Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

being free

November 26th, 2016    -    11 Comments

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A Manifesto for a Sane World

Get off Facebook. Permanently. It has corroded our society and degraded our intelligence while enriching a single misanthropic person to inconceivable wealth and power.

Quit Twitter. It serves no purpose now other than to elevate the ego of one dangerously corrupt and self-obsessed human being.

Watch no cable news. Subscribe to a newspaper, but not any newspaper. These days the Washington Post is the standard of excellence and independence.

Protest with your mouth, your feet and your dollars. Open your eyes. Get out of your chair.

Realize that every moment spent scrolling, clicking and typing into your device amounts to silence. Silence is doom.

Know enough to be afraid. Without fear, there is no courage.

Have no hope. Hope is a slogan that will divert your attention from the reality at hand.

Believe nothing. Investigate for yourself. Search the internet the way you used to. Look for evidence, not false assurances. The truth is always the simplest and most obvious thing in the world.

Be sane. A sane mind creates a sane world.

If you need a friend, contact me via my website. Send me a message asking for my mailing address and then write to me. I will respond.

 

encryption for a new society

April 22nd, 2012    -    12 Comments

friend: no one you know
community: no place you live
connect: disconnect
interact: isolate
engage: distract
like: click
click: touch
touch: screen
screen: reality
stream: data
streaming: live data
live: not living
comment: type
chat: read
follow: ignore
social: alone

Last week my landline rang. You have to be of a certain age to even have a landline. I almost never pick it up. But I saw the name on ID. It was a friend—someone I’ve seen in my small town every week for 15 years. We have a sentimental history but don’t talk much anymore. Seeing her name I thought the worst.

That’s how it is these days. The phone rings and you think the worst.

She was calling to ask me to have lunch with her. For no reason. Just lunch. An hour sitting face-to-face, chatting. The whole event was such a shock that it made me realize how far we’ve drifted from what words used to mean: words like friend, face, and chat.

We have a new society, and it has corrupted the vocabulary of the old.  A society that isn’t social, with a language that is completely silent. I write this here so that one day the archeologists will be able to decode the encryption, and imagine what it used to mean to be alive.

This is why I will never stop inviting you to meet me face-to-face, and why one day you will.

The Art of Non-Parenting, Central School, Belmont, CA May 31.

Beginner’s Mind One-Day Meditation Retreat, Los Angeles, June 10.

tiny favor

December 13th, 2011    -    115 Comments

Back in September 2010, I was surprised one morning by what turned up on my computer: a generous review of Hand Wash Cold on the Tiny Buddha website.

You may know how relatively unschooled I am at social media, and if not totally unschooled, at least unconvinced. Still, I knew that hitting the Tiny was hitting the Big, at least on the computer.

I wondered how someone with so much media muscle — more than 235,000 Twitter followers, 70,000 Facebook fans, and 12 million web page views — could do something so selflessly kind?

The answer is, by being tiny.

I hope I can be twice as small in returning the favor.

Tiny Buddha founder Lori Deschene has a new book out, Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. I’m offering my pristine review copy right here as a giveaway, and you’ll want to do yourself a favor by commenting to enter by this Friday. (If you win, I promise the book will arrive to you by Christmas.) It’s a great gift for yourself or a friend, full of good old fashioned common sense and new-fangled how-tos. It captures some things you might have seen whiz past you on the web, and some things you’ll want to reflect on for more than a blink of time.

Lori is a smart and fluid writer (no wonder she has made a career as a web copywriter) and she weaves in crowdsourced contributions from her Twitter followers (like me) on such hefty topics as pain, change, love, money, fate, happiness and control. But the gem here is something that can never be quoted in 140 characters: the true story of Lori’s transformation from a recluse to a community builder, from a self-loathing misfit to an inspiring changemaker. This is a story we all share in one small way or another — it is the story of the Buddha’s leap over the wall of delusive, egocentric thought. This is the journey we all make, little by little, without a map, toward our complete potential. Taking that leap is the only way we can ever do good.

For starters, the book has shown me how to do something great today: return a tiny favor.

This one’s for you.

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Leave a comment on this post by the end of the day this Friday, Dec. 16 to enter the giveaway. Favor yourself with an extra entry by posting this tweet:

RT@kmaezenmiller Giving away @tinybuddha book here: http://bit.ly/szQIre

The winner of this giveaway has been notified. Thank you for participating.

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how twitter works

June 7th, 2011    -    21 Comments

It doesn’t. Not really. Twitter doesn’t work. It’s like all those things you think will work that actually don’t work. Like being famous doesn’t work. Or being what you think successful is. Or admired, smart, clever, popular or quotable. Or having more followers. Or getting elected. Or getting an agent or a book deal. Or falling in love. Or getting another wife or husband or career after your last tweet doesn’t quite work. None of it works the way you’re thinking it will.

Twitter is just another name for another thing that will disappoint you, even betray you. It is an agent of your demise – the demise of how you want things to turn out.

If I could just ratchet up those numbers, cross that threshold, send more, get more, do more, have more. You know how that works.

It’s kind of fascinating that when these new things roll around we think, for a minute or two, that they will change human drama, human tragedy, or human history. Revolutionize it! They don’t. They don’t change the ending of anything. They might even hasten it. At best, they hasten the end of the dream.

The way I think of Twitter is the same way I think of advertising. And advertising doesn’t work either. I worked for more than two decades in advertising and PR, alongside great people and with great companies and I learned some great things about life and work. One of the things we all learned was that advertising and PR don’t work. Well, not quite the way you hope they will. Not like magic or make believe. Advertising only works when you have endless sums of money and you pollute the world with your advertising and then it works in the same way trees and rocks and buildings work – they show up everywhere. There’s no magic in that, no strategy or cleverness, just sheer tonnage. And endless money and hopes and dreams and schemes and silliness just circulating around like so much dust.

But when you see the dust! That’s when it begins to work. That’s when the real conversation starts. That’s worth hoping for.

Two new real-life happenings now open for registration:
The Practice of Everyday Life, weekend retreat in Colorado Sept. 16-18
The Plunge in Pittsburgh, one-day retreat right where you think it will be, Oct. 1

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things I learned on twitter

October 22nd, 2010    -    7 Comments

1. Everyone seems to be selling something.
2. No one seems to be buying anything.
3. It’s easy for anybody to be quoted. And I mean your average ordinary nobody.
4. Mistaking quotations for wisdom is like mistaking fruitcake for dessert.
5. Twitter seems awfully noisy until you realize that what you hear is nothing at all.
6. A lot of tweets read like air kisses.
7. If you think air kissing is like kissing, you might like fruitcake for dessert.
8. Here, take my fruitcake. _/|\_
9. You can have stacks of fruitcake and you still don’t have anything to eat.
10. Personally speaking, no one seems to be as interested in what I have to say as I am.
11. Tweet this: Things I Learned on Twitter http://bit.ly/d9rbGF
12. RT this: RT @kmaezenmiller Things I Learned on Twitter http://bit.ly/d9rbGF
13. Quote me. – Karen Maezen Miller

If you liked this, you might like: Things I Learned on Facebook.

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death by twitter

August 2nd, 2010    -    1 Comment

“Facebook is like a nosebleed. Twitter is like breathing into a paper bag.” Read more poetic license about our social ills in my first blog post at Smartly LA, a writers collective for “people who get it,” in which I confess how very much I still don’t get social media. “Like pointing to a Twinkie as the defense for murder.” Go there and tell the good doctor how you feel when you’re on a steady diet of social media. Oh, and follow me.

***

Only 2 more weeks of early bird registration for the Mother’s Plunge-Boston. For reals.

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10 early warning signs of a preteen

August 6th, 2009    -    4 Comments


1. How old do you have to be to be a preteen?
2. This is definitely my color.
3. This is definitely not my color.
4. Awesome.
5. I wish you would have talked to me about it first, Mom.
6. Because I mean, like, it’s my life, you know.
7. I’m just not that into it.
8. Random.
9. Do you think I can pull this look off?
10. When are you joining Twitter?

OK, that last one wasn’t her. It was me.

So, like, why don’t you follow me on Twitter? Because it’s like my life, you know, only I’m not going anywhere!

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Rules for waiting, and a giveaway

March 15th, 2009    -    32 Comments


Spoiler alert: Blame it on the early stages of a woozy flu, hormone depletion, sleep deprivation, or the dark bluster of the Ides. This post is somewhat post.

The other day I was talking to my friend Amy Tiemann on the phone. On the phone, that’s right. How very 1.0. And she and I were in mutual agreement that life in these times can be summarized as follows: “How can people live in this world without going insane?”

Ain’t that the truth? But it’s not a new thing. More like an awakening to the way sentient beings have always been. These days the race to the next next next next new thing seems like a 75 rpm refrain. Rpm? How vintage! Everything is in an accelerated state of obsolescence. We cannot get to the next thing fast enough. As though it leads somewhere else, somewhere other than here.

Newspapers? History. Banks? Yesterday. Jobs? Obsolete. Conversation? Over. Time? Out.

These days you read a lot in these parts about Is the Blog Dead? I’m old enough to remember when that question was leveled with far more gravitas as Is God Dead? It’s spelled differently but it’s the very same question. It’s a kind of intellectual diversion from the real question; the only question there is which is Am I Going to Be Dead?

Or as I ask myself, Am I Going to Be Dead before I Twitter?

This is the kind of chatter, or should I say tweeting, that just exhausts me. I’ve been present at far too many revolutions already. They last a blink, a nano, before they crest into the oblivion beyond. Oh ye of unrelenting enthusiasms, aren’t you tired yet?

***

I’ve been reading far too much about Jane Fonda. I can’t quit. Ever since I read this profile in the Times about her brave return to Broadway at 71, and picked up on the fact that she was chronicling every inch of the ascent on her daily blog and Twitter. I’m obsessed with her, and it looks like she shares the obsession. Fonda is the icon of obsession for my generation, but she always seemed to hold herself at a remove. She always seemed to immerse herself in the great matter and the real questions. You can now read that in her dotage, for instance, she dotes on a dinky fluff-dog. You can read about her self-doubt and insecurities and think for a minute she’s just like us. Then you see pictures of her A-list BFFs: Redford, Tomlin, Hanks. “Oooooh I am so happy. I’ll twitter during my breaks.” She never stops, even though of course one day, and relatively soon, she’ll stop. In the meantime, she’s miniaturized herself, at least in my view, into 140 characters. To say that she is connecting with other people in this self-directed way is to say that these people from another story in Sunday’s paper are “making love.” Nothing could be farther. (Made ya look!)

***

Last week I had a disturbing and provocative dream. My husband, daughter and I were groping our way, on white-knuckles and knees, up a Sisyphean incline. It seemed we were going somewhere. Inching forward, sliding back, defying gravity. Ah yes, to the beach! At the peak of this grueling pitch, you could see the endless sky and ocean filling the horizon beyond. The massive swells and darkened depths. My husband and daughter hurried ahead, carefree. I had reservations. Gripping a paper shopping bag, I was anxiously collecting things you might think you need for a day on the sands of life: snack crackers, juice boxes, water bottles, seedless grapes, string cheese. I was desperate to fill my bag. Not yet, not yet! As I clutched after snack wrappers, my family disappeared into the downward slope. Just then the sea rose up to a perfect, towering vertical tsunami like the height of the stock market in October 2007. Everyone, everything would be swallowed by it. Everything would go.

This was no day at the beach. This was the answer to the unspeakable question.

Also last week I got an unexpected delivery in the mail. A special book, Rules for Old Men Waiting, a debut novel 23 years in the making, sent from a bygone friend. This friend is an elegant and erudite fellow from the old school. Someone who has illumined my life with intelligence and manners. I haven’t heard from him in awhile. The note with it said, “I just finished this book and thought of you throughout. I found it be richly told, wonderfully crafted and lovingly profound. That’s you.” Maximized in 140 characters.

I’m reading it now. And when I finish it, I’m going to return the favor to someone who has made it this far, on white-knuckles and knees, to the precipice of this post. I’m going to share the wisdom I’ve been given, the gift of true friendship, a living connection, with one of you. Because that alone is what keeps the world sane.

Leave a comment and take your prize. It is bittersweet fulfillment to know this chance won’t come again, and to let it go.

Update: The book has gone to Kelly, who has a short time left in a long wait.

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