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Small Windows of My Daughter

low angle photo of white painted room

Photo by Colin Schmitt on Pexels.com

I was scrolling through articles on my Google news feed a while back and came across the article at the bottom of this post. I have to say that it struck a chord with me that I didn’t expect and I actually cried. The reason is because I can identify with what the writer was saying, but in different ways.

Social media is all we have and I honestly devour each and every post she makes because it feels like I am with her.

I too get a small glimpse of who my daughter is and of her daily life via “small windows” she posts on social media. Instagram and Facebook being the main avenues of those glimpses. I am sure she has other social media that she uses (and that scares me to tell the truth) and I also know that what I see on her accounts might not actually be what is going on in life since teens tend to have one account for everyone and then an account for just close friends where they can “be real.” I don’t know if she has any accounts like that for sure, but what I do know is that each time she posts something my heart jumps.

The author of the article (at least from what I can tell) RESIDES in the same home as her daughter and sees her on a regular basis, albeit as much as a teen likes to interact with their family. But, she does get the day-to-day interaction, even if not always the most pleasant.

For me, well, I am a divorcee and like many, many fathers I got the usual “short end of the stick” when it came to visitation. I probably get more than most fathers, but honestly is still isn’t enough. That is the reason the article resonated and was painful for me.

As a father who gets limited time with his daughter it just exacerbates the issue of trying to get to know your child. I think we have a pretty good relationship but it still is hard to KNOW her when she is going through the years of teen growing pains. I long for the discussions about life and for the discussions about what her future might hold and I long for the times of silliness when she was little and I long for…well, I just long for HER.

While most parents likely are tired of the mundane battles of getting kids up for school, and making sure homework is done, and making sure that their friends are “ok” to hang out with, and…I don’t get any of that. Or, at least,  I get very little of it. I want it. I want it.

So, when I saw this article and read the pain the author was experiencing trying to get to know her daughter, even when she lives in the same house, you can imagine how parents who are divorced and don’t get the same exposure to their children feel when it comes to truly seeing who their children are. Social media is all we have and I honestly devour each and every post she makes because it feels like I am with her. I am close.

It’s a consolation prize in a race I so desperately want to win. I hope the seeds I have sown will one day be fruitful and that one day she will feel like she can open up with me and show me the real her. Until then, I’ll keep looking through those small windows and watching my little girl grow. Watching as she reveals a little of herself in each post. Watching….and waiting.

**I recommend you read the article below to understand how this blog post was prompted.

Not Global Domination, Yet!

A diagonal swath across the globe!

A diagonal cross-section of the globe!

This week I didn’t post a new blog. I have been really busy and sitting down to put my thoughts or opinions down for others to read just didn’t seem like an effective use of time. I enjoy writing and to some degree it is freeing to put yourself out there for others to know what is going on in your head. However, it can also become a distraction and one I can’t afford to spend much time in over that last few weeks.

However, one thing that has fascinated me is that there are still people looking at my blog despite the fact that I haven’t put anything new out there for those who “follow” me. So far this week I didn’t get many “visits,” only ten, and there were only fourteen “views.” Yet I am still being found. How can this be? Who is it and where are they?

That is where the STATS button has caught my attention. When I click on it I am given a running view of the stats my blog is collecting. A picture of traffic, if you will. Ultimately (at least at this point) I am not overly concerned whether or not I am generating traffic at my blog because I am not being paid to write. Maybe some day that will be an option! For now, I just find looking at this stuff to be interesting.

There are some boxes on that screen that keep me clicking to see where and what people are looking at on my blog. The cool thing is that you can tell how people are finding your blog, whether it be through WordPress, linked social media accounts like Facebook, or through web searches. The web searches seem to be where the looks have come from lately. WordPress says that Goggle has blocked the specific terms used by the searcher so all you get is info stating a search was done via their service. However, I have seen search terms from Bing and from Yahoo and I have to say that people are finding my blog through the search terms they use. I wish there was a way to see how long they actually spent on my blog rather than just what they clicked on. Who knows if they actually took time to read or just clicked to find out that it wasn’t something they were looking for. Either way, image searches and search terms to generate looks.

What was recently looked at via search engines?

My home page

Don’t Be So Bossy

An Unfortunate Metaphor

The really cool thing is the photo that I showed you at the top. I can see where in the world the people who are looking at my blog come from! This really makes me curious. Why would someone in Iraq or Malaysia be looking at my blog? What did they find and what did they think when they read it? India? WOW! United Arab Emirates? How cool is that? This particular window into the blog stats will always fascinate me. A very literal diagonal cross-section of the globe has stopped to take a look a what I write. Little ol’ me!

Isn’t that exciting? OK, maybe not for you and, really, not for me. But, it is interesting to say the least. Did I already say that multiple times? See, I DO find it interesting!

So, thanks for stopping in and taking a look. I hope you found something that was worth reading and, at the very least, thinking about. Now, let’s see if I can get the rest of the world to fill in their country’s identifier on the map above. Only 179 more to go!!

Is Personalization Good in All Cases?

Computers have been making it easier and easier to connect with the world for quite some time now. They have been getting better and better at doing it as the years have passed and they are getting faster while doing it at the same time. That is fantastic, until you stop to think about what that could mean if we aren’t careful. Those at Facebook, Google, Amazon, or whatever tech company you name at this point have been working towards a web that allows them to personalize the web to your own tastes and preferences (but really mostly so they can make money marketing stuff to you). This is good to some degree because I don’t want, unnecessarily, to see ads for feminine products. Those things might be useful to those I love, but not to me personally. So, yes, this personalization is good. However, take a look at the video below. Discover what a “filter bubble” is and why total personalization of the web is a bad thing.

What do you think? Does he have a point? Is this progress, progress?

Rumors – Investigate and Authenticate

President Obama is an alien robot from a planet just beyond our galaxy that wants to do medical experiments on us, which started with changing our healthcare system to something no one can understand or navigate.

Shhh!

No, this is, of course, not true. But, if I had seen it on Facebook (liked or shared by a friend or family member), Twitter (I don’t participate btw), other social media site, or forwarded to me by a trusted person in my email contacts then I should assume that it is. WRONG! I am a skeptical cynic of much and very rarely do I lend any credence whatsoever to this stuff because it rarely is founded in truth. Rather, it is likely being perpetuated by someone that has some sort of agenda, whether is be political, economic, nutrition, health, or medical.

So yesterday I got yet another email from someone that failed to do their “due diligence” before forwarding it to my inbox. It would be comical, if it weren’t so sad about what people will believe without verification.

Please, before you pass something along, do your homework. You owe it to those you are going to communicate with. 

Check out the link below to see the latest offender in the rumor mill, which apparently is getting new life this year from years past.

snopes.com: Obama Explains National Anthem Stance.