Learning from exile

I’ve been back on Facebook for a little more than a day (spent a week in FB Jail for a faux pas) and I have to say I haven’t missed it a lot.  Sure, I missed the ease of messaging someone using the Messenger app, but it wasn’t a complete disaster.   There are other ways to keep in contact with the people who are important to you, FB isn’t the end all or be all of communicating, it’s been made easy over the years, and many people use it as the ‘go-to’ platform, because most of their friends use it.  But before there was a Facebook, there were other forms, and avenues, and without it, there’s not necessarily a dearth of communication.

Once back, I ended up getting into a heated debate with a woman who I went to primary and high school with.  About politics of all things.  And yes, Donald Trump.  It reminded me just how far removed I am with all those people who I grew up with.  I honestly haven’t seen many of them for going on 36 years, so are they really my friends anymore? I’m not really certain what the expiration date is on a friendship.  Certainly there are people I went to college with that I haven’t seen for 32-33 years now, we’ve moved in our separate directions, and I don’t keep up with their day-to-day goings on, (nor they, mine) as a matter of fact I haven’t seen more than one or two of them since I left Poughkeepsie in 1987.

Maybe I’m over the aura of Facebook.  This forced exile seems to have opened my eyes a bit, and I’m not enamored with the platform like I used to be.  I understand that my opinions have to be for the most part cached and edited before I express them there, as the algorithm they use for purposes of censorship have been violated (their word, not mine) three times by me in the course of several months.  I honestly don’t believe anything I’ve either said or posted has been that viral or bad.  But my opinion as they’ve made quite clear, doesn’t enter into their deliberations.  And that’s a sad commentary in and of itself.  In a country where we enjoy the freedom of speech, of expression and so on, where we can’t express ourselves in places like a social media platform is a bit jarring.

Although with the social media wars still going on, the behemoths are gobbling up the little ‘also-rans’ like Instagram, Telegram, WhatsApp, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and so on, so it’s not as if there’s a lot of places you can go that are considered ‘independent’ anymore. Social media programs come and go, and one has to be aware of who owns what, and how you might be running afoul of another conglomerate when you’re attempting to get your work or communication done.  Wordpress thankfully isn’t owned by a big media company, and I own my own domain and host it overseas, so I don’t have to be beholden to any large media company and spend time kowtowing to their rules and regulations for the most part. I don’t get censored here.  Too, I don’t yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded place either, but I could if I wanted to.  Here.  Not anywhere else.

I think I’m still able to learn a few things from my experiences.  Whether or not they’ll stay sunk in, is anyone’s guess.  Let’s hope so.

 

Who are you blogging for?

Admittedly, a great question, though no one asked it of me, I asked it of myself.  The long and short of it is, I’m blogging for me.  This isn’t the first journal I’ve had, I’ve kept online journals and blogs on different platforms for many years.  LiveJournal, DeadJournal, Blogger and some other places that no longer exist, for one reason or another.  Too, I have a presence on social media, but I don’t link to them, because I’m not in this for clicks, for follows (though I’m happy to see people have found me on the highways and byways of the blogosphere and I welcome anyone that can put up with my long-windedness and weirdness) or for collecting thousands of nameless, faceless people who are reading, or collecting blogs to be a part of.  I’m pretty much just talking about my life, my journey through my job, what I do for fun and so on.  I try to be humorous at times, I’m going to be examining my belly-button lint from time to time, and expressing myself as best that I can.  I’d most definitely admit I’m not perfect, and if you read me long enough, you’ll most assuredly see that’s the case.  I certainly welcome comments, ideas, criticism, but flames or insults will get you shuttled off to purgatory.  This isn’t the time or place for that sort of stuff.  Just a fair warning from the start, thankyouverymuch.

At the bottom of the page, in case you hadn’t noticed before, there’s a link to my other blog, which isn’t updated as much as this one, but I’m planning over time to be writing more there, as I will have something to say and experience, and be able to journal about.  In actuality, this blog is the red-headed step child as it were, it was started as an afterthought last year and not really attended to.  I was trying to use the other blog as a ‘catch-all’ and I discovered that it wasn’t really working out very well in that regard.  I really needed two blogs, one for average ‘every-day’ sorts of things, and that one that covers the more specific gamut of what I do with some of my free time.  It’s not necessarily for the faint of heart, but if you’re the adventurous sort, it might tickle your fancy.  Then again, it might not.

So basically, without going into too much detail, that’s the reason for this tome.  FWIW.

Blog Bingo

I was just looking at the traffic that’s being routed to my blog and noted there are some countries listed I haven’t seen recently.  Someone from Cambodia today looked at an entry, and the other day there were hits from places like Ukraine, Romania, Kenya and Switzerland.  For the majority of the time I’ve been blogging, the vast majority of my readers, or subscribers come from here in the US, the UK, India and Canada.  As of yet I haven’t gotten any hits from South America, Oceania and the Far East (as well as the Middle East) aren’t represented, and then there’s that big black hole in Antarctica.  Maybe the WiFi is down at Amundsen Station?  Brownout?  Perhaps there’s a raging kegger that’s more interesting than my tome here.  Definitely possible.

Even so, it’s nice to see interest from places heretofore unknown.  As it were.  Just a quick and dirty entry here, so welcome to all the people clicking on my blog from the tags or categories.  At some point, say hi?