squirrels and social media

Ah, the age of social media. A prominent and growing epidemic in the daily days of playful babies and hormonal teens. A tool for business marketing now taught and practiced in college classrooms. A range of generations depending on Facebook to share our celebrated milestones and a daily article of interest , Instagram to reveal the inner food critic in apparently all of us , and SnapChat to, well, support the ‘flip camera’ feature of nearly all smart phones. With at tinge of sarcasm I’ve recognized the stereotypical usage for three primary social media sites, and this is where tension is born.

I’m the dangling ribbon tied in the middle of a thick, coarse rope pulled taut by opposing teams both of which I’ve dabbled my energy in. To my left, wireless and mindful, the Pondering Park Rangers (the fallen leaves go wild in a wind driven spiral). To my right, wired and distracted, the He Swipes, Tweets, Snaps, and Repeats (Apple employees click their keys in raging glee; volume at it’s max). Momentum excels, driven by both sides. But neither steals the win, I’m just a ribbon on a line.

Today marks my one week anniversary of starting my first post-grad job as a Sale Associate with Anthropologie (5th and 16th come check us out woot woot). To give you the gist of my current commuting timeline, my shift starts at 5pm, I take the 2:49 from my home station, Grand Central by 3:50/4, 6 train down to Union Square with about 45 minutes to dilly daddle. Tonight is my first close shift. Through the Anthro grape vine I’ve learned the shift can go until 12am. Let’s be optimistic and say I’ll catch the 11:36 train arriving home by 12:30. An estimated three hours of ribbon time.

During slack time I’ll observe the mid-afternoon rush through the park; nannies pushing strollers and holdings hands. A young boy learning to skateboard in his metallic helmet, the tourists babbling by in their native tongue I yearn to learn but for the sake of this scenario I appreciate the foreign sounds. Those on lunch breaks or days off gather on the lawn and surrender to their freedom in this natural yet chaotic environment. I watch, and smile, laugh, maybe a frown creeps out. Ideas and memories and more ideas scatter through my mind. I’m a ribbon in favor of the rangers who ponder! And then I feel the pull, I pick up my phone. Soon this strange, enveloping surrounding becomes invisible as I disappear into my Facebook new feed transforming into a traitor for the other side, the repeaters.

This is daily for me here in the park, on the train, even on the Subway where I am aware of the underground lack of service. I have no solution. Do I need one? After all, I’m just a ribbon. For now, here is a selfie of me and my squirrel friend.squirel


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