…almost, since I posted here. Somehow life and the pandemic and the podcast (PowerPivot) and everything conspired and the grass has grown long and the fields have lain fallow.
Ironically, what brings me back here is at least in part the new Facebook format, which is somehow physically painful for me to look at.
And partly quarantine from the pandemic.
And partly a kind of fallow moment in my own life, full of ideas but becalmed, waiting, or not even that but just being. It’s like I stripped all the nutrients out of my own soil, trying to survive, and finally there was nothing left except time and rain and decomposing bugs and seeds blown in from another field.
And as the soil begins to come to life, I find that I am neither enjoying nor contributing on social media as I used to.
I have been trying to reach some sort of compromise-escape from the lure of social media for quite a while now, even tagging some Facebook posts with #deFB. I started a Feedly account and then forgot about it, but I am back to it now. I want to deliberately read things I mean to more often than I read whatever is thrust into my hands.
Which means I’m reaching back to pre-social-media web habits: feed readers, longform writing and reading, separating the reading from the administrative tasks. I’m delighted to discover that Feedly will even collect newsletters from people who want to send them to me, if I wish. I wonder what I will .want. in my Feedly, and what belongs elsewhere? If you are writing for me to read, that’s one thing. If you’re writing for me to buy, that’s something else. And how will that impact what I write, and for whom?
My body has not felt the deep, grounded pleasure of centeredness in quite a while now. Surely, the pandemic is part of it. Survival does not lend itself to that in its most acute form. But I am finding my way. I am digesting the cast-off wings of long forgotten bugs, and reveling in the movement of worms and birds and voles and wind and sunlight.
The internet is not evil. It has brought us together, opened our minds, brought us joy. In the end it is a conduit for humans, and humans can bring us together, open our minds, bring us joy…and even bring us back to ourselves.
I invite you to make Feedly.com or your own feed reader the (or a) default page on your browser.
I invite you to sit down with blogs and coffee, like we did fifteen years ago.
I invite you to create your own curated feed, instead of dodging algorithms. What do you want to read? What do you wish to know? What gives you pleasure?