LIVE LONGER - BLOG! by Mary Neal
Blogging has now replaced exercise as the single most therapeutic endeavor available to modern man. It lowers blood pressure, prevents cardiovascular disease, and helps with weight loss (bloggers may forget to take food out of the freezer). Serious bloggers are less likely than the rest of the population to contract communicable diseases, because it is such a solitary pursuit. Since the blogging experience is still so new, the American Medical Association is not ready to offer any estimates as to the average lifespan increase bloggers can expect. However, if Ms. Olive Riley's longeivity is any indication, serious blogging may increase one's lifespan expectancy by as much as 30 years above the average lifespan projections calculated by statisticians in 2007.
A NowPublic article about Ms. Riley, of Sydney, Australia, is entitled “The World's Oldest Blogger Signs Off for the Last Time, Aged 108.” Her example helps prove that blogging keeps one alive! Many thousands of people have become bloggers as the world population grows more computer savvy. It is an inexpensive pursuit that is simple and highly assessable. The bloggers who load the Internet with their ideas and news coverage help to fill the void left by mainstream media. Doing so gives bloggers an increased sense of purpose as we partake in a rewarding and enjoyable outlet for our frustrations and anxieties. So I was not surprised to learn while reading about Ms. Riley that such stress relief may very well add many years one’s expected lifespan!
Yes, bloggers have found a positive outlet for the tension many people feel living in the 21st Century. We have a worsening economy, rising gas and food prices, insecurities caused by 9/11, the Iraq War and general unrest in the Middle East, terrorist attacks and security threats at home, an accelerating unemployment rate, and we’re presently confronted with making critical election decisions about our country's future leadership.
As is customary in America, African Americans endured a double load of stress lately. During recent times, we have sat before the evening news horrified to see just how undervalued we remain in this culture, even after all these years and the many contributions African Americans have made. We were forced to watch the bodies of black children floating past rooftops in New Orleans while thousands of citizens seemed deserted to die by drowning, starvation, or eventually perish by disease, their bodies dehydrating as they waited – and we waited – watching them slide into the grimy Katrina floodwater. Time and again, police officers were set free after abusing or killing unarmed black suspects, including Sean Bell, a young man shot dead by police while out on the town for his bachelor party. Protestors after the Sean Bell verdict carried signs that said, “NYPD, go to hell. We are all Sean Bell.” That is how most African American mothers probably felt on the morning following the New York officers’ not guilty verdict – like it could be our own husbands, sons, brothers, or friends next. There have already been too many other atrocities against people of color by law enforcement during this fresh, new century to even begin to address here, including Kathryn Johnston, the 92-year-old Atlanta woman killed by police in a hail of 39 bullets as they invaded her home.
Last week when Michael Vick filed for bankruptcy protection, my family was dismayed, but not necessarily out of pity for Mr. Vick. We are animal lovers, too. Truthfully, we felt rejected as human beings to see Mr. Vick imprisoned and bankrupt after authorities thoroughly investigated and vigorously prosecuted him for killing and abusing dogs, while the USDOJ steadfastly refuses to investigate the mystery surrounding the death of my mentally ill brother, who died under secret arrest in Shelby County Jail (TN), in 2003. To witness the contrast between the value of canines compared to the lives black men in America can be very painful, especially when it is your own loved one whose life is deemed less worthy than a dog's.
See "Dog Justice" in three languages at: http://www.nowpublic.com/press/dog-justice-mary-neal
See Dog Justice for Larry Petition at: www.petitiononline.com/Neal/petition.html
Yes, give me a keyboard, the Internet, and lend me your eyes, cyberspace friends. I want to be like Ms. Riley and live long and stay well – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is no wonder at all to me why so many people are getting hooked on this activity and will go nowhere without their computers!
Blogging costs significantly less than psychoanalysis or having an online shopping binge. There is zero chance of developing tennis elbow, and the odds against bloggers getting skin cancer decrease significantly, as most bloggers type indoors. Blogging is safer than the safest sex, which ought to be good news to those who use recreational sex to escape boredom. Blogging is not hazardous to one’s health like alcohol and drugs, and it leaves no hangover. I hasten to add that bloggers do occasionally suffer minor hangover-type symptoms when they continue typing away into the wee hours. When that happens, they are apt to have red eyes and feel slightly sluggish in the morning. So here is a warning -- beware and use the little clock in the lower right corner of your screen to end your sessions at a reasonable time!
There was a time when I relieved stress by having shop-‘til-I-drop days at the mall. But alas! For many Americans, those days are long gone now, with recession having hit with a big fist and many other demands straining our budgets and schedules. Blogging is the type of pastime that folks who relish reading and writing find very satisfying, although I must confess (and some of you may disagree), shopping was better.
May you have many happy blogging days ahead, my friends. By all means, keep filling that gap left by mainstream news. And may blogging bring you longeivity and good health, like Ms. Olive Riley, my new hero!
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill