Thank you so much to all of you who wrote to me to talk about my last post. It made me realize how much I’ve missed the blogging world of over a decade ago when we’d have real discussions in the comments sections and through private messaging. I’m endeavoring to breathe life back into my blogging practice in hopes of rekindling those deeper connections.
Social media (and the internet in general) can be such a vapid, artificial place. It’s refreshing to read and talk to people about real issues that have an effect on our lives, even thought it’s not always ‘nice’ or beautiful.
There are many wonderful social justice warriors out there creating change through their writing, film and innovative use of social media. There is also a lot of complaining without real discussion. So much social media is about people posting the parts of their lives that are the happiest looking, the most affluent, the most beautiful or conversely, whingeing into the great void that is the internet without letting words fall on the ears that can make a difference. Both of these things create a construct that breeds impossible expectations.
We’ll never be beautiful and happy all the time. To think that we will is to deny us more than half of what makes us so achingly, deeply human. There are so many struggles that, I believe, are fundamental to our humanity – those struggles are both excruciatingly private and positively universal at the same time. It’s why respond the way we do to babies’ cries, to puppy and kitten videos, to fiction that ‘rings true’.
Over the past 10 years or so the balance has tipped so far into this crazy place, this hall of mirrors, in which our own opinions are reflected back to us. We are confronted with advertising that is based on our preferences…and, more dangerously, news stories that confirm our biases. The algorithms that govern our daily on-line lives are ubiquitous. Even in the act of writing this I know that it will probably only reach people who already agree with me (at least in part).
I think it’s some of why the analog world of graphic recording has such a broad appeal, such a strong effect. People have an experience. In the same room together, people feel heard. The recording experiences I’ve had involve people’s experiences and opinions moving forward to a group who can take those thoughts and move them forward – powerful, heady stuff. It’s work worth doing, worth sharing, worth talking about.
Thanks again for writing. I’m always here, listening to what you have to say.