We interrupt our regularly scheduled grumpiness for a few moments of thanks

Credit: flickr/Mark Mrwizard

Despite my relentless complaining, I have a lot to be thankful for -- including things like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace (yes, really).

As a rule, we journalists are a grumpy lot. Think Lou Grant, Perry White, or Walter Burns, if you remember back that far. With us, the glass isn’t merely half empty, it’s also cracked, dirty, manufactured in a Chinese sweat shop, and has water in it. Dammit, I ordered vodka.

There is, however, one day each year when we are not grumpy, when the glass is clean and filled to the brim. Yes, I’m talking about Thanksgiving. With that day in mind, I’d like to take a break from TY4NS’s usual litany of complaints and admonishments to give thanks to some well deserving folks.

First on the list: I’m thankful for ITworld and the opportunity they continue to give me to write about sometimes arcane stuff in the world of social media and privacy -- and to do it for more than the fast food wages paid by many better-known blogs.

I’m thankful for the 17 people who read this blog religiously and the few thousand that stumble upon it occasionally via Slashdot, Reddit, and StumbleUpon (natch). I’m even thankful for the comments. (OK, most of the comments.)

I’m thankful that, unlike a great many of my former colleagues, I’m still able to make a living at my chosen profession. It’s intoxicating to have the opportunity to speak truth to power, even if I usually have to leave it on power’s voice mail and he never returns my calls.

I’m also thankful that blogs like Mashable and ReadWrite have hired print journos (Lance Ulanoff, Dan Lyons) to head their editorial operations. It’s a tacit acknowledgement that us print dinosaurs might actually know a thing or two about producing quality content.

I’m thankful for Twitter, which to my own great surprise I’ve come to use more and more over time. I especially enjoyed dual-screening the presidential debates and the world series on my TV and my iPad, watching the stream of snarky play by play flow by in 140-character bursts.

I’m thankful for Facebook, which despite its many flaws has allowed me to reconnect with dozens of people I’d lost touch with decades ago without having to endure a series of painfully awkward conversations. I can dip into their lives and duck out as I please, and vice versa. I’m thankful for the handful of strangers I have “met” on there and might one day actually meet in person, if that’s not too old school.

I’m also thankful for Facebook’s many flaws, which always gives me something to write about.

I’m even thankful for MySpace. No, seriously, I am. I look forward to seeing what Justin Timberlake will bring to the reboot, and whether the guy who played Sean Parker in The Social Network can now emulate him in real life.

I'm thankful for Google which, despite its insatiable appetite for my data enables me to do my job with much greater ease and efficiency, and to G+ for the intelligent conversations I find there.

I truly appreciate services like Pandora and Spotify, which fill my life with great music with the barest minimum effort, and for the Sonos wireless music system that streams it to any room I happen to be in. Thanks for that.

I’m thankful for The Oatmeal, The Onion, Jon Stewart and George Takei, who consistently make me laugh.

I’m truly thankful to my family, friends, and colleagues who put up with me over the past year, as well as all my readers and social media peeps who continue to follow me for reasons that surpass understanding.

Also: I’m thankful I don’t have to do this again for another 364 days -- unless of course the Mayans are right and the world is going to end in a month. In which case, thanks a lot, Mayans!

What are you thankful for this year? Share your nongrumpy thoughts below.

Got a question about social media? TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan may have the answer (and if not, he’ll make something up). Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynanwrites. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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