I am often asked on Twitter about my bio, and here’s the essence of it, so we’re on the same plane of thought:
Earlier today, I sent a request to ManageFlitter — a Twitter service that helps you follow and unfollow accounts — for an account credit because their system has been having a terrible time over the past couple of weeks. Some of the problems I’d been having with the service had been going on longer than that, and technical support was always helpful and kind — until today, when I asked for the restoration of account credits I could not use because their system was down. As promised moments ago on Twitter, this is the article detailing what happened.
On December 4, 2015, my Social Media world got tossed as I innocently, but rightly, Tweeted the astonishing fact that MSNBC had doxed someone — revealing identifying information about a living person — on live television during an impromptu terror tour of a suspect’s home. The person in question was Rafia Farook — mother of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Rafia lived in the same townhouse as her son, his terrorist wife, Tashfeen Malik, and the couple’s six-month-old baby girl. Here’s an image of the Tweet I sent after my photographic capture of the MSNBC live feed:
We live in a selfish world where Social Media has become the public square replacing the private confessional and the anonymous donation box. We click a LIKE button and we feel better. We promote our private good deeds in an open airing and our righteousness quintuples in the amount of retweets we earn. This is all wrong and misguided. We shouldn’t do good things just to be rewarded. We must not aspire to be the hero of our own invention just because that’s the immature nattering standard of the day.
If you’re an author, or a publisher, or if you work in the entertainment field, getting your social media accounts Verified — or “socially proofed” for a condescending spin on a ridiculous social media marketing term — is important because Verification gives you status on the social networks and it provides you private avenues of access that regular accounts do not accord.
Any tragic world event is an opportunity to convey meaning for profit — personally, politically, fiscally or morally — and the instant rise of the “Peace for Paris” logo designed by Jean Jullien “one minute” after the tragedy, and then immediately posting the image to Facebook and Twitter, begs a larger human question of “selfieness” and cynicism: Is an Artist trying to give hope against trafficking in evil, or is it all a rather cunning ploy to “make the meme” for a tragedy by propagating self-interest-as-a-logo over the perils of human interest?
Memory is an acute thing. It can baptize you, take you over, reflect on where you’ve been and, in some extreme cases, incapacitate you. Memory can also warm, warn and welcome you — and this story is a matter of the latter in the name of one my earliest mentors and influencers, Rick Alloway. Yes is hard. No is easy. Rick Alloway was always a Yes Man in the most honorific possible way.
Rick gave me my start in radio at KFOR 1240 and KFRX 103 in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was 13-years-old, and he helped correct me, win me and convince me in every single way of the world. He was never harsh or cruel or condescending — even when you earned such treatment. His greatest talent was simply listening and being infinitely patient. In the radio advert below, Rick is in the front row wearing a mustache and I’m right next to him sporting the sun-sensitive hipster glasses.