Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Here I Am Writing Again

I didn't expect to be writing again.  Honestly, I didn't.  When I had shut down all my blogs and most of my social media accounts, it was a sort of response to how insane other people's use of and reaction to those technologies had been.

In my case, when I had shut down my Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace (yes, it was that long ago), and other such accounts evidence was just then being presented that these sites were indeed changing how we thought about convenience of communication, how to 'catch up' with another person, how to get together to hang out, and even the notion of what a 'friend' was in the first place.  What concerned me at the time was that in my own experience, and what some of the more detailed articles seemed to be showing was that this wasn't a good thing.

My experience was that once everyone was on Facebook, 'catching up' was just them looking at your posts, pictures, and check-ins, as opposed to getting together to chat.  Even scheduling time to get together, though people had my e-mail address, they somehow couldn't get ahold of me once I left Facebook, as if something in people's brains shut off with their use of it.  And now everyone was your 'friend'.  Nevermind that you hadn't bothered to keep up with each other for the last 14 years.  Nevermind that they would have otherwise not shared details about their life with you in person.  Nevermind that they really don't care about you beyond the 'friend' request.

And now it seems that most have just come to accept that this very distant sort of relationship is the new norm.  I think that I understand though.  Life is indeed getting more and more busy, as indicated by not only my observation of my own life and job, but also the lives of others from my workplace that I'm able to observe and also from my children's very busy school activities.  Social networking is much more convenient.  You get all the knowledge about someone that you felt you needed to feel closer to them without all the time and inconvenience spent to actually talk and find those things out in person.  It is the perfect solution to the stress, distance, and busy nature of most of life.

But that was the last time I backed away from a lot of technologies.  Why discontinue writing recently?  This was more a response to how crazy the media and people's response to the media has become in many situations...but most specifically in social issues and politics.  I felt like all the complicated issues in our society and in politics were being boiled down to that 20 second sound-bite or that blog-summary sort of thing.  And the general population's attitude about information and understanding declined more with it.  If you couldn't explain the connected nature of the Federal budget to how society was structured in 20 seconds...then people don't want to hear it, much less understand it.  They are content to hear a grossly oversimplified and dogmatic outlook on the issue, and then be an ideologue about it from that moment on.

Eventually this just was a bit overwhelming for me, and I had to back away.  I had to not participate in the midst of those sorts of activities occurring around me in the media and with people with whom I have occasional conversations.  I had to take time to sort it all out in my own life.

At this point, if you aren't pulling a "TL;DR" reaction to this posting, you are probably thinking that none of the things that I'm complaining about have changed...so why bother?  The answer is that I want to write and share thoughts on this medium.  It seemed for a while that 'blogging' was caught in the crossfire of social networking and a strange sort of edutainment.  But presently I feel that it has worked itself out more to be a viable place to post  articles and  thoughts again.  Perhaps it has 'normalized', to coin a phrase.

The election is over, and that will serve to eliminate a lot of the crazy as well.  We will see how it goes.