It’s no secret I despise the flawed technology everyone else seems fine with. Even while writing this blog I had to deal with a sketchy Internet connection which wasted the better part of an hour of my life; an hour I cannot get back as with all the hours spent online doing what we authors are told is necessary.
This Sunday I will be pulling the plug on facebook forever; not merely deactivating—not just taking a break—but deleting my account.
Why would an author or writer ever do this when “experts” tell us we should be on social media to create a following which may lead to people reading our blogs who then might decide to buy our books? Should, may, and might are words used by politicians and other con-men to dupe the unsuspecting, the uninformed, and the gullible. I am none of those any longer. I did however willingly join in the lie of social media five years ago, and stayed two years longer than I planned. Perhaps this was out of a false sense of loyalty to relative strangers on the Internet, or it’s possible I’m more of an egotist than I thought. Maybe solitude finally got to me? Nah. I’ll let you know if and when I figure it out.
Many of the people I’m leaving behind were kind and supportive and they have all been thanked for their encouragement along the way.
Some shared my warped sense of humour and we had some laughs. These people will be missed. Just like childhood friends, former co-workers, or old neighbours, they are genuine when they say you will be missed, but they will get busy with their lives and soon forget about you. It is the way of things.
I have been a harsh critic of social media and facebook a.k.a fakebook a.k.a. flakebook in particular, for its practices i.e. privacy, data collection, and mental conditioning algorithms. I realize now my preaching abstinence there was as effective as a priest giving a sermon on morality in a whorehouse.
It felt hypocritical and it’s time to cut the cord.
I hope my remaining facebook friends, who might stumble across this, find the peace and joy I once had and am attempting to get back in touch with again.
I am so sick of computers and everywhere they take us.
Being a writer means being married to your computer. Things are made worse if you are a published author because you also have long term commitments to social media and publishing sites. My almost one-year-old Dell is an evil wife. She has melted down twice in the short time we have been together; a RED FLAG if ever there was one. So why continue to put up with the daily torment of weak WiFi, boggy performance due to updates and background processes, and the general stupidity of the online world when there is little or no money in it?
I can do other things.
The real question is: What other things can I do which don’t involve computers? I could reinvent myself once again as a post modernist painter. I might use my initials to create a new artist identity: Ethan Alfonso? It has an artsy ring to it. I could add a hook as well: All Alfonso’s are painted in the nude. Post modernist erotic portraits of lonely housewives and divorcées, painted by a still pretty hot naked guy, should get me laid more than writers do. The fee for such commissioned portraits would certainly exceed what I make as a writer; perhaps several times over. For a tiny initial investment—far less than book publishing—I could whip off a bunch of samples to lean against the walls of my apartment for prospective clients to peruse; perhaps over wine, if they are hot. I could sell some works beach-side while working on my tan. Once summer ends here, I can move into a spacious van and travel to various beach communities down South, chasing the warmth of the sun, and making Canadian winters something I don’t do anymore.
What’s the worst that could happen?
It’s possible I might be killed by a jealous husband, but this has always been my preferred check-out plan anyway.
Sounds like a worthwhile endeavour to me.
Where is that art supply store?
I’d Google it, but this hunk of junk Dell—soon to be ex wife—sucks harder than the vacuum of space during a hull breach on the Enterprise.
Most days I root for humanity . . . some days I root for space rocks.
If you enjoy reading about patriarchy and the puppet masters, you are in the right place.
In my storied online “career” (?), I was a good, not so little, author who played nice in the early years. I “friended” and/or followed approximately 10,000 people, sites, and pages because that was what we were told was necessary to promote our books and build a platform to launch us. However, as I delved deeper into the publishing world, I found out it was all a sham to keep us busy, and, most importantly of all, to keep us blowing money. Now, after five years and spending months cleaning out my social media accounts, I have about 300 interesting “friends” and follow about 300 others.
Some of the people I axed were butt-hurt.
If they were true supporters, they were given my reasons, but most were people who never engaged in all the years I kept them around. This idea of “friending” or “following” just to have impressive numbers is laughable, and anything but social.
My new antisocial media program is simple.
If I am ever to make enough time to write seriously again, social media has to go—except twitter—I love my twitter in the mornings over coffee, and I can “misbehave” there. I have a new ‘boobies and books’ theme I am thoroughly enjoying. Do I care some will be offended? F-ck no. Do I care about the imagined publisher or agent passing on me because I don’t conform? Hells no. It’s just bullshit “they” feed newbies. The right agent or publisher will get me, or I will self-publish again, but in a much smaller way.
Any problem-solver will tell you that big problems are made up of a number of smaller more manageable and completely solvable issues.
Here are some big problems:
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the antics of their President and his gangsters.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the possibility of elections tampering.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by what appears to be the rise of fascism.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by racism.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by sexism.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the lack of federal government assistance to Americans hit by natural disasters.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the loss of American military personnel being used in foreign lands allegedly to “protect” American interests; or to bring “freedom” to people nearly bombed into extinction.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the ever-increasing loss of privacy in the emerging security state.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the lack of senate and congressional oversight and accounting for the 21 TRILLION DOLLARS OF TAXPAYER’S MONEY spent primarily by the military and security agencies in recent years.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the deportation tactics of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who are willing to “just follow orders”.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by how “normal” mass shootings have become and how quickly they are forgotten.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED by the exceedingly poor quality Presidential candidates offered up by both parties in the last election.
Many Americans are OUTRAGED . . . we could go on and on, but it is time to look at what they all have in common.
Americans are OUTRAGED, and they should be!
But the sheer quantity of things causing them to be outraged is what keeps them from getting off their butts to do anything about ANY of these issues. There is a new big problem, reported in their media, which causes them to be outraged almost every day—new threats—new scandals—new protests. . . Their news sources bombard them with new and exciting things to be outraged about to keep them from becoming FOCUSED on any one GOAL.
It is time every American became FOCUSED on their own personal GOAL to aid in fixing America.
This will require that you not be DISTRACTED or DIVERTED or DIVIDED by the daily nonsense being pumped out of Washington.
You will need to be PROACTIVE, because merely being REACTIVE just helps those in power maintain the status quo while moving their agendas forward.
Let’s look at why being reactive has not moved America towards positive change for over 60 years; while also looking at some of the time-wasting ineffectual reactive responses of outraged, but well-meaning, Americans who simply lacked a clear vision of how to create change.
PICKING A SIDE is a reactive response. We see this all the time on social media where Democrats are attempting to inform the public of the government’s latest insult to the American way of life, as though they are some kind of trusted news source. Some of them believe they can change the views of a Republican by informing them of the latest dirt on their party’s members. Some will engage in debates with GOP, Tea Party, and even white supremacist members, and then will resort to petty name-calling when they fail to make a dent.
None of this accomplishes anything because the GOAL is to convert people. You will only get a few rational fence-sitters for all your efforts, and this is not nearly enough to fix the big problems.
SUPPORTING A CAUSE is a reactive response. IT FEELS GOOD to be a part of a protest march for women’s rights, or to stop a pipeline, or to occupy Wall Street.
If the march only accomplishes a heightened awareness or rehashing of the issues rather than producing immediate results or an actionable plan; then we have no choice but to stamp it “ineffectual”.
WORKING A CAUSE within an organization of people with a clear GOAL is the proactive response.
It will mean getting up, showing up, and joining up. Some of you might even throw some money at it.
If you vote Republican without joining the party so you have a voice; then you are not helping.
Almost all of America’s biggest OUTRAGE inducing problems are a result of a government representatives lacking either a conscience or the bravery to stand up to the bankers, agencies, corporations, and other groups who believe themselves to be out of the reach of the taxpayer’s wrath. Keep this in mind when you are asked to choose, nominate, or support a candidate.
Only YOUR INVOLVEMENT can create a tidal wave of change.