Choosing Silence

This website started as a blog in 2002. Back then it was the early days of sharing, personal diaries online, leaving and responding to comments; ongoing conversations. All these years later, after the dawn of podcasting and youtube stars, social media and viral content, live tweeting and instagraming- things evolved from a very exciting and seemingly limitless new world for communication and understanding, to a fickle world of hearing only what interests you and tuning out everyone and everything else. The world got smaller, while also becoming a place we don’t trust or yearn for. People could communicate with everyone and anyone, but usually end up posting a few photos of a baby, a pet, or a something temporarily amusing. Long story short: it is not quite the world it looked like it might become in those early days of personal publishing and new tools for expression. It has become.. something else.

But you’ve heard much of this. One thing there is no shortage of on today’s internet- commentary about the state of the internet. This alone has, over there years, inspired me to stop writing. In a world where everyone is expressing themselves, everyone is sharing, everyone is looking into their technology in search of — something, we don’t know what- my gut reaction is to close the browser and forget about writing words on a screen. What’s the difference, won’t it all be scrolled out of relevance really soon anyway? Lately, I’ve found more joy in the comfort of my home, sharing a good meal or laugh with my partner, gathering with friends as often as possible in person, than I have toiling over what to write in the next paragraph.

I’m somehow reminded of the old Timothy Leary (via Marshall McLuhan) quote: “Turn on, tune in, drop out”, though I’m sure like many recycled quotes, I may not completely understand the themes of self-reliance and consciousness that I think he was recommending back in the 60’s. But if he meant in any way looking inward for meaning and solutions to problems, then that is very much we’re I’ve been over the past few years. Not looking to any institution, leader, or movement of any kind… I’ve sought the answer within. And that journey continues, but it is nice to write on the blog like old times, regardless if anyone is reading.

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2 thoughts on “Choosing Silence

  • September 20, 2016 at 4:41 am
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    Interestingly Leary almost immediately revised and regretted saying that phrase. It seemed to be an excuse for apathy rather than indeed self reliance…for avoidance rather than radical involvement.

    “Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean “Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity”

    He changed it to ‘Drop out. Turn on. Drop in.’

    But yes I get what you mean. I find I share less on Facebook than I did LJ or even Twitter, and definitely less than podcasting. I find the responses tend to be…well…banal and unhelpful, and oddly interfering in a way other media wasn’t, a bit like a parent checking up on you and clucking. Whereas old blogging or podcasting people used to think before they responded and knew their limits. It’s the random sharing of unconnected unmeant unthought-of affection. Well meaning, but shallow.

    Or as the old phrase said and I almost put it in my rant about moving and such ‘advice’ – ‘Don’t Let Your Mouth Write A Check That Your Arse Can’t Cash’ – less about violence, more about the fact that no. internet hugs don’t help, and practical help or advice is now rare. So I share a limited selection of what I’m actually going through, because like when my mother died it became tiresome the responses I just stayed quiet. I’m finding FB and Twitter to be that space now. It’s not a space of sanctuary, more a panopticon of emotion.

    • December 28, 2016 at 2:02 am
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      I was looking for the like button and I realized.. hey. on my website you gotta just say if you really like something.

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