Still here

Dec. 5th, 2015 02:19 am
greatbear: (aerial me)
Yes, I am still here, though my time using LJ is pretty much limited to about once a week, a far cry from days gone by when I would check entries several times a day, leave many comments, and write on a fairly regular basis. For me, it's not just LJ being neglected, but all forms of social media. Recent events have turned many a friends feed into disgusting political diatribes, link farms of massive acreage, and every other imaginable method of getting a point across. I have gotten beyond fatigued from this, even from those posting along the lines of my own ideologies. Interestingly, here in LJ Land, things are rather quiet. I'd normally move my focus here, but, well, I feel like I am in a large but empty warehouse, shouting into the reverberating space where few, if any, even take notice. This space invites me to write in my wordy style, and spend a lot more time crafting an entry, but the end result seems lost in the emptiness. Being that most, if not nearly everyone I would interact with here has moved to that noisy back alley party known as Facebook, I ending up posting there for maximum effect. The very nature of that site prevents me from posting anything substantial, so my entries hold little interest to people that Facebook deems worthy to actually see the posts in the first place. A conundrum it is.

Since it has been over two months since I wrote anything, here is a quick summary. State of the Mayhem, as it were.

-I've been mostly unencumbered by pain, already well into late Fall, which is a first in nearly six years. Normally I seemed to fall apart around September, then be completely housebound for months as I undergo treatments or surgeries that would not turn me around for the better until mid-Spring or early summer. I was able to see the leave change in real time, as well as cleaning them up. This alone, while sounding more like a chore, made me happy with the accomplishment.

-I've been keeping busy, taking on some small subcontracting work for income. It's not much, but every little bit helps. if I last a year without having another rash of spine/nerve problems, I will try to reenter the workforce. I can't bring myself to put forth the effort to find a job only to have my body betray me and ultimately make me lose the job, causing me more and more trouble in the future.

-Family life is mostly unchanged. This is a good thing, as we are still doing things for fun, and nothing really bad has occurred (yet). Time will tell how this pans out.

That's about it for now. Hope everyone reading this is doing well.
greatbear: (blackness)
(Warning, lots of personal meanderings ahead.)

Well, I guess it has come down to this. At first I thought it was just a passing feeling. I tried to work around it, doing what I could to make a presence here and on the very few other social media sites I still use. Granted, the posts are of little substance, videos and failed memes, etc, but at least it was an effort. But I've come to the conclusion that my use of various "social media" outlets has left me more hollow and wanting than if I dispensed with the things entirely.

I realize there are many of you reading this that don't understand what I am feeling. I see a lot of people who absolutely rock their various online self-media outlets. Lots of dialog, on- and off-line gatherings and get-togethers, those sort of things. In my case, I only feel the "illusion" of a robust circle of friends. If I don't initiate a conversation, or join one already happening in another venue (in the case of LJ, this means posting something here or making a comments in someone else's entry), nothing will happen. No "hey, what's up" or other outside initiator will happen. Often if I send a message to someone I might not get a response, or the conversation will cease if I don't make the last entry into it. I generally chalk it up to folks' increasingly busy lives. But when the results have approached 100%, I tend to get the message, even if I am slow to realize.

I've long realized that my personality is not everyone's slice of cherry pie. But as I've found myself going through a lot of terrible things in my life with no one beside me to speak of save for maybe Jeff, I've come to some pretty indelible conclusions. The one that pertains to LJ, and by extension, any other online interpersonal sites like Facebook, etc., is do I continue to pin an increasingly false hope of actual friendship and support based in a "virtual" world? What I mean to say is it seems that doing so has only increased to disconnect and made me realized how little I have in the way of close friendships and camaraderie. Having friends halfway across the globe online is well and good in itself, but in reality it's nothing more than a circle of pen-pals. Human beings thrive on interpersonal contact, something that is sorely lacking in my life in not only recent years, but throughout my entire life. I grew up in an isolated little community where I had no local friends. People that I could call "friends" lived at minimum a few miles away. This involved a car trip or a time-consuming (and dangerous) bike ride through rural roads to get together. As time rolled on, this situation has not changed. I still live in a mostly rural-suburban setting with no neighborhood friends. The few people I counted as friends growing up are the same ones I associate with now on a somewhat regular basis, with the incidental traveling conundrum still in effect.

Throughout all of this the one aspect what bugs me the most is the near perfect record I have with meeting people in person that I have gotten to know via previous online interaction who I apparently have a good time with together, but once we've gone back to our own respective corners of the world, it rarely if ever recurs, Also in many cases the online tête-à-tête diminishes if not disappears entirely. I might not always be the sharpest crayon in the box, but for the life of me I can't figure this one out. Am I the victim of differing expectations? Do I smell bad? Did I not pick up the tip for dinner? I'm totally dumbfounded. When it happens now and then, I can chalk it up to various things that make humans incompatible with one another for whatever reason. When it occurs with nearly the same regularity as a sunset I don't know what to do. Suffice it to say, it does hurt, and I no longer want to expose myself to those kinds of situations.

Where does this leave me now? Do I keep being the one that has to initiate and carry conversations? Do I expend the most effort in trying to buoy a budding personal friendship? Do I send out repeated status queries to everyone involved to basically ask "are we still friends?" I'm no longer going to subject myself to unreturned messages on social sites and apps, no-shows to party and meeting invitations or similar. And, sad to say, I wont expect much more out of LJ other than entertainment, news and mild comment interplay. Pinning my hopes that "social media" leads to being more "social" has only reinforced my belief that the opposite is in fact what is true. It brings well-intentioned people together through often vast distances, raising hopes in people like me that there are indeed people out there that I share lots of interests and whatnot with, but in the end those vast distances remain. And in most cases when those distances were breached, the hope of lasting friendship gets quashed for whatever reason I have yet to figure out.

LJ has become a nearly unusable morass of failed entry and comment postings, delayed or nonexistent comment notifications and for some people a disgusting display of advertising and spam. The latter is not always apparent to LJ users with paid accounts, but the basic stuff is a mess, with all users being subject to all kinds of scripts and mechanisms designed to make money and track user movements and habits. The failure of the various scripts end up blocking the actual content, and people stumbling upon our journals from outside are often forced to watch an ad or video before they can even get to actual entries. I did not originally sign up to be subjected to such bullshit, and I've had enough. What little meaningful contact I do have here is interrupted by what amounts to the Russian Mafia. I'm done with it.
greatbear: (glasses)
In my earlier post I lamented on not having the frame of mind to make creative posts (or posts in general) here on LJ. My reasoning was not entirely forthright, because there have been times I wanted to make a post, but external factors thwart my attempts. One in particular, actually.

keyboard kat


This is Pinky. Beneath Pinky is my keyboard. She insists on laying in my keyboard drawer practically every night, or practically any time I am in front of this particular computer. I push my keyboard as far back on the surface as I can lest she provide her own input, and she settles in for the evening. I'm allowed the use of my mouse, but alphanumeric input is verboten. Actually, since the keyboard itself (as well as the mouse) is Bluetooth wireless, I can remove them both and let Pinky have the full 16 by 24 inch surface to stretch out on. The table itself is a dire mess, so ol' Pink can't lounge on the upper deck yet. You can also see a bit of my now-scrawny legs lost in my jeans. I hope to change that soon.

I also lost one of my USB hubs a while back and with it, my flash card reader connection. I remedied this tonight and can now go through some photos that have piled up on the SD/CF cards.

We are currently experiencing a notable SNOMG Event as I type this. The power has been on and off, lightning flashes in the distance, and a sticky/wet snow is clinging to everything it touches. I expect more busted up trees and shrubs from this one similar to what happened last winter during the numerous snowpocalypseses. I hope Jeff does not have to go to work (he is considered essential personnel who have to trek in even during facility closure, which is lunacy IMO), and I hope my doctor's appointment gets axed. Jeff had a wild ride home today, it's not gonna be nice tomorrow morning. My two snowblowers, By-Tor and Snow Dog, are squared for battle.

There's something quite assuring about a nice, warm house, a fire going in the woodstove and everyone home safe and sound while Ma Nature breaks bad on us right outside the door. If the power goes, no big deal, the warmth and safety continues unabated, and the generator is ready if the power gets knocked out for the count.

On a final note, youse guys make it pretty darn difficult for me to go skulking off into that dark, cold night. I acknowledge and cherish the friendships I have beyond my cat-covered keyboard, and like any friendship, it takes a certain amount of effort on my part to keep it thriving. Yeah, I could close up shop here, but the one who would ultimately suffer the most is me. I ain't gonna let that happen, trust me. Thanks to all of you who have kept my head in this space.

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Phil

December 2016

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