Tag Archives: social media

Evidence

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I’m tired.
The opposite of inspired.
I was told by five people
to be careful what I post
on my Instagram and Facebook accounts,
given how social media posts
can be used as evidence
in a court of law.
Evidence of what?
That I’m human?
That I have feelings?
That I’m going through a difficult time?
That I’m completely justified
in what I’m thinking and feeling?
They can twist what you write,
I was told,
and make your words 
into something they’re not.
At first I rebelled.
I thought about our broken legal system
and the measures put into place
to discourage people from speaking up.
But then I remembered my children.
I remembered that I want them in my life.
And the little girl in me
stopped her tantrum,
went back to her room
and closed the door.

Silent No More

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I’m thinking about my voice
and how I could wield it
for social change.
I’m thinking about the role
of social media
in providing a platform
for my voice to be heard.
I’m thinking about
my responsibility
to use my power wisely
with the aim of benefitting
all beings.
I’m thinking about reality,
about betrayal, pain,
grief, loss…and revenge.
I’m wondering what is right.
With so many subjective viewpoints
who gets to say?
I begin to speak my truth,
tentatively at first,
but with more  conviction as time passes.
Then I’m told to be careful.
But haven’t women been careful
for far too long?
I’m thinking about my voice.
I want to use it.
I don’t want to be silent any more.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 17: Social Media Friend

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt brings social media into the poetry equation:

…try to write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat. You might end up with a poem that seems bizarrely solipsistic (like the internet itself, maybe?), but there might also be a spark there of something live and fun and present (like the verbal equivalent of a really great animated cat .gif).

You know, sounds like fun…sort of…but like the terzanelle I contemplated last night, the social media just ain’t happening tonight.  I spend very little of my time on Twitter, FaceBook and Instagram.  Something about potty training, laundry, teaching yoga, cooking meals, and making time to bathe myself every so often–I don’t know, call me crazy, but the social media just doesn’t fall very high on my priority queue.

Anyway, social media or not, I write a poem every day, and it’s time.
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I would quote one of your tweets, friend,
but I haven’t been on twitter for several moons.
I would post something on your wall,
I would hashtag your name
I would like all of your pictures on Instagram, friend,
but my son just had a pee accident
and my daughter needs a second dose of cough syrup.
I know I’m missing a lot of fun,
all of those viral YouTube videos
and the memes
and the latest news on HuffPo,
but dang it,
the kids need to eat again,
and I haven’t brushed my hair yet today.
And plus, you live far away.
I’ve never met you,
but you know what I look like.
What does “friend” mean anyway?

Unplugged

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Friends, turn off the TV and gather round.
Put down your laptops, tablets, and cell phones.
Sit, listen.

I have something to say about the deep core of existence.
Ah, but what I want to say really cannot be said.
I cannot sell it to you with words,
vagaries that only serve to further cloud
the intellect’s hazy understanding
of that which is incomprehensible…

And I see you are reaching for your device again.

Your fingers are itching to post a picture on Instagram,
type a response to a comment,
answer a text message.
Your eyes are wanting to read a remote friend’s status update,
or the five emails that just arrived in your inbox
or to count the number of likes on the picture you just posted.

Can you even feel your body anymore?
Just when did it come to this?

No, but wait!!!
Are you still there?

Okay, let’s try this then.
Let’s go into the woods
on a full moon night,
light a fire in a circle of stones.
Let someone take out an instrument,
play a beautiful song.
Let another dance without thinking,
just allowing the body to move the way it wants.
Let another sit with cupped hands,
gathering the moonlight to share with the fire.

And then in stillness,
let us watch the fire’s light
playing upon the faces of our companions
wordlessly soaking in this now moment.
Let the fire’s dying embers
remind us of this achingly real
temporal existence,
where tomorrow is never promised to us.

It is here in this place of simple being
that the deep core of existence
opens itself, gives itself completely to you.
When being comes to you in this way,
you have no choice but to surrender.

There is a voice of fear that speaks loudly.
It says, “What? No TV? No laptops, tablets, or cellphones?”
It panics, asking just how you will spend your time
without the modern luxuries
to which you’ve become accustomed.

If you look up at the stars shining
beyond the silhouettes of the wise old trees,
they will give you courage.
They ask nothing of you,
as they silently shine their light
from billions of miles away
just to delight your eyes for this split second.

They will remind you of your purpose,
and it has nothing to do with social media,
or tweeting, or hashtags,
the number of views,
followers,
connections,
or how much one can make on paid ads.

Are you courageous enough to live for a moment
completely unplugged?
Say yes, friend.
Put it all down and walk away.
Look into your own eyes
and see the ancient stars shining in their depths,
clouds of cosmic dust circling a spiral dance
into which the old ones die and
the new are reborn.

Walk to the moon with empty hands
Wearing the silver cloak of nothingness
Let the gates of your heart swing open
and diving into that vast space,
know the meaning of true connection.

Close your eyes and be,
for just one moment,
completely
unplugged.

A Few Thoughts About Successful Blogging

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When I was in the hazy stage between sleeping and waking this morning, I somehow managed to grab my phone and start reading emails; don’t ask me why I felt a need to do that first thing in the morning.  I came across an email announcing Bloglovin’s award winners for best travel blog, best fashion blog and such, and intrigued, I clicked on a link to view the blog of the woman designated as “blogger of the year.”  As I scrolled through her posts, I began to get the hunch that she is a model, and someone is following her around the world taking damn good pictures of her.  Then I read the “about” page.  Twenty years old.  Working with the highest of the high-end brands, a native of Switzerland, setting the standard for high quality modeling, traveling with her partner all around the world,  started her blog three years ago in a hotel room, never knew it would turn into this project, so grateful for the community that has sprung up around her blog…

Of course being nearly twice her age, a part of me started to feel a bit anxious, a bit envious, a bit disheartened as I viewed her gorgeous pictures with perfect lighting, hair, clothes, makeup.  I’m pretty sure that none of what I was feeling came from rational thinking.  We live in an ageist culture, so of course I’m going to feel unconsciously insecure around someone who is young, beautiful, and paid A LOT of money for being photographed alongside extremely expensive pens, watches, perfumes, clothing–someone who has the freedom to travel the entire globe doing any number of things that will probably never be accessible to me, and who seems to attract followers based on her “dreamy and luxuriant lifestyle” as it was described in her blog.

The realist in me was all, “Come on.  Whatever.  You have your life, she has hers.  You didn’t start your blog to win any awards, or to have millions of followers around the globe.  Try to celebrate her success without thinking that it detracts from your success in any way.”

And then I really got to thinking about our values as a world culture, how the people who have the most followers on social media like Instagram and Twitter are those who have the most visibility because of their celebrity status…pro sports players, pop stars, royalty in exotic countries, actors and actresses, and of course fashion models.  Are people following them precisely because they can share with the rest of the world a lifestyle that will never be accessible to most, giving their followers a glimpse into their every day lives, which are so dreamy in comparison to the every day of the majority of the population?  An invitation to fantasize, to believe that these “normal people” have some kind of real connection to the celebrities…

And I wondered how many people out there have what I consider to be blogs of infinitely deep substance, where they are exploring their inner landscape, viewing their lives through the lens of inquiry…and I wondered how many of these blogs I would never have the fortune to find because they are kept by those normal people out there who pass unnoticed on the street…

So I ask now, what is success when it comes to blogging?  The answer will be different for each person.  If I were to gauge my blog’s success by the number of followers, and then compare my blog to the one maintained by the “blogger of the year” I would certainly feel like a failure, because I have comparatively very few followers, like a fraction of a fraction of a percent of her followers.  Fortunately, the number of followers isn’t the true measure of success for me.

When I remind myself of my initial goal for this project, I can say from my deep center that this blog is a success.  All I wanted to do is write something every day, and I have.  I also wanted to explore and free up some of my latent creative energy, and I feel in my bones that this has, indeed, happened.  To have people actually read my words is a gift every time it happens.  Each time a person likes one of my posts, I feel like I’ve been given a hug.  And each time someone comments on one of my posts, I feel like I’ve won some kind of amazing prize.

Just out of curiosity, do you also get caught up periodically in thoughts about success and failure when it comes to blogging?  I’m thinking I’m not alone–being caught up in such dualistic thinking is a human tendency after all.  I welcome any thoughts you have on the subject–I’m very interested to hear your insights, your experiences.

Success must be defined by the individual, otherwise it is just an idea, or a burden, or a reason to feel resentful. I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who has contributed to my experience of blogging thus far, whether it be through your comments or likes or simply the time it took for you to read my words.  I’m so happy to be able to say that my blog is a success, and incredibly grateful to share this success with you!  Thank you for being a part of my life experience, friends.