I was futzing around with my teenager’s laptop a few days ago, trying to figure out how something worked, when I made the most exaggerated face that I could. What I didn’t know was that my daughter was in the room, her iPhone at the ready, waiting for an opportunity of some kind. And I–quite unknowingly–obliged her in that regard.
Since this goofy picture is already on her Instagram page, I decided to have some fun with it, too. The eyes that I’m focusing on the screen are too crazy to be ignored, and so I’m sharing them with the world, instead.
I don’t usually look like this. In fact, I’ll probably never look like this again. But rather than being embarrassed about this shot, I’m sending it out to whatever part of the online world happens upon it. I’m helping this image to live forever in cyberspace.
I won’t live forever but, by doing this, my exaggerated visage will. And for some reason I like that idea.
Baseball has been a big part of my life since the mid-1970s, which is as far back as I can remember anything. Twitter, on the other hand, has been in my life for just a few years. What better way to fuse the old and the new but to write about the two subjects together? That what I did, and the result is published today on ChicagoSideSports.
I’m at the point in life where Twitter seems like a fault line to me. People who don’t tweet, and have no interest in doing so, aren’t really getting social media, in my estimation. Tweets and those who send and read them are newsworthy anymore, and Facebook–while I actually know all of the people I’m friends with there–seems more and more limiting as time goes by. I’m not cool enough for Reddit yet, and some of the other media outlets (Instagram, Tumblr, and even Vine nowadays) don’t hold much interest for me yet. But when I want to learn new things online, Twitter is increasingly where I go.
MLB‘s teams have a lot of room to grow in this regard. And if this piece helps to point that out, that’s a good thing in my book.
Image stolen from The Oatmeal, which never fails to make me laugh
A piece I wrote earlier today about a sunrise and a handshake with my younger daughter has had several people indicate that they Like it. I don’t use quotes around the word, although that’s the way some people probably write it out. Rather than doing that, which seems to qualify the word in some way, I choose to capitalize it instead. That suggests an amplification, which is how I’d rather think of these things.
I never have, and I never will, write anything solely for the purpose of having anyone Like it. My teen-aged daughter sometimes posts things on Instagram or Facebook, and then complains about how many Likes it gets (or doesn’t get, to be more precise). Whenever you set an expectation that dozens of people are going to respond a certain way to anything you do–especially when that something is found on the internet–you’re just asking to be disappointed. At least, that’s my experience.
Likes are the online equivalent of applause; It expresses approval of something, and it’s completely voluntary as to whether or not it’s offered. It’s very gratifying and humbling–and always welcomed in this section of the digital universe–but it’s never expected. I write these things to capture a moment or preserve a thought before it goes away, but if someone happens across it and appreciates it, that’s just fine with me.
Some of the people who Like something I wrote have gone so far as to Follow my blog (again, I’m capitalizing the word, instead of using quotes around it). And that’s even better, since it tells someone–and in this case it’s me–that other things presented in this space might also be worth looking at. Again, it’s completely free and voluntary, and it’s not the reason that anything ever appears here. But it’s also very humbling, and I’m grateful every time it occurs.
To anyone who’s ever Liked something I wrote here, or decided to Follow whatever I might present here in the future, thank you. I’m happy you’re along for the ride.