After an extended vacation, during which my phone was on “Do Not Disturb” 98% of time, I realized something really important. The things in my life that involved the internet were invading the very moments I was so keen on “capturing.” As such, I’ve taken a step back from a lot of things. If you’re looking for me on Facebook or Instagram, I’m no longer there. I’ve also taken a step back from Twitter. Some of these things may be temporary, but I suspect most of them will be a more permanent web presence for me. The future of this blog is also something I’ve been weighing, but it’s still here (for the time being).
As wonderful as all of you folks are, and as many wonderful people as I’ve met as a result of my internet presence, I can’t help but feel like I want to preserve a lot of who I am and what I do for myself, and for those closest to me. Presenting a heavily-filtered picture of my cat only gives you a sliver of the truth. (She’s not that skinny in real life, folks.) Tweeting about having dinner with friends takes me away from conversation with those same people, and taking a picture of the food only results in cold (but beautiful) food. Connecting with people based on partial truths (and everything you put on the internet is a partial truth, no matter how earnest the effort) often results in partial connections. I’m not a photographer, anthropologist, or author, and while these technologies have allowed those who desire, in part, to be those things, I have no such desire. I’ve enjoyed being a inspiration (no matter how small) to those with whom I’ve interacted online, but I’ve also been made uncomfortable by my availability, and hurt by unsolicited spotlights. I’ve been open, but at what cost?
None of this is meant to criticize or pass judgment on the web presence of others, but merely readjust my own presence to fit my current needs. Maybe I’m growing wise with age, or maybe I’m growing older with wisdom. Either way, it’s me taking a step back from my metaphorical and literal avatar, and stepping into the present.