Social Media and Being Deaf

There was a great story on this lady who is, like me, a fierce deaf lipreader and she wrote about what a great equalizer Facebook has been for her. That it allows her to participate in ways she’d never be able to, in real life. (the story is here)

I couldn’t agree more with everything she wrote.

One of the alluring elements of Facebook is that I am on equal footing with everyone there. Facebook is about content, written content. It’s about stories and nuggets of life, condensed into status updates and visual memes. I can be in a group chat there and even while I enjoy it, I know there is no way that same thing could happen in a real-life room.

No way.

There is absolutely no way I could focus on more than one person at a time, and with many people to focus on, I’d quickly become exhausted and want to leave.

Lip reading, you see, drains your brain like nothing else. Try it! Just plug your ears and go to a store and ask for help finding  the pasta noodles. If you want something easier, just lower the volume on your TV until you can *just barely* hear, but can’t hear well enough to understand what anyone is saying. Then focus on their mouths and decipher the conversation.

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Maybe that’s one good thing about lipreading: I have next to no tolerance for boring or stupid talk. I don’t suffer through stuff like others do. My brain just shuts off and that’s it, I’m outta there. And it’s not even necessarily by choice; my brain really does just shut off (trust me, there have been many a staff meeting in my life when I wanted to be tuned in but I could not sustain the brain drain on focusing through the boredom).

I’m not going anywhere deep or meaningful with this post. I’m just babbling.

It was great to read something from someone that is from my own tribe.

Speaking of my own tribe and interesting pieces, check out Deconstructing Disability, a little bit of brilliance from the mighty Lawrence Carter-Long.

Holy Wow, but that’s every kind of cool, isn’t it?!

*****

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Meriah
is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).
She likes her coffee black and hot.
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1 Comment

  • Actually, your post is pretty deep & meaningful and applicable not only to those who are deaf, but to those who have a hard time following conversations that zip around so quickly you get whip lash! Like, for example, my daughter Jessie (23, with Down syndrome) … when social media started up… and I figured out the safe way on and her friends helped us set up an account for her…. her social world blossomed! She participate in all sorts of conversations that she couldn’t participate in, for example, at the lunch table in the high school cafeteria… there she was known to have held her hand up and yelled “STOP! I have something to say!” that was the only way to get in on the fast conversation. So social media opened up worlds and created bridges over which she could communicate with her peers! Conversations went back and forth and back and forth and she would have the time she sometimes needed to process and formulate a response. So… it rocks for all sorts of people!

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