Life Update: Moving House & Internet Presence
I fell off the internet. At first it was just this blog, and then I bailed on the bookstagram account I’d started. It all felt like work, and I got frustrated with myself for not making time to write posts or take photographs of books, which was massively unfair: why should #booktography to take precedence over retaining my sanity as I lived out of boxes?
This move was the most elongated and gruelling I can remember. I’ve moved so many times it tires me to count, but in every previous move, I moved into an empty home. Moving into a home that is the opposite of empty (my boyfriend, Erik, has lived here for 9 years) was like moving on expert mode when you’ve been proudly dabbling in the intermediate area.
Nothing will make you want to become an ascetic like needing to move 17 boxes every time you want to use a room in the house. One had to choose between use of the living room and an open path from the front door to the kitchen. There was also an in betweeny option where nearly the entire first floor is covered in boxes, but they only hit around knee-level, and left a path from the stairs to the kitchen.
With this last option you could pretend to be wading through a lovely field with a quaint dirt road aspect, instead of facing the reality that you are drowning in masses of plastic garbage from Target, a half ton of art supplies (as if you might at any moment decide to do an oil painting for the first time in 5 years), and damning evidence that you’re exponentially more likely to buy a book from Amazon than go to the god damn library.
Anyways. I’m blathering a bit, but I need to win you over to my side, here. Add juggling the 2 cats (one loud and ancient and the other a bloodthirsty maniac), that I have a job to attend, and friends who probably have Sims thought bubbles of my face with a big red X through it due to extended neglect, the whole blogging thing had lost its flair.
There are times in life when you buy new socks because you can’t find any more dirty ones to rewear.
Letting go of my bookstagram account felt good. Running an account takes way more energy than I had imagined. There’s the picture taking and editing, which is time consuming and creatively draining. Then there’s researching hashtags and engaging with related accounts, drafting good captions and timing posts. Running a niche instagram account is like working an unpaid internship at a particularly vapid company.
What’s more, I didn’t feel like I was really connecting with any people. I had fallen into a social media wormhole, a MySpace train where the rules weren’t explicit--nobody comes outright and says L4L anymore. Also, there’s no glitter text and no Parkway Drive on autoplay.
For example: an account commented on my photo and was waiting for me to respond to their most recent photo (this feels a bit like when a bellhop wrests your suitcase from you and then expects a tip). I took in their most recent photo: well composed, tasteful filter, something light and airy, captioned with something that didn’t make me want to slap myself for reading it. I double tapped, and settled in to write a really great comment. I returned to looking at the photo and realized it was a very pretty picture of Atlas Shrugged.
In that moment, I literally hated myself.
And all of that work has little to do with what was at the center of starting this blog project: writing and reading. Connecting with people in a real way, about things I really care about.
Not endorsing Ayn Rand.
So I’ve jumped ship on my #bookstagram experiment and returned to my original instagram account, where people I already know and find interesting follow me. I’m promising myself to not fall down hashtag research holes or get neurotic about when to post a photo or post filler content that I know I don’t care about because it all makes me feel like I need a bleach bath. And I’m starting this blogging thing back up because, naysayers be damned, I don’t think blogging is dead.
I have more thoughts about the importance of having control over your platform and not relying exclusively on spaces like Instagram (owned by Facebook) or Twitter (cesspit) or Tumblr (lol), but that’s for another moment.
Oh: I'm also working on migrating from wordpress to a gatsby.js site. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, I haven't written code since last August and GraphQL is a beast and a half, but I'm damn stubborn so my money's on me.
Posted May 13, 2019