Love it or try to ignore it, Facebook – that creation from that scrawny college student, what's his name? Henry Frankenstein? Something or other Zuckerberg? – is now the world's virtual kitchen table where over two billion of us can sit around and chat with friends and neighbors and catch up with relatives. And just like real life, there's always that someone who barges in yelling about something or other.
That's when social media gets anti-social, I suppose. But also it's about the easiest way a lot of people can communicate with each other in these pandemic days, where you can get away from the madding crowd and still be in touch.
Sometimes I think I'd like to live completely off the grid, powered by an array of solar panels and wind turbines. I could get by very well with a wood stove for heat, a water catchment system, a garden for veggies, and an outhouse down the hill. All the comforts of home. I could still visit with friends over Facebook with my cell phone, but I'm not sure about Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat or Pinterest.
Look at me, rattling off these nonsensical sounding syllables as if they all meant something in real life, or "IRL" as they say. No, I really can't envision me with a TikTok account, but who knows? Bounding headlong in this modern world we've created I could live at 8,000 feet out in the middle of nowhere and still be plugged into the rest of the planet.
And hey, if you think about it, living that way would fit right in with the current system of remote learning for school kids. I'm thinking remote learning like sort of like homeschooling, except you're not the teacher, just the taskmaster.
Although I'd be the last person to claim that I have the brains or skills required to homeschool my children, if I absolutely had to do it I would just have them read – a lot. Novels, histories, newspapers, biographies, monographs, the back of cereal boxes, you name it. Then have them write about what they read…in longhand. Reading a wide variety of subjects can, I like to think, make for a pretty good education.
Just fanciful thinking on my part, I guess, and it wouldn't be practical today anyway since the current trend is teaching to the tests.
I kind of go with what Alfred Adler said, "The school must not regard itself as an end in itself, and must keep in mind that the individual must be trained for society and not for the school."
In other words, get 'em ready for the can of worms the real world presents.
But I digress. When it comes to social media, as a grown-up person I am not very good at it. I have to confess, however, that I have on a whim at one time or another signed up with some of those previously-mentioned sites. Trouble is, I seldom log back on and end up forgetting that they're on my device until my phone chirps at me. And even then, half the time I don't know why it's trying to get my attention.
In spite of that, I fear I am slowly becoming a DMO. A digitally modified organism.
Incidentally, I was just reading an article on agdaily.com about GMO food which makes a reasonable argument that they may not be so bad. Couple that with the controversy floating around the internet saying the food you buy in the supermarket is just plain loaded with toxic chemicals.
I'm thinking, okay, I can live with that. I've been eating grocery store vittles for umpteen years, so I guess that since we are what we eat I'm nothing but a mixed bag of chemicals walking around in the form of a human being.
When I go into Supermart I have to make several decisions. One, must I have an organic version of something, and then if gluten-free high on my priority list. If you look around the grocery store you'd think celiac disease has reached epidemic proportions.
But to each his own, I say. Just make sure it's Grade A.
Remember when there used to be not only a Grade A something but you'd also see a Grade B and a Grade C? They had pretty much the same nutritional value but not the top of the line.
You don't see those labeled as such anymore, but I suspect they still sell as house brands.
Kind of like going to a factory outlet where they sell the "seconds."
To be honest, I have no doubt that an organic version of something tastes better. And Certified Organic guarantees that it was grown and processed according to strict guidelines. So it's your choice. To get down to it, I guess we're doing alright to have all those options, even if it entails a modest learning curve.
Me, I'm happy with cold pizza for breakfast.