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.
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.
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 Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.