I’m not a writer and I don’t profess to be. I’m an observer of human behavior. I have been like this as long as I can remember. I grew up in a small town in Arkansas. I loved that small town although I didn’t really appreciate how much until much later. I also had a feeling that I didn’t quite belong there either. As a young girl I alway thought I would live in California or LA or NYC but that was not to be. I’m a pretty average lady. I don’t consider myself to be a beautiful woman by any means and my age is certainly beginning to show. I was born in 1958 and my parents were divorced when I was 6. I was a pretty quiet child and according to my Mother a very generous one. This can be a good and a bad thing. Anyway that’s about enough about me. I would like to share with you some of the most amazing few months of my years of being what I consider to be a casual user of this technology.
Around the beginning of March of 2015 I heard on some news program about this new thing called live streaming. I had seen a little of it used in the uprisings and social changes that had taken place in Ferguson Mo. I was amazed and delighted that finally we had the media in the hands of “the people” sort of. No more agenda from people who don’t always have the best interests of the masses at heart. No more corporate media being forced upon us. What I found was quite amazing although not exactly what I had imagined it would be.
There’s this Technology Conference in Austin Texas yearly called South By Southwest. I had actually never heard of it before. Yeah I know I’m not exactly in tune with the latest technology but I downloaded the thing out of sheer curiosity.
As I recall one of the first people I watched on the new medium was a young fresh faced energetic 20 something “kid” by the name of Jeff Needles (@jsneedles) on twitter. This “kid” was fascinating to me. I had never seen anyone quite like him. He had a brain and a drive to succeed that you don’t see in a lot of guys his age. I could not look away. I have to say I was hooked. This thing is addictive. After many changes, tweaks and bug fixes this app has changed my world and changed my view on life. It has turned this cynical old political junkie into a woman with immense pride in our youth and hope for the future.
It has turned me from someone who felt like I didn’t belong in the place where I was born into someone who can go anywhere in the world that I choose at any given time, just by opening my smart phone.
To say I have made real connections with people would be a gross understatement. Meerkat gives users a connection that no other social media platform has ever done. This thing has seen me through my husband’s illness along with the death of my Father in Law. I met people on social media. Real living breathing people with emotions, faults, hearts, souls and love for one another that can’t be found in the written word. I’ve seen people connect on a level that up until now we could only dream about.
I hope it never ends. It will end and there will be a new and better app to take it place. I really really hope it’s not anytime soon.
Above: Jeff Needles on Meerkat in April 2015. Screenshot. I agree “This is so cool” This was before the cameo feature that allows viewers to take over a broadcaster’s stream for 3o seconds. It’s a game changer and makes the audience more comfortable with streaming themselves. That’s Lyle McKeany in the stream with Jeff. Needles.