Well, October 2020 is over. The campaigning, electioneering, prognostications, and polling are done. Now it’s time to finalize the count and move ahead. Can we do that? There has been so much division, so much anger, so much hatred, that I’m having trouble seeing how this country can come together again.
As a science fiction fan, I read many books about how the people of Earth would fight together to hold off an alien invasion. Today I can’t imagine the people of the United States finding common ground to win the War of the Worlds. The norms that once held us together have been broken—shattered, really—and we have a long way to go before our norms can be re-invented.
On a personal note, it concerns me that pageviews have been dropping on The Next Phase Blog. This tends to happen when Facebook changes its algorithm—again. This time, however, I think that screen fatigue is playing a big role. With so many people working from home, your job can become staring at a screen, not just to work but to participate in the many meetings that occupy a workday.
Once we went into conference rooms for these meetings, looked at our colleagues and talked to them face to face. Now we log on to a Zoom or Webex and stare at that screen some more. This TED Talk explains why Zoom meetings are so draining. By the end of the day, and certainly by the end of the week, we want to do something, anything, other than look into a screen some more.
I understand. And I sympathize, I really do. In the Before Time, I gave walking tours and bus tours, looking at visitors to Boston face to face. I gave lectures to a variety of groups and I really enjoyed the personal interaction, becoming more energized by the enthusiasm and interest of my audience. Now when I give tours and lectures, I hit Share Screen on Zoom and talk to what feels like myself. I know the audience is out there and they are listening. I just can’t tell. Zoom doesn’t give you interaction or let you feel the energy.
Social Media Sharing
So, to help with my Pageviews, I’m going to ask my readers for a favor: If you like a post, if you think that someone else you know would like it, too, please share it with your friends. I see your Likes on Facebook, but please also hit Share. Ditto on LinkedIn. On Twitter, click on Heart and then ReTweet. Or send the URL in an email.
Let the other people in your social media ecosystem see it, so they can also enjoy the post. And that will help with my pageviews. Thank you!
Roundup of October 2020 Posts
Through all the political and cultural sturm und drang, Susanne and I kept writing. Here’s the monthly summary with the roundup of October 2020 posts by category.
Boston and History
- Boston Street Names and Political Ego – Aline
- Crossing the Charles River on the Gridley Locks – Aline
- Lovejoy Wharf and the Building with Many Names — Aline
Business and Technology
- The TikTok Obsession — Susanne
- Halloween’s Scariest Monster — Aline
Life and Culture
- The Whole Box of Crayons — Susanne
With the election behind us, we march forward toward a Thanksgiving filled with family gatherings on Zoom. I won’t get to make pies with my granddaughters this year—something we all really enjoy. Instead, I will cook a very small dinner for the two of us.
2020 is the year without celebrations, family gatherings, holiday cookouts, craft fairs, parades, fund-raising activities, big museum shows, vacations, blockbuster movies, and seemingly anything else that created community and raised our spirits.
Can we come together to defeat the invasion of this alien coronavirus? So far, not so much. I’m trying to be optimistic.