I’m currently reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a novel that has been sitting on my bookshelf for five years. I have this obsession with Powell’s Books, see, and I can’t ever leave without buying something. Often books sit around, unread, for lengthy periods of time (though I’ll admit, 5 years is a bit much). I was still married when I bought it, and that was a lifetime ago. Better late than never, though. I love the story (but hate that it’s responsible for the whole Edward-Cullen-is-so-dreamy-and-he-glitters-in-the-sunlight “Twilight” series). On the other hand, we’ve also got True Blood, so some good came out of the original vampire saga. What’s unique about Dracula is the way the story unfolds, shifting from multiple points of view through diary and journal entries, newspaper clippings, etc. It allows the reader to delve into the minds of several main characters, something that isn’t possible in either a traditional first-person or third-person narrative. As a plot device, it’s very effective.
All that nineteenth-century British eloquence is rubbing off on me, though. I find myself talking differently as of late. I’m spouting off things like “from whence he came” and using words like “hitherto” and “henceforth” a lot. This is making my text messages look really weird, almost as if they were typed out by somebody with a split personality. I’ll be like, “OMG, The Hangover 2 made me LOL. For a while sheer humor mastered me; there was delicious irony in the Wolf Pack’s continued ineptitude in all manner causally related to the imbibing of illicit substances yet again. I was ROFLMAO when Chow asked about the monkey. He is uncommonly clever, if one can judge from his face, even in the absence of clothing. The Russian gangster scene was off the hook! Whilst I ramble on here there is but one thing to hope for, that I have not dropped too heavy a spoiler upon you, and that you shall hence enjoy this comedic gem. Peace out.”
What can I say? I’m like a sponge. I soak things up.
I am also, it turns out, a hypocrite. Because not long ago I wrote a blog entry about the silliness of “check-in” apps. So what have I been doing these past few days? Checking in to nearly every place I visit. I can’t really explain my sudden change of heart, because when you boil it all down, does anybody care that Mark is at New Season’s Market? Of course not. All this does is makes it easier for a person to either A) Stalk you, or B) Rob you. However, A) If anybody wants to stalk me, go right ahead – I could use the excitement!, and B) I find it hard to believe there are criminal masterminds sitting around the computer randomly scouting Facebook to see who is not home, and besides, even if there were, these guys would have no idea whether I’ve got a hungry Rottweiler or an expensive alarm system. In the overall scheme of things, it’s harmless. Plus, check-in apps are trendy, and more and more companies are rewarding their followers with discounts or coupons, an idea that intrigues me. From a social media and marketing perspective…my line of work, and a lot of jobs I’m applying for…it’s a unique and fun way to promote your business. I figure, I’d better get on board if for no other reason than to expand my marketing knowledge.
Also, I finally “get” Twitter. For a couple of years now, I’ve poked fun at it and never really understood its purpose. I figured it was nothing more than a poor man’s Facebook (with a stricter character count). Where were the games? The photos? How inane does “tweeting” sound? But I have come around recently and gotten to the point where I actually embrace it. For one thing, it’s an excellent source for breaking news. I no longer get a daily newspaper and rarely catch the news on TV, but many times throughout the day I’ll spot an interesting headline on my Twitter feed and follow the link to the full story. Sports scores, weather alerts – those come in handy, too. I’m a fan of Portland’s food trucks, and many of them – due to their mobile nature – move around to new spots. How do you know where they’re going to be on any given day? Through their Tweets, of course. Also, you can (theoretically) engage in a conversation with a celebrity – Rainn Wilson, Michael Ian Black and Neil Patrick Harris are all notoriously prolific Tweeters with often-hilarious status updates – and, it’s a great forum for posting blog updates to, promoting your novel, etc. In many ways, Twitter is better than Facebook, because it’s easier to cut through all the crap.
Roll with the changes, right? Presently I came to this conclusion, and it shall henceforth be considered – by none other than this very author – as a just and fitting motto forevermore.
- Facebook versus Twitter (blogrestandplay.com)