Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to blog more.
Did I blog up to my expectations? No. That said, I did blog at least 300 percent more in 2016 than I did in 2015. I consider that a success. (2015 was a very bad blogging year, but still.) Baby steps.
My 2017 resolution (for online purposes, at least) is not only to up my blog posts, but my overall use of social media. Not in the I-have-no-life-and-I-need-instant-gratification kind of way. But the look-at-the-power-of-social-media kind of way.
Specifically, I speak of Twitter.
Yes, you should follow me.
Supermarkets can apparently unite America in the most bitter election season ever. | Courtesy: Charlottesville Newsplex
I may not live in Charlottesville anymore, but I still closely follow the local news, events and issues. The small Virginia college town is a unique media market, one that spans many political ideologies, socioeconomic classes, religions and creeds. Charlottesville itself is a liberal urban oasis, surrounded by the sprawling rural and conservative suburbs.
Therefore, Charlottesville has also not been immune to the divisive rhetoric of the 2016 election. The 5th District Congressional seat has been a hard-fought and expensive race. That’s aside from city council or county supervisor races and state politics.
But amid the chaos of bickering and heated discussions, I noticed something Sunday that has united the diverse Central Virginia community, all politics aside.
A rundown from CBS This Morning on Nov. 1, 2016. (Red is a bad thing.)
When I saw the news early Tuesday morning of the SEPTA strike in Philadelphia, I had a flashback to 11 years ago.
I was a cub reporter for The Temple News. I’d written two articles (poorly) for the paper so far, and then one of SEPTA’s unions decided to strike. It was a Monday. And my news editor asked me to go get reaction to the strike from Temple students stranded with no transportation.
So that’s just what I did. I spoke to several students waiting for emergency Temple shuttles that never seemed to arrive. And frustration was rampant.
Aug. 23, 2011. Five years ago, I was eating a snack in my car in the parking lot of the Charlottesville Harris Teeter when I felt a small rumble. I looked at the older woman in the parking spot across from me, and she appeared to have no reaction.
I looked across the street and saw the window panels on a building shake.
Did I just feel an earthquake? Nah. It’s Central Virginia. Psh.
I opened up Twitter and saw lots of locals questioning what just happened. And I shared my thoughts.
Then I got a text from a friend.
“Are you alive?”
That followed a text from my brother.
“Are you near that earthquake?”
Apparently, yes. Yes I was.
Social media engagement is something, I believe as a consumer, companies need to spend resources to perfect.
And Target is doing something right.
I decided to celebrate the beginning of my weekend Friday morning with a trip to Target. Did I need anything? No. I rarely see a specific reason to go to Target, and I don’t think I need one other than wanting to go to Target.
So I tweeted my excitement.
My Playbill and front-row ticket to see Hamilton on Broadway, sitting literally two feet away from the stage.
Really, it was just meant to be.
I’ve written extensively about how I totally botched my shot at seeing arguably the most popular Broadway show in years by not knowing my constitutional delegates in the conventions of the 1770s.
Turns out, Alexander Hamilton was looking out for me anyway.
I jiggled the door handle. Nothing happened.
The cab driver unlocked all the doors of his car by the automatic button to his left. I heard the back passenger door struggle to follow through with the command, the sounds of electronics on their last moments of life on a dying battery. Another jiggle, and nothing.
The window was all the way down. I reached inside to try opening the door that way. Still nothing.
We shared a laugh — his likely more genuine than mine — and I walked around the car and entered the back through the driver’s side.
It was a few minutes shy of 1:40 a.m. and my daily commute to work was about to get underway.