Back in the days when I opened this space I called “Chili Dog Blog,” the internet looked a whole lot different than it does today. In those days, friends would forward emails around to other friends and co-workers whenever something interesting worth sharing popped into their inboxes. It was not uncommon to open my inbox some days and find a dozen or more emails with a subject that began FWD:. It was often distracting, and so I decided that I would curate some of those interesting things in one space. I even ventured out into the webs looking for stuff to share.
Eventually I also began to subject visitors to this space to my often times off-kilter personality. I have a lot of opinions about things and I didn’t hesitate to share them. I got into trouble a time or two, but by and large this space worked ok. Then the internet landscape changed dramatically.
Suddenly (or so it seems in hindsight) everyone who wanted to had their own space to subject the entire world to their own off-kilter personalities. As social media grew, this space began to gather dust, and while there were still a few footprints in the dust, they became fewer and further between as time went on to the point that the dust won out and this space just became a futile exercise. The blog idea went out of fashion and blogs far and wide, even blogs of people with far more visitors than this space ever had, were shuttered and left to rot among the ruins of the internet.
This space became more burden than anything else, but I couldn’t let it go, like a scab you pick until it opens again and has to re-crust itself over. This space became less and less interesting to me and to the visitor who by then had stopped showing up, until the point when I finally said enough is enough and stopped posting completely. Oh, I valiantly tried to incorporate the Twitters and Facebooks as much as I felt comfortable doing, but it just didn’t work. It seemed as if the Twitters and Facebooks were just too monolithic to work together with this space.
I thought of using those as tools instead, but for what I was using this space for, those tools were inappropriate. I never could figure out Twitter, and Facebook is, well, hard to describe, but if you’ve used it, you know that there is just something off about that space that I cannot sufficiently put into words. It’s like we all have friends, colleagues and acquaintances who appear in our Facebook feed but they generally play some particular role in our lives outside Facebook, which is to say not every role. However Facebook makes no such distinctions, there are no real particular roles to speak of within the code of Facebook, so that when a casual work acquaintance comes up to you and says he likes the nice photo of your daughter’s birthday party, you cringe a bit, because there is no way in hell that guy would ever get close to your daughter’s birthday party in real life.
So the choice becomes either share away and everyone becomes as your closest friend, or don’t share at all. I don’t like either option and so the social media doesn’t really work for me. I guess there is a third option of limiting your social media friends to your real life friends, but then what’s the point?
The social media has taken away the need to have anyone outside of BuzzFeed curate interesting material from the FWDed emails in the inboxes of the world. So the reality of it is this space became far less interesting as a collection of goofy stuff because there is goofy stuff everywhere. Visitors no longer needed me for their fix of Bad Lip Reading, laughing babies or buzzed dental patients. They stopped coming here to visit and so I simply quit. It took a while to actually ween myself from the space, like the scab I mentioned above, but eventually as the long winter stood ahead of us, I finally did.
So what’s changed? In a nutshell, me.
I still like to write, even though I am not very good at it, but like golfers who score in the near triple digits but still play every Saturday, I like it just the same, and I can’t use Facebook for that. I explained my issue with Facebook but the other thing I will not do with Facebook is subject my “friends” to my writing. I certainly wouldn’t mind if any or all of them stopped by this space and read some of the words, but I am not going to force anyone to read everything I have to write. My stance on that hasn’t changed much over the course of my Facebook experience, but what’s really changed is my attitude toward this space here. This is my space. These are my words and, while your comments will be accepted graciously and even encouraged, they are written because I want to and not because I think someone will find them interesting. I’d like to think that if I find them interesting, someone somewhere would also find them interesting, but I will not be discouraged if no one does. I’m not going out looking for things to write about. The things are coming to me.
I have used this space in the past to focus on things I can criticize, but I am no longer going to use this space for that. The soapbox I used to stand upon has been broken down and placed in the recycle bin. I’m standing on level ground with the rest of my visitors. This is not to deceive you into thinking you will get no opinion here. Opinions will abound from this keyboard, but my hope is that they will be well-formed and well-stated with precious little snark. One can dream, can’t one?
So what can you look for as you visit here?
There will be fresh posts every so often, but certainly not every day or even close to every day. The subjects will be wide-ranging, timely and personal to me. In a sense, I am returning to the very early days of blogs, a word that rings odd and old-fashioned to me just lately. I hope you stop by when you can, comment if you feel it, and if you like what you read, maybe even share it with your friends, Facebook or otherwise.
Until next time, peace be with you.