It’s that time of year again, 40 days and 40 nights without Twitter. First started in 2009, I’ve gone back and forth over the last few years about keeping this up. But you know, in the end, I end up doing it because I have felt mentally so much better.
As most of you may have noticed, I’ve scaled back on my social media usage within the last few years. I’ve dumped my old Facebook account and started a new one with my new soon to be legal name which has significantly fewer FB BFFs and I’m quite happy about that.
I’m off of Google+ and have been for months. I’ve stopped using Foursquare and a few other social services within the last few years. I’m an on/off with Pinterest and Tumblr, and I selfishly hold on to LiveJournal like no one’s business though it’s more or less dead.
But Twitter is my crack and the conundrum is that it’s been really good for networking and PR related stuff for my various projects. So I waver how to handle this. In the end, I don’t have a problem with setting up tweets for networking/PR stuff, and content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. Content, as always, is also available via RSS.
But everything else outside of that, such as sharing of links, diatribes, responses, and the like, will be on hold until after the 40 days are done. For 40 days, no reading of my timeline, checking for messages or mentions.
As I do every year, I’ve gone ahead and deleted the apps from my phone/tablet, and removed the apps from my laptop startup. And as always, if you need me, you can always contact me via this site.
P.S. Yesterday’s entry was about putting my daily journals on pause, not the site.
P.P.S. It’s been pointed out I’m a week early as next week starts Lent and I’m okay with that.
Last November I made the adulting decision to give up Facebook for a variety reasons. I forgot to add to those reasons the “theymeanwellers” and “helpfuladvicers.”
Theymeanwellers are the types who almost habitually post the same shit other people have already posted on your Facebook wall because they think you may like it — even though it’s clear 900 others thought the same. They are kin to the helpfuladivcers, who when you post an image showcasing your meal for the night, will offer up unsolicited advice on how it should have been cooked, presented, or something of that ilk. If you make a statement about your allergy, will start educating you on said allergy even though they are not allergic themselves to OR have any type of medical expertise or education.
You know these types. May the gods save you if you even point out what they are doing is not well or helpful for you’re a terrible, awful person.
The above coupled with Facebook’s continuing disregard for respect and allowing people to control their own privacy, Byzantine rules for posting content and how it was being viewed, I left.
If we’re friends on Facebook, as of this writing, I’ve deactivated my account. I have a private account I’m using to manage pages since several projects require it, and if we were friends on that particular account, I’ve unfriended you and made it as private as Facebook possible.
…there is an intimacy associated with Facebook that isn’t even available anywhere else, regardless of how many layers I peel back as I write on this site. I need to reign in the control of what the world can see and Facebook was the first to go. At least here, in my sandbox, I’m forcing you to come to me and not the other way around.
Since that time, I’ve gotten the occasional email, text, ran into someone locally who wanted to know where I was and why I hated them. But out of over 300 Facebook BFFs, I’ve heard from about two dozen in some capacity as to why I left. Almost all thought it was personal and about them.
It has not been a totally glorious rebellion as there have been a few kerfuffles on participating on some sites because they ONLY allow Facebook connect to add content and I’ve chosen to just not participate. Or apps that require ONLY a Facebook account to function, so I stop using the app. Overall, I’ve been pretty happy about stripping Facebook out of my life. The private account, which has been stripped of identification, locked down, and only used to manage pages, remains blissfully ignorant of any drama, shitty product endorsement, and related items.
Five years ago, I gave up Twitter for Lent and then wrote about coming back after the break.
Then I noted that all the supposed free time I thought was going to appear, didn’t. But I was wholly naive in the process because I was bloody on Facebook the entire time! Giving up Twitter wasn’t really a hardship rather it was feeding the obsession (Twitter) into another (Facebook). I may have patted myself on the back for being so restrained during that period, but who the fuck am I kidding?
Twitter has started to go the route for Facebook for me in that the bullies, the “theymeanwellers,” the “helfpfuladvicers,” and now the “talkarounders” are starting to grow in leaps. Talkarounders are a breed I’ve identified of people who, for whatever reason, talk about you, your work, or things related to you and your work without engaging you. It’s frustrating trying to work on goals when people dismiss you on a regular basis so while I’ve stopped following and engaging, they still creep into my world.
So I’ve decided that I’m not giving up one or the other, I’m giving them all up for 40 days. But, and I have to stress this, much my work requires me to be socially active. Any content posted will be done automatically and I will not be engaging anywhere. Here are the rules:
No Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, or any other social media engaging or responding from March 5 – April 17
If you comment/respond anywhere or send me DMs through any service, I will not respond or engage. If you want to get in touch, I recommend sending me an email
What do I hope to gain out of this? Less stress about being up to the minute on everything. Less frustration from people’s stupidity. More work on the projects that are important to me. More time with TheHusband. More time to read.
More of everything.
Friday afternoon, I had a Google Hangout meeting with various and sundry about a project we’re all jointly working on when it came to light one of the members of the group, whom I had been pretty friendly with up until that point, revealed the reason for her sudden turn of taste in me. What that revelation boiled down to was I am not letting others shine in the project. But she couldn’t really clarify what that meant but that her only recourse was to remove herself from within my company. In addition, friends of hers were apparently upset her name wasn’t credited on my professional website where I gave a brief summary on said project, as in my list of names, I list those I recalled at the time of the writing as a beginning contributor and as there were so many, threw the rest under “all the other awesome people who were there” list because I honestly could not remember everyone who was involved.
At least, I think that’s why she was upset because I never really got the gist for her sudden cold shoulder to me. She even acknowledge she couldn’t really articulate it, so I’m piecing together what I pulled from that conversation. When I finished the call, TheHusband, who heard the entire exchange from his office, restated my summary in much the same language. He said if he were me that he would have told her to grow a pair and if she wanted to get credit to actually start becoming the face herself of the work we’re doing if she’s so damned concerned with recognition. I just shrugged, rewrote the pages in more neutral language, and emailed her the updates.
When TheHusband and I were out running errands later that night, I was gripped with a wave of depression so heavy I stumbled in my tracks when I realised what was happening. A fairly painless event of grocery shopping took on the guise of fight or flight, of which I desperately trying not to abandon our cart in the middle of the aisle and get the fuck home so I could surround myself with things that could not hurt me. We had to do this thing, it had to be done this night, and if I could make it through the rest of the trip, I had an entire week where I had almost no responsibility with anything and I could start to protect what was becoming a very vulnerable self.
Sleep did not come easy Friday night as my mind running in a million paces.
Saturday morning woke up very cold and very bright. TheHusband and I had plans to finish some of the major house cleaning that was still hanging around our necks that morning and relaxing before the Doctor Who 50th anniversary party I was planning for a group of local friends. When 2PM came and went, three of the twelve invited showed up, two had declined and the rest never bothered to tell me either way. And if there is anything that can make one feel incredibly unloved and alone is when hardly anyone shows up to your party or even bothered to let you know they were not coming.
So you can imagine, coupled with the events from previous day which I had not quite shaken off, where this is going.
After the guests had left several hours later, and I did have fun with the people who were here, I made the mistake of checking various social networks and seeing huge Doctor Who themed parties being thrown over the world. At that point, as I flipped through the images of happy faces across the globe, I felt the loneliest I’ve felt in a very long time.
I spend a lot of time, too much probably, thinking about my relationships with people. To some, like TheHusband who constantly marvels I know people around the globe, when I say that save for him, how lonely I am at times, he doesn’t quite get the grasp of the depth of that loneliness. When we moved back to Grand Rapids, I told him that those who were my very best of friends when I moved away several years prior were no longer, he thought I was being some kind of cynical fool. But many of those friendships were formed in specific cultures and when the structure of that culture is taken away, the relationships often do not stand. I’m not saying all of those people I’ve met have disappeared, but a good many have gone on with their lives such as I’ve gone on with mine. Cycles happen and I’ve long accepted with the exception of very few, no matter how hard I try to make some of these relationships work, they are all really transitory.
The story that opened this piece was told not to shame the person whose concerns to her were very real, but because I needed a concrete example of something that happens on a fairly regularly basis with me. Much as I said to the male friend who was standing next to me while I was being sexually harassed, “Now you know.” I said the exact same thing to TheHusband when the meeting ended on Friday to illustrate the kind of behaviour I often deal with from others. It was not that he never believed me, he knows who he is married to, but again just as with my loneliness, he hadn’t grasped the extent of what people expect from me versus what they want from me.
Let’s be clear on something here: I do not think I’m some kind of special snowflake deserving of special treatment. What I do think is that I’m a pretty self-actualized human being who happens to be bold. Boldness comes in a variety of flavors and my particular strength is that I have zero problems being upfront with you, shooting directly from the hip, making a lot of noise when I need to, or calling you out on your foolishness. It is surprising the number of people who would rather have you tell petty lies to make them feel good then tell them the truth. It is also a flabbergast of moments to realise the level of superficiality of many in the human race and their entire existence is based upon the one they have concocted to make themselves feel good. Additionally, I have zero political prowess and that fact alone has hurt me many, many times as I refuse to play reindeer games to soothe various beasts.
I often tell people I am not everyone’s cup of tea, and I’ve long came to that realization in my early 20s and for my entire adult life, that’s the code I’ve lived by. I’m not here to please you and I am also not here to be your personal bitch, to be called upon when you need that bold voice only to be thrown back into the dark when you’re done with them. As this has become a reoccurring event as of late, of that too, I am done.
People who are like me – there is a high price to pay for our boldness and while we are often publicly lauded for being the face of the cause, we’re privately punished for being ourselves. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told to change or tweak my personality because I did not “fit in” with a culture or a group, that it would better serve those around me if I toned it down a bit, or if I was not so blunt or some other attempt to turn me something I am not under the auspice of fake helpfulness. I’m not saying I’m above change or that I am perfect, I am saying I am done with society’s expectation that as I walk to the beat of my own drummer, I need to move my round peg ass into the square hole.
Here’s the thing most do not understand – bold people are often the most fragile and their boldness is a protective measure. Many bold people I have met, in addition to myself, find it natural to be the bull in the china shop as it is who they are, but that energy required to be who they are drains them. Not only do we tend to be more fragile, but we’re almost the most in the need of support. Being bold can quickly weaken you if you’re not careful, and drain you if you are careless.
If we’re friends on Facebook, as of this writing, I’ve deactivated my account. I have a private account I’m using to manage pages since several projects require it, and if we were friends on that particular account, I’ve unfriended you and made it as private as Facebook possible. This has not been something done in haste, but the events from the last couple of days finalized the long thought reasons for me to finally acknowledge the account needed to go. Frankly I’m tired of putting myself out there only to be rejected by the same people who expect me to continually support them or be the face of a particular cause because no one else wants to do it. I’m also very angry that a group of people whom were to be my allies, in the month since my I was publicly sexually harassed, 90% of them didn’t bother asking me if I was okay. And when you know at least half of them read your site, to me that’s telling of who you really are. Whether that’s your intention or not, your actions speak much louder than any words you could possibly have to say to me. I did not want to do a flounce, but I do think a brief reason was necessary if you went looking for me and saw I was no longer there on why I left.
If you want to stalk something on Facebook, this site has its own page.
For most of you, much this won’t affect how you read or see me on site. I’m still going to be on Twitter, but perhaps just not as much. I’m still going to be writing here just as often. But there is an intimacy associated with Facebook that isn’t even available anywhere else, regardless of how many layers I peel back as I write on this site. I need to reign in the control of what the world can see and Facebook was the first to go. At least here, in my sandbox, I’m forcing you to come to me and not the other way around.
I’ve also decided I’m shutting down publicly and openly discussing my projects, librarianship or otherwise, until they are finalized or complete. There have been too many recorded instances of my work being lifted and passed off as someone elses or lifted and touted that it’s open source therefore a free for all or lifted and not even giving me AND the people who worked with me credit.
I’m done being bullied by you Internet, go pick on someone your own size.
I’m pleased as punch to announce EPbaB is back. TheHusband and I migrated the content and did the DNS cutover on March 30 to the new provider. The DNS migrated within a few hours and the site for the last two days has been super snappy. While everything is more or less in place, a few notes: Continue reading “Exit, Pursued by a Bear is back!”
When Kristin talked about getting off the internets, as it is “Another linchpin to bad times,” she wasn’t too off course on how I feel about it myself. I love what the Internets can give me, but on the same token, when I’m feeling an attack of The Sads, or a variation of it, I can spend hours scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and randomly reading Wikipedia articles with no real return on my investment of time. Back in 2009, I went off Twitter for a month and found that my attitudes towards it didn’t change nor did my habits, things just shifted else where.
I know several people who were able to get rid of various big social media sites, either by deleting Facebook, Twitter, or something else, and felt like they were able to control getting their life back. While I’d love to ultimately do that, I’d like to be realistic on my own uses and be more prudent on how I not only utilize social media, but how I am best using my time online. And it’s not just about social media, blogs and mailing lists are almost just as bad clutter in my digital life as paper can be in my physical one.
Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists My obsessive need to clean out my myriad of inboxes was not for naught, because it helped me start unsubscribing to lists that I no longer was interested in anymore, found useful, or was never subscribed to in the first place. My mailing list label in Gmail has over 2000 emails sitting in it, but now currently has 5. Since I’m hell bent on buying nothing in 2013, I also removed myself from any store mailing lists or shopping collection sites websites (like Fab.com) as there was no point in torturing myself. I’m sure I’ll be apt to check websites (like Boden and Fluevog) and pin to Pinterest for 2014 shopping inspiration.
Delete unused social media accounts Back in the covered wagon days of social media (2008 or so), one of the big “must dos” is once you figure out your “brand,” you then register your said brand on every damn service available regardless of what it is to prevent name hijacking. Which is all fine and dandy until the emails start rolling in from all these services every time one of their employees fart, accounts havebeen hacked or nearly hacked, brands reimaged/bought out/discontinued, and so on. Fuck it. This is not worth the hassle anymore. Sometime in 2010, I started keeping track of social media accounts I’ve deleted (or have died a inglorious death of some sort), and as of this writing, I’ve dumped 34 35 accounts (and it’s growing). I also keep track of the date as well as how (a lot of sites require you email in to request account removal) the account was removed. Also in 2010, I started saving the confirmation emails from sites as I create an account in case I need to find out what username/email combination I gave when an account needs to be deleted. Sites I’m active on are typically always linked from my front page, and I’ve also started a flavors.me account to create, as they put it, a unified web presence. I used to love the idea of lifestreaming, but services either force you to use it on their site (ala FriendFeed) or plugins available are either shoddy, missing popular services, or too much of a hassel to hack and configure. 2013 is going to be all about streamlining and consolidating.
Stop following people/services/accounts/blogs that no longer hold my interest/are not engaging In 2012, companies were less likely to create websites to showcase a product/service as they were more likely to create a Facebook page or a unique hashtag for Twitter. Community engagement with their community is huge in making social media work while promoting their spiel, I get that. The problem I keep finding is when people/companies make it a “thing” to either spam your timeline with constant “One of our employees just made a poopie! Like if you agree!” posts or individuals who read supposed marketing best practices and repeatedly plug their own blog / services with no engagement with others or just keep posting links to articles and or things they are interested in (and still not engaging with their followers / friends) or the blog takes a drastic turn somewhere that no longer holds my interest. I’m sure you’re very nice, and if we met over hot cocoa, I’m sure we’d hit off, but I’m under no obligation to follow you or your services anywhere online if you drive me insane. (I’ve also started a mass culling from my Twitter and RSS feeds and will soon be doing the same on Facebook.)
Get the archives back up This is a project I’ve been talking about forever (like years) and with the domain hopping, the archives have taken a beating so much so, I keep linking to Wayback Machine to access the content rather than just get it up here. It’s a massive undertaking as it’s not only entries from 1996 forward but it’s also the metadata and fixing of dead links that need to be addressed. But it needs to be done.
Stop buying domains When I bought my first domain in 1998, it cost about $70. Now, through my webhost provider, I pay $10 a domain. I’ve started to let go domains that are no longer used ove the years, but overall, the current stable is enough.
Stop obsessively checking social media accounts This is where the real problem comes in, because when I get bored instead of doing something vaguely useful, I start obsessively checking Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Pinterest. And this probably the crutch of Kristin’s earlier comment because it’s not, “Oh, let me see what is going on” and then leave it alone; it’s, “Oh. Let me see what’s going on for the next five hours even though no one has posted/responded/commented on anything I’ve done but I’m still going to keep checking.” To me, social media is supposed to be about what’s on my time, not chained to the device/service and it’s tipped over that by a long shot.
I hate writing administrative posts. I think it’s because I am obsessive about being transparent while at the same time, I am not sure how many people really care about the back end of what is going on. However, there are times when I must swallow my own opinion and write because a lot of big changes have occurred. Content
I’m experimenting with content posting to EPBaB, such as GoodReads and Instagram. How do you feel about this? Yes? No? You want pure written content or is streamlining content from other sources part of the all round experience? Let me know in the comments.
Also, if you did not know, EPBaB not only publishes to RSS, but also posts to its Facebook page and Tumblr. There will be no “SHARE THIS POST” below the post themselves or widgets to show likes or number of tweets. If cutting and pasting is beyond your capability, then you’re not the audience I want to relate to.
There will never be ads on this site. Ever. (Unless it’s for something I’m hawking which is completely different.)
Anything written under The Lisa Chronicles (thus anything written befeore June 12, 2012) will be listed as that category.
Domain flotsam and jetsam
[Insert long and boring explationation.] tl;dr: If you subscribed to either shesgotplans.net or biblyotheke.net via email or RSS, those are now defunct and all the content on those domains is now here at exitpursuedbyabear.net.
Unfortunately, I’m still working on importing comments. Projects
Projects, active and stalled, are located on the project page (shocking!). Some projects, like Bagged & Boarded will have their own updates, which will be on the project page. You can so select the category, in the right hand navigation on any page, for a particular project to see what else I’ve written about that particular topic.
Writing has it’s own page, which will cover all the links. It too has it’s own category and specific writing projects will have their own categories as well.
All we’ve talked about is me, me, me. I think it’s time that we talked about you.
I think we need a break from each other. Or at the very least, we may need to start seeing other people.
You see Internet, I love you, I do. You’ve given me my husband, job & life skills, friends, and adventures galore. You are beyond delightful. But our current arrangement is not working out for me at the moment and that saddens me. Truth be told Internet, it hasn’t been working out for quite some time but I was always desperate to hold on to you and be deliriously desperately in denial of the hold you have on me. When we first met Interent, everyday was a fresh day of learning. I was always digging into your nooks and crannies, scratching you under your chin. Now, it seems, nothing is really fresh anymore. Everything is a retweet, a digg, a stumbleupon, a like, or a tweet.
I’m just not that into you anymore. Continue reading “I may or may not quit you”
To support NaNoWriMo this month, I’m finishing the 30+ odd drafts laying about and posting them through the month of November.
Back in June of 2010, Brian IM’d me and said that while reviewing his LinkedIn network updates, he noticed that an entry from me containing the word “Amsterdam – Pimp City” was on the list. He’s referring to an image I recently uploaded to Twitpic and was thusly shouted out to Twitter and anywhere else that I have Twitter bleeding into, including LinkedIN which in turn showed up on Brian’s LinkedIn weekly update email. Follow that? Good.
This image, which is completely safe for work, is nothing more than words on cheap tin ashtray we bought for my brother in Amsterdam since it is a the kind of cheap and tacky gift you get for a loved one. At last you do in my family.
In my world view, I couldn’t see what the fuss was about — it’s an ashtray with cheap print overlay but Brian, in his opinion, was concerned about the word “pimp” and how that word could possible be related back to him via social network streams and what not, thanks to me. In one innocent posting, I could have possibly marred ever so slightly Brian’s professional reputation.
In short, while I was clearly okay with the posting, Brian certainly was not. And what was even better is that I could do nothing to rectify the situation since there were several days of lag between the posting and Brian’s complaint. Which when I pointed that out to Brian, he didn’t really expect me to DO anything. (Because he wouldn’t want me to change who I am but if it turned out if that word did cause a ripple on his network, he would have to defriend me on the LinkedIn service since it would reflect badly on him. Huh.)
I did, admittedly, get a bit defensive about our conversation but it wasn’t about Brian’s issue with my use of the word “pimp,” rather it’s about after how many years of “social networking,” we (as in the general public we) still do not have an agreed upon consensus on what this all means! Secondly, that the extent of our ramifications of our actions, because we (again the royal “we”) suppose on many different instances where things are definitely stupid (befriending one’s boss on Facebook then apparently talking shit about said boss in one’s status updates, thus causing one to get fired.), we agree they are definitely stupid. It’s the gray area that is troubling.
As most of you know, I don’t have a problem expressing who I am online or off. And in some cases, I’ll tone it down when toning down is warranted. But Brian’s observation about his LinkedIn list did give me some food for thought – how much of social networking responsibility am I willing to carry? In the example Brian laid out, a Twitter update with an image with the words “Amsterdam – Pimp City,” while benign for all intents and purposes, could be seen as not that benign or remotely innocent. While I take responsibility for content that I push onto my social networks and those connected sites (In this case, Twitter ->LinkedIn), and am I still responsible for the content if it’s being aggregated through other people’s LinkedIn profiles that is done without my knowledge?
As someone with a long history of online overshare, it was (and still is) difficult for me to comprehend when people publish information online, regardless of format and they almost always naively believe they can attempt to secure or privatize that information. There is a long standing hacker idiom that goes along the lines of if you want to TRULY secure or privatize your data, wrap the sever in chains and throw it into the ocean. Tada! Instant privatization and security.
Back in ye olde tymey days when LiveJournal was my social network crack of choice, I vacillated between privatizing my account or at least some of my entries so that only approved “friends” could read it and keeping it wide open for the public at large. On the whole, my account was 99% public with only a few private entries available to “friends” with the friends demarcation being those who had accounts on LiveJournal and were reciprocal. The vacillation between public and private posting, for me, has been an ongoing struggle for over a decade. When I posted at modgirl.net from the mid 90s to early ’00s, it was all public. When I started cross-posting between modgirl.net and LiveJournal, it was 99% public. Towards the end of the ’00s, I privatized all the back entries on LiveJournal to the beginning and only kept what was cross-posted from 2008-2010 between my regular blog and LiveJournal as public. And after all that forethougth and decision making, in early 2011 I opened up all of my LiveJournal again to be read by the general public, which included all the cross-postings from around my blog-o-sphere.
On one hand, I firmly believe that all information should be free and available to the public regardless of content. On the other, I’m well aware that there is information sensitive enough that should only be shared between a small group of friends and that publicizing could lead to additional problems/issues down the road. When TheEx and I split in March of 2008, I used LiveJournal to disseminate the information to my friends group at large. When I started detailing TheExe’s mental and physical abuse towards me over the prior two years, that’s when I used LiveJournal to go public with his abuse.
In the case of what I was writing, and how I was writing it and when, I was in control of content access. In the last couple of years, this is not so true anymore. Integration across the networks, marketed to save us time and energy is really a huge privacy issue since I can no longer control absolutely how my data is disseminated, and what is hilarious is that we (the general royal we) really don’t care as long as our pictures are on Facebook and we can check into Foursquare. If I choose, however, to stop pushing content over to LinkedIn from my blog and Twitter accounts, I can more or less guarantee that the content will not be redistributed on their networks. But if I don’t, I run the risk, in the case of Brian’s musing, of my work being used in ways I never thought it would be.
If I am taking responsibility for what I’m posting on my approved social networks, is it my responsibility if those networks choose to aggregate that content in other ways (In this case, LinkedIN pushing updates from “friends” into an email that the user subscribes to that I have no control or access to)? Where do I draw the line, imagined or real, on what I’m posting anymore? This is not 1998 and the only way to get access to my content is via RSS or visiting my site, you can find me anywhere.
And the biggest question of them all: How much should I care?