When I was in college I wrote a short story called something like “Dave and the Unibrow,” a tale of a group of Boy Scouts exacting their revenge on a bully (the Unibrow) during a campout. It was, truly, not worth the paper it was written on, but today’s assignment reminded me of the piece.

In my short story, I found it excruciatingly entertaining that there might be a young man whose bushy eyebrows merged above his nose, creating one single, overly hairy facial feature. In hindsight, I’m not totally sure what I was thinking, or why I found that even interesting. And that’s not the connection I made here, thankfully.

No, what captured me was the “uni” part. In the context of our assignment, it occurs to me that my use of digital media is very, very unidirectional (ah, see, FINALLY he gets there!), almost always me sending information forward, not being sure (a) that anyone will care to read it or interact with it and (b) that I especially care if they care.

  • Who do you interact with online?

“Interact with” would be a stretch, I think, and this is not being falsely humble. As I’ve shared, while I dabble a bit in many platforms, and have accounts in most of the ones we’ve discussed here, when I think to use them, I imagine it sort of like a commercial airing now for a beer company. In the commercial, a group of medieval archers have been given the task of making the village aware that the beer is now listing its ingredients. Their method of doing so — their social media — is to affix the nutritional labels to arrows, and then shoot them randomly and wantonly from the castle’s turrets, hoping someone, somewhere will notice. THAT is how I see my online interactions, for the most part: I randomly fire off pretty pictures, interesting thoughts, veiled insults, or meaningful (to me) messages, and hope for the best.

A relatively small circle of family and friends will interact at the level of “liking” things, and every now and then a snarky comment from me will elicit a snarky comment from someone else, but in general I’ve been neither strategic nor especially intentional.

  • How do you find and join networks?

Honestly, this happens most often when I’m led there by something I’ve stumbled across on Newsweek, HuffPost. NYTimes, Washington Post … or Cracked.com. Again, not very intentional and certainly not strategic.

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