The blue canary in the coal mine

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and the activism that takes place on it. Largely on twitter, but similar could be said about Facebook and Instagram, and the general “Headlines Only” absorption of news and the increasing polarity of people.

But let’s focus on twitter. In college, I gave a speech about how activists during the Arab Spring used twitter to effectively organize and fight back. And as a disabled person, digital activism allows me to participate in ways inaccessible before. Since there’s so much advertising on Twitter it’s also useful when trying to reach a company to ask for change. Which makes it’s impossible for me to just shrug and say “twitter is pure evil what can I say.”

As I was discussing this with the ace community, someone anonymous messaged me to say, ‘twitter is also more full of minors than tumblr. And minors are more prone to spreading misinformation about events because they weren’t there for it.

And I thought on that for a second. It absolutely is common issue that queer history not being taught. And I don’t think this behavior is for a lack of critical thinking either on “the youths” part, or compete lack of care for it. I think it’s an issue of speed.

Twitter moves at such a fast pace, and with so many people trying to get attention on so many valid concerns that in order to even attempt to address all the ills in the world you have to juggle it all. Sometimes literally only taking a second to decide on an issue. “Does that sound like some other thing? Close enough, toss in the same pile. Whatever, we got 12 other things to focus on.”

Since twitter comes at you so fast, and often in an such unfiltered way, it’s overwhelming. So instead of technology adding in productivity that leads to a next level of consciousness type of singularity, it creates more of a mental DDOS attack.

And it’s not all that different from capitalism demanding you be productive at all costs, and that by the end of the day you are so tired you can’t sort out things. That’s a feature of it, not a bug. You want to strike for better working conditions? Have fun risking starvation during the process.

And I think the “turn yourself into a commodity via your tweets” is most evident by the fact that any popular tweet’s second reply is often “I don’t have a sound cloud to promote but here’s my—“

It’s actually kind of funny because a big sticking point of people leaving tumblr a few years ago was that it was too slow. Without realizing that twitter is a multi-lane highway that every user often has to cross on foot. And that result ends up with a bunch of banged up people who feel so beaten down that any criticism is meet with “please don’t cancel me!!” Which is not anyone’s goal when correcting false information or asking for accountability.

I’ve gone on multiple twitter hiatuses after abuse I’ve faced on the platform and each time to do I’m struck with this sense of how quiet it is despite twitter’s feed making no noise. It feels like you just left a room full of people screaming, that to some level had been such a constant you didn’t realize just how loud it was until it wasn’t there anymore.

Maybe you hear it too.

🌹 Reviews: Our Bloody Pearl

tumblr_90e8fe59bbeaeb4c20799d7beba690cc_3eb43706_1280

Our Bloody Pearl cycles in ace places because Dejean is an ace of color and everything is respectfully done when it could have easily been a trash fire if written by someone who didn’t care about the community. But ace rep isn’t the only plus this book has going for it. The story ✨ shines ✨ as it talks about disability and healing from abuse. That’s where the heart of this novel is to me and almost every line about accepting your disabilities is a popular highlight for good reason. If you even passively like mermaids and pirates I’d absolutely recommend this book. Also, I love Dejean v much, kthxbuy!

The easy way to listen to any book!

I don’t read as much as I’d like for a lot of reasons. But, I have found something to help with this. Now when I’m not feeling it, I have the book read to me. It doesn’t matter if the book isn’t published yet, or if an audio version doesn’t exist. And the best part of all, it’s completely free!

Now this guide will cover ios and kindle since they are the most used platforms, but similar features and phones can be used.

Beginning Steps: Go to settings, then down to Accessibility, then Speech.

By toggling “Speak Screen” on you can swipe down with two fingers and your phone will read to you whatever is on the screen. Other settings in here will allow you to have it read highlighted areas,control reading speed, and what voice and language it reads to you in. I personally prefer ‘Siri (Enhanced)’.

Next, open your book of choice and swipe down!

If it works this is what it will look like:

1

Don’t worry the box will minimize, go transparent, and it’s completely movable if you want to read whatever is under it. This menu also gives you some control over reading speed, play/pause, and fast forward/rewind if you’ve missed something.

If you keep this app open it will even flip kindle pages for you!

Is this better than audible? Nope. But sometimes it’s the only option and it’s one that works pretty well.  

Now here are some tips because sometimes it doesn’t work 100%.

“No speakable content”: I’ve noticed if you have it stop, then swap apps you can’t have it read again without closing the kindle app and restarting it. It might complain and say this:

2

I’ve played with it a few times and now I can make it play or error on demand so if it messed up on you don’t worry. Close the app and just open it again.

It’s not reading the right thing: Siri tries really hard to read what you tell it. If the menu is on top of anything it will read that instead. Close the menu by touching the text and you’ll be good to go again.

3

Sleep timer: I heard if you use ibooks you can have a sleep timer using the built in “Timer” feature under “Clock”. Instead of having a noise “When Timer Ends” scroll all the way down to “Stop Playing”. You can use this selectively with other apps or just music in general. It likes built in apps more than third party.

If you want a Kindle sleep timer you have to use the “Guided Access” under Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access. If you aren’t careful here you might lock yourself out of your phone, and feel really silly when you have to force restart it. I’ve done it at 1 am before. So it happens to you don’t worry. I don’t use this part of it anymore, but it’s epic to know I can turn any book into an audiobook, and have it read to me without needing a fairy godmother to prevent it from reading until dawn. Makes me feel like a kid who has magical tech powers.

Read anything!: Turn this feature on and you can have anything on your screen read to you. It’s great. I have it read long online articles to me, I have it read things I’m writing back so I can catch typos. This feature is next to life changing.

I also hope you enjoyed the HELLO WORLD sneak peeks 😉