Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Love, heartbreak, and our humanity.

Love, Heartbreak, and our Humanity

Senior Year. High School. Creative Writing Class.

I walked hand-in-hand with my girlfriend as I headed for class. My Creative Writing teacher looked on as we said our goodbyes as we went our separate ways, already counting down the minutes until we’d see each other again during the next passing period. The bell rang and I sat down at my desk. There were seven of us in the class. To say we were an eclectic bunch would be an understatement.

Mr. Hughes (of the Great Celebrate the Lord Love Debate) completed his hall monitoring duties and began class.

“Was that your girlfriend?” he asked. At least, I think that was what he said. To be honest, I didn’t really think he was talking to me so I wasn’t really paying much attention because it felt like I was eavesdropping. But he was talking to me.

“She’ll break your heart, you know.” Thanks for the vote of confidence there, I thought. Then he clarified, “Because all relationships end in heartbreak.” And then he went about his business, opening up some kind of discussion about writing or storytelling or something along those lines.

I was really bothered by that statement. It felt so…dark. So…defeatist. Continue reading Love, heartbreak, and our humanity.

Introverts, extroverts, and being fake online

Blogger yelling into a computer

Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

I don’t really have any big revelations in regards to the bizarre case of Manti and Lennay. When I read this quote today, it stuck out like a sore thumb considering all of the discussion about how likely (or unlikely) it was that a person could have this kind of relationship with someone the person had never met in the physical realm. There’s a power in online space. It can feel like you’re truly connecting with someone in a safe environment.

I’m also reminded of this quote:

It can start to seem, sometimes, like we’re all fake humans online, like there’s no real place to grab a foothold and remember who we actually are. People who write online are often thought of as not real humans with lives and families and feelings, especially not feelings, but as characters. Bloggers are considered less “real” than reporters or journalists. And people who write about each other online sometimes treat one another as characters, too, just another archetype or a symbol of what a writer wants to get across; just a thing to plug into this story, or this one, and to get more page views, the faux coinage of our online lives. But people who are not journalists do it too: Fake personas, fake online profiles, bravado in the form of a status update created to cover up something real. Fake emotions and reactions, fake horror and outrage.

Jen Doll, The Atlantic Wire

I’m not sure what these two paragraphs have to do with each other. Maybe they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Maybe I’m going down a rabbit hole that is nothing more than a simple drain pipe.

But I do know this. You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Abraham Lincoln posted that.