LIFE WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
Every day the New York Times encourages me to share my Wordle and Spelling Bee accomplishments. Marketing must think if I keep telling people how I did, more will want to subscribe to the Times. That might even be true. Or maybe my friends would just be put off by that most unattractive pursuit––bragging. It's immaterial because, as you may know, I'm not on social media any longer.
Last week I was twice invited to "share with your community." "Community" has become almost synonymous with "social media." One of these invitations implored me to tell my community I had donated to their campaign for reelection. Because of the stakes in the next election, I really wanted to share it, although when I was on social media, I eschewed posting about politics. Without mentioning names (though you can most likely guess if you know me at all) I will tell you that I donated because I'd read that this particular team was doing well at raising campaign funds from organizations, but this time around has garnered relatively little from the grassroots. I wished I could prompt my fellow roots to join me. Because things are heating up––literally and figuratively.
The past few weeks, soaring temperatures in the US and Europe, wildfires in Canada and Greece, have made it undeniable that we are in crisis. When I turn on the little window AC in my apartment, I wonder if the power companies are preparing for how much more we'll be running heating and cooling systems in the very near future. I suspect not. Some days and in some places, the heat is almost unbearable. I can't help thinking of my beloveds and what life might be like for them after I've left the planet, whether it will even be livable. I am literally filled with dread for them, as we, which means me, keep on living life as usual, our collective heads in the sand.
I have hoped to visit Denmark one more time and also spend time in the Netherlands to learn more about my Dutch heritage. I have enough points to fly there and back for less than $100. But air travel produces an extremely high carbon footprint. I love being mobile here in the US, but again, carbon footprint. I started thinking about living somewhere where I could do everything I need to do on foot. For as long as I'm able, which would probably make me able for longer than otherwise.
With deep regret, I am giving up on a trip to Europe. I had hoped to drive the vehicle I have now (entirely gas-powered) until I'm no longer able to drive. But on Saturday, I placed a pre-order for a reasonably priced, solar-powered electric car. Aptera Motors immediately invited me to share my action with my "community." And I really did want to share. It turns out that YOU are my online community. So I'm letting you know about it.
I know I'm just one person attempting to have an effect on this daunting global problem. But change has to happen at every level, which also means at the grassroots. As Margaret Mead famously said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.... Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world."