Twitter on my mind

Do you use Twitter?

I’ve had a Twitter account for eons (@douglerner), but have rarely used the app itself. I have my personal and company blog posts automatically shared to Twitter and that’s about it.

With all the weird things going on with my Facebook account I thought I would play with it some more.

The pluses:

  • People do react to my posts. I get likes, comments, and a few added followers. So there is some sense of “engagement” and it’s an easy place to share tidbits of things, or thoughts you find interesting.
  • Because of a tweet I added to a journalist about his Olympic article, I ended up getting connected to a CNN journalist and got interviewed. So I made an interesting connection.
  • Some software has quickly responding support if you send a tweet or message to them on Twitter.
  • Just opening up Twitter you can read through tweets and reply to them, retweet them, or like them (you apparently can’t hate them).

The minuses:

  • What a garbled mess! Does anybody understand what’s going on at all? Why do you see the posts you do? Where is there any sense of organization? It’s like a non-stop stream of consciousness that can get sort of annoying.

Is there any way of making sense of Twitter? Or is there any point in bothering to try to make sense of it?

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Training

Yesterday I attended my scheduled 2020 Olympics training session at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in the Sangubashi neighborhood, near Shinjuku.

I hadn’t been to that neighborhood before. It’s just two stops from Shinjuku (3 minutes) but a world of difference. It’s much quieter, with some nice hills and interesting shops and restaurants.

The Olympics Center itself is huge – but aging. It was built after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The session lasted 3 hours. It was a bit exhausting, but interesting. There was lots and lots and lots of talk about diversity and disabilities. People could take out their smartphones and tablets, and using a QR code connect to a real-time Q&A system. They would periodically ask us to guess answers to questions, or ask our opinions about something, and the results would show up in histograms on the big front screen in real time. I wonder if there are systems like that in classrooms in the U.S. It’s certainly better than a show of hands count (there were 300 people in my session).

Here are some photos from the day. I don’t think I’ll hear back from them until March now about actual assignments, getting my accreditation card, and all the other stuff like my uniform and carrying bag.

It’s interesting being a part of it.

I’m a member of what is called the “Field Cast” – people who will go out in the field and help at events, help with athletes, and things like that. People who act as guides around the city and at stations are part of the “City Cast.”

I dreaded it when they asked me if I had a Japanese driver’s license, because I said yes, but I have a really bad sense of direction. They said, “That’s no problem – the cars all have navigation systems.” I really don’t want to get involved with driving around Tokyo in the middle of the Olympics though! I think something dealing with language help, media, or tech stuff might be better for me.

I also noticed on the events map that a large number of events are actually going to be practically within walking distance of my house! So it’s going to be a madhouse regardless.

Anyway, it should be something interesting to look back on later!

Click on individual photos to see them in full size.

In an unrelated side-note, I keep wondering these days where to post things. I love my blog and have been using it for years. My friends and other people can search, and the content is mine, and it doesn’t fall into the FaceBook abyss. But not everybody is subscribed to it.

It’s somewhat easier to post to FaceBook, but everything there is fleeting. And I have some friends who aren’t subscribed to FaceBook either. I noticed that some non-FaceBook friends use Instagram, so recently I’ve started posting photos to that site, though I’m not crazy about the system. It does automatically post the same photos to FaceBook, so that way I can easily reach two sets of friends: FaceBook and Instagram users. Instagram is weird in the way it formats photos though, especially if you take some in portrait mode and some in landscape.

Some friends don’t use either social network, and only read my blog. While some read more than one so they get duplicate photos.

I guess I’ll just continue the way I am now – maybe use my blog more and just add links to FaceBook, to keep things going. But I used to post more Monta photos to my blog, and tend to post them to Instagram now.

I do promise to keep my political posts for the upcoming election separate though. I started a separate blog just for that: Feel free to subscribe there as well.

You are narrow minded and intolerant if you disagree with me

Ah, social media.

Today I lost a Facebook friend. By that, I mean she “unfriended” me. A real nice person too, and I feel bad about it. But these weird things happen on social networks.

In this particular case what happened (from my perspective) was that she claims to be very tolerant of diversity and opinions, yet basically accused me of being intolerant because I spoke up about what I see as the intolerance found in mainstream Islam. In other words, I disagreed with her.

It was an irony within an irony within an irony.

Earlier this year another incident happened with a “friend of a friend.” That woman is also is an interesting person, but she posted a rather strange article which claimed “all men are part of the rape culture.” I disagreed. I don’t happen to think I’m part of the rape culture. Because I disagreed she said I was narrow-minded. I pointed out that, logically speaking, if I’m narrow-minded for disagreeing then the same could be said about her because she disagreed with me. As you might imagine, it went downhill from there.

I’m glad to say we did not unfriend each other.

However, I have unfriended a few people in the past. One was a real friend from college who kept on going on these homophobic rants, which was irritating, and also irritated all my other friends. Another was a Norwegian friend-of-a-friend who kept on espousing how great Hamas was and basically sounded like he was in favor of violent terrorism. I never really knew him personally, so it was no loss.

Helpful hint: Never get into middle east debates on social networks.

A few other people have unfriended me as well. One really nice actual friend from undergrad school unfriended me after I posted some messages disputing some of his pro-Tea Party posts. As a Tea-Party person I guess he was not really interested in discussing things. It was a shame though. I had always liked him a lot.

Another friend from college unfriended me after he posted a lament about incandescent light bulbs being made illegal, and I pointed out that that wasn’t quite true, they just had to be more energy efficient and Phillips is still selling them in the U.S.

It’s silly stuff to lose friends over.

You have to be careful of what you talk about with different people. I know people from different periods in my life, and different parts of my life. And they don’t always mix well.

Sharing can also just sometimes be too much. Like I’m doing now!

That’s all. I was just feeling wistful about losing a nice Facebook friend over a going-in-circles dispute about who is intolerant over what. Tolerance should have ruled the day, but it didn’t. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.