the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Featured community question that speaks to a work related injury

This featured community question comes from member incomplete:


I found this question timely because of the recent absence I took away from everything online, both in contributing to it and consuming it. I mentioned that when I came back from Canada I thought I’d be relieved to be able to plug back in and instead felt the opposite, and oh yeah, forgot to mention that because I hadn’t used my phone in eight days, because I hadn’t texted or scrolled or hit a like button, within 24 hours of being home my wrist and thumb were in so much pain from performing all those functions again that I COULD NOT HOLD A PEN.

I still can’t. As in, I needed to write someone a check today and had to kindly ask that they fill in all the words and numbers because I had social media’d my hand.

In reading through the responses on that question one of the things that struck me is that I use social media somewhat differently than a lot of people. Yes, it’s my job, and that may have everything to do with it, but I don’t use Facebook to keep in touch with my family and friends. Sure, the occasional post from my niece will roll by, but every time it does it gives me a heart attack. Like, oh my god, that child I watched come screaming into this world just typed an informed opinion about shampoo. We are all marching toward death.

I post to Facebook to let people know I’ve written something, and I read Facebook to find interesting links. I think they configured their algorithm somewhere along the way so that all those people from my childhood I followed when I first signed up don’t really show up in my feed anymore. Those people who were preaching Christ and hell and damnation to the liberals. I think we are BOTH happy about this development as I’m sure that whenever they saw my face pop up they’d promptly take out their gun.

I also know only a very tiny fraction of the people I follow on twitter. Twitter for me is what I use as entertainment while standing in the airport security line and then waiting to board my flight. I seek out funny people and then those funny people will lead me to other funny people and, nope. I don’t know any of them. Some of them have followed me back and asked who on earth I am because how does a nobody like me have so many followers and a blue “verified” checkmark next to her name? I usually respond with, “I’m Lance Armstrong’s mom.”

Which reminds me, did I ever tell you about the time I got a direct message from Lance Armstrong? This was back when I wrote about sponsored posts, and I mentioned that the old Heather would have just told anyone complaining about them to shut up already, but the Heather who has been swatted a bit by life in the last couple of years was trying to be more thoughtful. Someone on twitter read the post and said something like, “I’m yawning. Bring back the old dooce.” So I jokingly responded with: “Suck it. Is that better?”

A few minutes later the text sound went off on my phone and I noticed it was from twitter. I have responses from people I follow and direct messages sent to my phone, and when I opened it up, this is what I saw:


I didn’t even notice the username I was so confused by the message. So I opened the twitter app on my phone to take a look at it:


Yeah. That’s him. That’s his official account, although from the message alone you could already tell that. I didn’t tell him that there are several very funny people on twitter who think his mom has her own verified account. And that his mom reeeaaaallly needs to watch her language.

  • mustangtanya

    2013/08/21 at 3:16 pm

    iPhone cramp: White people problems.

  • Greg

    2013/08/21 at 3:26 pm

    Where did this post go? I read it and it just ended so quickly without an ending I feel. Quite a bit of your posts lately have made me feel that… where was this post going? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

  • kmpinkel

    2013/08/21 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t understand, because really in my mind I am soooo stinking funny and my followers? A whopping 17! 17 of the, obviously, smartest humans on the planet, but still, 17.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2013/08/21 at 3:47 pm

    Sometimes my writing is totally stream of consciousness and today that’s where the voices told me to stop.

  • Heather Armstrong

    2013/08/21 at 3:49 pm

    And it’s the hand that I had tattooed with the blood of aborted dolphin fetuses.

  • Jenn from much to my delight

    2013/08/21 at 3:52 pm

    Physical therapists are reporting a new form of tendonitis called “texting thumb”. If I ever text so much that I develop this condition, everyone I know has permission to punch me in the face.

  • CB

    2013/08/21 at 4:10 pm

    Hey Greg-

    Here’s an ending for you: “Suck it.”


  • Jen Wilson

    2013/08/21 at 4:19 pm

    That is so awesome.

    Also, eight days away from your phone? Sounds like quite a fantastic holiday. 🙂 I have a tingly sensation that comes on the top of my thumb/index finger when I touch the mouse pad thing on my laptop and the screen on my phone. It’s the weirdest thing. I probably need eight days away from technology.

  • Greg

    2013/08/21 at 4:28 pm

    Hey CB, how about you suck it. I didn’t find my comment rude nor did I mean it rude, just an observation.

  • CB

    2013/08/21 at 4:33 pm

    I was just offering an ending. Lighten up. It’s your choice to critique her publicly…. I was just offering an observation of my own. I thought your comment was douchey and that’s my observation.

  • Kate H

    2013/08/21 at 4:39 pm

    So glad I am not the only one. Sometimes my hand (and brain) hurts too much to type a text, so I actually call the person to say what I want to say with my, like, actual voice, and they are always surprised: “Why are you calling me? On my phone?”

  • issascrazyworld

    2013/08/21 at 4:42 pm

    People still write checks?? Heh.
    I was out all of last week and I’m having trouble with all of it right now. I think I need more phone/computer breaks.

  • Randianne

    2013/08/21 at 6:01 pm

    Sometimes I wish Al Gore would break the internet he invented and that simultaneously all cell phones, tablets, and computers would stop working. Some people would call that the intro to a bad zombie novel, but I’d call it a vacation.

  • Greg

    2013/08/21 at 6:38 pm

    I didn’t ask for an ending from you, though. This is a comment section afterall, if Heather didn’t want opinions she wouldn’t open them. Correct?

  • moxiemichi

    2013/08/21 at 7:37 pm

    I didn’t get an iPhone (an old 3GS, I might add) until three years after I started serving black SSD-receiving customers – most of whom had iPhones in one hand and their Direct Express card in the other.

  • muskrat

    2013/08/21 at 8:34 pm

    You know I’m a workers’ comp attorney in “real life” right? Of course, I’m only licensed in Georgia…

  • Kelly @

    2013/08/21 at 8:48 pm

    Maybe Lance’s mom was using his account that day.

  • Suzanne

    2013/08/22 at 12:19 am

    I work part-time from home and my husband is a teacher. During the summer months, while he’s home, my hours sharply increase from a half a dozen a week to almost full-time. By the end of the two months, I can barely move my fingers. I feel like an idiot for complaining about it, but that doesn’t stop me.

  • DeborrahC

    2013/08/22 at 1:16 am

    Yeah. It’s like having sex with no orgasm Heather. WTF is the point! LOL

  • DeborrahC

    2013/08/22 at 1:17 am

    They need to report on “game controller thumb” and “PlayStation Eye Pop” which is what you get from staring at the computer screen with wide open eyes for hours on end.

  • DeborrahC

    2013/08/22 at 1:18 am

    Georgia? That doesn’t even count as an attorney dude.

  • Mari

    2013/08/22 at 7:48 am

    Setting aside the credibility anecdotal “evidence,” who are you to judge how someone spends the benefits to which they are entitled (and which, in most cases, they earned by paying taxes or, you know, sacrificing for their country)?

  • Mari

    2013/08/22 at 7:50 am

    Should be: credibility of your anecdotal “evidence”

  • Renee

    2013/08/22 at 11:30 am

    Lance is known for writing messages to his followers. He’s messaged several friends of mine. Guess he doesn’t have much else to do these days.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more