SOCIAL MEDIA AIN’T GOING AWAY!

As the pandemic still trolls onward (and upward, so we hear), we through we would give you readers some news that you already knew about, and how such news is becoming part of almost everyone’s domestic life as it’s presently known!


According to a recent report compiled by the Internet & Technology sector of the Pew Research Center, a greater part of Americans state they use the social platforms YouTube and Facebook, while the use of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok is more comment by those under the age of thirty.


The report, entitled Social Media Use in 2021, notes that based upon the answers given by some 1,502 domestic adults over the age of eighteen from January 25th through February 8th of ’21 via cell and landline phones, 81% have visited YouTube, while 69% use Facebook. Instagram, a platform owned by Facebook, came in third at 30%, followed by Pinterest at 31%, LinkedIn (28%), Snapchat (25%), Twitter (23%), WhatsApp at 23%, TikTok (21%), Reddit (18%) and Nextdoor at 13%.


When the Pew Research Center asked this question last in 2019, the biggest jump of responses were YouTube and Reddit. All of the other platforms remained where they stood. TickTock and Nextdoor had since been added for the ’21 survey.


Many of these platforms are used for various reasons. LinkedIn is mostly used for “networking” when seeking some form of career and employment advice. Pinterest and Snapchat is where one posts pictures or images that speak upon some kind of theme, mostly from the source that is posting the images. (Many of these posts consist of one-line phrases that show off an ideal or an inspiration of some kind!) TikToc is where one can post a video image that only runs a few seconds in length. Nextdoor is a place that is a graphic “bulletin board” made for members of a specific community where if one wanted to join, the person(s) had to supply a physical mailing address that’s located in the neighborhood. Then one would receive a post card addressed to the address supplied that has a code number. Then the post card receiver would log in with the code number. This would avoid anyone outside of the “neighborhood” to be part of this group. Unless of course, that outsider knows of somebody that has an address located in the neighborhood so the post card receiver would pass the code number to that outsider. (Note, anyone not living in the neighborhood won’t be missing out on a lot, since based upon this writer’s viewing of his own neighborhood as seen on Nextdoor, much of what people report deal with complaints, feeble “warnings” of suspicious activity, or other related grudges. But we digress!)


The report contiunes to note that although Facebook lost a bit of its appeal over the last few years, it’s still one of the widely used places to go on the ‘net. This may be true since much of those that keep a place through Facebook tends to be older, while the “digital natives” (people that don’t remember when the internet and its related applications were never around), use Instagram, Snapchat and perhaps the newest kid on the block, TikTok, to get their points across!


And where does everyone else go within the social media world in terms of stage of life a.k.a. age? 65% of the under 30 crowd use Snapchat the most. Those from 30 through 49 (Millenniums and second-tier Gen Xers) cluster toward YouTube at around 93%. Those 50 through 64 (First-tier Gen Xers, the Baby Boomers, and those that Tom Browcaw calls “The Greatest Generation” (65+), flock towards Facebook at around 78% , 72%, and 50% respectfully. Since Facebook became accessible to all that didn’t have access to an e-mail address that ended with “edu”, those that are FB-ing joined as an early generation and still wish to remain, and those much older use it to keep in contact with those long lost (and now found) friends, as well as family members that include adult aged children, and those ever lovin’ grandkids–even if those grandkids tend to be hanging around somewhere else in cyberspace!


The report also breaks down usage on other platforms, such as those with a college degree are mostly on LinkedIn, and females tend to hang around Pinterest. But you readers kind of get the idea on what this writer is pushing.


Since this pandemic began a little over a year ago, social media was one of the top source that people used to get over with what was (and is) going on! One report noted through this writer stated that social media, along with other internet related sources such as online shopping and viewing streaming video contact, kept those people content, including people keeping themselves in check i.e. not going off their gourds!


Interestingly enough, all of those sources listed above were tied when it came to usage for sanity. And if anyone wanted to know what came in at first and last place? “Real” contact with family and friends in first place, and mental therapy and consuming alcohol came in last! So the myths that more people turned toward booze while being locked down isn’t as true as one would suspect!

But until the pandemic is totally over–which may not be for a while if at all, social media ain’t gonna take any vacations! Perhaps others will soon enough. After all, how is anyone going to post those pictures and video of their trips to Hullagaland without the sources to do so? If one is going to brag about the places they have seen and the things they did, they would use their social media outlets. Otherwise, what’s the point of taking a vacation in the first place?

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THE GHOSTS OF MARY LINCOLN, Tom Dugan’s solo show about the final and nearly forgotten times of the widow of one of America’s most beloved presidents, performs for a limited series of shows within a socially distanced and inmate outdoor stage place located within the Woodland Hills-San Fernando Valley region.


The show’s setting is Mary Lincoln’s sister’s attic space in a home located in Springfield, Illinois. It’s the early 1880’s, nearly twenty years after the 16th President of the United State fell to an assassin’s bullet. Mary, now at the elderly age of 63, is nearly alone. She begin to tell her story in front of a few journalists present from some of the leading newspapers. She emotes her way through what’s left of her life. She speaks about how she met the tall young gentleman that was born in a log cabin, self educated himself, and later because her husband. She verbalizes about her three sons, two of the three dying at a young age. Mary also tells tales that were about the president-to-be, the people she knew both in and out of Washington, and the notion that after she left the title of “First Lady”, she had to face her own personal demons. Some of these episodes she emotes upon were true, and some she believes were true. And is she actually speaking to a group of reporters that gathered in this attic space, or are they another series of ghosts that remain to haunt Mary’s own being?


This single act play, written, produced, and performed by the playwright with stage direction by Shelby Sykes, puts in the real picture about Mary Lincoln, a woman that was part of history yet suffered rather silently about her own mental condition. The content is historical in content, yet some of the antidotes spoken may be for real with a bit of creative license added; Mary’s part of the license rather than the playwrights!


Tom Dugan as Mary appears on stage (actually, the side patio pool area of Tom’s personal homestead) while donning a black frumpy outfit yet doesn’t appear “in drag” as Mary. He doesn’t sport a widow’s wig, and speaks in an older lady’s voice–deep in tone with a no nonsense sense of mood. (Since there was no way to know how Mary sounded like, Tome’s interpretation may be actually near the truth!) It was known that Mary was indeed petite in size and frame, far from Tom’s physical stance. However, with the way that Tom portrayed this woman living in a lowly attic trying to escape the aftermath of her husband’s death and her emotionally ill mind, one will become more absorbed with the story of Mary and the way it was told and presented. (Larger size of the actor be damned!)


The set design and construction by Chris & Becky Peterson consists of a number of old trunks, discarded furniture, and various containers scattered about along with some candles to provide attic lighting. Polly Gregry’s consuming is just a black outfit that widows would ware to morn their deceased husband–the type of outfit they would wear for the rest of their lives! But this was how it was done back in the 1880’s when widows were widows until they themselves died. And with the way that the playwright paints this rather tragic tale of Mary on stage, it’s very fitting for this widow to be a widow!

Abe Lincoln is one of America’s best known and most esteemed presidents in history. His likeness is still seen to this very day as a profile on a five dollar bill and as an appearance on Illinois license plates. But Mary Lincoln herself faded from view. This play is a tribute to a person that indeed stood by her man, even if that man was inches taller, and was able to lead a nation that went through a domestic war, financial “panics”, and always giving a sense of courage and hope to its citizens. It’s rather sobering that Mary’s brightest time was when she lived in the White House, rather than in a dingy attic loft somewhere in Springfield.

THE GHOSTS OF MARY LINCOLN, perform at “Dugan’s (Outdoor) Backyard Playhouse” In Woodland Hills until May 1st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM. Reservations are taken by contacting dbptickets@gmail.com. Those placing a reservation will be given the address to the theatre space.

In addition, Tom Dugan’s other play, TELL HIM IT’S JACKIE, about another Presidential widow, Jackie Kennedy and stars Kait Haire as the titled character, makes a return appearance on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM from May 7th through the 29th at the same outdoor location. (See review-Vol. 25-No. 41) Reservations for that program can also be made through the same email address.

It will be advised that face masks will still be required to be worn by all attending patrons during all performances, unless regional and community standards dictate otherwise.

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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