The text on the image reads
“Get off my lawn!”
she screams at no one,
as she has no lawn
and isn’t as old
as she thinks she is.
I spent four hours trying to upload a video to Facebook, Instagram, and (ugh) TikTok. I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about all of these platforms, especially TikTok with its copyright infringement issues, possible privacy issues, and seeming reluctance to represent a truly broad spectrum of human experience (to put it politely). I've read about how the platform does and doesn't compare with the other two, the five reasons it's here to stay vs. the five reasons it'll die like Vine, and a smattering of articles about how it's alternately cleaning up its act while at the same time getting investigated by one or more government entities.
After being told 30 times over that I need to, I need to, I need to do a TikTok. I finally did it. It isn't because I think it'll get me a bunch of fame and fortune. If I wanted those things, I wouldn't bother with all the work and expense of being an oil painter. I did it because the reason I paint—and paint what I do—is that I want people to love endangered animals, like the rhino. I want people to be inspired by them and awed by them and to see them at all, even if they don't see the same kind of beauty in them that I do. So, somehow, that line of thought got me to reluctantly sign up for a video based social media platform where I was greeted by Dwayne Johnson dancing like it's 1997. (I'm not complaining. He did a good job.) Once I gave up on scrolling down through 75 modern examples of The Universe's Home Videos, I used the search feature and found artists sharing art and brush strokes and not-exactly-useful-but-I-love-that-they're-trying-in-under-a-minute tutorials.
I don't know if I'll stay. I don't know if it'll last. But yeah. I put a little rhino painting video thing on TikTok and Facebook. Instagram kept denying me the privilege even though I followed all its rules. So, tomorrow Instagram! I'll figure out what I did wrong tomorrow. Right now, I am old, tired, and full of chocolate.
I'm also pulling whatever wisdom this probably isn't from an owl necklace I inherited from my great grandmother. It's a happy piece of costume jewelry with a not-really-turquoise belly and green crystal eyes. I put on my little not-actually-turquoise ring to match the colors, turquoise earrings from a friend, and a bracelet my mother made me to match the gifts-from-peeps-I-love thing. The skirt and top are super silky feeling and full of happy flowy shapes when I move. It calms me. I didn't know when I got dressed this morning that I would need this much calming, but, whatever, man (I say like it's 1997)! We all just do what we gotta do.
After all my talk of TikTok above, I should admit that it was Instagram's refusal to post my video that hung me up the longest. I followed all their directions, once I found them. Then I followed them again. Then I tried cross-posting from elsewhere, which worked but with horrible results. After that, I shampooed, rinsed, repeated a few times with different file sizes, dimensions, and/or bit rates. Finally, I gave up on sweet Instagram and posted an image instead. No worries. I just needed to get off the merry-go-round.
I don't remember which point in this process had me fake yelling about getting off my lawn, but that part was fun.