SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE PIONEERS

You know I have said it before that Twitter is for twits and yes, I am on it, thank you very much.

Hey when my mom used to argue with my statement “everybody else is doing it,” and she would ask, “well if your friends all wanted to go jump off a cliff would you do it too?”

“Yes!”

It is better to be dead piled on top of the most popular kids in school then standing alive on the top of the cliff alone.

 Of course that was when I was 3 and still formulating my mind.  At 4 I moved on to formulating everyone else’s minds …

BUT anywho … Twitter . . . I don’t get it … except I am clear that timing is everything. We have it today because we are so darn evolved. It obviously makes much more sense today than it would have a hundred years ago. Can you see the twitter mentality back in the pioneer days? AND, it is not just Twitter, it is the whole social networking thing . . . cell phones, plurking, facebook, etc. What if the pioneers had to share every little bit of information and be entertained constantly? Grandma and Grandpa would have been trudging through the snow in their barefeet uphill to the neighbours house 80 miles away every day so they could report, ” I just had toast with jam this morning, with Mabel and Fred,  mmmmm delish!!” I think there is some connection between frozen feet and verbal diarrhoea ’cause once those folks got together they talked about serious stuff .. for days.  That is how long it took for them to thaw their feet, and carve some wooden toes …

Imagine if someone could have posted THAT video . . .  captured the moment when they are talking about the wind coming sweepin’ down the plains and everyone started dancing?  I love historical moments like that when they celebrate them with song and dance. I think it is amazing that old movies were able to recreate those moments first in black and white and now in amazing technicolour.  But the talking thing is clearly why they have imposed a limit on how many characters you can twit and plurk today.  And we have the pioneers to blame.  They obviously looked at them talk-talk-talking every chance they could get (not to mention singing) and said “Ok, not happening here Shirley.” We can no longer hand the “talking stick” around the circle, cause the circle is the whole freaking world now and it is hard to wrestle the stick away from some of those people – they just go on and on and on.  Besides some countries don’t even allow you to bring your stick with you when you travel anyway. So brevity won.  Number of words allowed was capped.  Brevity with twitter is everything.

Keep your nothingness short and sweet.

There is no doubt about it.  The pioneers wanted to twit, they just did not have cell phones. Which is one of the reasons I think if you see a pioneer or someone who looks like Nelly Olsen  . . . you should stop and let her know what you had for your breakfast and then show her like a rerun of Gunsmoke on your cell phone. Tell her that Mark Zuckerberg loves her and play your Lone Ranger theme song ringer.  Everyone should help take care of the pioneers.  They missed out on so much.

Sometimes I like to think what their lives could have been like.  Tweets back then would have been about knitting and the cutworm infestation. We might not understand that today but it was probably pretty riveting stuff back in then. I can see those conversations being retweeted and going viral.  People would have been all over the cutworm guy. Everyone would have congregated into crowds ’cause you just can’t help yourself.  When you are on the prairies, you huddle. There would have been crowds everywhere gathered around the tweet  and they would break out in clogging and stuff.

The pioneers were not as disciplined as we are.

Today we understand the need for twitter to be crowd free. We twitter alone. In the car,  you twitter to the people in the back seat .. “anyone thirsty? I have some fruit boxes in the trunk.” At dinner we twitter to our spouse, “Don’t forget to set the garbage cans out after dinner.” In the bathroom we take our cell phones so we can be both entertained and twitter . . . all alone . . . sitting there . . . twitting . . . Pioneers would not have understood that.  Even in the outhouses they made room for a crowd and multiple seats …sans the stalls of course . The whole outhouse was one big stall.

Puppets , Pioneers would have used puppets cause they didn’t have machinima and avatars and YouTube was not invented yet. Puppets would have had to pull stupid stunts and enact impromptu ” how to’s” on how to churn butter or whittle a spoon. Wow that would have kept them entertained for hours and would have come in so handy if they could have uploaded that to share with Sven over in Wyoming. Kids, instead of being in the bedroom with their phones, watching music videos .  . . they would have to invite a travelling musical troupe in.  The fiddler would have to set up in the corner and the square dancers hold in their skirts to dosey-do around the bed, but other than that RPB (reality prairie bedroom) would have been exactly like MTV.

You can see how difficult it is to figure what came first with all this social media stuff.  It is exactly like drugs except that no-one has yet identified the gateway drug.  If we had that we could get busy with some duct tape.  Personally I think it was Miss Green’s typing class, once you hear that tap tap tapping … it like brainwashes you.

But back to how it might have been . . . the cowboys would have blocked all the Indians from their Facebook. Mrs. Olsen would clearly have been blocked by everyone in Walnut Grove, including her husband and Willy. YouTube would be filled with videos of corn growing. There’s no doubt about it, Pioneers could not have handled this important technology. It would have corrupted them and rotted their minds. There just would not have been enough time in the day for them to concentrate on important things like barn building and without all those old barns … the world would never have known coffee table books and that would have been a cultural disaster.

There are important connections in the threads that weave our present to our past, those golden threads are woven into the tapesty of our lives creating a thousand little points of shimmering light ….. it is too bad we are so naked most of the time in our present . . . I think our future is just going be point-less…. and not as shimmery …

These are all reasons they didn’t have twitter back in pioneer times. They busied themselves with milking cows, clearing the land, and beating their laundry against the rocks. The art of useless information, constant entertainment and technological wizardry was considered evil and the cause of moral and tooth decay. These people did not have time for any of it. Idle minds are the devils playgrounds and that was back in the day when they guarded their minds. Life was much simpler then because everyone was dumber than a fence post . . .  and I don’t know about you but I have never seen an unhappy fence post . . .  not ever …

Besides Valium was not even invented yet, and that definitely had to be in place before we were ready to be as super intelligentand unhappy as we are now.

It has taken decades upon decades for us to care about what each other had for breakfast, and to understand that Gilligans Island need never die as long as there are downloads and ringtones. I love progress  . . .  it speaks so highly of us all doesn’t it?

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