So Positive To Be Old and To Be Me; Popularity Its Ups and Downs; The Ups and Downs of Facebook; The Downs of Instagram: An Instagram Admirer Returns During the Writing of the Blog; A Vancouver Buddy Also Returns: Also Because of My Sense of Humour; Ilk Defined; A GIF That I Love.

At the present moment watching Channel 9, listening to an interview with Justice Ginsberg by David Rubinstein. She was, of course, alive at the time of the interview. The experience of watching her in action was enriched by the knowledge that, upon her death, her body rested in state in the Capital Hill Rotunda, the first woman to rest there. To say the very least she was an amazing woman, there are not enough adjectives to describe her brilliance, her humour, her intelligence, her compassion, her humanity and her humility. It was wonderful to be around when she was around and coverage was not clouded by the likes of Donald Trump and his ilk. What is ilk? It is a type of person or thing similar to one already referred. It has interesting synonyms: type, sort, class, category, group, set, bracket, genre, kidney, grain, species, race, strain, vintage, make, model, brand, stamp, variety. Trump unfortunately had many makes, models, species and brands. He is not quite gone, if only he could be forgotten.
I was fortunate in living apart from the environs of Trumpland during most of his reign. That was by choice, first London then leaving at conclusion of student visa for Canada. Returned to the USA to live out Trump’s final days he was horrible but dreadful medical care, onerous taxation and money-laundering immoral Vancouver, a city who lost its way when inundated by extremely rich, rude Mainland Chinese who forced real estate prices and availability out of the reach of most middle class Canadians. Left Canada in urgent need of knee replacement surgery and a huge blog following – blog only in its infancy upon arrival in Canada. My public sphere enhanced by an Instagram following, rather enormous for an ordinary person. Facebook had been deserted because of the immediacy and accessibility of Instagram.

However, despite inattention my popularity on Facebook soars. I have 81 new friends and 92 notifications. Goodness gracious, such popularity, inattention seems to pay off. However, these days Facebook has a new face. In these days following the insurrection on January 6, 2021 reliable and reputable media such as BBC New, Christine Amanpour and PBS News have been featuring experts which speak of the culpability of FaceBook in stirring up the mobs, spreading hate and lies and enabling those horribly negative forces to communicate with each other. Without FaceBook, some assert, this never could have happened. I thought FaceBook was the forum for mothers to brag about their children and talk about play dates and trendy kid-friendly restaurants – but no! Instead it is about bombs, guns, armaments and the destruction of our democracy. So I am not going to climb back on board and friend my 81 new friends. But nothing is ever black and white. When Zahir Naik was disarmed from television, his television outreach gone, he switched to FaceBook and announced that he has two million followers. So he is able to get his message of the Islamic faith and hope out in the world through FaceBook. That is, of course, redeemable and a good use of the media.

Shall now speak of Instagram, as said I was all over it. With some disastrous results – was scammed (or catfishes) a total of four times over a two and a half year period of time. The guys never got my money but took up a great deal of time and energy. There are certainly Instagram abusers, the catfish, scammers and then there is Fazza, the Crown Prince of Dubai who reportedly has over a million followers. Why is unknown as it does little to promote his City State nor any noble cause. He uses it to romanticize gullible women. For what purpose it is wondered. I stopped being an Instagram user when I calculated how much time it took up and how one was at the whim and caprice of others, often measuring one’s self worth by home many likes one achieved on a posting. When I stopped Instagram there was a measure of relaxation and relief and I never looked back. However, notifications from new followers keep arriving. One a man named Mohammed who lives in Qatar and another a man I am sure I met in London during my time there. His name and face seem familiar. Then this as well – one of the catfish guys has my email address and routinely informs me that he either wants to come and see me as he misses me or he wants to marry me. Needless to say, the answer is no. Then this is unbelievable but true. I had began this blog about social media and its effects, was interrupted by an email.

He: After so long. I still see you in my dreams you.. What have you done to me?

Me: My goodness did not know I had such power! Do not know if I am comfortable with it! Hahaha Alexis

He: Hi! I am glad you do still have your awesome sense of humor. Trust the pandemic is no where near you Alexis?

Me: I kept myself super safe while living in San Francisco. Did not even venture out except for MD appointments and once a week grocery shopping.Thank you for commenting on my sense of humour – it is my very best trait. Inherited, did you know?

To be utterly honest, had no idea who the guy was when I got the email. The thread subject matter I shall not abide, dated back to June of 2018. There
has been a lot of water under the bridge since that time. Stealthily, used Google and with a photograph it call came back. He was an Instagram man, never met him, he in Turkey on construction job. Long story, not pretty at the end. I guess we were supposed to get married, that is what they all promise. Obviously did not.

The communication this morning did go on for awhile. I actually preferred him to be the forgotten villain but nobody is all bad, or all good. He rather caring, funny and seems to know me quit well. But worry not he is now in South Africa and I am a Muslim woman. Phew! A Muslim girl or woman should not be on Facebook or Instagram. There is not a prohibition in the Qur’an (as Facebook and Instagram had not been invented in the seventh century) but it is not acceptable behaviour. The faith does make life simpler and easier in many ways, as you can see. Instagram made my life difficult in many complicated ways, not sure that it added anything to my existence.

My blog not forbidden by the Islamic faith, has complicated my life, met many people and had many experiences because of it, some unimaginable.

Will have to give Instagram Returner a nickname., perhaps IR. He did eventually admit that he had read my blog.

He: Funny enough, I read a few of your writings of me two years ago. you are absolutely a gifted writer. Never had doubts… Even though you put our relationship on blast.

He did say that he is no longer on social media.

So a rather ordinary day turned strange. Last night hear from a woman friend from Vancouver, who had disappeared from my life. She asked me what was going on in my life: Please tell me: How The Heck are you doing and please do not tell me to read the blog. Luv you.

So I emailed her some details and we commented upon the fate of the people that we both knew. She was employed as a concierge at the Trump during the months of my stay there. I commented on the fate of those in the hospitality business.

She: OhhhhhhhhMAN! You still have your sense of humour. (David still has his fat to keep him warm – I love that).

She used to send me GIFs and her email had three. I shall try and send one – it is not one that is appropriate to my Muslim life. Oh goodness, the good old days! As I did say to IR – my sense of humour is my favourite trait. Not forbidden by the Islamic faith (no giggling during five time a day prayers) but women and girls do not have to mosque it, are encouraged to pray to Allah on their own. I do, and am occasionally funny. Allah does not seem to mind.

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