How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

My Thanksgiving List and The Week of Awesome

Captain Awesome
I'm thankful for a great many things this year, and most of them seem to have crept up in the past couple months. First of all, there was the Week of Awesome which inexplicably saw a boat load of tech updates, personal triumphs and the release of Harry Potter 7. Included in the Week of Awesome was the Beatles finally making it to iTunes, Google Voice finally making an official (and free) app for the iPhone, Google Docs allowing editing on mobile devices (it's the little things that count), Google Docs syncing with Microsoft Word, me reaching 11,000 tweets, the Epic Thanks charity event last Friday, and the two most important things: a new job (YAY!), and moving forward with several relationships both old and new.

Of course I'm thankful for my family. But who isn't? C'mon. Really. I mean, especially when they're all there around the table glaring at you and asking you questions about what's new in your life. Are you really going to tell them you're not thankful for them? And there are several standard answers to the question "what are you thankful for?" that I'm just going to gloss right over, because, honestly, I'm just not a standard kind of guy.

I'm a social retard. It's sad, but true. And laughable that I pretty much live on what are called "social networks." I present myself well in typeface, but my true face will fumble time and again in social situations either because I'm too eager to move a relationship along or too anxious to speak. My working theory is that I think too much. But in any case, for all my fumbling in the past, I would never have guessed that in the past few months I have actually actively gone out and sought new experiences and new relationships. I'm still a social retard, but at least I'm trying. And it's not like I've been trying to network for my own professional advancement (although I am only one degree of separation from Nathan Fillion now - another thing for which to be thankful *DING*), I've just been lucky enough to meet some awesome, interesting people who, for one reason or another, seem to also tolerate me. This is a personal triumph and something for which I'm extremely thankful. As I am thankful for each and every person this triumph has introduced me to.

Another personal relationship that advanced over the Week of Awesome was part surprise and part inevitability. A friend who I thought may have given up on me finally reached out and we have grown so much close after only one night of good, solid conversation. There are very few people in the world that I feel operate on my wavelength and this person is one of them. I'm probably more grateful for this unexpected turn-around than I am for any other event in the Week of Awesome or the entire year combined.

I've been slightly vague concerning the identities of actual people. That's partly in order to protect privacy and partly because I want to see you guys in the comments! If you're willing to call yourself out, say in the comments whether I've met you or have grown closer to you in the past year and then tell me what you're thankful for. And don't be a pansy and say the average things like "friends" and "family" and "my country" and yadda yadda yadda. BE REAL. What's a personal struggle you're thankful to have overcome? What's a specific relationship you're thankful to have strengthened? What is something really spectacularly awesome that has happened to you in the past 365 days?

Even if you're not part of the above group, tell me your Thanksgiving list! There's no better way to see how awesome your life actually is than to write down all the awesome stuff in your life.