This is my platform. I use it for things, mostly inconsequential. I spend an exorbitant amount of time here writing about sleeping schedules, or work that needs doing, some scheme I’ve cooked up to take all the ducks of my life and conscript them into a neat, tidy row. These things are evergreen topics for me because I’m bad at sleeping, and only slightly better at organization and task management. When I took up daily blogging almost half of my life ago, I spent that time doing things like pining over love, or dramatizing my woes and covering myself in depression the way a pig does with mud. For a few years, it was a place where I dropped my hot takes and spoke my mind about all kinds of things. Some of it still matters to me, most of it doesn’t. Then I fancied myself a full-time writer and I began to write fiction here, as well as the occasional long-form journal. I was introduced to the concept of flash fiction and I said, hey, that’s basically a daily writing exercise, why not compile it here? So I did. Then I grew resentful of it, not coming up with ideas so readily, realizing that it was a path to literary muscle but no real financial benefit. The blog goes on my resume. It’s there to say yes, I do in fact write every day. Yes, I know you won’t click it.

Anyways, the point is that blogging to me is a purer form of the internet soapbox than that which social media provides. It’s right there in the name – social media brings with it social constructs. One should be considerate of what they say because certain things are not polite conversation. At least, that’s what’s baked in. We’ve gotten away from that, long before 2018 but certainly now that we’re here, yes, we are akin to Neptune from the sun in terms of social niceties and considerations. And I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing, but know that I will post something to Facebook in the least offensive fashion possible: there is a social contract in place there. Then I will turn to Twitter and complain about the people on Facebook. The medium is different. Your endorsements are limited in scope: you can like it, you can parrot it, or you can comment. And in Twitter, the game is different. If you comment dissent, you’ve lost. The tweeter won the game of no-blink chicken and got you to say something under their post, but the original post always sits on top. If you disagree with someone on Twitter, you @ them. It’s a glove slap, a public challenge. But you lob verbal artillery from your own walls, staying out of the trenches. On Facebook this is viewed as passive-aggressive. Cowardly. On Twitter it’s the only way to war.

And then on the blog, I keep it antiseptic largely. This is because I’m in my thirties now, I’m not in the mood to swap hot takes lacking nuance and understanding in my areas of expertise. Come to me with something interesting to say, or a question, or open ears. It’s an arrogant way to operate, but again, the medium is different. Here I can say what I like because I’ve registered this domain. It’s mine alone to use. There are other bloggers, many of whom use WordPress as well, but this is my picket fence. My property line. My neighborliness extends only as far as the welcome mat that is the comment section; again, a social nicety. You may ring my doorbell, but I am in no way inclined to answer said door. This is my house, with opaque walls and open curtains. I may look like I’m doing the dishes, but you can’t see the lack of pants. There are freedoms here that I get away with, but also, I am a citizen of the internet. Not wearing clothes while doing the laundry is a bit different than firing off a gun into the ceiling every 20 minutes. Some things disturb others.

I’m rambling. I have a larger point to make and that is that your feeds are not your own. They are comprised of the people that you have chosen to listen to. And you can also choose to stop listening. But it’s reckless to cut somebody off on the highway and slam on the brakes to let them know that you saw them eating McDonald’s and it doesn’t seem like a heart-healthy choice. The feed is about listening. The wall is about talking. And while it may seem like a two-way street, it’s not. I’ll let you do an experiment. Think about someone you admire: an athlete, an author, a celebrity or comedian or world leader or anybody at all. Now, go comment on something they’ve said on social media. You could even try posting directly without tying it to a comment. Now wait for a response. 99% of the time, you’re not going to get one. And the reason is that it’s not a two-way conversation. It may look like one, it may have all the promise and allure of one, but it isn’t. It never has been. If that person reached out and says something back, it’s either because they’re bored, they’re argumentative, they’re trying to appear down-to-earth, or they’ve hired a pro-active social media manager.

So when I do comment on someone else’s status, or @ them in a Twittering fashion, I always try to don the moniker of the guest. Before the days of blogging as a term the world knew, we had websites. And on these websites, eons and eons ago when the dinosaurs roamed the internet, it was a common occurrence to install a guestbook. It was a simple means of allowing people to write a simple message that amounted to “Hello, I have viewed your website, I like these things/you could also add this” and that was it. The name was really intelligently chosen but maybe it also informed the kinds of interaction it created. Maybe all websites do that. Because a website does not stir the senses the way spoiled food or the roar of a predator does. They can be seen, theoretically, and maybe even heard, but then….all marketing can be. Social media has us under its spell that because its intention is to bring people together (it’s not really that anymore, hate to break it to you), we should be able to roam in and out of each other’s lives like vagrants, ready to drop judgment on some arbitrary point of view and then leave again to go watch a music video or get sports highlights.

In order to get a handle on itself again and right the ship, social media must either declare itself devoid of marketing, abandoning any hope of profitability in the name of human interaction, or it must embrace it wholly, setting the expectation front and foremost that brands are more important than people, and that if you want to feel important, you too must play the game. This is how it is now, really, if you consider what you consume and what you scroll past, but we are still trying to have it both ways. And neither one of these extremes will be adopted by your social media companies because in all the years of the internet, that is not how the internet has worked. The big fish don’t eat the small ones, they simply swim in front of them, preventing them from being seen until everyone looks at the big fish. And then the people get bored of looking at the same big fish, and they go to another aquarium. And all those fish start jockeying for position and size trying to figure out how to best leverage that new platform into something that makes them famous, rich, important.

So, all that being said, my earlier point still stands. This is the place I come to speak without ever really considering that anyone might comment (and if you do, I’m not even really thankful. I’m not even really interested in reading it. You want to communicate, message me directly. You want to stoke my ego, retweet me.), and can speak my mind mostly freely. So hey, grumpy old fucks I’ve never met before who would rather discredit me than have a conversation about something — go choke on a dick. There, I said it. And maybe a little more succinctly than I would have liked to, but that’s fine. I know how the internet game works. If I thought for a second that you’d A) end up here and B) work through 1500 words to get to me speaking my mind, I probably would have just bottled it up and tried to move on. But then they say that sort of thing isn’t good for your health. So I’ve chosen the correct medium to say something entirely unfriendly, and I’ve even taken into the consideration the likelihood of your attention span. I look forward to reading your response, correctly posted on a blog of your own design and curation. Good day.

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Bait/Switch

Posted: June 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

There’s some baby birds in the nest again this year, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Barn Swallow on another batch of kids. As a result, I’ve had to hose a lot of bird shit off my front door and front step, and as a result, the hose water has attracted a (for New Mexico) healthy amount of mosquito activity to our front door. Which I’m not thrilled about, but I’m trying to take the positive spin on it and hey, maybe the birds will eat the mosquitoes. Do birds eat mosquitoes? Will they? I have high hopes. As a result, I kind of view my front door a little more warily these days, hesitant to go out and brave bug bite potential. Yesterday I opened the garage door to go out and get the mail. My external (spoken aloud to nobody) reasoning: I don’t want to upset the newborns or the parents. Internally, there’s no kidding anybody. I will be using the garage door again today for the same purpose.

Lost Day

Posted: May 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

I had plans for yesterday but kind of dragged my feet on them. I’d done what I wanted to do in terms of being productive, largely. Checked off all the boxes and was ready to continue activity but do so in a manner that was a little more relaxing. And then I just sort of…didn’t. I procrastinated for 30 minutes. Then I wanted to eat something. And then I got pulled into essentially taking the day off. And I kind of feel bad about it? But also, I know that I need days like those sometimes, and if I’d done the big important stuff (mostly) then it would probably make me more productive to give my brain and body a rest. Well, it certainly made me sleep like a baby. I woke up groggy, brain all out of sorts, but I’m ready to proceed. And so I guess I might think of missed opportunities now, but I made a day a little more memorable than just one that involved going through the motions.

Double

Posted: May 30, 2018 in Uncategorized

Approaching temporal normalcy once more. Stayed up 2 hours later than the day before, woke up 1 hour later. Still not exactly banker’s hours, and I did have to cancel a social arrangement for today, but still progressing toward the normal side of things. That being said, I do need to slam the brakes on that creep pretty soon so I don’t end up sliding past it on my upcoming trip. I’ve got time zones to contend with and I don’t want to be sluggish or miss out on plans while there, so I need to start worrying less about normal hours and more about being in the right place sleep-wise when I travel. Of course, now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t worry about it. I can almost never sleep the night before a trip and it usually ends up messing with my schedule. So there, a positive thing to come out of blogging: a train of thought written out that made me realize I’m better off just letting things happen if they want to happen.

Thirty-Two Dollars

Posted: May 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

Slept a lot today. Went to bed earlier than planned, woke up later than planned. Basically a 10 hour sleep. I knew it was coming eventually, it always does in this mode where I’m coming off of a couple all-nighters. Yesterday I worked for 11 hours, and at Erin’s insistence, took a couple of hours to relax to end my day. I did so, and she was right. I felt pretty good, climbed into bed for a few minutes, and then that was it. Lights out. Now I’m up in the middle of the night (as it should be) and tackling my work for the day. Had a small breakfast snack and I’ll eat more later. For now, it’s a normal day that I can enjoy entirely on my terms. And maybe by the end of today I’ll be in a really good spot with deadlines (it looks like that will happen.)

Cooperative

Posted: May 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

There’s this disconnect that I struggle with. And it stems basically from two sides of the same coin. On the inverse side, I don’t like to deal with people who trade in negativity. If I’m being totally honest, this is one of the things that keeps me in this part of the country. Not necessarily as a rule, but it seems like most people I know since my move tend to be able to see the brighter side of things or at least not dwell so much on the negative. As someone who has dealt with depression and getting lost inside my own head, it’s important for me to be surrounded with people who don’t inspire me to revisit that headspace. The other side of this coin is getting perspectives of other people and being a non-combative member of a community. This causes me more social stress than probably any other thing. And the only compromise I’ve been able to strike between these two is to let people have their say in 99% of spaces, but in my dojo, there is no whining about petty shit.

Policy

Posted: May 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

Stayed up way too late yesterday, but I had work to do. Still left a lot of it unfinished and on the table, but at least progress was made. I’ve got a pile sitting in front of me too: books to read, rooms to clean, articles to write. And then at some point relatively soon, do a stream as well. And when I’m working on one project I’ve got my mind off on another one, something long-term in the future. I want eagerly to go ahead and get started on it, but now’s not the time. I need to finish all the tasks that I gave myself in the first place. Gotta get on top of enough things that I have free time and then I can do what I want with that. It’s starting to get to that point, to where maybe I feel alright about taking a half-hour a day just for myself. Not worrying about what needs to be done and when and how to do it. I’m getting there. But until then, focus.