Dear Pew Research Center

Dear Pew Research Center,

I just read your new report [new link] and I’m sorry for skewing your data. I turned 50 early this year and three weeks ago I joined Twitter. Apparently quite a few of us have been moving from the 30 to 49 age bracket into the 50 to 64 age bracket and upping the social media usage in the older group.

On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.

And now I’m launching a blog. Oh, it’s all too much! Your demographic data is going to be skewed again next year. (All those people born in 1961? Sorry, I can’t do much about that. Well, maybe I could un-follow them on Twitter….)

Hey, if it helps I hardly ever visit Facebook anymore. The games got boring and I’m tired of tweaking my privacy settings every time the site adds a new feature. But I’m not giving up LinkedIn. Sorry.


PS: It’s 2020, ten years later, and I want you to know I quit Facebook in 2015, but I’ve joined Mastodon.

When “To Do” Becomes “Too Due”

or, the Ballad of Gary and Steve

Almost everyone I know has a “To Do” list that runs to several pages–if, indeed, it’s all in one place. At the bottom are some low-priority items that languish for weeks, maybe months, while the more important things get priority.

One day, for whatever reason, we realize how long some tasks have been pending. “I’ve just got to get that done and off the list,” we say. This is the moment when “To Do” has become “Too Due.” How do we handle it?

I once worked with two guys named Gary and Steve. They were totally unlike one another, yet together they were a powerhouse at getting work done. I’ve found that by combining elements of their work styles, I can clear some “Too Due” tasks quickly.

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Book: Being Virtual

Never judge a book by its cover. Never judge a person by his or her online avatar.

When I placed a library hold on Being Virtual: Who You Really Are Online by Davey Winder [new link], I expected advice on enhancing one’s online persona. Well, sort of…. True to its theme, this book is not what I expected, but much more interesting than a how-to.

Winder writes about the differences and similarities between who we are when we interact in cyberspace and who we are in person. He shares his own experience discovering virtual communities (back to the days of online bulletin boards and FidoNet) after suffering an attack of viral encephalitis that left his body largely paralyzed. “Getting online wasn’t easy, nor cheap, but it was all I had,” Winder writes of his explorations soon after being released from the hospital. His body was limited by paralysis and the physical barriers that impeded his wheelchair, but his mind roamed freely in cyberspace. Eventually improved technology and Winder’s hard-won experience led him to complex online worlds such as and SecondLife.

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Stitching in Non-Euclidean Space

One of the things I most love about expanding my Circle of Ignorance is discovering off-beat connections between what I know and don’t know–or between things I know (at least a little) but have never associated with one another.

Two years ago I discovered such a connection. Fittingly, I came upon it by accident, thinking I was doing something else.

A local museum advertised a program on coral reefs. There also was an exhibit I wanted to see, so it seemed the perfect opportunity. But it wasn’t the slide-illustrated talk I was expecting; it was a project to make models of coral reefs using crochet! Now I do know a little basic crochet, though I’m not very good. So with odd bits of yarn and some old audio tape, we created tightly curled and ruffled forms that, when piled together, bear a remarkable resemblance to coral reefs.

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