Repost from Dec 4/22 on ravensview.substack.com
So many choices, so little time.
- Trying to manage all the ways to plug into the world.
My apologies for seeming to have abandoned this SubStack. I had good intentions at the start, hoping that this would be a good way to share my ideas with people and encourage feedback and discussion. And connect with people - I’m missing that. I used to be 1/2 block away from lots of cafes and pubs and shops, less than a 5 minute walk. Now I’m a 15 minute walk - still quite doable but the COVID lockdown mindset is hard to shake. And to be honest, it was difficult to strike up any serious conversations in my local haunts - friendly but shallow. Possibly a symptom of the increasing simplification of society, but that’s another topic.
So - virtual connections can be a start, but not a lot of inter-connections so far in here other than the occasional rightist rant. And I don’t do both-side-ism. But maybe patience is needed, so let’s go.
I’ve always been an articulate person, but I was not really a writer or activist until after my retirement 20 years ago. I subsequently published two novels, drafted several more, and wrote some 150 Flash Fiction stories. And I’m always ready to learn more and/or try new sparkly things.
Is it now too many things? I have Twitter/Tweetdeck, a multi-blog site, Facebook, an old Flickr account with over 5000 images, a Discord channel, live stream followers on Twitter, Trovo, and Youtube, this SubStack, many online channels and newsletters, a podcast site, genealogy sites, and a print subscription to Guardian Weekly. I also discovered Mastodon in the interim and am exploring that. And getting lost in it, as it can be complicated at first. I have a lot of irons in the fire, especially for an old fart that remembers when new media meant our neighbours had the first black and white TV on the block. But this quest for information is almost an addiction, and I suspect not just for me.
Maybe it’s a fear of being out of the loop, of missing some news, a fear that not knowing about things means less ability to be in control. Especially as we realize that more and more of what we see and hear is curated/controlled by others. In particular, Facebook and Twitter use algorithms to shape that flow and our view of the world. A filter that is driven by a thirst for ad revenue or just for power. Ditto for many other mass media sources, including the ‘press conferences’ of our politicians. We are the product. And I think COVID, as well as climate change, political upheavals, the disappearance of democracy, etc - all are issues that make the world seem more chaotic, and less controllable. Sorting out which news is just #FakeNews, and identifying the #AlternateFacts, means getting enough information to be able to apply some critical thinking.
Or maybe it’s just a way to feel connected to the world, a reaction to not only COVID lockdowns and social distancing and working from home, but also to just a general lessening of connectivity in the world. Even if it’s just a virtual connection.
But at some point, that flow of information becomes a firehose and it’s time to pause, or at least throttle things back. To be honest, while I’ve culled many sources, I have added in The Mastodon. But it’s a different model, where I choose a particular community/instance to join, and people to follow, to share with. Nobody owns the platform, I don’t feel like a product.
So - thanks for reading, and do let me know if you want more ramblings. Or what you are doing to manage your own connections. In the meantime, I’m heading out for a beer.