Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

The safety of social media

In saying “safety” in the title, I’m referring to how easy it is for us to post on Facebook some meme where it attacks someone without having any need to be based in truth. It can just be our “opinion” even though it’s making a claim that is based is something that is factual. A recent one I saw was about Obama being good at lying and that Trump is good at telling the truth. The implication is that Trump is telling the truth and people don’t like to hear it. I added a comment asking for proof, and there were no responses to this. What I find happens most of the time is that people will post stuff like this and other followers won’t want to get involved so they won’t comment at all. But this has a different effect because the original poster thinks that if no one is comments or saying something to the contrary, they can easily say, “Yes, I am right and people are not fighting me on this because they know I am right.”

If I come at them with fact checking to show that Trump is more likely to say a false claim, they can use the label of “fake news” or that the media is making that up, so the conversation ends. But if we were sitting together and discussing this in person, it would be much harder for someone to just say that this is how it is because they would have to look someone if the eye who may be willing to challenge them on their “beliefs”. This is why social media is good for people who don’t want to be challenged. It doesn’t matter that my account shows that it is me who is the user, there is still some removal from myself there. Not just for me but for anyone. The more connected we seem to be, the more disconnected we actually are.

Worry for what?

I got to teach last year at a public high school. I loved it! It felt like I was finally using all the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years in music to young people. So in order to teach the following school year, I had to take two Praxis exams and pass them both before June 30. Well, due to various reasons, I put it off and ended up having to take them kind of late. The score for the first test was given to me after the June 30 deadline and the score for the second test was given to me A MONTH after it was due! I was so worried about this! I felt so guilty for being so bad at following the deadline requirement that I apologized multiple times to my bosses, I prayed so much about the whole situation, and I was genuinely worried that it was not going to work out. I was thinking that they were looking for someone else behind my back and that I was not going to get to teach this coming year.

Once I got the results from my second test and forwarded the results to them, they basically replied right away and said I have the job! Just like that! I realized that I was worried for nothing. I worry way too much. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while now but can still improve on. The “worry” doesn’t change anything. Regardless of whether they did or did not rehire me, it still ended up not really making much of a difference in the outcome. The worry does not influence it. It’s such a weird human thing to go through, I think. As though we think we need to do it in order to show we care or something. I’m not sure. It’s annoying to realize that it really doesn’t do much…or anything really.