Who knows where the time goes?

*looks at date of last post*

Hey, so, about that: I’m not dead. Shortly after that post, my old laptop’s hard drive imploded. I had been most of the way through my next Fuller House recap at the time, and when I lost that document, I lost momentum.1

Over a year later, we have a second season of Fuller House, which I haven’t watched because I don’t want to hate myself more until I get through the first season of hating myself. Also, I’ve moved twice (the second time from Chicago to Philadelphia), have done a few dumb things, and am turning 30 on Sunday. Let’s be real, though. We all know what you’re really here for.

I’m reckoning with the passage of time pretty strongly these days. It’s hard not to look back at my old LiveJournals2, or at the huge gaps in this very blog, and feel like I haven’t missed something. Part of it is the sinking suspicion that I’ve been wasting too much of my writing energy on other platforms.

Yes, it’s time to embrace my approaching status as An Old and complain about Facebook. I accept my deep hypocrisy in doing this, as I spend truly disgusting amounts of time there most days. In fact, it’s been responsible for a huge number of the friendships I’ve built over the past several years.3 It’s also one of my main lifelines back to the friends I left behind when I moved. That said… oh my stars dear readers it is so exhausting

Say what you want about LiveJournal, but although you could (and often did) write as many vague two-sentence posts as you wanted, there was never the sense that everyone was trying to get in their patented Hot Take™ as quickly as possible. You also weren’t constantly having to argue with your friend’s Confederate-flag-waving uncle if babies born out of wedlock deserve to die of quadruple cancer.

To be clear, I’m not viewing the bygone days of the internet through rose-tinted glasses. I’ve been diving deep since before the turn of the millennium, and as a once-teenage girl, I remember all too well, with the sensation of several roaches crawling up my spine, how it used to be. Still, there are things I miss. What used to feel like an escape now feels like a panopticon. Everyone you have ever known and everyone they’ve ever known is there, all at once, and they all have an opinion, and most of them have no goddamn idea what they’re talking about. Chop and hash and regurgitate every original thought anyone has nowadays; tear it from its context; screenshot and repost; put your watermark on something you had no hand in. Eight hundred jokes about covfefe in twelve hours. I’m as complicit as anyone.

Look, I’m by no means anti-social media. I use Facebook, I use Twitter, I occasionally poke at Tumblr. All of them are vital communication tools, and Twitter in particular is great for disseminating breaking news and helping people coordinate. A platform’s a platform, and new and amazing things are being created everywhere by people who have more access to an audience than ever before. I just wish for more creativity and less consolidation. I don’t want Mark Zuckerberg holding a stake in every cool thing I write.

I read a discussion the other day in which someone was warned away from starting a blog on a subject they were passionate about, because “nobody reads blogs anymore.” Other avenues were suggested: a podcast, an Instagram page, Facebook videos, and so on. None of these are bad ideas. I love a good podcast. I don’t want blogs to be dead, though, because I think they represent a more nuanced and deeply felt form of communication than we often see nowadays.4

Long story short: Things are changing. It makes me a bit sad. That said, this is my little corner of the Web and I think I’m going to clear out the dust and stay a while, whether any guests choose to visit or not.

———-

1After losing two laptops in spectacular fashion in one year, I have taken to working in Google Docs almost exclusively. I suppose I could have been drafting that post right here in WordPress, but that would have required foresight.

2No, I’m not linking them.

3Remind me to write about chochachohood. It makes sense in context.

4That is, when they’re not an endless array of virtually identical exercises in branding and thinly-veiled product placement. But that’s for another entry.

Senses working overtime

It’s been a while, hasn’t it, blog?

I’ve been writing elsewhere, certainly. The majority of my verbal efforts go towards work now, ’cause hacks gotta get paid. I come up with ideas for posts to make here, sure, and often, but I keep meeting a resistance I’ve been hard-pressed to explain until recently. Now that it’s gotten to the point where every scroll through my RSS reader or Facebook feed exhausts me, I think I’m figuring it out.

To state it as simply as I can: I’m overwhelmed. Information overload is nothing new, including to me. Especially to me. I’ve spent sixteen years obsessively using the Internet to try to satisfy every minor curiosity that flits through my mind. I’ve courted it from day one.

Lately, though, the glut of poorly-informed opinions and rehashed content has started to feel more like “too much” than ever before. And when you’re already depressed and well past the “it’s complicated” relationship stage with self-doubt, it’s damn near impossible to feel like you’re doing anything but skewing the signal-to-noise ratio further when you try to write down your own dumb thoughts about something.

Rationally, I know this is nonsense. Anything you write can shed light on an unconsidered aspect of a topic, provide an unheard perspective, turn a lovely phrase, or at least crack a joke no one’s thought of yet. I read things online every day that make me kvell that they exist, even as I kick myself for not thinking of it first. But is Sturgeon’s Law also in play? Of course it is. Same as it ever was. And most of the time I fail to convince myself that I can crawl out of the 90%.

(I recognize that these complaints are, in and of themselves, deeply unoriginal. I fear I’m straddling some line between teenage angst and curmudgeonliness. None of you whippersnappers understand me; get off my mom’s lawn.)

Is there a solution for this? Maybe not. Keep writing and posting and ignoring the sense of an infinite feedback loop? Gather my ovaries and get over myself? Get the fuck off Facebook for a bit? Probably all of the above. Stay tuned.

xyzzy

I think I’m brushing up against the singularity. I’ve been more or less hard-wired into the internet since I was 12 and I presently have 40(!) tabs open in my browser, so I guess it was bound to happen eventually.

This morning I visited the original Prancercise video again for some unfathomable reason, only to have my coworker link me to this takedown of the new “Romancercise” John Mayer music video not five minutes later.

Today also saw a bunch of reports of Paula Deen allegedly being a racist jerkass, which made me feel more than a bit weird about inexplicably zoning out on a bunch of her more ridiculous videos last weekend.

Confirmation bias tells me I’m mentally tapping into the zeitgeist. Soon I will be able to predict the near future, but in this modern Cassandra myth, I’ll only be able to convey the truth in memes.

I’ve already been mentally drafting my last several days as a post in the style of interactive fiction, which is kind of an ongoing fixation of mine because I never really got over Choose Your Own Adventure books. How I imagined it would begin:

You wake up. It is still dark outside. You don’t dare check the clock for fear of spending the rest of your precious sleep time thinking about how little of it you have left.

>>sleep

You manage to fall asleep again, only to wake up an hour or so later. It’s still dark. Also, why does your bladder think you’re pregnant?

>>sleep

You do, but you wake up again. Your cat sighs and rolls over in her sleep.

>>sleep

Haha, no, fuck you.

There’s a good reason I didn’t see the whole thing out. No one wants to read Kafka’s LiveJournal.

(I should probably get around to trying to write real IF. I should be able to figure out how to use Twine, if nothing else.)

—–

I realize this entry is incoherent. If anyone hopes for better, tell my brain to figure out how melatonin and serotonin work. (Good luck with that!) Alternately, blame it on the interwebs destroying my attention span.