Tag Archives: life

The Lost Art of Being Thankful

I told a friend of mine the other day that I wanted to bring back the lost art of letter writing. I admit, I am guilty of sometimes just sending a thank you text. If truth be told, I probably am also guilty of thinking I have thanked someone when I probably thought about sending them a text, but I was in the car, and then when I got home my children were acting crazy, and then it was too late at night, and then it was too early in the morning, and then I just totally thought I had done it, but I did not really do it; so in essence I had not adequately shown my gratitude. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the one that is so busy with life that I don’t stop to appreciate the people and things that make life worthwhile.

Recently, a man in my hometown, who I used to work with but rarely see, stopped by Southern Charm and brought me a cup of coffee. It was so thoughtful and unexpected. I sent my mom a text, “Billy Houston just brought me a cup of coffee. How about that?” Oh, I thought about texting him and saying thanks, but I wasn’t sure if I had his number, or if he texted, or blah blah blah. A week or so later, he brought me another cup of coffee. And it was on a day that I really needed a lift. Text to mom: “Billy Houston just brought me another cup of coffee. What the hell? How awesome is that?” That night, I decided I must send a written thank you note. When I got home, I decided that I couldn’t send him a note on my Barbie stationary (although I did send a note to a local pastor and his wife on a Barbie card and they found it endearing, or so they indicated), but I vowed to send a note the next day. When I got to work, I pulled a card out of my stash under the counter, wrote him a note, luckily ran into his daughter who told me he had a PO Box and gave me the correct address, put a stamp on the envelope, and managed to even get the envelope into the mailbox at the post office. Boom. Mission accomplished.

Why is this important? Because when people go out of their way to show someone kindness, they do it because they want to; not because they have to. And because the minute we stop doing random acts of kindness or we stop appreciating these moments of humanity, we become empty vessels. The people who show kindness do so to bring others joy. But if they are never thanked, or at least acknowledged, their light begins to dim. It sparks a chain reaction that lessens their desire to do for others. Then before you know it, we are all just a bunch of self-centered asshats who can’t see the needs of others and don’t care to reach out even if we could.

Last week I got a lovely hand written thank you note from Haley Ates. This didn’t really shock me. Her mama is an English teacher and obviously raised her right. (In case her mama sees this, yes, I know you rear children and don’t raise them, but whatever, I think reared sounds weird. Blame it on rap music.) Not to mention she is young and engaged and more than likely trying to use up all of her stationary so she can get some new cards with her new last name printed on them. But this week I got a hand written thank you note from a man. Not only a man, from a football coach. And it arrived within a week of the event for which he was thanking me. I don’t want to act like an athletic man is less likely to hand write a personal thank you note, but in my opinion, and man is less likely to hand write a personal thank you note.

The impression this left on me wasn’t that Haley and Coach Moore are a crazy rare breed of humans who know how to hold a pencil and lick an envelope. It let me know that they are humble people of gratitude. The impact of these notes was a reaffirmation of my need to not only continue showing others, whether friends or strangers, that I care about them through small tangible acts or tokens of kindness, but to also take the time to truly thank those who show kindness to me. I needed this reminder. It’s often easier to anonymously pay for a policeman’s lunch, or (my favorite) buy the blue-collar old man’s single can of beer at the gas station after he has gotten off from an obviously long workday, than it is to thank the people who are closest to us who do so much for us every single day.

By the way, a great random act of kindness is a hand written note. Feel free to help me bring back the lost art of letter writing or to steadfastly show small kindness to others by commenting or messaging me your mailing address, or the mailing address of someone you know who may appreciate the kindness of a stranger. I’m not saying I’m going to mail you a Barbie card before the weekend is over. I mean I’ve got wine to drink and this DVR isn’t going to watch itself. But it will give me a database, if you will, of people to share life with over the course of the year.

I think I’m going start by mailing a card to my mom. She lives next door to me, but I bet she would like to read my words of appreciation instead of hearing me casually calling, “Thanks!” over my shoulder as I walk across the yard carrying a can of Fresca or masking tape or whatever item I’ve borrowed that I will never return. And to whomever is reading this… hey, thanks.

moore-thank-card

Advertisements

Emojis and the Rapid Decline of Personal Relationships

I read an article today about people who were born before 1985, and how these people will be the last to know what life was like both before and after the internet. It was not a commentary on the internet being bad or anything like that. It is just that life after the interest is different than what it used to be. This got me thinking about life before texting.

I have frequent conversations with my friend, Terry, about different happenings in this world, specifically in large cities in America, where common sense and appreciation for human life seem to be lacking. We discuss how the cycle can never be broken until a generation is taught and believes that all life has value and  this generation lives in such a way that they relay this message to their children. I’m not going to make a leap and blame that on the internet, but I do think that the age in which we live makes it more difficult to have personal relationships.

It is easy to be anonymous behind the security of a keyboard, and it is even easier to form “friendships” through social media with people whom we have never met. These things are catalysts for discovery, freedom of speech, networking, business, the list goes on and on. Much good comes from the ease of electronic communication. But much is also lost. Many people whom I wish would read my opinions on this matter have already tuned out by now. It seems even a Facebook post that is long enough to warrant a hyperlink in order to “see more” is a post that is too long for a millennial to read. A post with a link to a blog that contains nothing but words instead of a photo based source of information with mere captions beneath is certainly not of interest.

No one wants to talk to anyone anymore. I’m not sure why they even call cellphones phones. I know very few people who actually use them to make phone calls. I get it. A text is simple and easy and fast. But a text really isn’t that important. I called my dad once and asked him if he got a text from me to which he had not yet responded. He told me that he heard his phone indicate a text had been delivered, but that he was in the middle of something and had not checked it. I was incensed. What if it had been an emergency? He calmly answered that people dying on the side of the road don’t text someone, they call someone. Well, alright.

The worst is when someone sends you a question via text and the answer isn’t that simple, and you are driving. So you dial their number and call them, but they do not answer. You just sent me a text! I know you are there! Answer the phone! Nope. Nothing. Fine. Google your own damn answer if you can’t exert enough effort to answer my call. How about the person who sends you a slightly critical text but they put LOL or the wink face emoji at the end of it? “Saw you across the parking lot. Wearing leggings as pants I see. Wink face emoji.” Is that supposed to soften the blow? Does the wink face mean that you did not just call me out for not taking the time or effort to change out of what I slept in before I went to the Piggly Wiggly to get wine? Between the blow softening emojis and the chronic call decliners, I’ve had just about enough of cellular technology.

The good news is I still have three friends who will always answer my call. They are my Tribe. We can text each other, too, but we make time to have actual conversations with each other. As Trish would say, we “connect.” Trish isn’t the leader of the Tribe, but she is the resident cheerleader. Trish is a management consultant. I used to think she always wanted to make things all about me, listen to how I was really doing, and know what I really thought about things because she was always “on.” But I realized that she doesn’t have this personality because she is a management consultant, she is a management consultant because she has this personality. We don’t make plans to meet up for dinner, we make plans to connect. We don’t talk about the weather, or what the girl in the grocery line in front of us had on; we talk about what we are doing that brings us fulfillment or how we need to better ourselves so that we can mentor others. It sounds exhausting, but trust me, it’s empowering.

Terry is the member of my Tribe who keeps us all grounded. She owns her own business, and has an adult child with special needs. She isn’t a complainer, she is a doer.When we met, we were total polar opposites politically and religiously. Over the years she has morphed into this completely different person who, somehow magically, is still totally the same as she ever was. It’s probably odd that we constantly discuss politics and religion, considering those are two topics I find it better not to discuss. She does her best to keep us all healthy, or at least aware of what oil, seed, or nutrient we should be consuming mass quantities of at any given time. She owns a coffee shop, although she doesn’t drink coffee. She also cares for a handful of progressively ill and elderly dogs. The more messed up they are, the more she seems to love them. Maybe she feels this way about people, too. Who knows? Maybe that’s why she likes me so much.

Becky is a successful career person in the medical field. She has two enchantingly obnoxious daughters and one ridiculously perfect boyfriend whom she annoyingly refers to as the most handsome man in the world. Don’t get me wrong, the man is handsome, but some of us (me) aren’t in a relationship and get tired of hearing about how good looking her man is. It’s like if you’re on a diet and your friend is in the back seat eating a dozen doughnuts. You know doughnuts are good. You’ve had a doughnut before. But you don’t have a doughnut right now, so you really don’t need her describing how great the warm, soft, glazed rings of deliciousness are while you’re in the front seat sucking on a celery stalk. Becky is the member of my Tribe who brings the fun factor. You never know where a night with Becky might lead, but like I said, she has a really good job, so she can afford the bail money.

As for me, I’m not sure what I contribute to the Tribe. But like the others, I stay pretty busy. I own my own business and am a single mother to two teenagers. I have a very active relationship with the Real Housewives of Orange County, New York, and New Jersey; and in a month or so, I will have an insatiable relationship with the Hallmark Channel as they begin to air their completely unrealistic, romantic, Christmas movies. So it’s easy to say that the four of us are all very busy people. The thing is, we make time for each other. We put forth effort – and it takes some serious effort – to arrange time to connect with each other. Trish is constantly flying all over the world, Terry has the shop and Bobby and the messed up dogs, Becky has her job and girls and the most handsome man in the world, and I’ve got my work, my kids, and a DVR that’s 89% full; not to mention, we don’t even all live in the same town. But we carve moments out of our busy schedules to talk on the phone and to connect in person on a regular basis.

The end result of this is a strong network of support and love that any one of us can lean on at any time. I can pick up the phone and make a call and one of these women will answer my call. I can’t say that about the other 959 contacts in my phone. I mean, my parents usually answer, but hell, my own damn kids don’t answer me half of the time. But if I text them, they will get back to me. They might even send me a kissy face emoji, or the little pile of poo emoji.

The article I was reading was actually about a book that delves into what it feels like to be the last generation to remember what it was like to live before the internet, and the author relays that the  book mentions something called Analog August where people unplug for a month and get back to the basics. Yeah, that’s not really realistic, but stepping away from the trappings of social media is. I love Facebook, but it’s not my singular means of communication with the world, and it certainly isn’t my means of finding my self worth. Maybe we all just need to open our eyes a little. Maybe we should use one of our fingers to dial a friend to chat and do a little less texting. It’s great to have opposable  thumbs, but maybe there is a better way to forge meaningful relationships other than tapping them on a tiny little screen. You know, if we actually talked to each other, really talked about things that are several layers below the surface, maybe the next generation could start to imagine what life was like before the internet. Or we could just keep on using acronyms and emojis to quickly brief each other on the mundane things in our day that have nothing to do with the people who we really are. Single tear sad face emoji.

 

Here is the link to the article: http://qz.com/252456/what-it-feels-like-to-be-the-last-generation-to-remember-life-before-the-internet/?utm_source=parWD&mbid=social_fb

 

Love, Small Screen Style

One of our kids is going to be President. Maybe not my kid or your kid, but one of their friends, or Instagram followers, or someone they met at football camp will become the President of the United States one day. This should scare the crap out of you.

Do you follow your kid on Instagram? What about Snapchat? Don’t worry about Facebook, that’s for old people (like me). Do you follow their friends? I do. And it is eye-opening. My youngest son is a mess and he posts silly things that make me roll my eyes. His friends send me snapchats of themselves with goofy faces and I send them back. I double tap their Instagram photos from time to time. Sometimes I will comment about how pretty they look or that I am proud of them. The other 90% of the time I am mortified.

Studies have shown that so many online relationships result in marriage because 1) the people on dating sites are serious about having a relationship and 2) relationships formed and developed over the internet escalate faster that traditional dating relationships. There is a boldness fostered by the the computer screen. There is a disconnect that makes it easier to share opinions, reach out, flirt, bully, etc. Couple this with the trend of selfie-taking, self-centered young people who are all but attached to their electronic devises and you have a recipe for disaster.

Remember when you couldn’t go on a date until you were old enough to drive? Remember when there had to be a reason to go somewhere, like a school dance? Dating now consists of staking a claim on someone and promoting it on social media. Ten-year-olds are dating. They claim a girlfriend/boyfriend in the classroom, and then have an electronic relationship right under your very nose. Nothing irritates me more than middle school aged children proclaiming their love on social media. (Actually, that’s not true. Reading comments on Instagram where one boy will comment on another boy’s photo, “UR so gay” like that’s an acceptable way to participate in playful trash talk makes my blood boil. Especially when they come from families that have enough sense to teach their children that it isn’t appropriate to use language that demeans any group of people. Change the word from gay to retarded and I will also flip my lid.)

Back to young love. Young girl posts selfie (with or without duck lips) with some overused, cliche hashtag, such as #blessed, and immediately their 14 year old boyfriend will comment something like, “I’m so lucky, bae” [heart-eyed emoji, heart-eyed emoji, heart-eyed emoji]. Or young boy posts photo of he and girl together (usually in the school parking lot) and captions, “Can’t believe it’s been two months” [#blessed]. The girl will quickly comment something like #bae #truelove #justthrewupinmymouth. Oh, wait, not that last one. That was me.

Are you as a parent watching this? Are you showing these exchanges to your own child and explaining to them that this is not how life works? These kids don’t even talk to each other. They text each other. All the time. Have you read a text exchange between a tween-aged couple? Do you read your own child’s texts every day? If not, you should. My twelve year old has a cell phone. Or I should say, he has the use of a cell phone. I pay for it. It is mine. The content on said phone is my responsibility. I check his browser history, text messages, Instagram direct messages; you name it, I’m reading it. But I see these conversations happening openly on Instagram all the time. Where are the parents? Do they really think this is productive behavior? [Sadly, I have seen parents actually condone this by commenting heart-eyed kissy-faced emojis on these posts instead of telling their kid that four months of incessant texting at 13 years old isn’t actually what love is.]

If your 11-15 year old is having three week anniversaries, celebrating their love, texting a significant other four hours a day, and is feeling #blessed in general because of another human in the same age group; start cleaning out your basement. Little Johnny is going to be living in that basement about two semesters into college because he is either A) about to enter into the world with completely unrealistic expectations B) about to be involved in a teen pregnancy C) completely unaware of what happens twenty feet beyond himself D) all of the above. I used to wonder what parents were doing while their kids were behaving like this. But the answer is more than likely staring at a screen themselves. Just this morning I was looking at a Snapchat story consisting of a video taken in a common area. You can clearly hear the parent of the child in the background talking to someone else. They are completely unaware that they are being recorded.

This brings me to my next rant: adults who constantly interact with things/people on their cell phone instead of the living, breathing human next to them. But I will save that one for another day…

The Auburn Football Creed

I believe that this is a terrible game and that I can count only on better games to come. Therefore, I believe in liquor, hard liquor.

I believe in sarcasm, which gives me the ability sit through an afternoon of bad football.

I believe Vern and Gary need to retire, without which I cannot continue to watch football on CBS.

I believe that if I eat enough chips and dip that I can slip into a food coma and forget an entire game before it has even ended.

I believe in a fence or hedge around a field because it protects the lives of the coaches from drunk fans.

I believe the players on my television can hear me, therefore I will continue to scream at them, as well as the coaches.

I believe in my team, because they continue to play their hearts out even when it seems like all is lost, and even when armchair coaches like me are slamming drinks, shoving chips in their face, and screaming obscenities at Gary when he criticizes all of college football during plays under review.

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.

**Originally penned as a Facebook status during the Auburn loss to LSU on 09.19.15

Zumba: 1, Corey: 0

If only we could look on the outside how we feel on the inside.

If only we could look on the outside how we feel on the inside.

I have a varsity letter for cheerleading. I dead-lifted 155 lbs for time at CrossFit. I own really nice running shoes. And I’ve watched two whole seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. So how hard can it be to wiggle around to some music? So hard that today, I came to the realization that I will never, ever, even remotely, be considered cool. Hell, cool probably isn’t even cool anymore. Now it’s sick. Or maybe sick was yesterday’s term. I’ll tell you what’s really sick. Sick is that Zumba crap. And I don’t mean sick like cool. I mean sick like you’d have to be out of your ever loving mind to want to try that stuff once you’ve hit the back side of forty.

Back to my demise of cool. It started when I would joke with a young waitress and she would fake laugh like I was witty and scurry off to get me another diet Coke. I figured she just didn’t get the joke, right? Then, one day I made a clever comment to a few college age kids at a gas station. I honestly think I saw one of them roll their eyes. Seriously? I am cool. I do not look my age. I can still do the splits. I’ve even got rap music with explicit lyrics in my iTunes. But today was the final epiphany. Today, sobbing in the parking lot of the community center, it finally hit me: I am my mother’s age. I will never be cool again. I am old.

What brought me to this stark realization? Zumba. Actually, it wasn’t even Zumba, because this class doesn’t bother with the licensing fees. It was “dance fitness.” I got my ass handed to me by something called dance fitness. Oh, I hear you, sister. It took you two months before you could get all of the choreography. I’m catching your drift; it was the hardest thing to figure out that body roll. But here’s the thing: I didn’t leave dance fitness six minutes into the class because I felt like I couldn’t physically handle the grueling arm movements. No, this class gave me a mental beat down.

I would describe to you in length the intricate series of kicks and flicks and popping and locking that was going on all around me in dance fitness, but it would only underline my ever loosening grasp on the modern world. This body roll thingy? Honey, rolls go on a plate. If a roll is going to be a part of my body, it’s going to be from the inside out in the form of cellulite. My body rolls hang over the top of my pants. They peek out from beneath the backside of my bra strap. They are not part of any sort of rhythmic or graceful movement. And this pelvic thrust action with coordinating arm movements? Listen, I’ve got two kids, and a stork didn’t leave them on my door-step. I have been privy to some pelvic thrusting in my day. But not in front of a giant mirror and six other spandex clad thrusters. It’s awkward when I’m watching TV with my kids and the dance to Greased Lightning from Grease comes on. Do you really think I’m going to jerk my baby maker back and forth with clenched fists at my side in front of God and everybody? I don’t think so.

I went to the Zumba website, just to take a look. Maybe I was looking for a chat room where I could find some sort of support group for Zumba drop outs. You know what I found? They had the nerve to describe their “fitness-parties” as “easy to follow.” Well, turn out the lights, that party is over. Maybe I should have dipped into the kids’ ADHD meds before I went, because I was totally lost. Better yet, maybe I should have brought some for the instructor because as soon as I would get one part of my body moving the same way hers was, she would totally change what she was doing! It would be like asking your grandmother to climb Mt. Everest and just about the time she’s making it to the top you yell, “Never mind, Grandma, we’re going to climb this mountain over here instead!”

So if you’re wondering where you’ll find me in the morning, it won’t be at dance fitness. I’ll be somewhere totally uncool like drinking coffee and talking about the weather, or at the Piggly Wiggly buying some Activia. This old broad won’t be shaking her way into shape. Sign me up for Silver Sneakers. I’ll go sit on a folding chair and do arm curls with 12 ounce cans of vegetable soup.

No Air

There may be a knob, but nothing's coming out of this sucker.

There may be a knob, but nothing’s coming out of this sucker.

Far be it from me to gripe about anything, but as long as we’re talking about how hot it is outside, let me just tell you how hot it really is. My trusty Camry has been in the shop for several days now, and I’m fortunate enough that my parents are letting me borrow the “farm truck.” The farm truck is a navy blue 1990 Isuzu Rodeo that my sister bought when she was in law school many, many moons ago. When she became an adult and got a real car, the Rodeo went to where vehicles go to die; our family farm. Flash forward about twenty years and five billion degrees and here you have me, driving the farm truck around town, with no air conditioning.

Now if you happen to be reading this above the Mason-Dixon Line and think you know what hot is; you don’t. Hot is walking around barefoot on fresh, black asphalt holding a large piece of metal on a highway that runs directly on the invisible line of the equator. Now add six gallons of boiling split-pea soup to account for the humidity. Take all of that, shove it in a pint size Ziploc bag and throw it in the microwave for sixty seconds. Now you have what it feels like in Alabama on any given day in June around 9:30 a.m. Take the bag out of the microwave and immediately open it with your bare hands, and you’ll have what it feels like by 9:45 a.m.

Anyway, when I dropped my Camry off at the mechanic’s shop and picked up the farm truck, I was just happy to have something to drive. The kids were in the back, we had the windows rolled down and I was raising my hands and bouncing up and down, “No air. Don’t care.” Let me tell you, that didn’t last long enough for my boys to finish rolling their eyes.
Imagine a metal box filled with coal.
Now imagine it on wheels.
Now imagine that it is on fire.
Now drive it.
Mother of all things holy, the only thing less ventilated than a 1990 Isuzu Rodeo is a gas chamber.

Ever the optimist, I decided to make driving the rolling convection oven fun. And what screams fun more than a sing-a-long!?! So if you happen to pass me on the road and I’m actually still lucid enough to maintain brain function, I will be singing my own version of the sort-of hit song, No Air, by American Idol winner, Jordan Sparks, and World Welterweight Champion, Chris Brown. If you’d like to sing along with me, you may find the karaoke version of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ESPjnsWJQY and my personalized lyrics below:

“No Air”

Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air

If my car stays in the shop
I’ll get so hot that I may drop
It’s nice to have something to drive around but damn
Oh

My hair looks like it is half wet
Shirt is stained with under-boob sweat
Wish there was a way that I could turn on a fan

But how do you expect me
to drive around stuck to the seat
‘Cause my world revolves around air
It’s so hard for me to breathe

[Chorus:]
Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air
Can’t smile, can’t live with no air
Can’t wear makeup when there isn’t air
It’s no air, no air
Got me out here in humidity
Tell me how I’m gonna be lookin’ pretty
If there ain’t air, I just can’t be
It’s no air, no air

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air

I walked, I ran, I jumped, I swam
Tried to forget the heat but damn
The South’s hotter than hell in mid-July

But somehow I’m still holding the wheel
Foot on the gas, burning my heel
Praying for wind, that will keep me alive

So how do you expect me
to drive around in this heat
‘Cause my real car is broken down
I’m stuck driving this big heap

[Chorus]

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No more
It’s no air, no air

[Chorus]

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air, air

Tell me how I’m supposed to drive with no air
Can’t eat, can’t sleep with no air
It’s how I feel whenever there’s no air
It’s no air, no air

Got me out here in the Rodeo
In the shade it’s one hundred and fo’
If there ain’t air, I can’t even go
It’s no air, no air

No air, air
No air, air
No air, air
No air

It may not be swanky, but it gets the job done. Unless the job is staying cool.

It may not be swanky, but it gets the job done. Unless the job is staying cool.

You’re Doing It Wrong

In the wake of the Zimmerman trial, I have seen articles from respected news forums about teens being slaughtered for having a Free Zimmerman bumper sticker on their car and a Hispanic man being beaten “for Trayvon.” These reports have been further investigated and have been exposed as false. But I saw the article on Facebook. One of my college educated friends shared it. It must be true, right? The sky is falling and many are blaming mainstream media sensationalism.

Can you blame them? I like to get my news from E!, personally, but you can’t walk into a coffee shop or waiting room without pretty, polished talking heads discussing the latest trial. They have countdown tickers at the bottom of the screen with the hours until the verdict is anticipated. They have forums to argue what the defendant should have worn to court. They profile the attorneys. They analyze juror reactions. They interview neighbors, old girlfriends, cousins-once-removed and fifth-grade teachers. And none of this stops when the verdict is reached.

I argue that it is not the mainstream media that perpetuates a legacy of stupidity, but it is social media that creates a frenzy of ignorance. Let us first agree that people who take the law into their own hands and perpetuate violence in the name of justice are ignorant people. Sure, they may be passionate. They may even be dynamic. But the bottom line is; they are ignorant. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of these ignorant folks didn’t spend the bulk of their week watching continual trial coverage on HLN. Instead they saw a “news article” that one of their buddies shared on Facebook or a retweet of their favorite reality star’s “official” Twitter account.

 It is so easy for us to hit Like or Retweet or Share anything and everything. With the slightest touch of a finger, we perpetuate false information. We copy and paste quotes from articles via The Onion like they came from CNN. And even more scary is that this same internet is being used by college interns to sort the facts from the fiction before head writers and producers plant the information in front of the anchor or into the field reporter’s ear.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of social media. My addiction to Twitter, Facebook and now Snap Chat is only rivaled by my dependence on diet sodas mid-morning and white wine at bedtime. The thing is, I earned a college degree back in the stone ages when you had to actually go to a library and open a book. There was no internet. If you googled someone back then, you’d probably get slapped in the face. But even then, a cursory glance around the fraternity social would make it painfully obvious that the world is peopled with idiots. The only difference was, if we wanted to create mass hysteria, we had to get out a phone book and call all of our friends individually and hope to God we didn’t get a busy signal. It took days to plan what we would do on a Friday night and where the hell we’d meet. Heaven forbid you get the time wrong. You’d never figure out where everybody was!

Now don’t get all riled up and think I’m being mean to the younger generations. As hard as I had it in college, at least I didn’t have to walk to school in the snow, up hill both ways like my parents did. I could go on and on about how today’s college kids are more active and proactive in the direction of their own lives, our country and our world; due in large part to social media. (For instance, did you know that young Libyans organized their revolt and eventual eradication of Gaddafi via Twitter? It’s true. Google it.) It’s not just my younger counterparts who are oozing virtual oafishness. Out of my 900+ Facebook friends, it’s hard to find more than a handful of thoughtful, intelligent posts on any given day, and this likelihood decreases exponentially during football season. Sometimes, it is the older generation that leads the charge toward mindlessness. It’s called Snopes, Grandma. And if you don’t know how to use Photoshop, then you probably shouldn’t share a bunch of really unbelievable pictures that you saw on Facebook.

If Betty Sue came to your house and told you that your mother had lost her leg in a freak price check incident at the Piggly Wiggly, you’d probably pick up the phone and call your mama to make sure she was okay. But if Betty Sure posted an article on FaceBook about mutant monkeys holding twelve hostage at a Wal-Mart in Tuscaloosa, fourteen people would share it coupled with their non-spell-checked commentary on the state of our world due to Obama (if you’re South of Atlanta) or Paula Deen (if you’re North of West Virginia). Is it really too much to ask that we think for 3.4 seconds before we click Like, Share or Retweet? Far be it from me to tell anyone how to live, but if you give more thought to what you want on your pizza than you do the articles, images and statements that you are exhibiting to the world as a representation of the person that you are; then you are doing it wrong.