Hate is a strong word, but yes, today I hate the internet. Being a fan of irony ( I say this ironically), I thought it important to use it as a soapbox at least one more time before deciding how to proceed.
One last time as in, Sayanora sweethearts. I’m seriously considering deleting this blog, my Facebook account & the new mamma blog I was going to launch tomorrow after more than six months of research & development. I have also begun the process of unsubscribing from nearly every mailing list I’m on.
There are more than a few reasons for my looming disapproval & disillusionment, but the biggest being that I have never felt so disconnected in my entire life.
Not from myself, mind you, but from real, live people & from the natural planet that spins us with it daily.
I know I just moved from a tiny island community & that making connections takes time, but trust me, I felt it there, too. I’d “see” people more on Facebook than in real time- brief little wall posts standing in for the nurturing & support we are truly meant to give our friends & loved ones. No offense people. You know I love you. Life’s busy. I get it.
Maybe I’ve just got my panties in a big twist because I recently found out IN A FACEBOOK MESSAGE that someone deeply important to me died. A FACEBOOK MESSAGE? REALLY?
This, the day after I received a beautiful surprise care package from a former yoga student whose life has only briefly intersected mine. I am holding onto that kind of kindness as proof that there are people out there willing to take the time to express their care & concern. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with many throughout my life…
Or maybe it’s because we’ve moved to be closer to family & can count on one hand how many times we’ve gathered in the last year, instead getting updates by posted photos & an occasional text.
Do we really think that a little time connecting on a social media platform can serve as a substitute for the real deal? Am I the only one who feels hurt by such realities?
Or maybe it’s just that I’m pissed off that I’ve worked for nearly two decades “honing my craft” only to have a friggen influx of “writers” flood the front lines. Articles & posts get published with a myriad of mistakes by writers who don’t even know what the word myriad means. I don’t mean to sound snotty even though I know it does sound snotty. Right now I am snotty. Maybe always a little bit snotty, in fact. Maybe this is my karma kicking my ass for being a know-it-all snot face.
But my karma can’t be all bad. I’ve spent a good half of my life supporting people in embracing their creativity & just spent the last three months offering tips & insights on how to take that creativity one step further by bridging it with a sense of business & professionalism.
Professionalism as in you get paid for your efforts. Business as in a return for your investments.
What seems to be happening is that people are so eager to get their work out there that they’re willing to do it for free or for very little at all, setting up a system that ultimately fails the professional writer. I’m guilty of it to some extent, too. I didn’t pay myself for writing those three months of posts, & in fact, paid a sitter to come in so I could sit & write with clarity & professionalism. WHY? Well how about the irony of the next paragraph? The timing is perfect….
I JUST NOW got an email in my inbox from FAST COMPANY, a daily newsletter that I may or may not continue to subscribe to. The subject line? “Is exposure better than money?”
Interestingly enough- I cannot find the article link that goes with it, so your guess is as good as mine, & probably pending particulars pursuant to your present situation. How do you like that for sickening alliteration? If they’re willing to only expose my good side, maybe? Isn’t that the illusion on the web, after all?
Even more ludicrous is the notion of paying a submission fee to enter a contest- with no prize to win at all. I kid you not, I just got a personal request from a design agency fifteen minutes ago asking me to enter their new logo contest. As a non member, I would have to pay $98 to enter, & the prize would be…. glory? An ego stroke? There was not a thing listed.
I don’t need an ego stroke. (Though right now maybe I do). I need compensation for my efforts in the form of m-o-n-e-y, thank you very much. Or quite possibly a trade, as the bartering system has always worked well for me in the past.
An exchange of value. A SENSE OF WORTH.
ENERGY OUT. ENERGY IN. Or so the ideal goes.
& that’s the problem for so many of us. We invest so much energy into this completely abstract world, expecting it to give us a return. When it doesn’t, it flips any sense of our equilibrium akimbo.
Pardon me if I’ve pulled you into the equation. Perhaps you don’t feel this way at all & have become a sensei of your screen time, a conscious consumer of the cyber world. As for me, my heart does not belong in my ass where it currently seethes & resides. My eyes do not belong in the back of my head, waiting to see if there’s something I missed to better get it right. & my soul definitely does not belong all bent out of shape over something I have no control over.
That said, I’m going to leave for a while. Maybe go play with some paint & laser prints. Write a couple of letters by hand in cursive, complete with forever stamp. Craft a story about an angry young Cuban girl searching for the truth about her father, in a time long before Facebook became the stand-in for matters of the heart.
See you on the flip side.