Social media

Twitter is beginning to circle the drain. I saw someone’s estimate that it will be toast by year’s end. This is bad for many reasons but the biggest one is that progressives have been able to effectively use Twitter to mobilize against really bad shit since 2015. Once Twitter is gone, we’ve lost an important, easily accessible social platform to find each other and share important shit.

Mastodon is just one social media site offering itself up as a lifeboat but it’s a decentralized union of servers and it’s ease of use is on the higher end of not really intuitive at all. It’s laggy. It’s picky in terms of what desktop browsers it will interface with. And the app is really not great. But I am there for the moment.

Sadly, I think the era of social media is drawing to a close. At least this iteration of it anyway. I think this is a bad thing but it isolates us from the larger world. It isolates us even within the worlds we inhabit because it’s not like media is being terrible helpful in terms of providing us with information we need rather than information some billionaire would prefer we have.

Is it possible to have a dark age in a highly civilized world? I think we are about to find out.

I am not going to pretend to know what is going to happen to Twitter now that Elon Musk owns it. Social media sites are the ultimate nft really. They aren’t tangible but for the content supplied for free by the users of the sites. The owners are doing what owners do, borrowing cash using other people’s content as collateral. Allowing them to do this is the price of admission and always has been regardless of the space. They don’t, however, last forever. Having been in virtual spaces on the Internet for the last two plus decades has taught me this much.

I have never been a super big fan of Twitter as an experience. I originally signed up only because it was a condition of the work I was doing for the various sites I worked as a blogger. But, along the way, I made the occasional impact and acquired acquaintances and even friends as I accidentally seem to do. It’s not time I considered wasted at all.

For now, it remains a public square of some consequence. Twitter is the place journalists go to find news. That’s what drew the disinformationists. In my opinion, it’s too soon for progressives to abandon it to the incels and nazi-types. We can still amplify facts and make a difference until we can’t anymore, so we should.

Actually, on NOT writing. Mostly.

“You should blog again.”

“When are you going to get back to your writing?”

From my youngest daughter, “I know you will finish your book.” And she didn’t even add “someday”.

I used to write a lot. Every day in fact. There are 1500ish posts here to attest to that. Not to mention (but why not?), posts and a few stray articles here and there on the wide web providing a testament to my more prolific writing past.

So, why don’t I fire up this old blog and getting my writing back on?

I don’t know.

There’s too much to write about is one of the issues. I simply don’t know where to focus my attention.

Fiction? Poetry? Politics? Social issues? Life in general? Self-help? Advice?

I’ve typed around, over, under and through all of these genres. I can’t say that I have a favorite, or a particular strength, which is probably part of the problem.

I’d write about everything if that were possible.

Maybe it’s possible. But I would have to rouse myself from my mostly retired state and find a whole lot of an ambition, a perennial problem for me.

I am just not an ambitious person. I have a lot of work ethic. It would be difficult not to given that I was raised by Depression Era farm kids. Work. Hard, dull and practical is what I raised to know. It was instilled in me at a very early age. And I resent it.

At some point, working hard morphed into working smart and that transformed me into the creature that I am. Someone who can get jobs done but views most energy expense in terms of bottom lines.

How negatively will my life be affected if I don’t bother? Or half-ass it? I am a Gen-Xer after all.

So in terms of writing, when it was something I loved – and I did love it – I could do it all day. It was day-dreaming on paper and later on – a screen. But once it became work, when I was mommy blogging and then working for Care2, my old work ethic kicked in and efficiency, out-put versus in-put mindset, took over.

How much effort do I need to expend to make X number of dollars or drive Z number of page views or snag a syndication run for Y blog pieces?

Sucked the joy right from the marrow with sharpened fangs.

Oh, I know. What horrible problems to have.

People were reading your writing and someone was rewarding you – with money sometimes even – for your efforts. Poor baby.

Yes, I get it. Fair criticism. Don’t think I haven’t scolded myself. I have.

The upside of walking away and turning inward. Getting back to the organic with paper and pen. Was that I found a bit of joy again. A little bit of that love.

But the downside was that I missed being read. I really do like people to read what I write. It’s a bit of an addiction.

I satisfied it with social media. A little. For a while. It’s a cheat.

However, I am here again and my novel is screaming at me from the corner of the living room where it is piled up but unable to be forgotten. So the time is now to get back to “work”. The dilemma is rousing myself daily to do it.

I am lazy at my core. I like reading. Thinking. Walking. Broken up by Interneting and house-wife’ng and momming. It’s not a bad gig. Truly.

Being writer is a job and kind of calling . Like teaching was a calling.

I’m not afraid of competing. I am a better writer on my worst day than many people are when they really try hard.

I am aware, however, that I will annoy, possibly infuriate, and very likely disappoint people. Despite what you might think, I don’t really want to do any of those things. Although sometimes it’s necessary.

So, if you decide to read – going forward or trolling back – best to bear in mind that I am a real person at a keyboard somewhere. I have good and bad days. My interests, and therefore my choice of topics, are varied. I am not static. In thought or opinion. I’ve held views that I don’t anymore. I’ve written things that I might not now. And I am just as likely to change my point of view as I am to cling to it.

In other words, if you have some sort of idea of who you think I am, discard it. You don’t know. You don’t even know what you don’t know.

This was a rambling post. Like splashing and treading a bit of water before settling in and doing laps.

There’s a lot to write about. Rob Ford. The Liberal Budget. Unisex wash and change rooms. Donald Trump. And why I’d still vote for Clinton before Sanders. Why Twitter still sucks hard. And less weighty topics like house hunting, being too lazy to take a proper holiday and why I love Ottawa.

I’ll get to it. But first, I need to do some laundry and make a cup of tea.