All posts tagged: Internet

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My Very Public Online Fling

After my divorce, I was as broken as a tree branch after a storm. Luckily, I found a female comrade — on Twitter of all places — who was healing from her own divorce. Our digital friendship blossomed into a long-distance digital romance. We sent corny notes to each other on instant messenger and kisses over Skype. After a few months of online communication, Cate (not her real name) suggested that we meet in real life. One caveat — she lived in New Zealand. After much thought, I decided to seize the day and off I went to catch my Air New Zealand flight. The exterior of the plane was decorated with characters from The Lord of the Rings movie, which was filmed in New Zealand. Like Frodo Baggins, I was off on an adventure.My trip to New Zealand has all the elements of a Harlequin romance: Cate was beautiful. New Zealand was stunning. The clouds were as white and fluffy as cotton; you wanted to grab a piece from the sky and feel it …

Smiley Poop, Unicorns, Middle Fingers: What We Talk About When We Emoji

(Photo by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) “Look at my taco emoji,” my friend said last week. “Look at it!” “I can’t see it. I’d have to upgrade my phone. The last time I did that, the battery life on the device I use to do every important task in my life dropped to nothing and I’m scared to try it again.” “A taco emoji, Laurie. And a unicorn. A middle finger.” And this is how I came to spend last Monday night watching the Apple 9.1 upgrade fail twice, appear to turn my phone into a terrifying brick and then, suddenly, magically work five hours before my alarm was due to go off. Tiny text tacos and unicorns and profane hand gestures – such are my priorities today. It’s fine. I can own it, along with the truth that the first emoji I sent when the phone came back to life in the morning was a unicorn. And it was very, very satisfying. I was a relatively late adopter of emojis, Japanese symbols that are meant to clarify …

Kenahora, Dude: Why I Knock On Wood Before Bragging Online

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) We are all complicit in shouting our truths on social media at full volume and thinking that it’s fine. I’ve played along for years – turning my mommy freelance boredom and procrastination problems toward my need to connect with others and to zone out by going deep down the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram rabbit holes. I put effort towards my online self for sure, sharing my writing projects and weirdo observations and, of course, pictures of my family and I doing picturesque things. But lately, I’m at an oversaturation point. I’ve been having this confusing existential feeling that if I don’t post a picture or say something cute about what I’m doing, then it’s almost like it didn’t happen. New channels create new customs, but really, WTF? Ten years ago, did you show your vacation pictures to this many people? When did 673 people have to know that you went apple picking in the fall, sledding in the winter, to Disney in the spring and to the beach in the …

#SoProud Moms on Facebook, We Need to Talk

(Graphic by Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) Dear Moms on Facebook With Above-Average Kids (hereafter referred to as MOF-WAACs), Your children are unique in their accomplishments. They exceed in a wide range of sports: soccer, basketball, field hockey and then soccer again, but of the “travel team” variety. They are given baffling-to-me-and-perhaps-other-people-who-don’t-live-in-your-town awards like “regional,” “all-city” and “division champ” (I say choose one geographical designation and go with it, but I don’t live in your town.) They always get A’s, and you, as a MOF-WAAC, have never failed to photograph their report cards and upload them to Facebook with the hashtag #soproud. In fact, from their post-natal APGAR score (perfect 10s, scanned and uploaded) to their college diplomas (magna cum laude, ditto), they’ve done nothing but made you #soproud. One noteworthy example (and I’m not making this up): Your toddler photographed mid-defecation, straddling a low plastic toilet with the caption “First poop in a big-girl potty!” And the hashtag #poophappens. On this point I couldn’t agree more: Poop does happen. But ask yourselves, MOF-WAACs, do we need …

Embracing My Bad Side: 11 Unflattering Selfies

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight) On a lazy Saturday in September, I intentionally posted 11 of my most unflattering selfies on Facebook — just because. Well, not precisely “just because.” Here’s the what, the why, the how and the what happened of that frivolous undertaking. The Experiment “Ugly selfies” are nothing new. Nearly five years ago, Bay Area poet Sonya Renee Taylor helped popularized the trend with “Ugly Picture Monday” on her Facebook page. She encouraged other women to join the pictorial exercise, which became a way to laugh at oneself and/or boldly pronounce one’s self-acceptance. For reasons that had little to do with being funny or displaying courage or promoting confidence, I too wanted to join the unprepossessing parade with my own “ugly” photos of my face and my body. I use the word “ugly” loosely, because I, like you, know that I’m not the worst-looking creature to ever walk the earth. And I, like you, have enough sense to know that not looking like Kerry Washington or Kim Kardashian or Karlie Kloss is not …

I Can’t Unplug (And I Don’t Want To)

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) I may not be all that social these days, but I used to be. When my first son was born in 1995, I logged on to AOL nearly every day to talk to other moms in the “Online Mom” group. (Yes, I still have the t-shirt.) My real-life friends and family thought it was really odd that I sat on the computer and “talked” to strangers for hours. But I knew then what millions of moms know now: Misery loves company. Moms everywhere have realized that a great way to combat the loneliness and isolation of new motherhood is to go online to share experiences, get tips, ask questions and generally figure it all out. (As if anyone can figure it all out.) Flash forward to 2005. I had a busy life filled with work, friends and family, but I still found time to blog nearly every day. I read and commented on my friends’ blog posts and discovered new sites from their blog rolls. There was so much to learn …