Twitter Feed Got You Down? Try Following This Shepherd (Yes, a Real Shepherd)

Somewhere, a flock is being tended.
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lambies.jpg

@herdyshepherd1

I have a completely unsubstantiated theory that my social media feeds have moods. Sometimes, everyone is happy and debates are civil. Other times, people are ragged and nasty. Whether it's national tragedies like the Marathon bombing and Texas fertilizer plant explosion or something simply controversial, like Lean In, my Twitter feed can suddenly become filled with snark, condescension, and anger.

In those times, I like to imagine the many people who do not follow the news of the day, who work outside, who wander lonely as a cloud, who live life at a slower pace, who tend to a flock like the shepherds of yore.

And wow, will you look at that, there is a real, actual shepherd on Twitter now: @herdyshepherd1 of the Lake District of England. And he tweets while he herds.

"Moving ewes with lambs off lambing fields to avoid mix ups."

"Weary bones.
Tired head.
Can lambing soon be over please.
Knackered."

"I reckon this lamb will be a cracker someday... 1 hour old and knows how to stand and show off. http://pic.twitter.com/b7sJuXH65y"

Etcetera. There are sundry pictures of lambs and sheep and sheep dogs. There's even a shepherd's crook in some photos, though, (TAKE THIS NOSTALGIA) it appears to be plastic.

What's so nice is that these tweets just pop up in my feed right alongside The Daily Outrage and breaking news alerts, reminding me, "Hey, other people are birthing lambs in a field. There is life outside the scrum."

Which is a good thing to remember. Also: newborn lambs!!!!

Hat tip: @FakeTV

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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