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laughter

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Social Media Is Making Me Obsolete

People used to think I was funny before social media. I would make some sarcastic remark, a little social commentary, and people would laugh and agree, and say things like, "I never looked at it that way before." or "I can only imagine what that looks like." Now, they don't have to imagine anything. Before I can offer commentary it's already a meme and all over Facebook and Tumblr and no one really cares about my witty comment because it doesn't also have a picture of Donald Trump's hair on it, or it's not written next to a grumpy cat. (I refuse to make that a proper noun.)

I guess this is just part of growing older while the world moves forward instead of standing still. I'm trying to figure out how to move with it, how to adapt. My humor is part of how I define my sense of self. It's a way to push through an uncomfortable conversation, or have people laugh with me instead of at me. I can share some of my more unpopular world views through a comedic lens and get laughter instead of scoffing.

You'd think with this new audience of thousands (hundreds, maybe just a hundred) I would get more laughs, but without the subtle facial expressions or vocal intonations to elevate the comedy of a situation, I am just not as funny. I can't be timely with my humor when the news I often mock is spread at lightning speeds. By the time I have added my two cents it is buried under 200 comments ranging from articulate to full-blown stupidity. I want to share my humorous take on things face-to-face, not IRL.

I want to socialize with my family and friends (not just the ones who stalk me on Facebook) and tell them about the crowds we saw at the park last night, and how I have never seen so many people stand in line for a small, stale Christmas cookie. Maybe the dusting on the cookie wasn't powdered sugar, and we missed out. I want to share stories about our weird apartment—how the toilet seats don't want to stay in place and every time you use the bathroom you get hurtled to one side and put your hand in the trashcan to break your fall. I want to laugh with people. I want to hear them laugh, and feel good about being able to make people forget about the bad news for a few minutes.

I'm thinking I might have to bring back some old material—stuff that's no longer in the forefront of people's minds. Classics, oldies but goodies, retro. Some of my best stuff used to revolve around raising kids, but now they are all moody teenagers with their own social commentary, and it's no longer funny. And I no longer really like kids. Some of them. Most of them.


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Group dialogue—creating something that isn't crap

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There are times I wish I could record the conversations I have with my friends and recount them back in writing just as they were in real life. You know the ones—where everyone around the table is laughing so hard their stomachs hurt and there are tears rolling down their faces. The ones that start out with one person bringing up an odd idea and everyone adding to it until it has snowballed into the strangest thing you've ever heard. The ones that make you feel lucky to have such amazing friends who don't judge you, who have your back and make you laugh. 

I so want to be able to write these types of conversations. I want to learn how to capture the joy and abandon in words on paper (or a computer screen). I want my readers to read these scenes and feel what I feel when I am part of them. 

This is the assignment I am giving myself for the weekend—writing dialogue in a group setting that sounds genuine and gives you a little view into each of the speaker's personalities. 

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