with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: Twitter

Peace on Earth, Goodwill on Twitter. Really.

by SweetMidlife

I’m sitting up in bed, two days before Christmas, with a lot to do and little desire, at present, to get from under this dreamy purple blanket and do anything about it. Since my laptop’s right here and writing is actual work I can accomplish without moving very much, I wanted to acknowledge something wonderful that’s happened to me in the last week that’s reaffirmed my belief in the kindness of humanity, even in this weirdly bleak dumpster fire of a national mood.

And it’s Taylor Swift fans on Twitter.

Yes, Twitter, that mythical online realm where civility and grammar go to die and be reanimated as the Wight Walkers from “Game of Thrones” – dead-eyed, focused and now armed with a zombie dragon.

About a year ago, I wrote a post on this very blog in defense of Taylor Swift, a very famous and accomplished person whose music is not my favorite, but whose hustle I admire. She’d Tweeted that 2017 had been a great year, and a writer for a national publication tore her a new one for not “reading the room” that the year had been horrific so many others. As a survivor of some heinous loss who’s had a fruitful ongoing recovery and some real triumphs, I wrote that people needed to let Taylor live, and that it was possible to acknowledge the greater state of suckiness in the world without trashing someone for expressing some damn happiness.

I’d almost forgotten about that post – 2018 has been very busy for me: I shopped and then sold “Black Widow,” a memoir about the first year of my widowhood, continued as a columnist for the Palm Beach Post as daily print journalism takes a licking and keeps on ticking, and continued being a single mom raising a great, energetic little boy. But when someone reTweeted the link to the story, a strange thing happened – well, maybe not strange when you consider the power of a fandom as strong as Taylor Swift’s – it caught on. And suddenly I had all these Swifties in my timeline, thanking me for my kindness. It knocked me over, y’all. I wasn’t a fellow stan, or someone they knew – just someone who acknowledged the right of their fave to have some happiness.

We are in weird days – the government is shut down, the economy may be wobbling and there are sad, depressed lonely people all over this country and this world. Happiness is fleeting in some parts, so when you find it, when something sweet and wonderful happens to you, we need to hold onto it and tell everybody. Twitter has no problems with people “cancelling” other people, calling them out and telling them about themselves. Happiness shouldn’t threaten you. It should be celebrated.

Thank you guys for your kindness. You made a tired journalist mom smile. Now…somebody needs to make me get out of this bed and finish my laundry.

Kylie’s a billionaire at 20 so what are we all doing? A lot, turns out

by SweetMidlife

I come not to bury Kylie Jenner – I don’t know her and apparently she’s nearly a billionaire with her cosmetics empire so even if I tried she could climb out of the dirt on a giant pile of money. I do, however, come to say that almost no one else is a billionaire at 20, or at any age, and that it’s absolutely OK. More than OK, really.

There’s been a lot of hubbub about Forbes’ cover featuring Kylie in a serious business suit touting her as a female self-made billionaire, if you define “self-made” by starting your business with your own money, as she did with assets she made from modeling. Of course many, including me, beg to differ that one can be self-made with a modeling career made possible by both sides of her rich and famous family and her high media profile since childhood, and maintain that the admirable hustle she possesses was still built on a platform she inherited.

Then again, even Kylie’s sister haven’t made the money she has, so she’s doing something right. I am neither jealous nor hating. But I was among those who reacted with strongly to the snarky New York Post tweet that read “19-year-old Kylie Jenner is worth $900 million dollars…What are you doing with your life?” Um, what? I know it’s meant to probably award Kylie for her hard work, specifically at her age, but there’s an unfortunate implication that anyone who hasn’t done that – AND NO ONE HAS – has somehow wasted their lives and is a loser and should feel bad. You don’t have to put down other people to pull her up, New York Post.

A very wise attorney named Michelle Bhasin who I have never met but who I’d like to be my best friend, was one of several people who instead of saying “Umm, not being born into a rich famous family” decided to answer that snarky question sincerely. Bhasin talked about being a professional and raising her kids, one of whom is autistic, and about her community work with the homeless. Michelle Bhasin is not a billionaire, but she’s doing a lot.

Her Tweet was one of several that told big stories in a small amount of characters, of careers made from high school educations, from pulling oneself up from desperate family situations, from barely making ends meet but being able to look themselves in the eye at the end of the day. These were beautiful histories of strong people, mostly women, proud of their lives and their accomplishments, even if they were broke, because what they were doing with their lives was living well. I even added my own, above.

In this age of hate and division and, I believe, value put on the most horrible wrong things, this feed will make you feel good about some hardworking Americans who deserve to be billionaires. They won’t be. But that doesn’t make them any less impressive than Kylie Jenner. Not at all.

Dear Racist Tweeters: We can read this. Morons.

by SweetMidlife
If you don’t want your business out there, don’t hit “Tweet.”

Leslie here. Because I’m a professional writer/Tweeter/Facebooker/blogger/airer of my personal feelings, I am super vigilant about the things that I say or write, because I know that my status in my job depends on public perception, or at least the perception of the tiny bit of the public that cares. I might say something controversial or unpopular, but if I do, I am darned sure that I mean it and back it up, because there are no take-backs on the Internet.

There was a time that I would have cut a non-professional some slack for private thoughts or opinions that get out in the public, because they might not be used to seeing themselves judged publicly, and even if those thoughts are reprehensible, it’s their business. That time was before social media, because once something goes on Twitter, it’s no longer private. It’s as public as the Tweets put out by Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, Jessica Simpson or Donald Trump, even if he Tweets as if only addressing a group of ignorant pod people within a metal tube who don’t understand what he’s saying.

And if you don’t know this you should not be on Twitter. Period. Today’s teenagers have had every moment of their lives, interesting or otherwise, broadcast to the world since they were tiny. You can’t hide behind privacy because you chose not to have any. Yes, there is freedom of speech. And other people have the freedom to tell you your speech is stupid.

So, if you’re, say, the many, many racist teenagers…or, if not actual racists, people who Tweet racist things who are…let’s be honest, racists…who took to the Twitterverse to express their displeasure over Barack Obama’s reelection, then I think they should have to deal when people in the public don’t like it. I read a story on Jezebel.com about many of those kids, including a charming young lady whose handle is MoriahRae1 and who Tweeted “F…ing N….r Won Again.” Apparently one of the commenters wrote that he had helpfully looked up a lot of the kids, who have very public profiles and online footprints, and sent their information to their schools, many of which are Christian academies (P.S. Jesus doesn’t approve, racist Christian academy idiots.)

Interestingly enough, the first several responders thought this was a mean thing to do, because, you know, they’re just kids, right? They don’t know what they’re doing? Why should someone go out of their way to ruin the futures of some misguided kids who might not even mean what they wrote?

I could not disagree more.

While I have more important things to do than seek out kids and look up their schools and write letters and stuff, there is never any guarantee, once you hit “Tweet” that somebody won’t be mad enough to do that. Or to Tweet back something equally or more nasty. You have no idea what is going to happen. You put it out there in the universe and have to deal with the fallout. If you don’t like it, that’s on you. No one should threaten your life because of your beliefs. But if they call you stupid, well…If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out.

Also, these kids are learning that not only does Twitter not happen in a vacuum, but neither does your life, meaning that if future colleges, employers, friends or important contacts happen to find out about your shenanigans on Twitter, then you should have figured that out. Sorry. Don’t feel sorry for them. I’m sorry they may have ruined their lives, and there is no law against being racist. But private employers don’t have to care. This reminds me of the girls from Santaluces High School in Boynton Beach, Fl., down the street from me, who made a racist video that probably was just acting out and not malicious, but posted it online like idiots. And when the fallout came, they were, at least temporarily, socially destroyed.

Miss MoriahRae1 seems to have deleted her feed, and another misguided young girl actually Tweeted for people to leave her alone, because it’s only funny to be ignorant, not to have other people be ignorant back to you. I hope that these girls learn their lesson and, if they don’t renounce their ignorance, at least either play that ignorance close to the vest, or learn to get a thicker skin.

Because a moment of hitting “Tweet” could mean a lifetime of backlash. Just saying.

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