Monday, September 30, 2019

The value of an electronic footprint

I read the comments all ya'll post here, daily. Even if you don't sense me skulking about, I have you in my sights.

And from that you can extrapolate that OTHER agents are also skulking about eyeballing you.

Twitter would be the best first example of this, but anything you have out there gets eyeballs.

Recently S.P. Bowers posted a comment, and I wanted to use it for a post, so I clicked on her blog commenter ID. And she had listed her email. (If you don't, do.)

I noticed she had two blogs.
One was about bears....I thought.
I clicked.

And read a couple posts, including this one.

Take a minute to read it; you don't want to skip that step.

That piece resonated with me deeply.
It made me think of all my uncharitable thoughts seeing kids out late at night on the subway or on the street.  I was seeing them through my expectation and preconception colored glasses. Sara's blog post reminded me that not everyone has the luxury of an organized, orderly life with bedtimes and a dinner hour.

I felt very ashamed.
I vowed to remember this the next time I was too quick to don my expectation spectacles.

Now, will I remember Sara if she queries?
Damn right I will.
Will she even know it?
Well she will now, but if I hadn't done this blog post, no.

So what's your takeaway?
You don't know what an agent sees, or when.
You don't know what will catch their attention.
You don't know what their takeaway is.

You don't have any control over this, so you CAN NOT FRET about it.

What you can do:
(1) Make sure you are reachable.
(2) Write the truth about your life.


Jill Warner said...

S.P. Bowers Foster parents like should you automatically be awarded sainthood. Thank you for caring for all those children.

Theresa said...

Lovely post, S.P. Thank you for the work you do and for your beautiful writing.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Lovely post, S.P..

I shudder to think what agents will make of me based on my blog and social media. Guess I will be finding out shortly.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Oh wow.

I feel like saying that you're doing God's work doesn't really cover it fully, maybe even seems disingenuous, but I mean it with all my heart.

Lennon Faris said...

Well that was a morning wake-up call. What a post, S.P. Bowers.

And thanks for the reminder here about social media. Guess I need to take down my wild Saturday night cow-tipping pics.

Just kidding, I didn't tip them. I did see a newborn calf, though. That's always cool.

JulieWeathers said...

I cried when I read that post. When Mirinda died, there was a horrible string of child abuse cases. It drove me crazy to hear about them. I wanted a baby so desperately and these people were abusing and killing these precious children.

Someone suggested I become a foster parent. No, I couldn't. I couldn't bear the thought of loving these children and having them go back too often to the same situation. It's better now and they make more of an effort to make sure the children are safe instead of just doing the automatic "children belong with their families" thing.

Still, it takes someone with a real super power to care for these little ones. I'm glad to know people who can. They are needed and make a tremendous difference in a child's life.

God's blessings on you, my friend.

Fearless Reider said...

I don’t think there’s any higher calling than being there for a child in crisis. Thank you, S.P. Bowers, for being a good part of their stories. My sister-in-law does emergency and respite foster care for children of all ages, and the resilience and tenacity of these kids is dumbfounding. The teens just want someone to help them keep up with their homework and get to their after-school jobs. And the babies... I don’t know how they muster up the trust to conk out in a stranger’s arms, but they do.

I still struggle with the “public” aspect of publication. I just want to lob stories out of my bunker. My electronic footprint has shrunk over the past few years, and I know I need to work on that. But for now I’m cowering under my cozy quilt of anonymity. So much for Fearless.

Colin Smith said...

Echoing the sentiments of the majority here, S.P.: this is great and wonderful work you and your hubby are doing. Bless you!

It occurs to me that I don't do as many of these kind of "life story"-type articles on my blog as I used to. If you dig into the archives you'll find some. But I doubt the curious passer-by is likely to do that.

Food for thought.

Brenda said...

It’s a great and a blessed work, SP. Thank you for bringing attention to it.

Claire Bobrow said...

Thank you, S.P. Bowers, for your huge and generous heart.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

When I was teenager my mom worked at a school for boys in New Jersey. It was a place for troubled teenage boys from nightmare homes. On holidays staff would take a kid home because...well because.
John came to our house on Christmas instead of going home to a house where he had to sleep under his sister's bed so their father would not rape her. (She eventually escaped).
When John graduated high school he came to live with us. He became my older brother, my parent's third child. He joined the Navy. After discharge he went to college, graduated and moved cross country and (because of an unknown ending)we never heard from him again.

By "taking John in" my mom and dad changed his life. I know that by helping John they changed mine.

Assumptions about people are like reaching into a bag of assorted candies. Some sweet, some hot, some tasteless and a few rotten. We live in an assorted world. Assume nothing by the wrapper we wear.

gidgetkelly said...

I know the post was about the electronic footprint, but Janet has her special way of getting us all to think beyond the apparent message. Thank you, thank you Sara. Julie was 100% right, sadly, when she said 'these people were abusing and killing these precious children.' It happened here, in our safe, little Illinois community. The story is tragic with a more tragic ending. I cried. We all cried.

In recent months, someone in town, identity unknown, has been painting white hearts on telephone poles. Could be unrelated to recent events, but when one catches my eye, I feel hope just might be renewing itself. I read Sara's story and yes, in spite of a world gone crazy, it proves hope and goodness are not giving up the fight.

Beth Carpenter said...

Sara, people like you are what hold the world together. Thank you.

Barbara Etlin said...

I'm thankful there are wonderful people like you, S.P. Bowers to help kids who need it.

I usually think I'm writing with invisible ink with my blog posts and tweets, but I found out differently last spring when I was contacted by a Very Important Person who shall remain unnamed. Thought it was a scam at first, but now I'm convinced it was the celebrity, even without the blue checkmark of verification.

Heidi Kenyon said...

What a refreshing dose of perspective on a Monday morning when I was wallowing a bit. Thanks, Janet, and thank you, S.P. I feel a little closer to the good in the world now.

LynnRodz said...

It's heartbreaking to see how many children are struggling to get by in this world, so thank you SP for the kindness you give to kids in need.

And thank you, Janet, for reminding us once again we need to have some way of being contacted. I had a blog for 13 years, it was dying a slow death near the end, so I put it out of its misery and pulled the plug. Now I wonder if that was the right thing to do.

John Davis Frain said...

You guys are amazing, Sara. If I catch myself whining today (or tomorrow or anytime), I better shut the f up.

S.P. Bowers said...

Thanks everyone! You are all amazing, too. We all have our own ways of helping others. This blog is a place of respite for me and helps keep me sane.

Adele said...

Wondering: Let's say Mr. Buttonweazer is a well known importer of fine maple syrup, a long-time hockey player, and earning a name for his fiddling skills. He has a desire to write a book on maple syrup. Obviously he wants to do it under his real name, which already attracts notice in the maple syrup industry. He also thinks that maybe one day he'll write about fiddling, and perhaps also a memoir about life on the road with the Waukeegan Pucksnappers. All of these books will benefit from him using his real name, but - how would he go about it? Just publish and let the chips fall where they may? Or is there another way that I'm not seeing?

NLiu said...

I read your post, S.P. and I have been thinking about it all day. Friends of ours foster, and I have no idea how they do it. And you have so many kids to look after already! I would be an exhausted wreck, and here you are soldiering on and blogging about it. Incredible! I suspect you are wearing spandex where nobody sees.

Casual-T said...

Sometimes I do think there might still be hope for mankind. And it is because of people like you, Sara. Philander... Philoso... Well, as the Wizard so eloquently put it, Good-deed-doers. Keep up the good work. (Just make sure you're not out chopping wood in the rain.)

french sojourn said...

S.P.Bowers, well done. Your writing and more importantly your deeds redeem my thoughts of mankind.

Also, good luck with Yogi and BooBoo! Growing up in Maine our most opportunistic creatures were raccoons. It is so hard to defend against Mother Nature little MacGyvers.

Sandra J. said...

Duly noted about having an electronic footprint in the blogger commenter ID.

And to S.P. Bowers - thank you for doing what is an incredibly important service. The fact you can keep going speaks to your level of compassion and tenacity. Well done.