You never know what you might read on my "People who make me laugh" Twitter stream list!

The thing about Twitter and Facebook, for me, is the stories. I see an ongoing stream of big and little stories roll along, from top to bottom, all day, and all night, day after day, right here in my living room, and anywhere I’m willing to take out my phone, which always travels in my pocket, for easy access.

Some people say being plugged into the stories of strangers all day ruins your life. It drives you away from the here and now, they say. It keeps you from the importance of solitude. It cuts you off from real people. It lets you escape into fantasy and not face reality.

As if the people writing all these little stories aren’t real people. And as if a news story about the Death of Osama Bin Laden, or the death of someone’s beloved baby, or their mom, or the economy or politics or earthquakes and floods all have levels of “realness” that are rated and categorized by some scholar somewhere that make them worth our time to read, or not.

As a writer I am addicted to stories because I am addicted to people and personalities, to strengths and weaknesses, to what it is that makes another human being think it’s okay to murder thousands or millions in the name of religion, and what it is that lets a human being spread loving kindness to strangers, or write brilliant pithy prose when they’re dying, or feeling like a failure, or craft wickedly funny jokes in 140 characters or less, in the middle of their suffering. Or be willing to sacrifice their lives to fight for their country, or bravely raise their children and take care of themselves, while their spouse is off at war.

These are the stories that trickled through my stream tonight, after my busy day of working and parenting and cooking and running and thinking about the funeral I went to yesterday, and talking to friends in the parking lot and on email and through texts, on the phone in my pocket, and hugging other people’s babies, and driving my kids around all evening, to do the things they need to do as they grow up, little by little, much too quickly.

This is the reason I’m addicted to social media:

Unspoken Truths, by Christopher Hitchens:  This came through my Twitter stream, a link from someone I follow, who always seems to find fascinating stories about all kinds of things

Thinking big thoughts to write with his pen, no doubt.

Until cancer attacked his vocal cords, the author didn’t fully appreciate what was meant by “a writer’s voice,” or the essential link between speech and prose. As a man who loved to talk, he turns to the masters of such conversation, both in history and in his own circle. -Vanity Fair

On Crossfit and Facing Your Fears, or Not, by Alice Bradley: This came through my Facebook stream, from my friend Robin, who felt compelled to answer with her own encouraging story of overcoming odds

She's so real I want to touch her!

(Did I ever tell you how I had to take Remedial Gym in high school? Yep. Just soak that in, for a moment. REMEDIAL GYM. It’s no wonder I have all of these goddamn issues.) – Finslippy

There She Goes: Competitive by Nature, Functional Fitness at the Military Base Sarah commented on my blog today, so I looked her up and found her life and her stories.

Here she is!

Hi! My name is Sarah. I am a full-time mom of a 1.5 yr old (she’s a fiery redhead who keeps me on my toes), wife of a Marine Officer (which is a full-time job in itself especially with him currently deployed to Afghanistan**Update** – he just returned April 2011), and a full-time college student (University of Maryland UC, only 5 more classes to go!), and training for my very first -Marathon (while conquering other distances along the way) – all while living in Okinawa Japan! – ThereSheGoes

Oh social media, I just can’t quit you! Because I don’t really want to.