If you’ve lost views recently due to loss of StumbleUpon, try Pinterest!

pin-it-button-transparent-download

StumbleUpon, which was bringing me an insane number of views every day (who knew it had that much influence?) recently folded and changed their name to “Mix.”  I don’t like Mix.  I find it confusing, impossible to understand or to use, not to mention the aggravation of creating a custom sharing icon for it.

Why are things that work perfectly well always getting “improved”?   If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!    It’s so frustrating and infuriating!

But I think I found a solution, or at least a partial solution.  I already had a Pinterest account from way back when I started this blog (or maybe even before?), but never used it and never bothered sharing anything to it.  Pinterest seemed kind of pointless as far as social media platforms go, just a bunch of pictures with links on them.   But really, that’s all SU ever was too.   Both are social media aggregators, not really social media sites in the same sense as Facebook or Twitter.

Okay, so since I’ve been sharing to Pinterest, my stats have improved. My views have gone back up.   Alright, fine, maybe they’re not as high as they were during the SU days, but definitely better than they were earlier this month.  My statistics page shows that after Google, Pinterest is now my second highest source for views.

I hope this helps some of you who have also experienced a drop in views and activity since the demise of SU.    It also helps that the Pinterest share button is included in the WordPress sharing buttons, so you don’t have to go to the trouble of creating a custom button for it.

 

Advertisements

Well, this is very surprising (and disappointing).

I was dismayed to check my stats this morning and find my views had suddenly dropped by more than half. Other bloggers have been saying the same thing has been happening to them since August 1. So it isn’t just that people have suddenly decided I have a terrible blog.

One of my first thoughts was that it’s the Trump regime’s net neutrality repeal going into effect, making it more difficult for people to access “small time” or controversial blogs. But apparently that isn’t the reason either.

I was just informed by another blogger that StumbleUpon has changed to something called Mix, and that the SU views probably have to do with the sudden dropoffs in viewers.

That’s surprising to me since I never thought SU had that much impact on blog visibility. I mean, it’s not Facebook or Twitter! But somehow, I must have been getting at least half my views through SU. I knew it had some impact, but I thought it was only a little bit.

I set up a new account at Mix but I had to do it through my Twitter account (it only gave me three choices: Facebook, Twitter or Google). I have no clue how to share my posts here to Mix, and there don’t seem to be any instructions on doing so. I don’t really understand how the site works or what its purpose is. I’m very disappointed and upset about all this.

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing (and hoping) that now that I set up a Mix account, since all my posts are automatically shared to Twitter, then Mix somehow picks them up on their site too. Is that how it works?

Arguing with Trumpists is exhausting.

 

liberaltears

I should know better than to argue with Trump supporters on Twitter or anywhere else. Several other people were involved in this thread. I have called them Person A, B, etc. The Trump supporter is called “Trumpist” and I’m just “ME.”  This is the kind of twisted logic we are up against.

Thread Starter: With Trump’s base showing strong preferences for authoritarianism, and continuing to support a serial predator of children [Roy Moore], it’s time to look this problem in its face. 1/ (first post in a long thread)

Trumpist: YOU are the ENEMY… you are the bad guy. Christians like me are fighting progressives like you with all our hearts. We just want to live with our traditional values without scum like you trying to push ‘progressive” bs on kids like my nephew. 😡😡😡😡

ME: Well fine but then why are you evangelicals trying to shove your religious agenda down OUR throats. And that is precisely what’s happening. To your side religious freedom only means the freedom to enforce your beliefs on everyone else.

Trumpist: because GOD wants you to inherit the Kingdom which is Heaven but you can not do that with this Progressive agenda. LGBT is a sin, coveting one’s neighbor is a sin=jealousy of the rich,

ME: First of all, I think you are wrong. My God doesn’t operate that way (and I *am* a Christian). Second of all, we have FREE WILL and should have the ability to choose our own eternal fate, not under the duress of theocrats and authoritarians who want complete control.

ME (continuing): Also we are not JEALOUS of the rich. We see a few billionaire oligarchs taking everything away from average people and actively TRYING to make our lives difficult. They have NO empathy. Most of them aren’t even Christians. The Kochs are atheists, FFS. Greed is IMMORAL.

ME (continuing): I suggest you read the Gospels, esp. the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew to see how Jesus actually expects Christians to behave. You guys are the false prophets we were warned about. Twisting Christianity to support your own selfish, immoral, sociopathic agenda.

ME (continuing): Coveting your neighbor? How about ROY MOORE coveting underage CHILDREN? And defending the rapist of a FOUR YEAR OLD? Huh? Explain how that squares with your hate filled brand of “Christianity.” The party of family values, my ass.

Person A (replying to Trumpist): so, you essentially want the same as ISIS then?

ME (to Person A): The dominionists do. They have much in common with ISIS and the Taliban, just substitute Islam with Christianity and it’s the same damn thing.

Person B (also replying to Trumpist): What values? Pedophilia?

Person A: If you want a fucking theocracy, go live in Iran or Saudi Arabia and leave this country alone. We have SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE HERE. If you don’t like it, get out. (accompanying ISIS/GOP comparison meme posted)

Person C: You most assuredly have this backwards. Christians like you are attempting to require non-believers, and other religions to live according to your values because you are afraid that your belief system is so weak that it cannot hold if kids are exposed to other ideals. 1/ (beginning of a new thread)

Person D: Hint: allowing other views to exist is not “pushing” them on you. It’s what is required for a free and democratic society. This tweet right here basically demonstrates the authoritarian instinct the thread us talking about.

Person E: Why are you fighting progress?

Person F: So, “traditional” values like bigotry, hatred and supporting pedophiles? Good luck with that. You disgrace Christianity with every word out of your mouth and Jesus rebukes you.

ME: I just retweeted that hideous reply from TRUMPIST because it’s a PERFECT example of what’s wrong with America. The theocrats and dominionists want complete control and apparently do not believe in FREE WILL.

TRUMPIST (replying to everyone): gays are wrong, period.  Killing babies is wrong, period. There isn’t anything wrong with praying in school. WRONG! We want those rich people to invest in America since they have the means, we don’t want war, some sense of morality in govt, what rights have women lost since the election?

ME: You really don’t get it, do you? I give up. Bye.

ME: (not replying to anyone in thread, which I left): Why am I wasting my day arguing with Trump supporters and religious nutcases? It’s an exercise in futility and exhausting af. Now I have to take a nap.

someoneiswrong

I slept for about 4 hours after that conversation and then spent the rest of the day feeling depressed and deflated, no energy at all.  It’s amazing the oxygen sucking effect these zealots have on us. Of course, it might be more emotionally draining to those of us who suffered narcissistic abuse and who find Trump (and his apologists) personally triggering.   We have to be careful to take breaks and replenish. But sometimes I wonder, how are we going to win when there are so many people (like a whole third of the country) who simply deny facts and who logic, reason, and even a simple sense of right and wrong simply doesn’t work on?

I think I’ve figured out their obstinacy. There are a great many people in the United States who WANT an authoritarian president, who WANT theocracy and WANT to be told exactly what to do. They WANT draconian laws for those groups of people they dislike. It satisfies their hatred and fear of those who aren’t like them.  They don’t even care if those same laws hurt them too (which they will).   As long as they get to see the people they hate suffer. 

I’ve heard far too many Trump supporters actually gloat about how they love to “trigger the liberals.” They don’t care how morally bankrupt a leader is, as long as he is upsetting or threatening the “Others” they don’t like (who they see as the real threat).   They joke about “liberal tears.”  There’s something sadistic and even sociopathic in this mindset, which is common in people with authoritarian personalities who are drawn to other authoritarian types.   Conversely, I don’t know any anti-Trumpists who enjoy upsetting or triggering Trump supporters.  In fact, most avoid it.   If we argue with them, we’re just trying to get through, for all the good that’s going to do.   You hope you at least planted a seed somewhere.   But sometimes it feels like scattering seeds into the Sahara Desert.

There are also many people who find thinking for themselves and making their own life choices simply too stressful and/or challenging, so they prefer an authoritarian father figure who tells them exactly what to do and thereby removes the burden of having to make too many choices or do their own thinking.  It’s also people like this who are attracted to authoritarian leaders and authoritarian religions.  It’s actually comforting to them.   These people may have problems with codependency and don’t realize it.

*****

Further reading:

My Twitter Debate With a Trump Supporter

I also just read this peripherally-related, but VERY important, article about the death of Christianity in America.   At first I thought it was just another brainless screed from the evangelical far right, but it’s actually a very well thought out essay about how the alliance between the evangelicals and the far right is actually destroying real Christianity in our country.  The evangelical excuses (bordering on idolatry) for Donald Trump and now their defense of a child molester and sexual predator like Roy Moore is the end-game, at least for Christian evangelism.  They have sold their souls for political gain and power.

The Death of Christianity in the U.S. (Baptist News Global)

Why I’m no longer going to troll-tweet Donald Trump.

trolltrump

Since Donald Trump won the election, one of my favorite pastimes has been trolling him on his favorite social media platform, Twitter.    It’s a lot of fun dreaming up snappy and sarcastic counter-insults to his constant stream of inappropriate, crass, self-centered, angry, and fear-mongering tweets.  It’s even more fun when strangers Like them or retweet them to their followers.   I won’t lie — I get a little boost of self-esteem from that, and even though I know Donald Trump will probably never see the insults I send him, knowing others do and agree with me makes me feel a little, well, vindicated.   It also relieves the existential stress of his presidency just a little.

But troll-tweeting Donald Trump all the time is like shouting into an echo chamber.  It’s as useless as mindlessly switching channels on the remote control.   It isn’t going to change any minds or make anyone think.  It isn’t going to inspire or enlighten anyone.  In fact, sending Trump insults on a daily basis is really displaying exactly the same sort of hateful rhetoric the far right seems to have in excess — and which I’ve been seeing more of on the left too.

America is more polarized than I’ve ever seen it, maybe even since the Civil War.  We seem divided beyond repair.   The comments sections of political articles are war-zones and getting worse by the day.  Like slowing down to gape at a car wreck, I don’t want to see all the verbal bloodletting — but I can’t help myself.   I have to look.   What I see is sickening and scary.   All that hate is soul-eroding.   I don’t want to be a part of that anymore.

Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies and turn the other cheek.  By that, he didn’t mean that we have to put up with hateful rhetoric, bullying, name-calling, and aggressive behavior.   It doesn’t mean we have to submit to forces that go against our most deeply held beliefs and morals.  Far from it!  What I think he meant is that we have to fight our enemies a different way — by trying to muster up some empathy, a quality their side seems to have very little of these days.   Narcissism with its accompanying lack of empathy and sense of entitlement is exactly what got our nation into the sorry mess it’s in now.   It’s our national disease and maybe that’s why everyone is so obsessed with narcissism lately.  Trump is merely the mirror forcing us to look at ourselves, and the reflection is ugly and painful.    His presidency is the logical conclusion of where we’ve been headed as a nation for 40 years.   We finally hit our bottom.  We got exactly what we deserved.

But it’s not hopeless.

I think the antidote is for those of us who are willing or able to try to counteract that by showing exactly the qualities that are held in such low esteem these days.   We need to stop fighting fire with fire — and maybe with water instead.  Try to understand, even if we do not agree.   It might take a long time, but at least it’s a beginning.

This doesn’t mean enabling those who wish to destroy us or our democracy.  God, no.  But it does mean realizing the far-right hate-mongers are angry and scared. They’re acting out the way they do because they are are so afraid of everything outside their own warped reality.   We should pity them instead of hating them.

They fear their savior will be revealed soon as the fraud, criminal and charlatan he really is.   That’s why they’re lashing out at resisters now with extra vehemence and rage, even threatening to start Civil War II on his behalf (if you doubt me on this, type #civilwar on Twitter.  There may be civil war.  Some of them are talking about forming militias.   I don’t know how serious these threats are.  But I do know that with the external threats we’re facing right now with North Korea and China, the last thing we need is a civil war.  We can’t stay strong against outside enemies if we’re weak from within, and right now, we are ready to shatter like a cheap wine glass.

Trump is encouraging his far right supporters to act the way they do because he is terrified of being indicted.   He is acting very guilty — and he very likely is guilty.  His aggressive behavior at his rallies and hate-mongering  is intended to distract from Russia and his other probable illegal activities and scare us into submission.

We can’t submit to Trump or his supporters because that’s what they want from us.   They want us to fear them as much as they fear the truth.   If we back down, they will win.  That cannot happen!   But at the same time, we also shouldn’t fight them back using their weapon of hatred either.   We should lead by example and show them there’s a better way — a way out of the darkness that will bring us back together as a nation again.

Remember those WWJD bracelets that were so popular back in the ’90s?   Those days seem very far away now.   I wish more Christians tried to act like Jesus, but so many now preach values that are the polar opposite of what he taught.

So I like to pretend I’m back in the 1990s and ask myself, “what would Jesus do?”

I’m sure he wouldn’t troll-tweet Donald Trump.

When I started this blog, I wrote mostly about narcissistic abuse. I was enraged at the narcissists who had tried — but failed — to kill my soul.   In the early days, I wrote blog posts filled with rage and hatred toward narcissists, but eventually I moved away from that.  I went through a phase where I tried to understand their way of thinking instead (which enraged some other narc-abuse bloggers) but that was the only way I could begin to see my own narcissism and how it was holding me back.    I’ve been working on that and trying to become a better person.   I feel like it’s working, and now I’m ready for bigger things.

In a way I feel like I’m going through that process again.   I’m past hating on Trump and his supporters.   It’s time to move on.   There’s too much hate in the world.  Why add to it?

So, I decided I’m not going to troll-tweet Trump anymore even though it’s fun, sometimes ego-boosting,  and relieves stress.   I will keep on sharing relevant articles, studies, memes, and blog posts that state what I believe is the truth.  But even more importantly, I’m going to pray that some people on the other side may be cured of their truth-blindness.   In fact, I’m already doing that.  That’s the best way we can love our enemies.

People who Capitalize random Words for no Reason.

randomcapitalwords

I’ve noticed something a lot of people do on social media: capitalizing random words.   There doesn’t seem to be a reason for these words to be capitalized since they are not proper names, place names, or titles.   The people who write sentences containing randomly capitalized words seem educated and intelligent otherwise, so I wonder if it’s just some new Meme or trend that’s circulating the web.  (See what I did there?)

Many people find the random capitalization annoying, and I can understand why, especially if you’re one of those sticklers for grammar (the politically incorrect term is Grammar Nazis).    I appreciate good grammar, but I don’t consider myself a grammar nazi.    When it comes to these Randomly capitalized Words, I find it amusing, even hilarious. I really don’t know why.   Perhaps it’s the silliness of capitalizing an Unimportant Word that I find so incongruous and therefore funny.   After all, humor always arises from the unexpected.

johngreenquote

Examples I have seen lately:

My weimeraner* dog tried to eat my Cat.

The Russian Mob that has overtaken the white house* needs to be rounded up and sent to Siberia.   (*aside here:  another thing I’ve noticed is people NOT capitalizing words that SHOULD be capitalized, and that seems deliberate too).

My therapist tried to put me on Crazy Pills but I refused and walked out.   (is ‘Crazy Pills’ a new brand name? Should I ask my Doctor if they are right for me?)

My wife just purchased a Shit ton of new Throw Pillows.  What are they good for, except throwing around because they’re always in the way.

I don’t understand why so many people want to act like Sociopaths, like it’s Cool or something?

I have to admit, I’ve been Guilty of capitalizing Random words myself, just because I think it’s Funny and I always wonder if anyone will Notice.

Here’s a thread from the Straight Dope Message Board that delves more deeply into the phenomenon:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=355786

How do you feel about people capitalizing random words?

My Twitter debate with a Trump supporter.

debate

I had an interesting evening on Twitter last night.  I’d tweeted to Bernie Sanders about something he had said about single payer healthcare, and soon got into it with a Trump supporter, who seemed belligerent at first.  It started off with this comment:

Medicaid is evil. It takes money from some who rightfully earned it to give to someone who didn’t. #freemarket#FullRepeal#capitalism

I refuted this tweet hotly, and before long, me and this guy were engaged in a heated debate that went on for over two hours and ran into hundreds of tweets.

I rarely enjoy debate, and I’m not the type to try to convince people to change their views.   I’ve never liked confrontation.  Perhaps that’s due to my lack of self-confidence.  I’d rather try to change minds by writing a blog post, even though it’s more likely all my anti-Trump posts fall into an echo chamber of other people who agree with me.   Many people who disagree with my political beliefs on my blogs tend to be too aggressive, so I usually either delete their comments if they resort to personal attacks or general abusiveness, or just let them stand without replying if I do approve them.  The safe echo chamber of yea-sayers is a lot more comfortable for me than a pitchfork-carrying army of scary nay-sayers.

Verbal political discourse and debate just aren’t my thing and I feel like it’s not what I’m strong at, even when I’m sure I have my facts straight and am certain my view is the correct one.  I’m the sort of person who likes to “live and let live.”  If you support Trump and his policies, I’m far more likely to accept that and ignore you than to argue with you.

But last night was different.  I stepped out of character and engaged in a heated debate with this Trump supporter for two hours.  Not only that, but I also had fun doing it.   Although the conversation was heated, neither of us resorted to name-calling or personal attacks.    I felt like my brain was working at its highest capacity and I was able to come back at him with snappy and factual refutations to all of his (what I thought of as) lame excuses for his wrongheaded beliefs.

Engaging with this Trump supporter was fun, but still exhausting.    His tweets came faster than I could keep up with and finally my brain began to slow down.   He wasn’t going to change his mind; he just wanted a debate, which is something I find unusual in Trump supporters.   He wasn’t a complete idiot, but for moral reasons I disagree with his no-government libertarian viewpoints, even if his rationale made a type of sense, and I told him this.  He seemed to respect my right to feel morally offended by his beliefs but he stuck by his guns.

What I did find interesting was that after awhile, there were long silences from him before he’d tweet his next refutation to something I’d said.  I took those silences to mean he was thinking about what I’d said, especially since his arguments became weaker over time (or at least it seemed that way).   I don’t know whether I planted a seed in his mind or not, but I decided at that point I’d had enough and told him I had to run.  I also thanked him for his time, saying I appreciated the fact he engaged in real debate without resorting to insults or aggressive rhetoric.   He responded in kind and said he looked forward to a future debate.

When I checked my Twitter account this morning, there were several more tweets from him, replying to other things I had said.  Seems like he wants more, but I’m not sure I’m ready right now.

This was a lesson to me that not all Trump supporters are idiots who can’t engage in intelligent debate or don’t want to have their minds challenged.    It’s never a good idea to resort to stereotype, because there are always exceptions.

The last thing he said to me last night was to suggest a conservative book he had read that he thinks will change my mind (I doubt I’ll read it).   Hey, at least he reads.  I told him I hoped he’d think about some of the things I’d said.   Who knows, maybe he will.

I feel like this experience was a boost to my self esteem.

If Facebook was real life.

facebook_horror

I’m sitting in a group therapy session for people with complex PTSD and other problems caused by childhood trauma, telling the group about the chain of events that led to my becoming the family blacksheep.   Tears trickle down my cheeks as I relate how victimized I felt by my family.  The two people on either side of me reach out to touch my shoulders.   I feel the beginning of connection, of a sense of belonging and community I never had at home, or anyplace at all.    I feel safe in this place.  I feel like my secrets will never go beyond the confines of this room.   Outside, the world may be dangerous and unfriendly, swarming with treacherous and cold-hearted people who wish me ill, but inside these walls, I feel welcomed and loved.

Suddenly the door opens.   It’s my niece, who I’ve met exactly three times in my life.  I haven’t seen her since she was a little girl.   She’s armed with an album of photos of her latest vacation and the big party the extended family threw for her on the birth of her latest child.  I wasn’t invited to this party.   She walks over to me and starts shoving the the pictures in my face, making me look.    I politely shuffle through the stack, then hand them back to her.  I feel violated and envious.  “Do you like them?” she demands.  She won’t leave until I say I do.  Apparently satisfied, she leaves.

Then someone I barely know from an old job walks in the room.  He tells me his business has really started taking off and he’s raking in so much money he is having a custom vacation home built right on the beach.   He shows me pictures of the house-in-progress he and his gorgeous new wife are building.  “Oh, yes, and we just found out she’s pregnant–with twins!” he crows.  Finally, he leaves.   I turn toward the group, ready to apologize for the rude intrusion.

But I never have a chance, because then my daughter’s  BFF from her middle school days bursts through the door, crying and cussing because her babydaddy is back on drugs and hasn’t payed child support in over a year.    My polite but sympathetic nods constitute a “Like” and satisfied with that, she leaves.   My boundaries feel like they’re under siege by this point.  I turn back toward the group, but am interrupted again.

Some stranger walks in and shoves a piece of paper at me.  I look down at it,  It’s a test called  “Which Celebrity Pet Do You Look The Most Like?”  Annoyed, I crumple it up and toss it on the floor.

A guy I’ve never seen before but who calls me “Friend”  invites me to play a game.   He starts tossing game cards at me, which contain pictures of things like barrels of apples, litters of piglets, bushels of wheat, and clucking hens.

Stop, please!  I want this room to be my sanctuary again.   I feel inhibited and self conscious now, because at any moment some random person from my past, a random relative, someone from an old job, or an old classmate might invade the room again, crashing over my boundaries.  No place is safe.

I have one more visitor.    My mother enters the room, fixes me with a penetrating stare, and tells me she heard everything I said about her in this room before all the interruptions started.    I feel like the floor just dropped out from under me, leaving me stranded in mid-air.   I stare at my mother.  Her eyes are opaque and unreadable, but her small, knowing smirk tells me everything I need to know.

6 ways the 1990’s were more like the ’60s than they are like today.

time-internet-1994
Time magazine cover from 1994.

It may not seem like it, but the 1990s are now a really, really long time ago.   I was gobsmacked one day not long ago when I realized the year my son was born (1991) is exactly halfway between 2016 and 1966!   1991 only seems like yesterday, while 1966 seems like it might have been a thousand years ago.   Of course, time does seem to speed up the older you get (I was just a little kid in ’66), but the chunk of time between ’66 and ’91 seems light years longer than the same chunk of time between ’91 and today.  What the hell is going on?!

In some ways, the 1990’s don’t seem much different than today.  The fashions haven’t changed all that much, women in the workplace was a given, computers and video games were around (even if they were clunky and primitive) so that decade still seems fairly “modern.”   But not really! In actuality, things have changed so fast in the last two decades (technology especially) that the 1990s really more closely resemble the 1960s than they resemble the mid-late 2010’s.    Here are six ways they do.

1. There was no (well, hardly any) Internet.

dialup2

Not for most of the decade anyway.  The Internet actually existed as early as 1969, and was called Arpanet back then. It was used only by the Department of Defense and by university employees and scientists working for the government.    Yes, there was email in the 1970s too.  But no one else had access to the ‘net and probably wouldn’t have wanted it since it was so much more complicated to use in those days.  During the ’80s, computers became ubiquitous, but it wasn’t until the late 1980’s that Windows began to replace DOS, making computing a lot easier and more fun.  In 1991, the World Wide Web went public, but it didn’t really catch on until the mid-late ’90s.   I remember a lot of people dismissed the Internet as a “fad” back in those days.   And of course, at first, there wasn’t much on it so it wasn’t the time consuming addiction it is today.   Few people had Internet until the last years of the decade, and of course there was no social media, so people got their news and gossip the old fashioned way–by reading newspapers, watching the news, or making a phone call.    We were all still isolated from each other.  It would be unheard of to chat in real time with someone in, say, the Phillippines.

2. People still relied on land-lines, pay phones, and called long distance.

payphone

There was no social media, the first cell phones were clunky, inefficient, expensive affairs called “car phones,”  and the closest thing to texting was something called a pager–where you still had to find a land line or phone booth to contact whoever paged you.   People still worried about their long-distance bills.  Although Mama Bell had already given birth to her five “babies,”  Bell Telephone still had a monopoly on the phone industry.  When you set up phone service, you were given a Bell phone rather than buying a phone from a myriad of manufacturers because they didn’t exist yet.   Pay phones were still on every corner and in front of every gas station and grocery store, and if you did have Internet,   you had to sign off in order to make a phone call. You could actually have a conversation with someone without them suddenly having to interrupt you to “take a call.”

3. Kids still played outside.

Group of children running together

Yes, there were computer and video games and Game Boys and cable TV, which tended to keep kids inside more than in earlier decades,  but there was a lot less to do than there is today.   The games were pretty primitive and didn’t have great graphics and were a lot simpler–not as many “levels” you could achieve.  You also couldn’t play games over the Internet with other users or chat with kids in other states or countries.     Although parents were more anxious about letting their kids out to play unsupervised than they had been in earlier decades, kids did still play outside when they grew bored with the limited technological activities at home.

4. The economy was booming and it was easy to find a good job.

job_application

Whether you loved Bill Clinton or hated him, you gotta admit he got the economy going and in a big way too.   Jobs were everywhere, and they weren’t all low wage service jobs like they are today.  Companies still cared about their employees, encouraged employee growth, and offered good health insurance and other benefits, generous vacation time, and even time and a half pay for hourly workers who worked overtime.   There were lots of start up companies, and although many of them (the Dot Com boom) went bankrupt later, there was always a job to be found.  You also didn’t have to apply for a job online only to have your email or online application never even seen by anyone.  In those days, you could still walk into a place and ask for a written application, and sometimes even see a manager that same day.   It still wasn’t a rarity to lose or leave one job but be able to find a new job the next day, and sometimes a better one.

One other thing–you weren’t likely to be “profiled” and have background checks run on you the way you are today.

5. People still listened to rock music on the radio and bought “records.”

radio

The ’90’s is thought by many to be one of the best decades for rock music.   Grunge got its start in the early ’90s, but there were plenty of other new rock and pop genres being played too–and you could hear all of it on most radio stations that played music.   Deejays were still allowed to play what they wanted, rather than playing only what corporate executives told them to play, and there was a lot more variety in the kinds of music being played.   Today, if you listen to the radio at all, you’ll hear the same 10 songs played in rotation, and those 10 songs all sound pretty much the same.  Although there’s still rock music being made, it doesn’t get airplay on commercial radio.  You have to find a local indie station or go to Youtube or Sirius for that.   Also, people still bought their music in tangible form. Okay, they were CD’s rather than LPs, but it was still something you bought in a store and could hold in your hand and have the pleasure of peeling off the cellophane.

6. People still read magazines, newspapers, and books.

newsstand

Magazine, paper, and book sales have plummeted, due to Internet “magazines” and websites and digital readers like Kindle. Sure, there are book purists and books may never really go away because there’s nothing like the smell and feel of a book, but magazines? I could see them going the way of 8 Track Tapes in the not too distant future. What will we do in waiting rooms when that happens? Play on our phones, I guess.

Can you think of any other ways the ’90’s resembled the 1960’s more than today?

I should stay the hell off Facebook.

thanks_bitch

I’ve hated Facebook for a long time, and last night reminded me of one of the biggest reasons why.   My mother’s entire side of the family is on Facebook, and of course I just *had* to go look at their profiles and see what everyone is up to.   I don’t know why I do that, since every time I do, I’m always blindsided by a tidal wave of envy.  Last night was no exception.

A niece, who is twenty years younger than I am, appears to have a storybook life, at least the way she presents herself on Facebook.  She appears to have all the following going for her: She is happily married, her adorable  husband just opened a high-end restaurant to rave reviews, they just finished building a house near the ocean, she gave birth to a third perfect child a few months ago (natural childbirth, of course), her children are disgustingly beautiful, she always looks fit and well put together, she always looks ecstatic in her photos, and she gets a ton of comments–like hundreds of comments from their scads of friends and of course the extended family–telling her how beautiful and perfect she and her family and everything else are.  Oh, and they just got back from a vacation too.  She has the love and acceptance of my mother and all of her extended family.  And she’s not alone.  Everyone else on that side of the family seems to have a perfect life too.   I always imagine (and probably imagine correctly) that they all look down on me.

Do I sound envious?  I guess you could say I am.   I don’t have the sort of happy, successful, perfect, monied life my mother and her extended family value.  Because I “failed,” I’ve been devalued and am seen as an embarrassment and source of shame, which is the real reason why I’m never invited to any family functions, not that I’d go anyway.   The sad thing is, as the family scapegoat, I was set up to be the family black sheep and never be able to have a life like that.

I need to quit Facebook.  I really hate it.  All that perfection makes me want to HURL!

Using StumbleUpon to boost your traffic.

stumbleupon_Logo (1)

About a month ago, at the suggestion of another blogger,  I added a Stumble Upon sharing button to this blog.  This blogger said they got a huge upsurge in traffic just from sharing on StumbleUpon.  I didn’t believe it though.  I never thought of SU as being one of the “big” social media sites, but apparently it’s a bigger player than you think.

stumble

My  “trending pages” from StumbleUpon.

 

WordPress used to make the SU sharing icon available, but discontinued it for some stupid reason last year.  But it’s possible to make your own custom sharing button, which is what I did.   You can do this by saving the SU icon to your media file and resizing it, and then go to Sharing –> Custom Sharing and following the instructions there.  Now I “stumble” all my posts, as well as sharing to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google +, and LinkedIn.   And I have to say, my blogger friend was right.  I’m actually getting the most activity from StumbleUpon.  It’s actually trumping Facebook and Twitter for views.   Don’t believe me?  Here are my “referrer” stats from today:

 

stumble2