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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

dealing with love bugs

Y'all know my hate relationship with ladybugs, right? I'll link a few quotes back. Keep in mind these are only partial grabs from sometimes extensive lengthy observations about ladybug behaviors that include pix and more linx.

25. Have you smoked anything in the last week?
I totally smoked a ladybug that nearly flew into my eye. Scott thinks I’m evil
.

Totally different survey-
27: When was the last time someone flirted with you?
A couple of ladybugs woke me up this morning with their tiny little feet. I wasn’t kind
.

Another totally different survey-
I am so ready for this weird ladybug infestation to be over. They are on *everything*. Yeah, you think they're cute, you've never had a thousand ladybugs inside your house. This little guy was nearly in my mouth before I noticed him.




It's really gross wondering if you just ate ladybugs in your cereal.

I've personally never seen a blue one. Apparently, they also come in a range of blues and purples, and I would probably be less crabby about them flying up my nose while I'm driving or dive bombing right into my beverages or crawling all over every surface in my house if they were blue, because I really like blue.

Also, if I have an enemy somewhere out there poking pins in my effigy and wishing plagues upon me, I'm seriously done with the ladybugs, you can stop now. Send the ladybugs to the terrorists.

Grappling with the sort of apathy that has me migrating from feeling appalled about crunchy little ladybug bits embedding into my sox to wondering how many ways mutilated ladybug corpses and parts could be used in bold new artwork and designs. I've lost track of how long this ladybug thing has been going on, but it's certainly the longest ever.

Wo. Clearly this 'infestation' is a horrible way of life for me since it goes back many years, probably because I live on the edge of a state forest. Anyway, my point is that ladybugs are supposed to be cute and represent all that is good in the world, and they're even called love bugs.

Love bugs. Two incongruous words that really don't go together. Perhaps the love bug thing was borne of a long ago folk tale making up fun ways to get through another idiotic ladybug infestation.

K, just so's you know where I'm going with this.

I currently have 37 posts tagged 'twitter' on Pinky blog. Well, this one will make 38, so if you click that it will look like it goes back to this post, but all the rest drop into line right under it.

I love twitter. I love the whole direct braining thing without all the messy in between stuff. I love seeing what's in other people's heads. I especially love the whole in the moment thing, and the way we can look back at single thoughts trapped in the amber of timestamping. My very favorite part is how awesomely witty people are on the fly in 140 characters or less, especially when they sync up during live tweeting TV shows and other events.

Twitter also has its drags. We live in a bifurcated twitter world- On the one hand, everyone wants to look cool with follower numbers because that denotes power and popularity, even though we all know half the accounts are dead or bots or spam. On the other hand, everyone wants the bugs to stop tagging and tagging and tagging and tagging and retweeting and tagging like omg do these people have no life... And then if you say anything they blow up and cry and sometimes they throw things or call you psycho, and then they tag you even harder and more and omg they really don't have a life...

Because that's what bugs do, isn't it? They bug you. And quite often they do it out of what they see as love. Love bugs.

That's not really a bad thing, is it? All that bug has to do is quip "I love you" in a tweet and that's supposed to cover it.

So here's the real stuff now, ONE example of the stuff I never said when it was actually happening.

One time someone buzzed my notifications apart with a retweeting blitz that lasted nearly ten minutes while I was waiting on a very important phone call back about something very distressing. It was all I could do to get a tweet out edgewise and say I needed it to stop because it was grinding that phone at the time to a very literal locked up standstill, and not only was I laughed back at on twitter, but it got worse before it finally stopped. I never shared publicly what the distress was. I'll share now that I was afraid and waiting to hear back whether someone was going to die because of stuff happening, and I was barely holding it together when the blitz happened. But all in good fun, right?

There have been other times my phone has been overloaded with twitter blitzes between my entire timeline being retweeted going back 3 days all at once or a slew of incoming private messages freaking out about something or someone, to the point where my own family couldn't get important texts through during critical situations. Again, older tech and not enough app control and I was dealing with phone freeze waiting to hear if my kid had been injured in a car accident because another person I barely knew in real life either thought it was funny to blitz me or thought I was the one to hang onto during a meltdown. Again, I never told anyone. I was cool about it and kept it private.

The point is that all it took was one person to do this. Now imagine more prominent people figuring out how to deal with this kind of stuff on a more massive scale.

I didn't realize Anne Wheaton had locked her twitter account. A Little Clarity It's ok, followers are still in there. Really cool to see her working directly with twitter on a few ideas. You guys saw my Pond of Death stuff before I pulled most of it back into draft land. I was thrilled to see that my own bugs aren't among her followers.

Not everyone who uses twitter apps on phones have got their tech set up for emergency preparedness, and my older phone especially didn't have that sort of capability, and then trying to get a tweet out edgewise to someone to stop blitzing my tech long enough to do something vital on it sometimes blew things up worse. All it took was one person having some snarky fun tagging and retweeting the hell out of my timeline to send me into overload during a very real crisis. I can't even imagine being a celebrity with hundreds of people doing that.

I was furious, and spent the next several days evaluating what that kind of friend really means when they say "I love you" after they acknowledge that they know they're torturing you with a "look at me" blitz, trying my best to figure out why their "I love you" tweet afterward didn't seem to equate to actually caring for real what was going on between us. And that was only one person. Add a few more in there, like the night 5 different people I barely know 'urgently' private messaged me for 2 hours about whatever was hanging up their evening while I was texting with an actual person I know and love in real life who was critically near a self harm or suicidal tipping point. Is it any wonder I started cutting people off? And then attempting to reason inspired "I love you" to turn into calling me a psycho real fast in one instance.

Part of our twitter experience is how much we allow ourselves to be accessed by other people. Once I realized I was allowing people that much control over me, I had to learn how to disallow it and still keep the kind of control I wanted over my own twitter account. I've spent the better part of the last 3 months weeding out the crap in my twitter just so I can actually see what's going on there, and I was meticulously organized in the first place, and I'm a speed reader to boot.

If I put the kind of energy into tag tweeting that some people on twitter do, I'd own the world by now. I wouldn't stop at saying hi to every single friend for every single ocassion, like holidays and weekends and lunch time and whatevs (I love my gangs, don't stop saying hi to me), or stop at tweeting my fave celebs 20 or 30 times a day (a couple of you really need to cut that out, though), NO... I would experiment with cray stuffs like weird tag combos with random blurts for no reason (srsly not funny random #FF tagging me with Donald Trump, even if you're in love with him) (yes, that happened) (you guys wouldn't believe some of the group tags I wind up in), or a whole day of hundreds of Iloveanimalssavetheworld tweets with every trending hashtag, or -what. They're already doing that? Srsly? #facepalm

You know you've hit minor celebrity status when people tag you sometimes 50-100 times a day all day long for weeks/months/whatthehellYEARS and then feel destroyed or pissed when you try to get them to stop, or they create new accounts and pretend to be other people to keep following you. I've been doing this since 1994. LinkedIn is still trying to get me to connect with people I knew way back in the Xena days. I have been in and out of public fandom so many times for so long, and I still max out on tag tweeting from only a handful of people, so I totally get how someone way more prominent than me would max out, too.

I've tried everything. For awhile it was lists, which work really well until I realized I'd put hours of my life into something that's supposed to be making life easier. Then I tried muting, which only works on the main incoming feed because it ignores list feeds. I know from long experience that blocking generally only inspires more stalking, so I very rarely block any more. I learned how to turn general notifications off on my new phone, but keep mobile notifications on for certain people, and now I have a do not disturb option on my phone so I can turn those sounds off, too, like when I'm at an appointment but still need to keep my phone on for something important (bless you Samsung Galaxy 6). It's a wild balancing act, one that a lot of people wouldn't tolerate for very long, and wouldn't think is funny if it were turned back on them. But more than anything, it's about stressful loads of guilt for me for hurting other people's feelings because we just aren't made to be spread so thin. These click to good articles.

Your Brain Can Only Handle a Few Close Friends

The Dunbar Number, From the Guru of Social Networks

My general rule of thumb that I'm developing is that no one else dictates how I handle my social medias, especially twitter. Part of my recent transition away from twitter while still retaining an active account and not disappearing was about getting away from a few love bugs who've been dragging me around like a teddy bear through their feeds until my name has become so synonymous with theirs that it was actually hurting my reputation. I have a reputation. Several people who know me from earlier fandoms have been reminding me of this. There is waaaaayyyyy more to me than simply being a twitter presence. My end game is not twitter. Twitter is not the goal. Twitter is a useful vehicle for my overall goals, and a really nice side effect is enjoying some real people I've come to appreciate being part of my life. For some people, twitter is the ride they'll never get off, and I'm cool with that. I love twitter, it really is the awesomest thing since they invented ice cream. But sometimes it can be like ice cream full of ladybugs...

Final word- I am really glad Anne has the kind of klout that has the twitter police hustling to find a way to keep her on board. The world needs more people like Anne Wheaton.


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