If one judged me by my usage of LiveJournal and Angelfire in high school, it would be easy to assume that I would spend my adult life vomiting ideas and opinions onto the internet. In truth, my half-hearted attempts to create a blog litter my hard drive and the later pages of google search results.
Much like many other people I know, I think I got too comfortable with social media. First it was just easier to post content on the various platforms – did my opinions and ideas really warrant a full website? Maybe occasionally, but certainly not on a regular basis. As time drew on, I found that retweeting and sharing content could replace my voice – because seriously, who needed another twenty-something white software developer rephrasing the same political, environmental, philosophical, or professional arguments? Lending my ‘voice’ became easier. A click or two and I’ve endorsed somebody’s content, whatever that may be worth.
I started out creating content for the proto-social networks of my day: LiveJournal, Angelfire, DeviantArt, and various forums (Oh Megatokyo RP forum, thy angsty adolescent memories shall never die). Today, I just consume and regurgitate content I see.
Its problematic because I’ve lost touch with what it means to create, to express, to share with the world my little corner of imagination. I firmly believe the internet is better when everyone on it customizes it, makes it messy, pollutes it with their own ideas. The internet is, at its best and worst, a reflection of the humans that use it. I used to contribute to that reflection. Now, at best, I comment on it.
So here’s to changing that. Here’s to participating in culture, in society, in humanity. Its harder than just consuming culture, but its worth it.
PS: Yes I know, wordpress.com is a social network. But it is a damn cool one that allows for a lot more expression than twitter or facebook. Tumblr’s okay, I guess, but its set up for consuming content more than creating it. I also could have made this site myself, but that’s a lot of work and I got shit to do. Consider this public presence site v0.1.