She wrote cutely about her husband’s affinity for leftovers. ‘Oh, the big goof!” we can hear Suburban Mom guffawing with a shake of the head as fresh disposable plastic storage containers dance in the frostless fridge.
I responded that my leftovers are actually left on the stove to gently mold over before being warmed for consumption again the next day. She “unfollowed” me immediately.
See, we weren’t friends — just mutual followers in the microblogging world of Twitter. And, let’s be clear here, she followed me first.
It’s strange how relationships form and fracture in micro-blogging communities. As the stream of observations, from the inane to the completely obtuse, roll down the screen, participating in the Twitterverse like getting a snapshot of the noosphere, that philosophized metaphysical realm of group thought now technologically redefined simply as The Cloud.
Suburban Mom wasn’t to be. But, to the platform community's credit, I’ve maintained longer relationships with folks that are even further distance from my particular ideological stripe. What connects us is an appreciation for community. So far, that group appreciation has guarded our world from the flame-warring of too many Internet chat rooms and news sites.
Recently a fellow Twitteratti accused me of writing under the influence of too much caffeine. The poster may have been on track there, though it was unclear if he was critiquing a particular story or my writing in general. As we popped refining notes back and forth, understanding came slowly. All said, I came away if not a better man, per se, one that had been reminded to shape up my news writing by offering links to additional resources and actionable options.
My most recent feature on terminally ill Rafael Garcia, my new friend said, is a bitch. BUT WHAT CAN WE DO?
The media miasma that is around-the-clock news cycles merging with exploding Webshots of rehashed and recontexualized around-the-clock news cycle offerings has folks overloaded and shell-shocked, according to several recent studies. That condition requires news writers to dig dipper into context — and offer solutions for the steady stream of bad-news nuggets we dish.
The sense of personal power is vital to communal, democratic functioning. Without it, expect nothing but increased governmental oppression and withering rights.
While Rafael’s story was the first in which I was careful to include action links at the bottom, I must continue mea culpas for any past damages my unanchored mouthiness has created. And by way of update and encouragement, I write this morning:
Rafael’s hard case, thank you for asking, is nearing resolution. Methodist Children’s administrators are working to set the family up with the home nursing care by early January. But during this turbulent past month, the family has suffered a lot. Those who offered words of encouragement were deeply appreciated. I was particularly touched to hear that 22 UPS employees based at the Callahan-410 office had pooled their money to buy Rafael a Wii system to help him keep his upper body active and healthy until he is home again with regular physical therapy.
While this individual case appears headed toward something like resolution, fixing health care in Texas is obviously a much larger fight.