The HIITT Scale

With 2018 just around the corner, I've been thinking about what to do to improve my productivity in the new year. Social media is both a blessing and a curse. It connects me to people far and near while stealing chunks of my day.

Twitter is one example. It can be the source of a wealth of information. I use it to keep up with current events. I'm connected with writers and publishers and can learn of their latest releases. Even though I want and enjoy the scoop, Twitter can also waste boatloads of my time. Because Twitter can be such an offender, it would be helpful if everyone would adopt my newly conceived of scale to rate their tweets. I call it the "How Important Is This Tweet Scale" (HIITT).

It's simple to use. Preface your tweet by assigning it a number from 1 to 5, with 5 being most important and 1 being not so important. The purpose of the scaled numbers is to make the Twitter feed quicker to scroll through. The tweets are sorted into categories so that a reader will be able to, at a glance, know which tweets will be time wasters and which will be of urgent interest.

Here's my proposed HIITT Scale for the Twitter feed:

5   Amber alerts; breaking news; humor

4  New book releases; book reviews; movie reviews

3  Recipes; weather; sports; fashion

2  Celebrity news; giveaways; motivational quotes; cute pet videos;

1   How many people followed/unfollowed you this week; tweets with hashtag words being a larger %-age of the tweet than content words; tweets that are mirror images of simultaneous FB and IG posts

If the HIITT Scale catches on, maybe I'll waste less time reading nonsense in 2018. Until then, I'll be over on Twitter to be sure I don't miss anything.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash




I like shiny things. I like sparkles. I even like shiny, sparkly, glittery things -- in moderation. But right now, I've become overwhelmed by glitter.

It seems everything connected with the Christmas season is doused in glitter. When I bought gift bags, I didn't realize they would be leaving a trail of glitter from my car, through the garage, and across the kitchen floor. Weeks later, I'm still finding remnants of that glitter on the floor.

The ribbons and ornaments for the tree are also coated in glitter. At this time of year, anything I touch transfers glitter to my hands, face, furniture, or floor. Glitter is almost impossible to wash off the skin. Trying to sweep it off the floor only transfers it to a new area. I'm losing the glitter battle. It's everywhere, and it's maddening.

I've been thinking about the family coming to visit for the holiday. When the gift bags and the wrapping paper get tossed around, glitter will swirl though the air. Every crack and crevice will be filled with a new layer of the clingy stuff. Just the thought of it makes me break out in a sweat.

Could it be that I've developed sparkalaphobia? I didn't always feel an aversion to glitter, but now I cringe when I'm near the stuff.

If I'm going to get a handle on this phobia before the family gets here, I need to face this thing head-on. I'll fight fire with fire. I'll wear glittery nail polish, then douse myself in sparkly eye shadow and lip gloss. It will be like an antidote for the poison. Even if it rains glitter, it won't matter. I'll already be glittered.

And the best part, there's no need to clean house. It already sparkles.



Just Listen

I'm fascinated by the way humans have progressed through history. It's more than I can comprehend when I think of all the discoveries made from the Stone Age up to the Information Age. I've heard it said that the only thing constant is change, and that scares me a little. With all the changes I've witnessed during the Information Age, it frightens me because I think a new age could be creeping in upon us. I've seen the signs.

I came across evidence of this dawning new age while I was standing in one of those snaked check-out lines this week. It was an overheard conversation that tipped me off. Just so you know, I didn't set out to eavesdrop, but some people have never caught on to the concept of an 'inside voice'. I couldn't help but listen.

It started with friends, a man and a woman, crossing paths while shopping. They appeared to be of the millennial generation, and both seemed delighted to run into an old chum. I listened without too much interest as they exchanged information about significant others and family members, but then things got a little wacky. The male told the female how good she looked. She didn't thank him for the compliment or turn it back toward him. She gave him an explanation.

"It's the coconut oil," she said.
"Coconut oil?" he repeated.
"Yes, coconut oil," she said, getting excited. "I use it on my face, my hair, my hands, well everywhere. I even use it on my feet." She gave him a big smile.
"Oh," he said. His stunned expression told me he'd heard too much.

That's when I knew I was a witness to changing times. Our beloved Information Age is being replaced by the Too-Much-Information Age. The TMI Age has been born.

If you don't believe me, just go anywhere and listen. The signs are evident in waiting rooms, restaurants, schools, and churches. Don't say I didn't warn you. When you least expect it, you, too, could be the recipient of TMI.