Quit social media. Right now.

How’s that New Year’s resolution to quit or at least cut down on social media coming along?

I thought so.

Every January – hell, every other month as well – people complain about Twitter and Facebook (usually on Twitter and Facebook), but it feels more pronounced this year. Social media is distracting us, exhausting us, hurting our mental health, destroying our common sense, changing the way we think about others and ourselves, even getting us fired from our jobs. And let’s not forget the misinformation and sheer stupidity.

I don’t want to go into another huge rant about social media, but I will link to the piece I wrote about it:

The Web Was A Better Place Before Social Media

(And the follow-up.)

Just quit before it’s too late (note: it may already be too late). I swear you’ll still be able to do all of the things you do on Twitter and Facebook in other ways (just because you’re anti-social media doesn’t mean you’re anti-web or anti-technology). And you’ll feel a kind of freedom you haven’t felt in quite some time.

How old are you?

This meme keeps coming back – as most memes do – so I thought I’d post something about it again.

Without saying how old you are, name something from your childhood a younger person wouldn’t understand.

Having only one (rotary) phone in the house, in the kitchen, where everyone could hear what you were saying, and it was attached to the wall so you had to stay in one place.

Having to answer that phone when it rang and you didn’t know who was calling.

Memorizing the phone numbers of your family and friends.

Busy signals.

(I miss busy signals). 

Having to wait for a TV show to be rerun if you missed it (if it was rerun at all).

Getting off the couch to turn off the TV or change the channel.

Rabbit ears.

The “this concludes our broadcasting day” sign-off.

Having a TV repairman come to the house.

Listening to the radio, hoping they’ll replay that song you really liked (and racing to tape it).

Rewinding cassettes with a pencil.

Carbon paper.

Handwriting practically everything.

Collecting S&H Green Stamps.

Inserting those little yellow things into the center of 45s.

(And knowing 45s were a small vinyl record, not a gun).

Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Using the encyclopedia to look up a fact, or calling someone else who might know.

Staying outside all day and my mom not knowing where I was and no way to contact me.

Making a list of stuff I wanted for Christmas from the Sears Catalog.

“Give a hoot, don’t pollute.”

“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”

“Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with b-o-l-o-g-n-a.”

How about you?

What Do You Dream Of?

They say we’ve been dreaming more this past year. This has been true for me at least. I’m not only dreaming more but the dreams are more vivid, more relevant, and I’m remembering more about them.

But I’m still having the occasional crazy dream too. Take the one I had the other night. I think it deserves entry in the Weird Dream Hall of Fame (the WDHOF).

I come out of my apartment – I live in a different apartment in a different town in the dream – and I see KFC’s Colonel Sanders walking across the street with a woman. He’s wearing dark, oddly-shaped sunglasses and a long coat. The woman is carrying a boombox, which is playing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Sanders is singing the song loudly, walking around town. And he’s really good!

In the next scene I’m on the subway – and it’s not a real subway, it’s more like a fake subway set you’d see on a sitcom – and a big man around 6 feet 5 enters the train. At first he just stands there but then, without provocation, he starts punching people in the face. Everyone calmly but quickly leaves the train. The big man does too, walking past me, staring at me but not punching me.

Then I go to the supermarket, where I’m looking for my cat (which is odd because I’m a dog person in real life). After several minutes of searching, I finally find him on a bottom shelf in the paper towel aisle. Then I wake up.

If you have any suggestions on what this dream means, feel free to let me know in the comments. Wrong answers welcome.

A post (about the Post)

I usually link to my weekly Saturday Evening Post column over there on the right under “News & Notes,” but every once in a while I like to link to it here in the main section, because I know some people might not visit the site that particular week or their eyes might not wander over to the right side.

This week: failed resolutions, new books, Alex Trebek’s last Jeopardy!, Phyllis McGuire, psychics, an H.G. Wells coin, Sherlock Holmes, writing letters, and some hot drinks for cold days (and nights).

Have a great weekend. It’s been an exhausting week and we all deserve it.