Well, that break was unexpected. 2 months!
In that time we
- celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary
- Mike turned 51
- J turned 19 and spends almost all his time away from home (i.e. household adjusts to quasi-empty-nest).
- Kayla starting her full-time job (yet another household adjustment).
- And, um, er, ah. . . Very soon, I’ll be the BIG 5-OH!
My blog-neglect extended to neglecting email friends I’ve met via this blog. I hope to catch up with them soon (if they aren’t upset with me). I also shunned social media in general, staying away from Facecrook – I mean, Facebook, and other social media.
POST TRAUMATIC TWITTER DISORDER
The impetus of my social media blackout was that I had a sort of “social media” trauma. There is a family member who is a sort of social media “star.” I use that term loosely but they make a very good living simply off their social media presence. The bigger their following grew, the more the trolls came out of the woodwork. Over time the trolls became more aggressive and dangerous.
Their harassment extended to family members and evolved into physical threats. The root of it all is one particular online community (I won’t name it as I don’t want to give them any promotion) where people go ostensibly to “exchange gossip.” But, this isn’t about “sharing tea.” It’s about getting followers. Thus, it becomes about making up the tea – the more outlandish the “accusation” (which soon becomes accepted as “fact”), the better.
Their accusations aren’t just laid out in words. They use screen shots, video, emails, and text messages that are often altered to fit their narrative. Once published, the troll and their minions go out to various social media to boost the fantastical narrative they created. All with the aim of bringing their target down (ridicule, embarrass, and harass).
Many of the trolls do this for sport, but the more astute ones find ways to monetize it. Yes, they can put their conspiracy-theory-like personal attacks on YouTube. And of course, they do so anonymously. YouTube has monetized hate and harassment and provides protection via the veil of anonymity for those who wish to hate and harass.
YouTube loves it and promotes it. If you like a particular person, YouTube will start showering you with suggestions to watch the people who troll the person you like. More clicks simply mean more ad revenue for YouTube (and the troll). YouTube doesn’t care that they empower, embolden, and reward the trolls.
Now, add in the backdrop of all the news around the snooping and illegal tracking and sharing of info by Facebook and others (including many of the apps on your phone). Well. Crap. I just wanted to get away from such technology and “go dark.”
BLOGGING IS UNNECESSARY ME
The thought of “putting myself out there” via blogging felt unnecessary – like a pretty ornament that didn’t fit in with the decor. Even though I am anonymous, I am not anonymous to me, if that even makes sense. It still requires me to put my thoughts and actions out there and subject them to hate. Not that the WordPress community has much of that (the bizarre (Post 295 “The Fuck-you John Troll,” notwithstanding, and that wasn’t hate – that was just friggin’ weird and nuts).
WordPress is very good in that respect. No, not the weird and nuts part, but the lack of hate part. Okay, maybe a little weird and nuts, of which I am a contributor. Regardless, by blogging I felt I was participating in the “look at me / validate me” mindset that shares a link to what motivates trolls. I was so disgusted with the trolls that I didn’t want to swim in the same ocean as them, even if they were a thousand miles away.
BLOGGING IS NECESSARY TO ME
To be honest, “look at me / validate me” motivates us non-trolls as well. It motivates me! It’s a part of all of us who share on any social platform.
I’ve stated before that I find blogging very self-affirming, i.e., validating. But I think we all know the difference between seeking affirmation for who we are proud to be versus seeking a feeling of being valued because I am insecure and harassing someone makes me feel better about my pathetic life. Slight difference.
So, yeah. . . I just felt “blah” anytime I thought of posting. If any of this sounds familiar, I went through this a bit last fall which I shared in Post 287. My guess is I will go through this again at some point in the future. That “blah-ness” is not totally gone but has subsided, thus — HERE I AM! LOOK AT ME! VALIDATE ME! lol.
No, on second thought. There shouldn’t be a “lol” attempting to diffuse the point. Really. Look at me, validate me!
Ha. Just kidding.
Or am I?
I’ll admit it. Yes, blogging helps me actualize myself, to challenge, expand, and become my potentialities. . . to express and activate all the capacities that are within me to love, be loved, and be the person I want to be. . . to reconcile conflicting emotions. . . to simply vent when needed. . . to be heard, even if only to a few. . . to expand what it means to be me. If that means “look at me, validate me,” then so be it.
Phew. Okay. Got that over with. On to some kinky-fuckery. Next post.