The Rant (January 22, 2015) 

Tim Sampson gets into social media and the world is all a-twitter.

I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think I may be trending. I'm not 100 percent sure what trending really is, but I feel fairly certain that it's a real word and that I'm doing it. Well, I'm not 100 percent sure if trending is something you actually do or if it's something that happens to you and you are just lucky to be the recipient of it, but, by damn, I better be trending.

See, in my new role at work of being a social media poster, I've taken it upon myself to learn how to do it for myself first before I totally screw up the social media posting for my job. I figure if I screw up my own personal social media posts, it won't really matter because who the hell cares? Right? Oh, I guess I could probably offend someone by accident or post something that comes across in a way that I didn't mean for it to come across or I could just appear to be really stupid and inept, but, as it relates to me personally, I really couldn't care less because I so rarely do anything in my personal life that requires me to leave the sanctity of my own home and interact with others, with the exception of traveling, and even then I try to keep to myself and mind my own business.

But even that can prove to be difficult when you're packed into a small aircraft and forced to sit so close to someone that you can't avoid physical contact with them. I was recently on a flight from Charlotte to Florida, and the woman packed into the seat beside me was breaking up with her apparently longtime significant other in a conversation on her cell phone. And she was the one who made the call. It would have been one thing if she had answered her phone and the conversation ended up being that kind of a phone call, but no, she initiated the argument herself, seated so close to me that our elbows were unavoidably rubbing against each other.

And she was not holding anything back, from what I could tell. It was along the lines of, "You are such a f--king piece of s--t! And you're not getting custody of the f--king dog! I used to really love you, but you f--king ruined all that! Your cooking tastes like s--t! I'm hanging up now!"

But she wouldn't hang up. She kept railing on and reaming the person out and every third or fourth sentence was, "I'm hanging up now!" Finally, the flight attendant said that all cell phones must be turned off for takeoff. But she still didn't hang up and kept repeating, "You're not getting custody of the f--king dog!"

But I digress. The thing about trending is that I could have secretly videotaped this woman's conversation and put it on YouTube and gotten, say, 4 million hits and could have been invited to the "Orange Room" on the Today Show as someone who was trending. I'm not 100 percent sure how many hits one has to have to be trending, but I'm pretty sure it would have trended.

A few weeks back, when I decided to embrace Facebook on my own personal page that has been dormant since 2009, I posted a question. I'd received a menacing message from someone I didn't really recall and with whom I was certainly not Facebook friends, harassing me about something that happened TWO DECADES AGO when I was the first editor of this newspaper. He was still mad because I wouldn't publish some piece of crap he had written that he thought was very clever. So I asked people on Facebook if I should be worried about this guy and his inability to let go of this grudge.

I got a lot of responses, including several from people I don't even know, with suggestions ranging from call the cops to invite him to meet me in a dark alley and kick his ass to publish his name and warn others about him. It was awesome to read all the remarks, like them, comment on them, and share them. I'm 100 percent sure I was trending with that one.

Oh, and I finally figured out who the guy was. I won't mention his name here, but I do sort of recall that he was a rather unattractive (not his fault, of course, and I'm no hottie) exhibitionist who made my skin crawl. I didn't report him because I didn't know who to report him to, but I blocked him and felt very empowered.

And speaking of which, am I the only person in the world who believes that the hacking of Sony Pictures in regard to the movie The Interview had nothing to do with North Korean hackers? To me, it all smacked of a publicity stunt, and it's embarrassing that it was referred to as "an act of war."

I have every intention of trending about this at some point in my life when I figure out what trending really is. Would someone please comment on that remark, share it, and cause it to trend? I'll check it later to see if it performs 80 percent better than my other posts this week.

I've also been tweeting, and ask now of the first "t" in tweeting should be capitalized. Haven't figured that out yet. I even used a hashtag and got on John Legend's Twitter feed or RSS feed or whatever it is. I was so impressed with myself.

click to enlarge Bradley Cooper - CARRIENELSON1 | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Carrienelson1 | Dreamstime.com
  • Bradley Cooper

The thing that got me thinking about all this is that I noticed earlier today that controversial filmmaker Michael Moore is on Twitter. It seems that he sent out a tweet, or Tweet, about Bradley Cooper's new Clint Eastwood-directed film American Sniper being too "pro-war" or something like that. I haven't seen the movie yet but my initial reaction is that Moore has sold out by being on Twitter and should make a spoof movie about the social media platform (did I just write the phrase "social media platform?") and leave Cooper alone. I don't like people messing with my Bradley. In fact, I'm going to tweet, or Tweet, Brad letting him know I think he's the the best actor in the movie business right now. I wonder if that will make me trend.

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