Tag Archives: internet

Necessary Evil

Nobody likes eleven hour flights. As much as I love going to places on the other side of the world, I don’t like eleven hour flights. But I need them. 

I frequently find it impossible to disconnect from the world. I feel itchy if I don’t have a wifi connection that can help me connect with people. Some of that I’m sure has to do with the volunteer work I do for Worldcon, but it’s also because of how I keep in touch with the majority of my friends and family. 

For the last five years I’ve lived at least several hours away from the large groups of people that I love and I used the internet very heavily as a crutch to keep in contact with them as I didn’t have the money to visit as frequently as I would have liked. 

Now, while I have the means to visit my friends frequently, I still live mostly in isolation and my phone and my laptop are very real extensions of myself that allow me to keep up with the world around me and the world my friends are in. 

But sometimes, I just need silence. I don’t get as much as I should. The ability to be connected to everyone has turned into what feels like an addiction, and even if I’ve sworn I’d put my phone away for dinner, I’ll sneak away to the bathroom to catch up. The ability to connect like this allows us to ignore our reality, and to a certain extent, ourselves. 

So, what does an eleven hour flight have to do with this? Well, turns out that most flights from Tokyo to England or the US lack wifi. I cannot connect. It’s a blessing and a curse. After I get rid of the shakes that come with the realization that I can’t in fact open Chrome and play on Tumblr or Facebook, I relax. I listen to music, I read a book, I sleep, I ignore the rest of the world, sometimes I even write. I cannot be productive in the usual way that I crave to be, but I am given the time to recharge so that I can be. 

I hate eleven hour flights. I love eleven hour flights. 

Stutter

I am always a little bit in awe of my friend, John.

He is a writer, and he manages to post to his blog every single day. There are exceptions to this when he is traveling and taking a break from the internet, but for the most part, I get a notification every day from WordPress in my inbox letting me know that he has some thoughts that he’s dropped on the internet.

I know that this is something that John has spent years doing, and that because he is a writer it is something that he should be doing to hone his craft, but I always feel like a bit of a failure when I can’t string enough words together to make a post about where I’ve been and where I’m going. It’s not that I don’t want to share, I post all the time on FB and Twitter, but I always feel that I have an obligation to put something better together for WordPress. Deeper thoughts. Things that will contribute to the conversation of society. When I am stuck in this cycle of self-doubt, I of course never manage to remember that one of the things that John is famous for is taping bacon to his cat and taking pictures of it.

It’s easy to waste words on social media. Why is a blog so sacred? I’m sure the lack of privacy is a part of it. I could lock down certain posts, but then why bother to type them? Why not keep them in the bound journal that I keep with me. It’s not like I have nothing to write about, either. I’m on the second leg of my two and a half month long bounce around the country.

I think one of the most frustrating parts of this struggle is that I don’t know where this goal comes from. I have no desire to be a writer, though I have occasionally daydreamed about winning a Hugo. There is no story that I feel the need to tell, just guilt when another day passes without a post. Writing helps keeps the mind sharp, but so does reading and being creative in other ways and it’s not like I’m skipping out on that.

I will say, that writing here helps me explore my thoughts, and that is always a good thing. I very rarely start with something specific to say, just a nebulous thought that I want to hammer out and writing seems like the best way to do that when Will isn’t around to talk to. Writing this post has helped me trace some of these feelings to my desire to be good at everything, so I’ll always be needed and always have a place. The fear of being useless or forgotten manifests in odd ways.

But my fingers are getting tired* and there is a consuite full of friends waiting for me. I think chatting with them will help much more with my fears than sitting alone in a semi-dark hotel room wondering what the internet will think of my word choice.

*Another reason I could never be a writer, my hands cramp up waaaaay to quickly for me to have a word count of any substance to hit.

Jumping on the bandwagon

Relatively soon you’ll see (if you’re looking) a vlog by me for VEDA. VEDA is explained in the video so you can either watch that or head on over to Google.

Anyways, it is my latest attempt to consistently add to the clutter of the internet. I think video might be a better way to do this. I’m not so great at writing consistently (see how empty my archives here are…) and it’s not that I don’t write. I start three or four new blog posts every day but I don’t ever get around to posting because 1. I can’t find a way to close the post and/or 2. I don’t really think that what I’m writing will be interesting to other people/people will think I’m weirder than they already so if they read my thoughts.

Now I realize that in general #2 is not a great reason for not posting, but in the moment, in my head, it’s a great reason not to click that little clue button.

We’ll see how the vlogging business goes.