Never Forget

It’s been 15 years since 9/11. 15 years since America watched a jet plane crash into the second World Trade Center Tower on live television. 15 years since we watched in disbelief as first one tower and then the second crumbled to the ground. 15 years since a third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth taken down by passengers in a field in Pennsylvania before it could hit it’s intended target in DC.

Never forget. That has been America’s mantra since 9/11. In the early days, the country came together like no other time in modern history. In our collective horror and grief, we weren’t Republican or Democrat, we were only American.

Never forget. This weekend the phrase is popping up on Facebook and it’s a trending hashtag on Twitter. Lots of hearts and flags.

Never forget. But we have forgotten. One only has to peruse social media to see we have forgotten. No, we haven’t forgotten the horror of 9/11, but we have forgotten what it’s like to be a country united. We have forgotten that it’s not a Republican or Democrat thing. Tomorrow Facebook posts will no longer mention 9/11. #NeverForget will no longer be trending on Twitter. It’ll be replaced with friends and strangers saying hateful things to each other about topics they don’t agree upon. With people questioning each other’s patriotism. With little to no understanding of different perspectives.

This 15th anniversary of 9/11 happens to coincide with the discovery of 11-year old Jacob Wetterling’s remains who had been kidnapped while riding his bike in the small Minnesota town of St. Joseph in 1989. For 27 years Jacob’s parents, siblings, and the people of Minnesota held out hope that Jacob was alive. This week we found out he was murdered the night he disappeared.

We didn’t have the internet in 1989. 15 years ago on 9/11 there was no social media. When people asked Patty Wetterling what they could do to help, she asked  everyone to do 11 things that nurture kindness. Her request could not be more timely.

In memory of Jacob and in memory of all the lives lost on 9/11 let our actions show we have not forgotten.

  1. Be fair.
  2. Be kind.
  3. Be understanding.
  4. Be honest.
  5. Be thankful.
  6. Be a good sport.
  7. Be a good friend.
  8. Be joyful.
  9. Be generous.
  10. Be gentle with others.
  11. Be positive.

Never forget.

 

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#HeShallRemainNameless

If you don’t know who the title refers to, there is no mistaking it once you read the definitions of megalomania, narcissist and bigot. Other than his hate speech, the one thing he’s fond of repeating over and over are his poll numbers. A narcissist has “unconscious deficits in self esteem”—so while he would like us to believe he is confident, his behavior suggests otherwise. Policy isn’t a priority, he’s only obsessed with his poll numbers and how many people are at his rallies.Bigot

We collectively wring our hands over this megalomania, narcissistic, bigot, acting as if there is nothing we can do to stop him, but two of the definitions lay it out quite simply. If we take away his platform, we take away his power. Stop talking about him. Stop writing about him. Stop posting his words. Stop posting articles that talk about him. Stop posting his picture. Hide the posts about him that come through your newsfeed—and resist the urge to comment. Delete any posts you’ve made about him. Change the channel if someone is talking about him or he’s being interviewed. At this point there is absolutely nothing new to learn. So even a post that denounces him—if it says his name or has his picture—hide it or delete it!

The first amendment may protect his right to free speech, but it doesn’t guarantee him an audience. STOP LISTENING! Ignore him AND anyone who gives him a voice. Effective social media is measured by engagement. If posts have no likes, comments or shares, if tweets have no RTs or replies—surely the lack of engagement can turn the tide.

We don’t need to be hateful. We don’t need to be violent. We can virtually (yes, pun intended) take his power away with a simple click of a button. If his name were to disappear from the internet, television, radio AND our lips, the only audience he would have are the measly 15% who actually support him. We can show the world he doesn’t speak for America by taking away his voice. Are you up for it?

Social Without Networking

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. What I love about it can just as easily become the thing that exasperates me—it all depends on the nature of the posts that come through my newsfeed. The last few days one of my friends has been posting about his trip to London. Nothing braggadocious like I might be tempted to post if I was traveling abroad. Just a check-in at the airport and a couple quick videos of his various daily commutes, including one of those infamous red double-decker buses as it passed by him. I couldn’t resist asking him if he was camping out at the hospital in wait for the royal baby—I’d seen another post that said this is what the locals were doing. Today I was surprised to see he was already back stateside, but the post announcing his wait at Heathrow made me smile and ponder at the wonder of what I had just read. He gave me permission to share his experience.

So…I get to the London airport early to make my flight and see if I can improve my seating location for maximum comfort. It didn’t work; but it was worth a shot. I’m sitting, on the phone waiting on my flight to board and I see the airport services people lead an obviously blind man to the seat next to me. A few minutes past, I get off the phone and the new guy immediately says hello. He ask’s what time is boarding. I tell him and he continues to make small talk. I suspect he is nervous about flying and wants to talk. I run into these folks frequently. He makes a corny little blind joke about knowing more about people as a blind man than the seeing. I ask, “what does he know about me.” Without hesitation or stutter he says you’re an american, born in the south. I said that’s easy, my accent is a dead give away. “I’m not finished,” he interrupts. You’re black, 40 to 50 years old with a graduate degree level of education. You travel international frequently for work and you’re a sales type person.” Now, I’m impressed. He’s dead on accurate! How did you know all this? He says, “I heard your conversation on the phone when I walked up. That gave me most of the information. And, you’ve been asking me questions since we began talking; that’s what sales people do.” We laugh. I’m astonished as though this was a circus trick. How did you know I was black? “I’m familiar with black speech patterns and dialect. I know what black folks sound like,” he says. “I’ve worked with black folks all my life.” I see, I reply. What do you do?, I ask. “I’m a political consultant. “You know Maynard Jackson, correct?” Yes, I do. “Well, I worked on his campaign to be the first black mayor of Atlanta.” At this point I shift in my seat to look directly at this man. For the next 40 minutes I hear the most phenomenal stories about the civil rights movement from a blind white man. He was a campaign strategist to elect black officials to political office; mainly mayors. Maynard Jackson, Harold Washington, Coleman Young, Richard Arrington, Harvey Gantt. My mouth is slightly agape. He had an interesting little antidote about each person and each election. “Now boarding!, the lady says and the airport services guy comes for my “friend.” It was great talking to you I said. He smiled and reached out his hand and said Alabama, right? I shook his hand and said “you’re right. I was born and raised.” He said the accent is almost gone but I still hear it. We both belly laugh and walked off.
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I immediately commented on my friend’s post, “I hope you got his business card!” He didn’t. In fact, after further conversation my friend told me he didn’t even get the man’s name, something he so regretted. He said it all happened so quickly. When I chided him asking, “What sales guy doesn’t ask for a business card of someone like that?”, my friend said he was stunned by it all. I have to admit when I pondered this further, I kind of like the fact my friend was so enthralled in the conversation that trying to network with this man didn’t even dawn on him. He thought of so many more things he would like to have asked him, but unfortunately they were headed in different directions.

I wasn’t the only one to marvel at what’s almost becoming a lost art—socializing face-to-face. “Wow! He just put on a clinic about what a person can learn from others if they took the time to closely listen.” exclaimed another friend. “Very interesting……..It’s amazing what you can hear with your eyes closed.” was another wise observation. And probably most profound, “Interesting, he knew stuff about you that some of your friends are still trying to figure out.” Just goes to show real conversation is something we should not be so quick to replace with social networking. As my friend said, “It was a great encounter though. And if his story is completely true, it’s remarkable.” Next time you’re tempted to bury your nose in your phone so the stranger sitting next to you doesn’t bother you with idle chatter, you might want to reconsider. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the man knew my friend took their picture.

Why Can’t They Just Pay For it Themselves?

If this is your first reaction when you see those Kickstarter and other crowdfunding campaigns come through your Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, I’m sure you’re not alone. Especially when it comes to musicians—seems like every couple years they come to you with their hand out looking for money to make another new record.

PledgMusicProfPic

But is it really a handout they’re after? Take a closer look—what are they offering in exchange for your donation to their campaign? The minimum pledge of $10 on PledgeMusic, gets the pledger a digital download of the album. PledgeMusic is solely for musicians so a digital download of the album is actually included with EVERY reward. While each artist has the discretion to offer other items at any price, many offer their potential new CD for the same price it will sell for on their website once it’s released. Sure, there are always those fun, one-of-a-kind rewards and experiences available at a higher price, but a smart artist won’t set a goal amount they can’t reasonably expect to raise based on their past digital downloads and CDs sold, combined with the growth of their fan base and how engaged those fans are.

We all know the music industry has changed drastically in the last decade or so. One no longer needs a record label to make and release an album, but if you don’t have that traditional music-industry backing, an artist is fighting an uphill battle to make a name for themselves and be heard. Independent artists generally don’t have the extra funds to cover the cost of professionally recording new material, but it’s kind of a catch-22 because a current CD is vital for touring artists. If you see someone in concert but can’t purchase the music they’re performing, chances are you’ll forget about them—especially if they’re independent. No amount of clever Facebook updates and tweets are going to replace being able to listen to current recordings that are competitive with anything else you have in your playlist.

Have you ever heard a new artist and found yourself saying, “I really like them, why aren’t they on the radio?” The odds of being “discovered” or having a song or music video go viral are similar to winning the lottery. Most independent artists’ success is based on a combination of how hard they’re willing to work—and the level of support they are able to garner from their fans—the people who really believe in them.

So, if you like an artist, go to their concerts, buy their CDs, spread the word about them—and by all means—donate to their crowdfunding campaigns. If you’re thinking you’ll wait to buy it when you see them in concert, or get it on iTunes after it’s released, there’s a good chance you AND they, will be left empty-handed.

Full disclosure: I am the manager of Nashville-based sister duo, Chasing Lovely, who has a campaign on PledgeMusic to fund their second EP that ends on Thursday, November 20, 2015 at 11:58pm. Chasing Lovely has sold over a thousand copies of their debut EP, released in Nov. 2012. They have 2,070 followers on Facebook, 543 on Instagram, and 385 on Twitter. Click on their PledgeMusic widget below for more information on their campaign. http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/chasinglovely

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PledgeMusic.com/projects/chasinglovely

Google Voice – One More Reason to Jump on the Google Bandwagon

Why, oh why didn’t I buy stock back when Google was just a little start-up company?  It was considered start-up at one time, yes?  I always say the computer and I are on a need to know basis, but Google goes a long way in making me appear tech-savvy.

I admit, I held out for quite awhile thinking there was no way Gmail could be as safe as pulling AOL or MSN into Outlook.  What if they lost my e-mail or even worse, what if someone at Google might be hacking into my Gmail trying to discover all those state secrets I don’t know?  I realized equating the internet (more specifically Gmail) with the likes of the boogie man was merely a figment of my imagination, and those lurking creatures on the world wide web are about as dangerous as the ones under my bed.  So I turned my soul over to Google, because they keep creating all these wonderful applications (for lack of a better term) that not only make me look tech-savvy, they actually make my life easier.

IGoogle is my homepage because it gives me easy access to everything I need on the web in one place.  Gmail is way more than just e-mail since I can also IM (instant message), and voice or video chat in real time.  Google Calendar sends me e-mail reminders as well as SMS (text) which beats post-it notes everywhere, so I’m not late returning a book to the library, paying a bill or miss a hair appointment that was pre-booked six weeks earlier.  Google Docs comes in handy with no MSWord on my Mac, and since I don’t have Photo Shop, I rely on Google Images (how do you think I get all the pictures for this blog).

Google-Voice

If you’ve somehow resisted the pull towards technology, they may just get you with Google Voice.  When I recently moved I dropped the land line (hard line, home phone, or whatever you want to call it), because I was paying for a service I rarely used.  Of course every time I have to fill out some type of form, it always asks for two numbers and I can’t help but wonder if I’m looked down upon for having only one.

No more!  As of last night I am back in the ranks of the two phone number family.  I heard about Google Voice several months ago, but after my friend got me all excited about this new service he then told me they weren’t handing out any new numbers.  It was kind of cruel to cause me to have Google envy when he knew there was no quick fix, but I did my research (yes, I Googled it) and found I could ask to be notified when they opened the service to the minions. Continue reading

To Twitter or Not to Twitter…

This is the question on many people’s minds. You’ve finally just figured out how to post a profile on Facebook and now you hear FB is practically old school, because Twitter is the latest and greatest thing. How the heck do you keep up with technology?

First just admit you’ll probably always be one step behind, so give yourself a break because you’re not really missing out on that much. Certainly nothing worth stressing over.

Is Twitter for everyone? It’s actually redundant for a good many folks. I’ve had my Twitter account @katturner for nearly a year, but didn’t start using it much till a few months ago. That’s how long it took me to find a real reason to use this particular social networking tool.

Ashton Kutcher Twitter Pic

My twitterbud @aplusk (aka Ashton Kutcher) was the first celebrity to have a million followers a couple weeks ago, but, now has nearly twice that number 1,911,274. Coming in a close second is @TheEllenShow (aka Ellen Degeneres) who has 1,643,132 followers.

@GStephanopoulos (ABC’s George Stephanopoulos) has a respectable 627,945 while my other news twitterbuddie @andersoncooper (CNN’s AC 360) has a measly 210,006. Their numbers may not be as impressive as Ashton and Ellen, but I find their tweets much more relevant because they’re generally talking about something newsworthy as opposed to personal. Continue reading

You Might Be a Facebook Ho II

Gallary of "Friends"Yesterday I updated my status (I refuse to acknowledge the change to, “what’s on your mind”) and noted I had just cleaned up my Facebook and removed a few “friends” along with the link to You Might Be a Facebook Ho If…  I had a couple friends comment they were glad to make the “cut” and one who wanted to play the game and add a few things he’d learned in his short couple of weeks on Facebook.

I honestly hadn’t meant to imply I was  randomly deleting friends, but in an effort to be true to my own observations in FB Ho I, I felt the need to clean house, so to speak.  I admit, a few actions on that list were things I had done myself, so some of the laughs were at my own expense. Continue reading