You Use These Web Sites Every Day. But I Bet You Didn’t Know These Mind-Blowing Facts.

If you are anything like me, you are on Facebook constantly, always refreshing to see what’s new from your friends or celebrities you follow. But have you ever wondered just how much new content is being posted every minute to Facebook? Or how many Google searches are performed every minute? This list here below gives you a really cool insight into just how huge some social networking websites are, and how much data they pump out every minute.

Email users send 204,000,000 messages every minute.

Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content every minute.

Twitter users tweet 277,000 times every minute.

Google receives over 4,000,000 search queries every minute.

Pinterest users pin 3,472 images every minute.

YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video every minute.

Amazon makes $83,000 in online sales every minute.

Pandora users listen to 61,141 hours worth of music every minute.

Tinder users swipe 416,667 times every minute.

WhatsApp users share 347,222 photos every minute.

Vine users share 8,333 videos every minute.

Instagram users posts 216,000 new photos every minute.

Yelp users post 26,380 reviews every minute.

Apple users download 48,000 apps every minute.

About 408,000,000 emails were sent out while you read through that list, 17 of which are actual emails and not spam (don’t quote us on that totally made up fact). H/T: Elite Daily and Time Share these really interesting facts with your friends below.

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OH NO! John Cusack blocked the Sean Spicer parody account TOO (hilarity ensued)

Yeah, we normally cover the Sean Spicer parody account,@sean_spicier, because something he has tweeted has not only fooled a bunch of Lefties into thinking he’s the real press secretary, but it has enraged them. Which makes us all laugh. This time though it’s in relation to a tweet he sent out that ties into an article we wrote yesterday about how John Cusack has blocked at least half of Twitter (including Twitchy!).

As you can imagine, the results of his tweet were pretty damn hilarious:

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Martha Plimpton Moves On (Again)

In the course of nearly 35 years as a professional actress, the Raising Hope star has had only one steady job — and it just ended. But if there’s anything Plimpton’s illustrious, challenging career has taught her, it’s that nothing lasts, and that this is OK. And that it’s boring to still be talking about The Goonies.

Photograph by Ramona Rosales for BuzzFeed

”Our lives as actors are so peripatetic. We’re always all over the place, and we never know where we’re going to be next. That period of intimacy you create when you’re working on something is so important, and so vital. It’s what everything springs out of — that trust, and that mutual respect. And it makes you grateful that you do this. Do you know what I mean?”

In someone who articulates her thoughts in well-contemplated sentences and paragraphs, and who magnifies her decisive ideas with an extensive vocabulary, Martha Plimpton’s conversational tic — do you know what I mean? — begins to feel ironic after a while. Because it is impossible not to know what she means.

There are performers — not necessarily the movie stars, but the actors — who become unknowing touchstones of our lives because we grow up with and live alongside them: Plimpton is one of those. At 43, she has been famous, or at least recognizable, for more than 30 years, having been acting professionally since 1980. Her range is vast: She’s excelled in classic stage roles and broad TV comedy. Despite all the perils that haunt kid stars, not to mention women in entertainment who dare age, she has created a place for herself in which she is both professionally prolific and a real person. From the consumed way she sounds when she’s talking about her work, she appears not to have lost her passion for it — nor has she lost her patience or her nerve.

Along the way, Plimpton has been nominated for three Tony Awards and three Emmys (winning once, for Best Guest Actress in a Drama in 2011, for her portrayal of Patti Nyholm, a maddening, occasional courtroom foil for Julianna Margulies’ Alicia on The Good Wife). She has been in more than 20 movies, both big and mainstream (The Goonies, Parenthood) and indie (I Shot Andy Warhol, Eye of God). She’s currently appearing as the trenchant, broken-hearted Brooke in Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities at the Old Vic in London. Activism is a big part of her life as well: She co-founded the abortion rights-focused organization A Is For, and especially on the subject of abortion and lefty politics, she is a scathingly proficient user of the Twitter megaphone.

Plimpton as Virginia Chance on Fox’s Raising Hope. John P. Fleenor / FOX

On Friday, Plimpton’s most lasting role, as Virginia Chance on Fox’s underappreciated comedy Raising Hope, will come to an end after four seasons. The show has revolved around the working-class Chance family’s loving and insane efforts to raise little Hope, who was conceived during a one-night-stand Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) had with a hot serial killer who was then executed in prison. As Jimmy’s mother and Hope’s (young!) grandmother, Virginia has been the show’s almost-reasonable/also ludicrous heart. Her loving constancy with her husband, Burt (Garret Dillahunt), has provided the show’s screwball, Coen Brothers-like throughline.

Other than these four years on Raising Hope, Plimpton’s career has been defined by the transience of film, theater, and TV guest spots — and for now at least, she’s back to that more free, but less stable, way of life. She’s used to it. “It’s just part of the lesson of being an actor: Don’t hold on to things,” she said. “Just find a way to be good at letting go. Always, at all times.”

And about saying goodbye to Raising Hope and Virginia, she said: “There were things about doing that character every week — every day — that were incredibly freeing and confidence-building and gave me a new relationship to work, and how to work, and how to be present and available and game. I will miss it. But I cannot complain. I don’t feel in any way robbed of anything. Do you know what I mean?”

Photograph by Ramona Rosales for BuzzFeed

Plimpton’s mother, Shelley Plimpton, started out as an actor in New York City. She played Crissy in the original production of Hair, which is where she met Martha’s father, Keith Carradine, of the acting family of Carradines. Though Plimpton is close to her father now, Carradine was not around much during her childhood. She saw him “once a year for a few years there — when I was 6, 7, 8,” she said. “Most of my teens there wasn’t anything.”

“It’s not something I particularly like talking about,” Plimpton continued during our first interview, which was over a hurried lunch on a day when she was busy doing press for Raising Hope. “I don’t really feel like it’s anybody’s, you know, business. But of course, I love my father, I always have. He was a young man. And he had things to figure out.”

The Plimptons lived first in the Chelsea Hotel, and then settled on the Upper West Side (in an apartment Martha has lived in since — her mother eventually moved to the West Coast). In late 1970s New York, it was possible to be inventive, weird, and perhaps even poor in the city. “We did not have a lot of money,” Plimpton said. “I was raised by a sort of extended family of women — friends of my mother’s.” With her mother struggling as an actor, and then eventually tiring of the struggle and getting a 9-to-5 job, it was that network of friends who drew Plimpton into acting. “They were actors and artists and bohemians of varying stripes and colors and persuasions,” she said.

The writer/director/composer Elizabeth Swados was in this group, and she cast Plimpton first in a workshop, and then in a musical at the Public called The Haggadah. Or, as Plimpton put it, “Me and my blonde head did this musical about the Exodus.” (A young Julie Taymor, who would later direct The Lion King on Broadway, as well as the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark debacle, did the show’s puppets.)

The Haggadah led to more plays and workshops — and also to an attention-getting Calvin Klein commercial, one in a series of Richard Avedon-directed, up-close monologues that also featured Andie MacDowell and Shari Belafonte in separate ads. The commercials were more personality-driven than jeans-flaunting — each model was identified by first name by chyron, branding them. It was more innocent than the previous campaign starring Brooke Shields, also by Avedon, that featured the infamous slogan, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins,” as intoned by the teenaged Shields, posed in full jailbait lure.

At age 11, Plimpton, a spiky-haired, New York-accented tomboy, was Shields’ opposite. And while happily thinking about that curious turn in her career as she drank a glass of Sancerre at the Sunset Tower Hotel’s bar, she doesn’t look so different now. “I love those ads,” Plimpton said. “I love them. I mean, come on, fucking Dick Avedon shot those things.”

Recognition from the commercial got her first starring film role, playing a spiky-haired, Southern-accented tomboy named Jonsy — with Tommy Lee Jones as her father — in a small, sweet film called The River Rat. Jones wasn’t a movie star yet; he was known mostly for Coal Miner’s Daughter and a riveting, terrifying, and Emmy-winning performance as Gary Gilmore in the TV miniseries adaptation of Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song. But he was as vivid a screen presence then as he is now, and the tween Plimpton managed both to match and warm him.

Plimpton with Tommy Lee Jones in The River Rat. Paramount/ Everett Collection

As for whether choosing acting was a conscious and active decision, or whether it just happened, Plimpton said, “I think it was a little bit of both.” Regardless, she continued to get cast: In the pre-Disney-Princess-addicted youth world, the tomboy archetype was a common one, and Plimpton’s tough kid exterior made her an inheritor of a pop culture legacy that included Scout Finch, Harriet the Spy, Peppermint Patty, and the young roles of Jodie Foster, Tatum O’Neal, and Kristy McNichol. The Goonies came next.

Plimpton called it “the experience of a lifetime,” and said she had “a great, amazing time making the movie.” She played Stef, the slightly nerdy girl who is actually cooler than anyone else in the movie. It was a big cast of kids, several of whom also had famous actor fathers (Sean Astin, Josh Brolin). Was that fun at the time — had she found her people?

Goonies Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection(

”I’ll put it to you this way: Teenage girls and teenage boys — no. You know? It’s not a good mix. I was, like, 13, 14. I was listening to Prince and Mozart on my headphones. I mean, I thought I was like — I was from New York. I thought I was smarter than everybody. You know? I think I just might have been just kind of an asshole. Do you know what I mean? And I know for sure that Corey Feldman was an asshole. I mean, he won’t mind me saying it: He was. A fucking asshole. We were children! And children are assholes. When they’re that age.”

After a few more questions about The Goonies, which has become a touchstone of ’80s nostalgia, she had enough, and made it clear, in no uncertain terms. “I’ve discussed it and talked about it and been interviewed about it so many times that I just kind of feel like there’s literally nothing new to say about it. Literally. Literally.” She was sort of laughing — and sort of not. Gesturing at her face, she said, “You’ll notice my eyes have sort of glazed over.”

But one parting shot: “I remember all of us making hardly any money off of it.”

When I talked to Garret Dillahunt, Plimpton’s Raising Hope co-star, about their working relationship and friendship, he said, “I never saw The Goonies. Which greatly pleased her.”

Photography by Ramona Rosales for BuzzFeed

Jon Robin Baitz offered Plimpton the Other Desert Cities role shortly after she finished filming Raising Hope’s fourth — and, now, final — season in January, and she jumped at it. Plimpton is the only American in the cast of a very American play that through a single wealthy family lays bare the trauma of the Vietnam War, the Reagan era, and the Sept. 11 attacks. Though she had been nervous about London audiences, both because of their known reserve and because of the content of the play itself. “These audiences are incredible,” she said when we spoke on the phone recently. “They’re so smart, and they’re so present, and they’re such enthusiastic theater-goers, that I have found the audiences actually extremely warm and extremely receptive.” And in the city itself, “Every shopkeeper calls you ‘darling,’ and everyone says ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’”

Martha Plimpton as Brooke, Clare Higgins as Silda in Other Desert Cities. Alastair Muir / Rex/REX USA

Other Desert Cities will run through May. If Fox had renewed Raising Hope, she would have returned to Los Angeles during the summer. That the show isn’t coming back is not a surprise — before the start of the season, Fox had moved it to Friday nights, which is often a death knell. “When you’re moving around so much on the schedule, I think it’s clear that there’s something not quite clicking for somebody, somewhere, I don’t know who,” Plimpton said. “The fact that they followed through with us regardless of that is pretty great of them. I feel like they did it really respectfully and really well, even though obviously if I ran a studio, we’d run for 20 years.”

Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl, The Millers), the show’s creator who left before Raising Hope’s final season, has a different take on the experience. “I left for a lot of reasons, but certainly one of the reasons was I saw no support for the show on a studio or network level,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s a shame. It’s a really good show. Had it been left in the same time slot from the beginning, had it gotten more support, I think it would have gotten a wider audience.”

About Plimpton, though, Garcia said, “I adore her. And I would jump at the chance of being on a set with her again.” He was originally looking at older actresses for Virginia — then he thought of Plimpton, citing 1996’s Beautiful Girls as one of his favorite movies. “Then I was, like, mad at myself,” he said. “Why was I not here earlier with this? I love Martha Plimpton, and she would kill at this role.”

Plimpton had done plenty of New York actor bill-paying guest roles, from an arc on ER to requisite appearances on various Law & Orders. She also had shot a pilot for Showtime with Matthew Perry in which she would have been a series regular, but it didn’t get picked up. When Raising Hope came along, she wasn’t actively pursuing a television gig as a goal, despite the financial rewards. “Because there’s so much rejection, and so much stress,” she said. “But I was definitely open to it, obviously.”

She thought the pilot script for Raising Hope was “hilarious,” and really liked Garcia. “He was, like, a really decent, swell, really smart, very talented guy,” she said. “I could just tell he wasn’t a Hollywood dickbag.” (Countered Garcia: “And I could tell right away that she wasn’t an actress ditzcunt.”)

Greg Gayne / FOX

Plimpton said Garcia made everything go smoothly during the audition process. “And that moment when you have to sign that contract during the test process — to, like, literally sign six years of your life away — it was easy for me for the first time,” she said. “And normally when you do that, it’s really terrifying. Because you don’t know how you’re going to be able to look at these awful people day in and day out.” She stopped, and laughed a loud laugh. “Do you know what I mean?”

Plimpton has been selective about her jobs because of the intimacy required in her work. And she is an intense and intimidating person to speak to whatever the circumstances — in our three conversations, I found her to be dryly funny and sharp as hell. She’s also surprisingly blunt: When we talked on the phone to catch up, her greeting was, “This article sure is taking a long time!”

She has clearly found community in her work, and at Raising Hope, camaraderie too. When I asked Dillahunt and Garcia — independently — what their preconceptions of Plimpton were based on what they had seen her do, both cited a line from The Mosquito Coast in which her character tells River Phoenix’s, “I think about you when I go to the bathroom.”

“I used to say all the time to people,” said Dillahunt. “Just because I thought it was hilarious if I said it. Never knowing that one day that sexy girl would be my wife.” Garcia couldn’t remember the exact quotation, but when reminded of the wording, said: “Yes! Yeah! Holy shit! She made me uncomfortable and made me have questions, and it’s all coming out of that little girl. Yeah!”

“How bizarre!” Plimpton said when I told her about their mutual fixation on that line. Do people say it to her often? “It’s not that common, but they will occasionally,” she said. “And I always find it kind of creepy and weird.”

Plimpton in The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center in 2007. Photograph by Paul Kolnik

Raising Hope gave Plimpton financial stability, getting her out of a debt she had accrued from years during which she worked almost solely in high profile, often Tony-nominated theatrical productions. After an ascendant career as a teenaged movie actor — she appeared in Peter Weir’s Mosquito Coast (1986), Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty (1988), Woody Allen’s Another Woman (1988), and Ron Howard’s Parenthood (1989), among others — Plimpton hit what she called “a real big dry spell there for a long time.”

“My work in film was really sporadic: I never really, like, hit it,” she said. “There may have also been a period where I thought maybe I should be doing bigger roles than maybe I was ever going to get? And certainly my taste level is so high that I may have been too picky at times. And so I may have slowed myself down.”

Plimpton loves theater; it’s not an also-ran choice. “It’s not a process you get in any other medium,” she said. “And I love the collaboration, I love the rehearsal process, I love being in the room and working on a play. Working on the text, and excavating it. And laughing about it, and making mistakes.”

She paused. “It’s also true that there are just more interesting parts for women in the theater. There’s just more to do. I could play Hedda Gabler on stage, but no one will ever hire me to play Hedda Gabler in a movie. Do you know what I mean? Or a similar leading kind of role. There’s just more to sink my teeth into. I don’t have the face of a movie star. I have a face of a character actress. And there’s not that much character work for women. There just isn’t.”

Plimpton has played not only Hedda Gabler on stage (in a Steppenwolf production; she is a member of the company), but Imogen in Cymbeline, and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her Tony nominations have been for Top Girls, the revival of Pal Joey (she also sings), and for Tom Stoppard’s epic three-play cycle, The Coast of Utopia (about which she said, “I can’t think of a better experience.”).

That’s a small selection of her theater work; she has a remarkable resumé. An exhausting one, though. “I’d been working on stage — fortunately and luckily — kind of constantly. And I was finding myself physically wiped out,” she said about her pre-Raising Hope run. “And you couple that with the fact that you’re really not making any money, and you’re falling further and further behind in your bills — if you’re in the theater, and if you’re nominated for a Tony, you’d better hope someone’s going to help you pay for that stylist. Because it’s expensive to be nominated.”

Isn’t that infuriating, though? Never mind the discrepancy between studio-backed TV and film wages and theater salaries; accomplished working theater actors should be able to live in New York City, even in its current rich-person, Mike Bloombergian incarnation that’s so different from the 1970s Upper West Side of Plimpton’s childhood. “It’s everyone’s situation, it’s not unique to you,” she said. “There’s always someone working for less money than you in the theater. So if you’re going to bitch about the LORT contract” — the League of Resident Theatres’ minimum salaries — “then think about the guy working for $250 in some black box downtown. Or less. Or nothing.”

Phoenix and Plimpton in the film Running on Empty. Warner Bros. Pictures / Everett Collection

When you’ve been in the public eye for 33 years, starting from when you were a child — well, we all know what happens to a good number of those people. There’s an extensive record of things Plimpton has said to journalists over the years, but nothing especially humiliating. I reminded her that when she was a committed vegan, she was quoted saying she was “trying to get away from wool — the farming of sheep is very inhumane.” That was in 1990. “Yeah, yeah, come on. I was, like, 17!” Plimpton said, laughing.

Plimpton was also a focus of attention after River Phoenix, whom she had dated, died in 1993 at age 23 of a drug overdose. The two young, serious actors had met during The Mosquito Coast and also co-starred in Running on Empty. They broke up, from all reports, because of Phoenix’s substance use. After his memorial service, Plimpton spoke damningly of those who chose to mythologize his too-short life, and how he died. “I don’t want to be comforted by his death,” she told Tad Friend in Esquire, “I think it’s right that I’m angry about it, angry at the people who helped him stay sick, and angry at River.”

I asked her whether she ever thought about what she said then, and what that was like to experience in public. “I don’t talk about it anymore,” Plimpton said. “And I haven’t talked about it since then for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that if I did, that would be all anyone would ever say I had ever said about anything, ever. Do you know what I mean? I mean, literally, it would be as though we had never had this entire four-hour exchange.”

Explaining further, she said: “So that’s one reason why I don’t talk about it anymore. Because I have a rich and full life. I don’t need to repeat myself, and I certainly don’t need to alter the terms of how I felt at that time. Or explain myself, or justify it to anyone. So I prefer to just leave it be. And so far that’s worked for me!”

Photograph by Ramona Rosales for BuzzFeed

Plimpton’s friend Sarah Thyre, the writer with whom she co-founded A Is For (along with Lizz Winstead, the co-creator of The Daily Show, who is no longer with the group), described Plimpton as unwavering. “I question things, and then I proceed as if I didn’t have any doubts —because in my heart, I don’t,” said Thyre. “But Martha’s one of those people who just truly doesn’t question herself, and she just goes for it. I’m really, really proud to know her.”

Alarmed at the profound erosion of abortion rights, especially on a state-by-state level, they started A Is For in 2012. The nonprofit raises money, of course — general donations go to the Center for Reproductive Rights, and a January fundraiser in Los Angeles named “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas!” went to the Texas Abortion Fund. But beyond direct action, it’s a cultural shift Plimpton seeks.

When talking about a New York Magazine cover package about abortion published this past fall, Plimpton said she thought it was “great,” and that she was “encouraged by people’s willingness to speak,” but “there was a subtle sort of undertone of affliction to it.” She gathered steam, and spoke emphatically: “I’m looking forward to getting us to a place where this isn’t such a negative subject. Where we don’t assume that abortion has this sad, lonely, depressing feeling about it. Because for so many women, it’s the reason they are able to live. It gives women an opportunity, a chance, to participate. To go to school. To realize their dreams.”

As Thyre put it, “Martha really wants to change the way we talk about the ‘A’ word, and not have the definition and the driving form of the conversation come from the other side, which is how it’s been for many years.”

On Twitter, Plimpton often engages with people who disagree with her, whether the topic is those who blamed Philip Seymour Hoffman for his own death because he was an addict, Julianne Hough’s disastrous blackfaced Halloween costume, the Affordable Care Act, or, of course, abortion. Why does she endure the pain of going back and forth with people who are most likely crazy?

“I don’t want to automatically assume that someone’s an idiot just because they disagree with me,” she said. “They have to reveal their stupidity over time.” She does end up on rolls, though, when she’s arguing about inflammatory topics and simultaneously, as she calls it, “Blockin’ and rockin’.” Because the insults can be vicious, as anyone on Twitter knows. “It usually has to do with how ugly I am, and so I should shut up because I’m ugly,” she said. “Or I should have been aborted — because I’m ugly and stupid. And should shut up. Or that I’m a has-been — that’s always a fun one. That I’m a has-been who’s ugly and should shut up. ‘Ugly’ always makes its way in there. And I just don’t really want people who think that way to get away with it. I don’t think that that’s cool or OK. I don’t want it to work on me. And I don’t want it to work on other women.”

It’s not the way many — or any? — other celebrities act on social media, or in life. But Plimpton is different, and always has been.

“I’m a citizen and I’m a person,” she said, patiently describing something that should always be the case, but is actually rare. “And I don’t want my job or my career to get in the way of me being a citizen and a person.”

Photograph by Ramona Rosales for BuzzFeed

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These Tweets Ruined People’s Careers… You Should Tweet With Caution.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media outlets out there. Whether you just follow others or compose tweets yourself, Twitter seems ubiquitous these days. While it is all the rage for maintaining a public profile, it has backfired for a lot of people.

If you aren’t careful what you are tweeting, oh boy, it can ruin your life. Just look at these people as examples and take heed to their tales of how social media ruined their lives. You might want to look before you leap (or tweet).

1.) Connor Riley was offered a job at Cisco when she tweeted “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.” Cisco employees saw the tweet and suffice to say, Connor Riley never had to worry about that commute.

2.) Gabriella Pasqualotto, a cheerleader for several cricket teams went to Twitter to give details about how poorly the players treated the cheerleaders. This angered team owners and she was promptly fired.

3.) Even if Rashard Mendenhall’s intentions were good, his execution of this tweet following the death of Osama bin Laden didn’t sit too well with most Americans – “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

4.) Damian Goddard, a Toronto based sportscaster was fired after he posted some oddly political tweets about same-sex marriage that got him in hot water.

5.) Australian Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice lost her sponsorship with Jaguar automobiles after she tweeted homophobic slurs in response to an Australian rugby victory over South Africa.

6.) Larry Johnson found himself in quite a pickle after tweeting homophobic slurs and calling his head coach, Todd Haley out on Twitter. Shortly after, he was out of the NFL.

7.) Scott Bartosiewicz was fired for a simple misunderstanding. He worked as a social media strategist for Chrysler and accidentally tweeted profane language via their account when he meant to do it from his personal account. Whoops!

8.) Comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired from voicing the Aflac duck after he tweeted insensitive jokes in the wake of the Japanese tsunami. While it hasn’t ruined his comedy career, you will no longer hear his voice when watching Aflac commercials.

9.) Nicole Crowther was an actress who worked on the set of Glee for a period of time before she started tweeting out plot spoilers. When show producers saw what she had done, they tweeted this to her, “Hope you’re qualified to do something besides work in entertainment.” Then she was fired.

10.) How could anyone forget Anthony Weiner? The man made legendary by his Twitter fiasco can never be forgotten. He tweeted lewd pictures of himself to his followers and has basically become the laughingstock of the political world.

Social media is a wonderful tool, but remember: whatever you put on it is out there for anyone to see… pretty much forever. So the next time you get a new job, try not to compose any terrible tweets about your new employers.

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Shatner returns to Twitter; Tom Bergeron offers Trek-tastic possibility!/Lorijs1/status/443835836229238785!/Rosenberg196/status/443854634315440128

As Twitchy reported earlier, William Shatner announced that he was pulling the plug on his Twitter account, which was deleted soon after these tweets:


Just five hours later, Shatner’s back:!/WilliamShatner/status/443830023976284160

Now that was fast.

“Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Videos” host Tom Bergeron found out a while ago that Shatner’s Twitter account disappeared but that he would return, and Bergeron blamed the disappearance on a “Klingon hack”:!/Tom_Bergeron/status/443805039203606528


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Epic oops! Robin Wright shows more than sideboob at #GoldenGlobes [pics]!/dirtymartinigal/status/422553489063960577

Oh noes. Sideboob itself isn’t enough?!/NYDailyNews/status/422553386970796032

Actress Robin Wright won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Show, Drama on Sunday night. And this happened:!/ariherzog/status/422554967547723776

Yep, you were not alone! Twitter was buzzing Sunday night over Robin Wright’s epic wardrobe malfunction.!/DailyMailCeleb/status/422593614733410304!/APEntertainment/status/422553461222158337

Dangerous, indeed. Check it out:!/kevinbrueck/status/422553283878592512

Cutlet, tape … whatever. It was the focus of schadenfreude-y snark.!/juliatwirl/status/422559174870855680!/chelsea_bullock/status/422553221442203648!/DLoesch/status/422553362635046912!/PolaRoid_Rage/status/422598909685272576!/peterhartlaub/status/422555533321580544!/emzanotti/status/422553239695810560!/seventyx7/status/422553234389999616!/buckley_brooke/status/422553332763213824!/lorrainecink/status/422553270251315200!/veronicaromm/status/422553841125818368

Nip slip? Looks like that was a near miss.!/Taylor_Ayn/status/422614276910481408!/parischic7/status/422568071602003969!/Camilla_33/status/422553449268793344

Speaking of nip slips:!/lola_charles/status/422581098770870273

Heh. None this time for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, whose character Elaine on “Seinfeld” had an epic one. Julia won laughs last night for her e-cigarette moves.

As for Ms. Wright, this Twitter user brings it all home:!/hels/status/422553280737058816

Never change, Twitter.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ e-cigarette cracks up #GoldenGlobe viewers [pic, GIF]

Madonna’s wardrobe malfunction: Christina Applegate says ‘What’s a little nip slip?’ Santorum calls it ‘sign of cultural decline’

Wired’s nipple slip early contender for correction of the year

Full Twitchy coverage of Golden Globes

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Stevie’s got a gun? Steven Tyler horrifies, delights with one pic!/CalvinFitness/status/435351995927371777

Oh my!

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler took to Twitter to share his day from Hawaii.!/IamStevenT/status/435242644558450688

Heh. No, Stevie’s got a gun. And some had to be fun-squashing buzz kills, natch.!/juli_cr/status/435244473849630720!/JohnSaltstar/status/435300641204752385


Others were delighted and found the shooting photo swoon-worthy.!/ValeriaUsiello/status/435326741075091456!/cheftothestars/status/435352830208389120!/TexasSinger82/status/435246611602477056

Gotta love Texas!

But don’t forget the other part of his day, which caused this horrified reaction:!/TRACYROBBRUSH/status/435245602834628608

Giggling madly. Livin’ on the edge, Tyler!


‘Did Steven Tyler just fix his zipper?’ Aerosmith frontman battles wardrobe malfunction at #Grammys [pics]

Oof: Nicki Minaj accuses Steven Tyler of racism

Steven Tyler’s American Idol exit provokes tears — of laughter

Steven Tyler: Hugh Hefner’s a class act

Read more:

How I Grew Up On The Internet

The internet is IRL. It always has been.

I started navigating the internet — really, the earliest versions of social media — early in my life, and before most people even really knew what the internet was. I was 11 when I first logged on in 1993 — I’m 32 now — and I’ve spent the ensuing years invested in online communities at least as much as I’m invested in offline ones. I never understood there to be a clear line between the two. Before I ever even had a cell phone, I used the social web to document and reflect on my offline life. I’ve met wonderful people online, connected in much deeper ways to the friends I had, and I’ve used dozens of networks and platforms to figure myself out. The internet hasn’t been a way to escape, it’s been a creative outlet, a friend, a documentarian, and a tool that has made my real life better, cooler, weirder, and more fun. For me, the internet isn’t some distinct virtual universe, it’s just one part of the real world.

This is the history of my first 20 years online. It’s a happy story.

When I was 9, my parents chose to homeschool my older brother, Mitch, and me out of frustration with public school. I had just finished third grade and he, fifth. We were both doing fine academically, but my mom felt like our personalities were changing. My brother often came home from school depressed, and we started to complain about things like reading that we had loved before. Mom and Dad hated the focus on standardized testing, and felt that our teachers didn’t appreciate the creative curiosity they treasured.

A couple years into the great homeschooling experiment, we moved temporarily from Austin, Texas, a hippie college town with a growing secular homeschooling community, to Arlington, Virginia. I missed home and I had trouble making new friends in the Christian homeschool group there.

My brother Mitch on our Macintosh computer in the mid-’80s.

That was when Mitch told me about BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems) and saved me from my boredom and social isolation. BBSes were local networks where we could read and write on message boards, chat live, and play games. We were lucky enough to have the magic formula: a PC, a 2400-baud modem, and a second phone line. My dad had always been fascinated by gadgets — he’d bought us our (and the!) first Macintosh in 1984, when I was just two years old. The iconic modem sound that began any trip to my favorite BBSes still makes me feel urgently stoked. That sound means I’m about to arrive at the best party ever, and I still get to wear my pajamas.

I tried a few BBSes, but I quickly became devoted to one in particular called “International House of Kumquats.” IHOK was run by a chill teenager who went by the handle Surrealistic Pickle. I felt at home there. Everyone was young and smart and cool and they immediately became my friends. (Since the BBS was on a local phone number, I knew we all lived in the D.C. area.) I never really thought much about the fact that we had “met online” — the concept was too new to feel dorky or taboo yet.

The average age of people on the board was probably about 16, while I was only 12. “Star Shadow,” my earnest choice of an alias, was a dead giveaway that I was the youngest person on the board. Still, I fit in fine. The kids on IHOK shared my enthusiasm for the band They Might Be Giants and we discussed them constantly, dissecting lyrics and debating best songs. We also talked about our lives and anxieties, we made up recurring inside jokes, we quoted our favorite movies and TV shows, and recommended books. We developed real friendships.

Within a few months, Surrealistic Pickle made me a co-sysop (system operator), the official duties of which were slight enough that I don’t actually remember what they were, but I still listed it on all of my teenage resumes. It was the first time that anyone had put semiprofessional faith in me, and it was done purely because of the value of my contributions, without a thought given to my being a girl, a weird homeschooler, or an actual child.

When my mom first agreed to let me meet my friends in person, she dropped me off at the National Mall but then parked a few blocks away with a stack of books and an eye on our activities. Looking back, I’m amazed that the teenagers from the board didn’t tease me for my mom literally watching over us, and I’m equally grateful she was open to the idea at all. We couldn’t share photos on the BBS, so the first time I met my board mates IRL was the first time I saw them at all. That part seems weird now, but it didn’t feel strange at the time. We already knew each other’s sense of humor, feelings, opinions, and personalities — the rest was just wrapping paper.

A few months later, I went to my first ever show with my BBS buddies: NRBQ and They Might Be Giants (obviously) at Wolf Trap in Virginia. The Kumquat crew were splayed out on picnic blankets on the grassy hills. They were Manic Panic-ed, glasses-wearing, and trench-coated teenagers who probably didn’t fit in at high school. They were all, more than any other quality, ridiculously nice. I thought they were the coolest people in the world.

Cool “Lion King” button + Slurpee T-shirt.

I was having an awkward adolescence. I liked talking to my parents way more than I liked anyone my own age. I wanted to have deep, intelligent conversations about my interests, which were Disney animated movies (I collected Lion King merchandise), horses, and cute boys. Not, for the most part, things that grown-ups actually wanted to talk to me about.

Luckily, Prodigy existed. Prodigy was a dialup service that predated widespread use of the World Wide Web. Like its competitor, America Online, Prodigy contained multitudes: shopping, news, weather, games, advice columns, and more. I was only interested in connecting with people, so I used the live chat, email, and discussion boards.

I joined a message board where other girls like me had invented an elaborate role playing game for made-up horses — we each “owned” dozens of fake horses, gave them names and attributes, and pitted them against each other in entirely arbitrary competitions that were just decided by whoever was running them. I kept my horse files in a giant binder full of descriptions like this:

People who I tried to explain the game to didn’t understand it at all. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the concept of fantasy sports a decade later that I thought maybe this all wasn’t as strange as I feared.

I was even more involved with the Disney Fans Bulletin Board, which was populated mostly by grown men and women who retained their interest in all things Disney well past the age when most people grow out of it. I loved them. Many of my DFBB cohorts lived and worked in Orlando, just because it meant that they got to go to Disney World whenever they wanted. To me, they were living the ultimate adulthood dream.

I got so involved with the Disney board that I was eventually given a “job.” The job paid me in a free Prodigy subscription and one free t-shirt. My title was “Teens Liaison,” and I did just that: liaised with other teens. Although most of the community was much older , I developed raging crushes on the handful of boys my age. I can still remember, in fine detail, a photo one of them sent me of himself dressed up as Prince Eric for Halloween. I had several Prodigy flirtations before I had figured out the slightest thing about talking to boys I knew offline. We talked about our feelings, which was impossible with the teenage boys I knew in “real” life. I was myself with the dudes of Prodigy — open and honest and weird — and they liked me for it.

I eventually met my Prodigy friends in real life too. My parents planned a trip to Disney World, mostly for my obsessive benefit, and let me bring my best friend, another homeschooler named Kate. I dragged Kate and my mom to a meetup dinner with the DFBB group at a fancy Disney-themed restaurant. Almost all of the attendees were closer to my mom’s age than to mine, but we had fun anyway. I got a purple tie-dyed DFBB staff T-shirt that I wore proudly to the park the next day. Soon after our meeting, people started to leave Prodigy for the wider world of the web, and I followed.

Editing my “Lady and the Tramp” fan site with a stack of Disney encyclopedias, 1995.

I made my first website in 1995, when I was 13, and it was dedicated to my favorite movie, Lady and the Tramp. It started with a short introduction: “I’m here to provide the major source of Lady information on the World Wide Web.” The page included an archive of tiny photos I’d been able to dig up or scan, random facts I’d strung together from my collection of Disney books, the title of the movie translated into several other languages, a character list, quotes, and the movie’s credits, transcribed from my own VHS copy.

I taught myself HTML to make the page, borrowing books from the library and reading tutorials online. Once I made the Lady and the Tramp page, I was hooked. I started expanding my website to include biographical information about me, terrible things I’d written, pictures of my friends, and more.

By 1999, the earliest date that the web archive has for my site, it was basically a magazine. It included:

  • A 14-part “about me” section

  • Thousands of words devoted to describing each of my friends. Example: “Lots of people will tell you that I’m obsessed with Dorothy and you might say that’s true — I just happen to think she’s one of tha most beautiful, funniest girlies in that whole wide world. :-)”

  • Pages devoted to my opinions on religion, animal rights, curfews, Bill Clinton, and legalizing marijuana

  • A list of reasons that you should go vegetarian

  • A description of my imaginary perfect boyfriend, Jimmy Tony

  • Dozens of poems I’d written

  • My “future encyclopedia entry,” including the career description “writer, artist, entrepreneur, animal handler, actress, philosopher”; the titles of several of my future books about Shakespeare and hip-hop; details of the company I would found someday; the many books I would write; and my partnership with my imaginary husband Jimmy

  • A daily journal cataloguing the mundane details of my life

  • Book reviews

  • Comics I made with Photoshop

  • “Summer’s Spiffy Sendable Celebs,” a collection of about 30 e-postcards I made of my favorite celebrities

  • Capsule reviews of every episode of Dawson’s Creek

  • Commentary on my favorite songs and a list of my favorite CDs

  • A “shrine” celebrating Ani DiFranco

  • A collection of my favorite jokes

  • Desktop photos of celebrities and animals that I’d edited and made available to my “public”

  • An elaborate, multisectioned fan page for the character Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, including artwork, personal essays, historical information, and more

  • A lengthy acknowledgments section that thanked AltaVista, my scanner, my entire extended family, friends, and all of my pets

Making websites was my primary mode of self-expression throughout my teens, and it was also a huge part of my mostly autodidactic education. Over the years, my family’s approach to our education had grown increasingly radical, buoyed by the writings of “unschooling” proponents such as John Holt and Grace Llewellyn. I chose what to focus on and how to spend my time based on my goals, with fairly minimal oversight from my parents. My website became an obsession, and I had all the time in the world to devote to it. Most of the other creative things I did — drawing pictures, writing bad poems, and composing essays — were in the service of making a cool-as-hell website.

A version of my website layout, featuring a dog I found on the street and kept for two days.

Although my site wasn’t part of any specific social platform, there was an informal but intense network of teenage and young adult women doing the same thing I was, and we joined web rings, made link lists, and sent each other fan mail. I kept up with tons of other website makers, almost all of them women: from JenniCam to one gothy girl who I only remember as “Calliope.” I learned from them. I studied their source codes for HTML tips, copied their brooding photography styles, listened to bands they mentioned in passing, started taking moody selfies like theirs, and tried hard to impress them with endless tweaks and new features on my website. To some extent, I lived my life with my website in mind — do it for the dot-com! — but this was a good thing: It made me more creative, thoughtful, and adventurous.

Creating my own elaborate websites about myself was outrageously, hilariously narcissistic in hindsight. But building my own sites gave me the ability to tell people who I was in a way that I could control. It also allowed me to look at myself in a positive way, something that was missing when I looked in the mirror. I liked the me I was on the web. I still do.

I’ve always wondered about the assumption that our online personas are more fake than our physical ones. I often feel awkward and nervous in real-life situations; I almost always feel like I’m saying the wrong thing and am unable to articulate what I really think and feel. Online, I have plenty of time and unlimited space to consider what to say and how to express myself. It’s an advantage that makes me feel more like myself, not less so.

On Dec. 7, 2000, the day I joined LiveJournal, I was 18 years old, living with my parents in Austin, jobless, ecstatically in love with my first boyfriend, and spending almost every waking second with as many of my friends as possible. My crew was comprised of other homeschooled teenagers with the same excess of free time that I had, resulting in us spending so much time together that we complained about missing each other when we were apart for two days. I documented every mundane moment of that life and the years that followed on my LiveJournal, eventually falling off but still occasionally updating until 2007.

My journal is still up, hundreds of thousands of words detailing the first seven years of my adult life, and it’s full of hilarious contradictions. I was clearly leading a blissful adventure, experiencing a new “first” practically every week — my first relationship, my first apartment, my first road trip with friends, my first full-time job — but I constantly write as if the weight of the world is on my shoulders: “Life has gotten so misplaced. I don’t even know what I’m doing, just that it can’t be like this forever.”

I was also so unaware of how dang corny I was being all the time. I would write about “candy magic” and my “yummy” days and being “so full of joy.” I think I’m a pretty earnest and even cheesy person now, but I’ve got nothing on my 18-year-old self waxing poetic about every single silly thing under the sun that day. Some parts of it make me wish I still had the ability to be so sincere, but other parts make me think I must have been the most annoying person on earth.

I shared more on my LiveJournal about my thoughts and emotions than I ever did in verbal conversations. I masked my feelings with humor and being loud in “real” life, but I was able to share my neuroses on my LJ. My best friends were reading my journal, and writing in their own too, so it wasn’t like it was a secret — when we weren’t busy hanging out and having fun in my room, we were talking and fighting and sharing our lives, all through words upon words upon words on our computer screens.

I’d write about politics or religion, about trying to understand people who disagreed with me, about the anxieties and delights of my first relationship, about the bands I was discovering and falling in love with. Most of all, I wrote about spending time with my friends, and about how much I loved them.

“I’ve just had one of the most fun-packed days of my life! This will be a long entry but it may actually be worth reading becuz there was so much weirdness today:

“Rachel and Dorothy and I stayed up ALL night last night, being goofy and bitchy and farting and just being completely delirious and silly. At 8:00 we went to Flips, and soon thereafter down to soccer.

I went to soccer and was loud and delirious and singing, and then we went to Schlotsky’s and had great conversation. Then Rachel left and I almost cried cuz she was so fun and I’m gunna miss her so much. But then I went to Flips and they were funny over there. And then I went to meet Isaac after work! And I was dressed so cool and in such a good mood, and we walked around.”

My friends’ journals have largely the same tone: documenting our lives in incredible, mundane, ecstatic detail. This is mostly a practice that seems to have been left behind on the present web, where at least most people are self-aware enough to know that others aren’t interested in an outline of their everyday lives. I guess this is a good thing — I’ve naturally grown up and become smarter and more self-aware since my LiveJournal days, and reading my writing from that era causes my entire body to seize up in embarrassment. I’m also so incredibly jealous. I look back at these entries and I read someone who was completely, 100% unafraid of being herself. I can’t think of anything more remarkable in a teenage girl, and I’m grateful that LiveJournal was a place where I could be me: purely, ridiculously, perfectly.

I was still blogging when I first joined in August 2004. For five years when everything else was changing — I left jobs, moved four times, broke up and restarted relationships, got a cat, and met my best friend — Flickr was a stable and integral part of my life. Flickr was focused entirely on photographs, and those pictures were all there was to it. You were judged not by your cool list of interests or your clever status updates, but by the glimpse into your actual life that photos provide. The present analogue is Instagram.

Still, before I even had an iPhone, Flickr flipped the tables for me. Instead of the internet being a thing I did when I wasn’t ~living~, Flickr became a way to keep track of all the cool stuff I was doing with my time. And there was plenty to keep track of — the time when I started using it a lot was also when I started drinking, dating, and traveling, and met most of the friends who are still my crew today. My Flickr photos are packed with boys I had flings with or unrequited crushes on, parties, late night video game sessions at my ex-boyfriend’s house, my new best friend’s hands folded around a beer at our favorite bar, and lots and lots of elaborately artistic selfies taken with my DSLR’s timer function.

Cute boys with cats uploaded to my Flickr, 2004-2005.

I looked at Flickr a lot. My friends who were on it uploaded all of their photos too, and it was a way to reflect and reinforce all of the things we were going through together. Looking back at my early uploads or my favorites list is as evocative as listening to an old favorite song. It’s easier to remember things that you regularly look at photos from, and as a result, the years after I joined Flickr are genuinely much clearer to me than all of the ones that came before.

When I browse Flickr now — it still exists, but active users have dwindled away since Yahoo started making changes after it acquired the service in 2005 — I’ll come across a photo of an ex-boyfriend hugging a cat or a good friend drinking coffee or a bunch of co-workers dancing in someone’s apartment, and I can hear and smell and feel everything in that frame. Flickr isn’t a window into my “internet life” of yore, it’s a window into my life-life. Maybe they are the same thing.

Typical Myspace selfie.

Although it was preceded by Friendster, which was used by me and a handful of my friends, for me Myspace marks when the concept of “social networking” became mainstream. It was the first time that the energy and excitement I felt for the internet was shared by almost everyone else my age.

There were so many Myspace things that came and went with the platform. The entire concept of having a “top eight” friends will always haunt people of a very specific age and remain completely meaningless to everyone five years older or younger than us.

And the Myspace selfies! I used Myspace photos to exert a control over my appearance that I’ve never quite felt like I had in real life. I’d carefully apply makeup I never wore in public, borrow my roommate’s jewelry, and have an entire selfie session in the sunshine just to achieve the perfect new profile picture.

Most notably, we made music for each other on Myspace. Getting musicians and their fanbases online must have been a strategic push for the company, but it felt completely organic. It felt like one day some band got on Myspace and made it big, and then the next day everyone on earth opened GarageBand for the first time.

Countless friends put music up on Myspace, so after joking that if I had a band I’d call it Premade Bears, I made a profile and I made some songs. For one of them, I borrowed my roommate’s 5-year-old son’s tiny miniature guitar and locked myself in the bathroom, strumming along to my imperfect country-ass voice singing about having a thing for a younger dude. For others, like “Stay Sweet; Don’t Ever Change,” I arranged some generic beats and played some keys on my laptop while sort of lackadaisically rapping about having a crush in the summertime.

There was no future for me in these weirdo amateur tunes, no shows to book or albums to release. Lily Allen made it big on Myspace, but most of us weren’t thinking about scale. I worked at a bookstore, doing events and making displays. I had designs to do something more with my life, but I wasn’t ever going to be a famous musician. Still, I made something I’d always wanted to, and I shared it with my friends. That was cool. Before Myspace, making music and getting people to listen to it seemed hard and complicated. During Myspace, it was the easiest thing in the world. Our old Myspace photos and cliquey top eights were a little silly, but making tunes for each other was a truly sweet, cool thing we got to do and I am grateful.

When I joined Facebook in 2006, it felt at first like the other social networks — a secret club for me and a select few to share our lives together. I didn’t quite get the point — most of the action was still on Myspace for the first couple years, and the wonkiness of Myspace’s customizable color scheme felt way more me than the clean, boring blue and gray on Facebook. And then Facebook grew. And kept growing. And now it remains the only network mentioned here that’s frequented by my entire extended family.

As evidenced by the teens who’ve left Facebook for other less mom-supervised networks and apps over the last couple years, being on a social network with everyone you’ve ever known is sometimes less fun than the alternatives. I mean, it makes sense: The last thing I want to do in real life is gather every friend, former co-worker, family member, and ex-boyfriend in one giant room together.

That said, my own mom is by far the coolest part of my Facebook experience. My mom uses Facebook with the same delightful, contagious joy that I used early BBSes with. Every Friday, she posts nature photos from the ranch where she lives with the hashtag #FieldNotesFriday. Rumor of her excellence on Facebook has spread among my group of friends, and I occasionally get a text from another pal asking if it’s cool if they request her.

A typical Facebook update from my mom.

Social networking is associated with youth — naturally, kids who grew up with the internet are more comfortable adapting to new social networks. But in the next couple decades, those same kids will be the parents crashing the party. If my mom is any indication, that could actually be pretty great.

I joined Twitter just about as soon as I heard about it, in early 2008; by that time, I was joining pretty much any social network that came onto my radar. When I first joined, my tweets were approximations of Facebook statuses.

It took months before I started using the actual functionality of Twitter, like to find out I had missed events or, er, comment on the news:

checking twitter for the first time in a day & like a nightmare, last night: “secret okkervil river show RIGHT NOW @ the compound”… Sigh.

— summeranne (@Summer Anne Burton)

david foster wallace is dead. wtf.

— summeranne (@Summer Anne Burton)

I felt like I was talking to a wall, because no one I knew was on Twitter, so I gave up on it for a while. I got the sense that Twitter was never going to catch on, but when a few of my coolest real-life friends started accounts, I quickly returned:

people keep joining twitter. so i’ll try to start updating again. i need an omelette.

— summeranne (@Summer Anne Burton)

But I used the platform for desolate personal revelations and song lyrics cryptically referencing my complicated personal life:

We are the challengers of the unknown.

— summeranne (@Summer Anne Burton)

Whiskey, i love you with a depth of feeling that scares the shit out of you.

— summeranne (@Summer Anne Burton)

When I first started at BuzzFeed almost three years ago, I stopped using Twitter as a constant stream of my brain and started using it more professionally and strategically to share my articles, comment on other sites’ posts, and interact with writers and editors I worked with or admired.

It felt like Twitter was something I did for work and Facebook was something I did for my “real” friends. Living in New York City, I have now met many of the people whose faces light up my TweetDeck window every day, but my pals back home mostly remain holdouts.

Still, lately my Twitter experience has reverted 360 degrees back to the personal, flirty, ~relatable~ vibe of my early tweets, except people are actually listening. I like to tweet about songs I like, and having crushes, and being up too late at night. I like to post selfies, and look at the selfies of cute dudes and ladies I follow. I like Twitter on the nights and weekends as much as I like it during the day at work. I like to wonder about whether a fav is a flirty fav or just a fav. I try to make people smile, or laugh, or, at the very least, think I am charming. I follow people who I find nice, warm, and smart.

life goal: be more like this dog

— summeranne (@Summer Anne Burton)

I often describe Twitter these days as the cool room where I hang out with my internet friends all day. Most of my closest “IRL” friends back in Texas still don’t use it, so Twitter still feels in some ways like a throwback to the internet of yore. It’s insurance that my thoughts won’t just disappear inside my brain. It’s a place to test my own ideas and jokes and cute pictures before unleashing them on a wider audience. And it’s an amazing way to maintain mild crushes on the brains of a few hundred other people, a true dream come true for my giant, fickle heart.

In January 2011, I had been using Tumblr for a couple years. I’d given up on maintaining my personal domain name and redirected it to my tumblog, where I posted photos, wrote about songs I liked, and shared links to things on the internet I was into. I had, around this same time, gotten super into drawing again. Art was something I’d been into consistently as a kid and a teenager, but I’d been focusing on writing, kissing boys, and working shitty retail jobs for most of my twenties. I started posting drawings on my blog in 2010 and found that my friends responded super positively to them. There’s so much reblogging and reposting and sharing on the social web that putting something truly new into the world again felt like I was doing something special.

I was also becoming completely obsessed with baseball, thanks to a fortuitous series of events. I’d started dating an obsessive sports fanatic named Brian and we visited the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown together for his birthday. I’d also recently switched from cheerleading to playing in my devoted local co-ed softball league. I’d just binge-watched all of the Ken Burns baseball documentary series. I joined a fantasy league. I had always liked baseball — it was the only sport I remember my dad being really into when I was a kid, and my grandmother was a devoted Astros fan — but this time, I got serious about it. I devoured books about baseball statistics and history, got an MLB season pass for my phone and computer so I could watch all the games I wanted, learned how to keep score, and started reading baseball websites and following baseball writers online.

So, in 2011, I started something that seemed totally natural: I decided to draw every member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (there are currently 306) and put the drawings up on Tumblr. I thought maybe I could do it in a year. Four years later, I’m up to 258 drawings done. The project wasn’t designed to go viral; I just thought it would get me into the practice of drawing regularly, and that I’d get to learn more about baseball history in the process.

One of the inaugural five Hall of Famers and one of my first drawings for the blog.

A few months in, an editor for ESPN: The Magazine called my cell phone. I was at my part-time waitressing job when he told me the magazine wanted to pay me to draw some pictures of players who won’t make it into the Hall despite impressive resumes (such as banned baseball player Pete Rose). It was the first time someone offered to pay me to do something freelance, and it blew my mind. After the magazine, I did an interview with ESPN online, Emma Carmichael asked if she could feature some of the drawings on Deadspin, and the project was written up in my hometown alt-weekly, the Austin Chronicle.

I started to become known, not just as an illustrator but also among baseball writers online. I applied for and, miraculously, got a regular paying freelance gig at Fangraphs, a baseball website for mega-nerds like the one I’d become. I didn’t write about stats in any traditional sense, though — I wrote about female pop stars as if they were players, researched the GOP presidential candidates’ relationships with America’s pastime, and crafted a T-shirt with the win probability graph of a crazy playoff game embroidered on it (the latter led my wonderful editor, Carson Cistulli, to email me with an apology for, well, all men).

Writing about baseball on Fangraphs opened up a world for me that I hadn’t fully realized existed, where people got paid to do what I’d been doing for fun my entire life: make stuff for the internet. I did some posts for The Hairpin and started drawing a comic for the newly kickstarted The Classical. I started applying for jobs at websites. And, 16 months after starting Every Hall of Famer, I got an email from a woman at BuzzFeed asking if I could chat with two editors about the part-time weekend editor position I’d applied for. By September of that year, I moved to New York for a full-time position at BuzzFeed.

Though I don’t typically write about baseball for the site, I’m sure I wouldn’t be here without Every Hall of Famer, which I’m hoping to finally finish sometime during the 2015 baseball season. I sometimes miss writing about baseball, but I figure I was never meant to be a specialist.

My latest position at BuzzFeed, Editorial Director of BFF, entails running a new team that makes original content for emerging social web platforms. It’s better than I ever imagined a job could be. It’s also the job I’ve been in training for without knowing it since I first dialed into a BBS at age 12. It reinforces my dad’s decision to introduce technology to me and my brother when we were so young, and it validates my mom’s loose, organic view of education and willingness to let me self-direct in front of a computer screen. I’m grateful for this life, online and off.

One of my first posts on Vine, starring Bobby Sneakers.

I’ve focused here on the social networks that have had the biggest impact on my life, but there was also the ego-stroking delight of Friendster testimonials, the thrill of experimenting with online dating — or, more accurately, online flirting — on, my brief foray into anonymous message boards on, and countless music message boards and email lists. These days, I use Instagram, Vine, and Facebook daily, in addition to Twitter and Tumblr.

“Social networking” is what I think about all day at my job, but it’s also how I stay connected to my friends back home, make new friends, develop crushes, document my life, and entertain myself. So about this tension between the internet and real life: Maybe while they’re melting together, they can bring out the best in one another.

There are plenty of people who seem to have an easy time being cruel on the web who would crumble if they were face to face with the victims of their abuse. It would be nice if those bullies and trolls could take whatever it is that keeps most of them from being horrible every day in the streets, and bring it with them to online forums.

On the flip side, I often yearn for the texture of my internet life in my “real” life. Sometimes when I’m at a bar or a party these days, I try to summon internet-me so that I can be more open, generous, flirtatious, confident, and tender. A better listener and a nicer person.

Most days I spend a lot of time watching people — some of them friends and some of them strangers — post on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and Vine and Tumblr and TinyLetter and Medium. They are so often honest and vulnerable and breaking my heart, or funny, or creative, or incisive. I heart their selfies, I share their writing, I fav their tweets, and I read about their experiences. I tell them I love and appreciate them in tiny, easy ways, and they do the same for me.

Those moments usually feel like the realest part of my day.

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