred and I don’t want to belittle them by throwing unfinished and confused thoughts into the babble. This is how I feel about war and sexism and politics and crime – these things are important and deserve much more attention than what I can do with a 140-character statement, or [at this stage in my life] a 1,200 word blog-post. I’m not going to tell you what I think about these things because I’m not quite sure what I think of it yet. I do think of it. But I think a lot and it tumbles around in my head – but not yet out onto paper.

Maybe someday I’ll find words to put to what I see in the world. But, for now, I’m thankful for Harry Potter funnies to give my mind a break from the tumbling, confusing, complicated, sacred subjects.

Here are the Harry Potter funnies, in case you need a break too [advance warning: there’s some language in this]: http://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/krum-like-it-hot#vxd1nr

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How to Vacation on an Island in Maine

There are several rules to keep in mind when you’re vacationing on an island in Maine. These rules have stood the test of time and a dramatic family history.

The first rule is that whenever you walk along the rocky Maine coastline, admiring the lovely waves and avoiding the tour boats, you must always look for sea glass. Sea glass, we learned, takes about 40 years to form from the smashed champagne bottles we left behind us off the beach. Thus, the bottles smashed by us this summer will be collected by our children. Or our grandchildren. I am not very skilled in the art of collecting sea glass. I found one piece. My in-laws had about 100 pieces each by the end of our vacation.

Rocky View

Another rule that is necessary to vacation on the island is that you must always watch the sun set. Some people like to rank the sunsets from 1-10, others prefer to award each sunset a 10 on principle. Some consider it a useful excuse to smoke pipes and cigars and e-cigarettes. Some use it to take selfies. The mosquitoes use it as a time to feast on our ankles. Nevertheless, it is vital to your island experience to watch the sunset each and every night, unless the fog is too thick, or the rain too heavy. Or the stack of dishes to wash is too high.

Sunset

A third rule that must be adhered to while staying on an island in Maine is that you will spend a lot of time picking blueberries. Unless you have a [in]convenient back injury, like me. A back injury will also help you to get out of vacuuming and kayaking [on open ocean, where a whale could breach beneath your tiny boat at any moment and cause you to lose your cell phone in your rush to record the event for posterity]. Piking blueberries comes with its own reward in the shape of pancakes and cake. Even those who don’t help pick the blueberries benefit from those who obey this rule. Unfortunately I did not manage to take a picture of an intact blueberry cake.

Another rule to consider while staying on an island in Maine is that your cell-phone and internet-service will be spotty at best. If you need to send an important email and want to be sure that it will go through then you may need to hike to the opposite end of the island and hope for the best. You will likely miss out on various important social-networking information, like that selfie of your second-cousin at the water park, your best friend from third-grade’s book recommendation, or the fuzzy photo your ex-co-worker took of her car hitting the 200,000 mile marker. Prepare yourself for a media-fast.

View

If you follow these four important rules then you are sure to have a lovely vacation on an island in Maine. Just be sure to bring some bug spray, and a pile of books for rainy days, and a puzzle. It is also preferable to liberally apply sunscreen before any foray into the great outdoors [even if it does make your entire vacation slightly sticky].