Out of the mouths of babes! Now I realize why God blessed me with three children. He knew that when I got old and set in my ways that I would need a little infusion of youth in my life -- and somebody to teach me new things. My kids -- and I use the term loosely, for they are 26, 22 and 19 respectively -- keep me on my toes and try their best to keep me up to date.Recently they taught me a new term -- trending -- and in the process created a monster.
"Trending" is a term that refers to what topics are currently being "tweeted" on "Twitter." How's that for alliteration? This column is being brought to you by the letter "T."
Twitter, in case you don't know is ... well, I'm not sure I fully understand what "twitter" is, but it has something to do with sending out messages over the Internet -- or over smart phones or ... oh, heck, it has to do with somehow transmitting short messages to people who are signed up to your account and the short messages are called tweets and when a lot of people are tweeting about the same subject, said subject is said to be "trending." Now isn't that plain as mud?
Someone actually created a Twitter account for me -- a long time ago. People who sign up to receive a person's tweets are called "followers," and I have lots and lots of followers, but so far they are still waiting for my first tweet. Think they will be waiting a while longer because I don't have any tweet-worthy news and even if I did, I have no idea how to tweet on Twitter to begin with.
But I told you all of that to tell you this. Always one who likes to be in the know, ever since I learned about tweeting and twittering and trending, I have compulsively checked the Internet to see what the hot topics of the day might be. I have spent far too much of my valuable time learning all there is to know about a variety of subjects about which I could not care less. And, apparently, the term trending is no longer specific to Twitter. Topics can be trending on Google or Wikipedia or Facebook or a plethora of other social media outlets. It's enough to give you a headache.
Let me give you an example or three. Let me tell you about a few things that were trending on various boards as we entered the weekend.
Tim Tebow. That's right. The ex-Florida Gator, current Denver Bronco quarterback is a hot topic, but not because of his football prowess. People are debating whether Tebow is too religious. I ain't making this up. A lot of people in the NFL are uncomfortable because of Tebow's penchant for publicly praising Jesus Christ. Is this where we have come to in modern society? It is perfectly fine for celebrities to talk about their gay lovers or lack of respect for the principles this nation was founded upon, but if you put your faith in Jesus you are supposed to keep that to yourself. Sounds about right. And folks wonder why we are in such a mell of a hess in this nation. I say, "Trend on Tebow."w
"Black Friday deals" was another hot topic this week. Speaking of presiding over the downfall of civilization! Retailers can no longer wait until the wee small hours of Friday morning to begin their orgy of retail sales. They had to begin on Thanksgiving night this year. At least one retail mega-giant bragged that their stores never closed. That would be the store I plan to stay away from this year.
Justin Bieber was trending, too. He is the 16-year-old pop star who has been in the news for being accused of fathering a baby during a 30-second restroom tryst last year. That's old news now, though. He was trending this week, as far as I could tell, because of his annoying Black Friday Macy's commercial. That's another place I won't shop this Christmas season. Their commercials annoy me too much and if they hire a bunch of grown men that are going to swoon over a 16-year-old pop star, I don't want to be spending too much time in their store. They did put up a pretty Christmas tree at Lenox Square, though.
Ndamukong Suh was trending, too. He is the behemoth that plays football for the Detroit Lions. Apparently he doesn't play well with others, however, and was ejected from the Lions' Thanksgiving Day classic against the Green Bay Packers. This wasn't his first encounter with dirty play and may miss a few more games -- without pay.
The stock market was also trending this weekend -- and the trend was downward. We're talking way down. My 401k looks like a 101 EZ after the hit it took last week. Just more depressing news.
We need some good news in the tweetispehere this month, so I may man up and send out my first tweet soon. Huck34 is my Twitter moniker and you won't want to miss it.
In the meantime, just follow Tim Tebow. He's got way more substance than Justin Bieber.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.