13 October 2018 - 02:34
I'm pretty sure this inserts me solidly into the subset of all hipsters but I am enjoying the visceral experience of writing a blog again, and not just that, but doing so by way of directly hand-edited HTML. The cynic in me wants to use words like 'artisinal' and 'bespoke' to describe what I'm doing here, in a casual attempt to play it off, but be fair - doesn't it feel just a little refreshing to see a site that doesn't try to assault your senses?
I watched a video from John Green earlier today (and yeah, I do mean on Saturday, sometime after midnight but before I wiped out my old unused Wordpress install and started in with this crazy new experiment) where he talked about feeling a little like an old man yelling at clouds, which is something I've been struggling with lately. I feel like I'm being pulled in two very distinct directions when it comes to my online experience. I am compelled to stay connected, to follow people whose exploits interest me on the various social media platforms lest I lose track of them. Too many of them rely on Twitter for example - a notoriously unpleasant place in most other respects - as the primary venue for learning about what is going on with them. On the other hand, those venus are unpleasant and I'd likely be in a better mental place if I were to cut ties with such sites and spend a little more time in my own head instead of trying to drown everything out with the firehose that is the social Internet.
Part of the issue definitely has to do with my own inclination to scoff at anyone who condescends to call what happens online any less important or real than what happens "In Real Life". I feel like after all this time - and I've been on the Internet regularly since 1991 - we should be ready to move beyond the idea that the medium in any way diminishes the intensity or reality of what we do upon it and through it. So when I find myself thinking that I need to spend less time online I wonder if I'm giving in to that mentality myself.
The problem really is that, after all this time, most of my social interaction, through social media or otherwise, is mediated by way of the Internet. To break from that would require a pretty significant effort on my part. So there's a (possibly ill-advised) pull in the other direction as well. A pull to go all-in on the Internet and just give in to my natural impulses to invest more of my attention here and broaden my reach and wallow in the constant firehose of information.
I suspect there's a happy medium, but I'm clearly not there right now. At least not if that means I should be feeling happy at any rate.
I'm a manager with a technology company. We work in email marketing. I can't really ever give up entirely on all things Internet no matter what I do if I want to continue to live a normal life. But I think it might be a smart move to take this techno-hipster experiment as an opportunity to pare things down a little, to get back to first practices, and see just what still makes me happy about how this technology interacts with my life.