Pocket friends in a bin fire

I think it was about two to three weeks ago that I got overwhelmed with all the news and information on Twitter — on top of that people were fighting over something (as they always are) that I signed off Twitter by tweeting (how ironic) “Ok hell site, good night” and only reappeared about three days later. It was somewhat liberating, but it wasn’t long after I signed in back again I had to catch up on a lot of news and information, and before long the cycle repeats itself.

Thankfully social media isn’t all bin fire. I stumbled upon this article today on the importance of ‘pocket friends’, where you made friends “online, where I felt more confident and articulate, and that made things less awkward and broke the ice for when I saw them in person.”

Also, TIL ‘rinsta’ and ‘finsta’:

… where you can present the perfect version of yourself on the public “rinsta” (real Instagram) account, and have a second “finsta” (fake Instagram) account where you share the funny, embarrassing, sad and imperfect parts of your life with people who you actually know and trust.

I have a feeling that like Twitter’s RT, this is the original practice of users’ that Instagram adopted as an official feature of the app, as Stories Close Friends.

I also came across a blog post criticising a journal article on the usage of Flesch-Kincaid readability tests, of which I often stumbled upon while I was still writing WordPress blog articles in my previous jobs, and also according to Mark Libermann, “an outdated and simple-minded metric that pretends to predict reading level based only on average word and sentence length.” The hot takes include:

  • Flesch-Kincaid was supposed to be used on written languages, but the journal’s study used a number of spoken speeches
  • No linguistics sources cited in the study when it is a linguistics research
  • Flesch-Kincaid was to be used on English, but the study was also conducted in other languages

I am not a linguist, so I am not going to comment on the linguistics side of things as well as the study within the political science area. But what caught my attention was that I could have made this mistake (context: I submitted a research paper on the languages of online opinion leadership which is still under review to this day) so it’s very important that I pay attention to accounts and criticism such as this, and learn as I go.

Also quite somewhat related today on language and linguistics: seeing English is not my first language, I always make a habit of doing online search of phrases I am about to write. If it comes up in some legit sources, say, some sentences in a Google Book, that means I am using it correctly. Out on my Internet hunt today, I came across Ludwig, a linguistic search engine designed to help people write correct English sentences which was the brainchild of Italian researcher Antonio Rotolo, created while he was facing language issues early in his academic endeavors.

So the Internet isn’t all bin fire and echo chamber hell, and I hope you cherish your pocket friends where you can share your littlest feats, your silliest selfies, and your deepest darkest secrets, perhaps?

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