Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

New Year’s Day 2018

January 1, 2018

First, I would like to apologize for this post being later than it usually is. I know that might not matter much to whoever is reading this but it matters to me. Usually, I have things together and I have a post or two scheduled so I don’t have to scramble to get something up when I might be busy. Do I have a good excuse on why I did not do this for today? Not really. Basically, I got through one of the most positive Christmas holidays I have had in a while. I felt like I really had a good time and things went smoother. I was also super pleased with the Christmas gift that I picked out for people now that I can afford real gifts again. I got great gifts as well, mostly reference books to help with the D&D campaign I am working on. I could honestly go without gifts but my mom and stepfather love giving them and I understand because I love giving gifts too. Once again, I stressed over Secret Santa for no reason because I love to put pressure on myself but I felt like I relaxed a lot more this time around.

I had five days off from work that I mostly spent out in West Virginia and there is a lot of joy for me just in walking down the super friendly main street of Shepherdstown. I was proud to live there for nearly two years and visiting is nostalgic for me. It reminds me of the good parts of living in Sussex, New Jersey, and the family vacations to Woodstock, Vermont. When I got back, I got to have a drink and a great conversation with my brothers. Longtime readers (or archive delvers) of this blog will know how much I love and respect my brothers. I had a day off to myself in Baltimore which I used to watch The Last Jedi which I loved. Then it was back to work for three days, one of those limbo-like weeks where part of the staff are out and the other half are a little bit checked out.

On Friday, I spent my birthday at work which is fine by me. People who know me know that I do not like people to make a huge deal of my birthday. I have not had an official party in a long time. If anything, I have a calm dinner with my folks and see a movie but sometime that happens weeks or months after the day itself. Many people left great messages on my Facebook which reminds me that I have to do better with wishing other people a happy birthday. I spent Saturday as I wished, and I went and saw I, Tonya to treat myself. I had a great time decompressing, watching stuff, and playing video games. I also have had some great winter walks lately.

Last night I moseyed over to Joe and Jill’s house, a place that I often go for gaming. I also go there for craft night on Tuesday which is where I get some of the writing for this blog done. I also hang out with that group of friends on Trivia Night on Wednesday. By the way, if you are in the neighborhood in Columbia, Maryland on a Wednesday night, stop by the Second Chance Saloon for Atomic Trivia. A great time is had by all. This group of friends is something that I am really grateful for as we enter into 2018. I may not make it to every gathering but I have fun every time I am with them and I look forward to the times when I can make the drive out there.

There is a lot more that I want to do with this blog. I had a lot of fun doing DnDcember this year and I might make that a thing next year because I really love creating in that world. I will be continuing the new story When It All Ended which takes place about five years ago in my Elorian campaign setting. I will be writing more about and in that campaign but I cannot post what would be spoilers for my players. I have other ongoing stories that I want to continue/finish. I especially have great plans currently for Redcross and The Symbol (which may get a new title now that I am thinking about it). I want to write more weird stuff too, like the short bit based on a deck of playing cards and a deck of tarot cards and the court reporter script. I want to continue to stretch and grow in my writing and continue to have fun writing.

I continue to have faith in humanity this year even though that faith is constantly shaken and tested. I believe in the goodness of my family and my friends. I believe that when push comes to shove, the people I surround myself will do the right thing. I believe that I will do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself. The United States feels like it is on the edge of something bad like one good shove could ruin everything. Maybe that shove already happened with an unpaid-for tax cut that will probably put us trillions of dollars into debt. Still, I have to keep having hope or I will spiral into depression and I will never get out. I have to believe that good things can and will happen. I sincerely hope that things get better for you, dear reader, even if last year was a good year. Things can always be better.

The Dislike Button

September 18, 2015

If you had not heard the news lately, the grand muckeymucks at Facebook have announced that they are working on finally adding a dislike button to Facebook’s user interface. Facebook has had a “Like” button attached to each and every post you, your friends or companies make. By clicking “Like” you indicate your support for the post or the person who posted it. I only explain this because I know for a fact I have a reader or two who don’t know this information. A lot of sites have similar buttons allowing friends and fans to show their support without having to think up a clever comment. I’ve clicked these buttons on both Facebook, Tumblr and even right here on WordPress. The dislike button would allow people to voice their displeasure with a post, subject matter, etc.

When I first got into the groove of using Facebook I joined the crowd in calling for a dislike button. There are some situations where clicking a like button just doesn’t cut it, such as when people announce a personal tragedy. However, now I’m not so sure about wanting to install that dislike button. When I wanted the dislike button it was at a angrier time in my life. I loved to rail against what I couldn’t stand and I relished the chance at giving a big thumbs down to whatever I wanted. I was into punk, heavy metal and wearing a long black coat that scared the bejeezus out of some of my teachers and classmates. I like to believe I’ve changed but I do understand that the world doesn’t change like that.

The reason I object to the “Dislike” button is that I feel that the internet, or at least my corner of it, has become uncomfortably negative. I already deal with avoiding a lot of bile in my daily commute through the internet that the thought of any more fills me with dread. Sure, it’s low level dread but it is dread all the same.

For instance, I have mentioned in my Media Update posts that I have taken to absorbing a lot of my entertainment through Netflix and Youtube. Youtube is a great place to catch original programming largely from self-made content producers who built their operation from the ground up. It’s actually pretty uplifting. If you want to continue to be uplifted, do not scroll down. A large part of the comments under a video on youtube are full of gnashing of teeth and a lot of trolling. Some of it is simple button-pushing but a lot of it seems to be actual hate. It’s hard to read it without having a visceral reaction.

I have recently discovered Reddit. I really only visit one fandom’s Reddit and it was recently named as one of the most toxic communities on Reddit. I’m talking about the Game Grumps Sub-Reddit. The community is extremely divided to ridiculous degree. Everything is written as either black or white. They are divided over whether the old co-host is better than the new co-host. They’re divided over whether the recurring female co-host is awful or great. They’re divided over how you should be a fan of something I find entertaining and kind of inspiring.

The two sites I just mentioned have dislike buttons. In Reddit, the button is actually a “downvote” button which is a term that doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t disagree with a downvote or dislike button’s purpose in voicing your opinion on what somebody else has posted on the internet. It just feels like the internet has become a very negative place where we assume things of one another and we are quick to judge. Hitting the dislike button is too easy. Voicing our concerns or putting out content with a counterargument is too hard or at least that’s what I’m seeing.

Will installing another dislike button really cause much more negativity in the internet? Probably not. I’ve seen it misused to crush other people’s fun but I’ve also seen it used to crush internet trolls. It’s a double-edged sword. I just feel like there’s a lot of negativity already and the dislike button was like a beacon to me. I realize that negative energy has its proper place such as comedy or self-defense but not when it comes to responding what a person has created. I just want more constructive criticism out there as I’ve grown tired of being negative for the sake of being negative.

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