Social Networking

Po’ Key Man A Go Go: Electric Boogaloo…

Okay… The Electric Boogaloo in the title is for my friend and fellow author, Alex Bledsoe… Mostly because it’s hard to fit biscuits and gravy into a blog title about a game app. Don’t worry. He’ll get the joke even if you don’t…

Now, that said, this blog entry isn’t about Alex, nor is it about biscuits, gravy, or electric boogaloos. I just couldn’t pass up a chance at the shout out.

So what is this blog entry about? Well, it’s about elitism, manners, and unfounded anger.

hqdefaultUnless you have been hiding under a rock for the past month, I am sure you are well aware of the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go. Suffice it to say, it is a game app for your mobile phone, based on the old Pokemon cards/cartoon, whereby you catch Pokemon, gain experience, battle other Pokemon, etc. The truth is, it is a brilliant little game – although it IS a battery sucker. In order to hunt down Pokemon, catch them, AND replenish your supply of Poke Balls, hatch Poke Eggs, etc, you have to get out and about. In fact, you actually have to do quite a bit of walking. In short, this app has done more to get nerds off the couch and out into the fresh air getting exercise than anything I’ve ever seen. Hell, it even gets the Teen of Doom out away from her guitars for a while every day. In my book that’s a big win.

So, where do elitism, manners, and unfounded anger come in?

Well, my wife and I play Pokemon Go, too. Yes, we are in our 50’s, but we play this silly little game as well. It started as an interaction with our teen daughter. She was into it, so we decided we would join her since she’s not all about board games anymore (she was when she was younger, but things change, as we all well know.) It is something that allowed us to have a family activity that we all enjoy. We go for walks, we go to parks where there are Poke Stops and lures, etc. We are getting exercise, getting excited about the same thing, and doing a lot of talking – like I said, big win. BUT… (you saw that coming, right?) my wife and I are in our 50’s and we are playing Pokemon Go.

We have faced criticism from many sides – extended family, Facebook friends, and random strangers. We’ve been laughed at and even had a guy get all pissy with us when he found out we played – and when I say pissy I mean he started shaking his head, rolling his eyes, gesticulating, and raising his voice as he said, “Oh come on, at your age? What’s wrong with you?”

You know who HASN’T been an asshole to us? Teens and twenty-somethings. Yeah. Kids, and not just our own. Random teens we run into at parks get all excited when they see a couple of “elderly folks” playing this game and having a good time. It’s a common ground, and kids out there – and their parents who are engaged in this – are connecting.

pokemongo0324-610My biggest question in all of this is: When did it become okay for someone to openly criticize me for doing something that has absolutely no effect on them whatsoever? I mean, if I was on your lawn, maybe, but when I am in the park, walking the dog, minding my own business with my family, how did it become your right to get up in my face and tell me there’s something wrong with me because I’m enjoying a silly little game on my phone while getting some exercise? When did it become okay for someone to sneer at me because I engage in a fun, family game?

Basically, when did it become okay for people to not mind their own fucking business?

I guess it’s an epidemic… Drumpf brought the racists and misogynists into the light. Pokemon Go has brought all the nosy Gladys Kravitzes into the light. (If you don’t know who Gladys Kravitz is, use Google. It’s your friend.)

At any rate, get over yourselves. I’m sorry your life is so boring, but that doesn’t give you a right to take it out on me.

More to come…



“Teh Twitter”…

Yep. I’m on Twitter. I’ve blogged about it before. Hell, I even toss a bit of flash fiction out there every now and again.

Recently, however, I was on a panel at a SF/Fantasy Con… Actually, I was on a crapload of panels, but that’s not the point. I’m talking about a specific panel – that being a “Social Media” panel. I was really the odd man out on this particular gig. All of the other authors seemed to know one another, whereas I had no friggin’ clue who any of them were, nor they me. So, they all sort of sat toward one end and left me to make sure the opposite end of the table didn’t float away. All good. Just to be sure, though, I checked – I DID use deodorant that day, so that shouldn’t have been a problem. Of course, it didn’t really matter much because 75% of the audience attending the panel happened to be close, personal friends with one of the other authors on the panel, so I probably could have stayed at the bar drinking beer with some folks. At any rate, I didn’t do that. I showed up, I tossed my opinion in there every now and then. Got a few blank stares from the other panelists. Engaged in one of those nifty marketing tactics by handing out some free books. Answered the question, “Why are you handing out free books?” Stared blankly back at them when they couldn’t grasp WHY I would hand out free books even after I told them why. You know, the regular drill…

I know… So what… Big deal. (2 points to anyone who gets that obscure movie reference…)

The thing is, Twitter was one of the topics. Well duh… of course it was, Sellars. Social Media. Twitter. Yadda yadda.

Okay, okay. So THE thing is, one of the other authors on the panel concluded, announced, and/or otherwise stated that one tweet a day is more than enough. In fact, she went on to say that she had made it a point to UNfollow other authors – whose work she enjoyed – because they had the unabashed nerve… the pure audacity… the unbelievable lack of restraint… and tweeted 12 times in one day.

12 times.

One day.

That being 24 hours.

24/12 = 2.

An average of one tweet every two hours.

I don’t know about you but that seems like a pretty laconic tweeter to me.

Even if we are talking about 12 tweets in the span of one hour, that would be what? One tweet every five minutes… Still pretty reserved if you ask me. However, that’s apparently still way too much. It interferes with the busy schedules of others – all that incessant chattering, ya’know… An absolute din of 140 character info bytes causing a “visual cacophony” in the glassballs…

But hey, whatever trips your trigger. Follow, unfollow, I don’t really give a flying rat’s whatsits. I personally see Twitter as yelling into the void and hoping someone hears you. Hasn’t stopped me from yelling into the void, of course, but I don’t really count on anyone hearing, or taking notice if they do. Just one of those things.

Still, for me, the anti-tweeter mentality sort of begs the question, if you’re so damn busy then why are you on Twitter so much? And moreover, why the hell are you counting other people’s tweets?

OCD much?