By COLLEEN LEDDY
I have found myself spending a bit more time on Facebook lately as I’ve been posting messages there regarding Stair Public Library’s recent spate of events. This means I get a little waylaid on my own personal news feed.
Is it my imagination or are people posting way more interesting things on Facebook than, say, a month or two ago? Or am I suddenly interested in things I formerly just let slide by in favor of scouting out photos of my grandkids?
I read just a snippet of a post that catches my attention...and then I read another snippet...and another...and that just keeps happening. I don’t want to spend much time on Facebook, but I know those little teasers will be impossible to find later.
I don’t like to interrupt the quick scan of my news feed to see what’s up with people, so I click on the link to interesting articles people are posting thinking that I will get back to them later in the new tab that opens up.
And then “later,” I have a string of tabs open to articles or videos that I have no idea who posted so if I wanted to comment, I’m left scratching my head: was that Amy Beckerman from high school or Gayle Hazelbaker who posted the link to the blog written by the wacky New York City librarian who dresses in the most creative outfits ever?
Or did Amy post the mob video of the best wedding proposal ever? That one from Caught In The Act On Camera must have been circulating for a long time, but it’s still just as fun and heartwarming.
And what was the catchy tidbit that made me think I wanted to read a political story about Bill Clinton? It might have been something about bipartisanship.
Then there was a link to a blog posted by one of my younger Friends...maybe a friend of my daughter Rosie, maybe the daughter of my midwife who posts the best child-rearing links, which was an open letter to the “mom who feels like she is messing up.” I’m 55 and a grandma and I still feel like I’m messing up. Read a post like that and it’s instant psychotherapy online.
I don’t know who alerted me to this link, but, boy, it’s an eye-opener. http://billmoyers.com/2013/06/11/who-is-polluting-in-your-community/. It almost falls into the category of “Do I really want to know this?” Do I need to know that my daughter and her family live just over a mile from the neighborhood mentioned in the first sentence of the story?
“Day in and day out, the residents of the Standard Heights neighborhood in Baton Rouge watch as a century-old oil refinery, operated by Exxon Mobil, belches forth plumes of smoke in various shades of gray.”
I’m very thankful they are moving away from there later this summer to Lexington, Ky., a place with fewer color-coded dots on its “Poisoned Places” map (the dots indicate potential health risks from airborne toxins from a given facility).
I don’t always get around to reading or watching all the articles and videos that litter my browser tab bar. It’s kind of like the stacks of magazines and books on my living room ottoman. Eventually I have to return them to the library unread. Eventually I just click the little X without even looking at the page.
But when I do have a minute, I’m usually glad I clicked on the link and even though it might be old news, it was worth it to listen to the upworthy.com video on the Muslim leader giving a rational response to the macabre murder of a British soldier, and another of Bishop John Shelby Spong, headlined “Best explanation of religion I have ever heard, and I’m practically an atheist.”
This morning I clicked on a laughingsquid.com post intending to read it later, and when I finally returned to it, I realized I could have enjoyed a laugh sooner. There wasn’t much to it besides the headline, “Hairy Stockings For Young Chinese Girls To Fend Off Perverts” and a photo taken from above of a pair of intensely hairy legs (the hairy stockings, apparently) ending at a pair of pristine young white feet.
“ChinaSMACK is reporting that a user on China’s microblogging site Sina Weibo has invented “hairy stockings” as a way for young girls to fend off perverts. It’s hard to tell if these are real or imagined but given that some people in China have been putting dogs in pantyhose, these might just be the former.”
Where can you learn this kind of stuff in real life?
Well, the library.
Spend some time there and discover things like hairy stockings and people who tell their own stories: Teresa Irish will tell the tale of discovering her father’s World War II letters tomorrow at 2 p.m.