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What does it mean to follow someone?

Really, break it down for yourself. I do, often.

If I go literal on this, I would stay close, pay attention, mirror this or mirror that.

But what else is it?

I trawl for purpose, wisdom, truth, and throw back wishful thinking. A fresh view can often benefit from a few more laps around the pond.

Sometimes ‘like’, sometimes just smile. Though my smile these days pushes the limits of my mouth guard. I am all back teeth and cheek and head shaking most times.

I force myself to stop scrolling the minute my kids walk in the room, but leave my thumb on the screen to hold my queue in the feed.

There once was joy in following. You know finding the gold, sharing the gold, seems like there’s not much ore left in some spaces, they are almost completely mined, like me, tapped out.

But what else is it?

I am a someone that follows and unfollows. I am a headache causer. I don’t seek permission to make you wonder about me.

I have been blocked for messing with an algorithm. An algorithm! Not a person, or a heart, or someone’s life thank god.

And I block every ad and promoted tweet in under 2 seconds like a carnival game and the big pink gorilla is up for grabs.

I have sub tweeted when I should have DM’d; DM’d when I should have not. Done nothing and missed my opportunity to be human.

And I have been called out as rude for giving no notice before I leave a feed. Its all good though I did notice that you did not notice. Thanks for that.

But that is me, I’m in the parking lot and hitting the freeway before last call. Lights up brings too much reality for my taste.

But what else is it?

I have questioned questions and then waited for answers.

Given the answer that was asked for. Withheld when I did not trust. And expected trust in full payment. Ironic, idiosyncratic, and insecure.

I often pushed topics back and forth, like the moment was a swing for my enjoyment only.

I have erased all of you from my feed, started over, only to add you again. Some noticed, some did not.

But what else is it?

I have wondered why someone would say such a thing, then wished I’d said it first.

Then realized had I said it, I would have wished I hadn’t, but then still claimed victory for liberally thoughtful bystanding.

I have erased hot blooded posts to a single letter, thought better of it, rewrote, erased, rewrote, erased etc.

I have joined your bandwagon. And waited for you to join mine. And waited. And waited.

But what else is it?

I have wondered what would it be like if I took my tail from my mouth and stopped swallowing. But sometimes it is easier to keep chewing than to stop and gag.

I wanted to drop socials altogether, but then my mother would never connect with me because I don’t call her much.

In truth the last time I left socials, it took her 4 weeks to notice. And she thought I had blocked her. 4 weeks?!

Digital debris, shored up with hubris, is like that megaball rolling towards any explorer willing to try spelunk my thoughtfuel. So recounting me through every bit and byte is dangerous or not if you didn’t follow.

But what else is it?

casual to causal

I am a bit stunned. I received this video as a post in my Facebook feed. It popped up as one of their promoted style videos for something that I may like.

Immediately, I took offense.

And then I started to wonder…

What have I clicked on, hovered over, or accidentally ‘liked’ that would make the bots algorithmically connect me with a weapon DIY video?

The more I reflected the more agitated I became.

I posted a complaint to Facebook and they responded.

When I received their response I nearly lost my mind. In that moment I posted their response and shared it to my friends. Every one of the responses to my post contained shock and awe…and then I cooled off a bit.

And thought about it a bit more.

I found out later that the video was housed on YouTube… but that just kinda made it seem like Facebook was aiding and abetting YouTube or vice versa.

The part that really shook me was the kind offer to help me not see things like this in the future. And I started to realize that their offer had a techno-insidiousness to it.

I imagined the many times, already, that I did not see a thing like that, I gnawed on the thought that maybe I have sent or shared a link with dark sub-links to content I could not see. I was deeply bugged that on top of the fact that a DIY concealable weapon video landed on my timeline, and it did not go against the Community Standards of Facebook, that I had become so automatic in my trust of social media.

There is no tidy wrap up for this post.

Check your clicks.

digime

I’ve spent a tonne of time building my digital self. In this past year I have lost myself in the Google ecosystem. So Cool. Modern Learning? I’m in!

I have reconnected with Twitter…300 posts and check out those analytics!!Teacher Blog? Why not! New iPhone? That was easy!

My email has hit INBOX ZERO every day for the last month. ZING!

I have reconnected with 3 friends from high school via Facebook. WOOT!

TEDEd…bring it on!

EdTech presentation? U betcha!

Flipboard, Instagram, G+, Podcasts, WordFeud, Snapchat… [sigh]

And, despite all of this, I feel unenthused about my tech use. And I am bugged about that.

A major dedpressive reason for my discontent with connectedness and digital use is that right now, I feel that the fun is becoming work. In many ways this has been the best work year of my life.

Regardless of the view, a reconnection with Actual Me will be both challenging and revelatory. My garden is beckoning. My dog needs walking. My kids want to go out and play. My spouse wants a date night…

The actual me could use some tending so my actual life will be everything for the next two months.

I have decided to go partially offline for the summer- deep enough to feel the distance to the shore, but not so far that the undertow pulls me out of relations with my circles.

So here is what I will try…

  1. My phone will be for calls only.
  2. My laptop will hibernate in it’s dock.
  3. My social media connections will wait.
  4. My digital work connections will wait.
  5. My XBOX One will wait.
  6. I will play with my kids.
  7. I will hang out with my spouse.
  8. I will walk my dog.
  9. I will read.
  10. I will write.
  11. I will sleep.
  12. I will meditate.
  13. I will exercise.

I will meet up and talk and connect in real time and I hope to discover…well, I am not sure what I will discover.