It's been a while since I've blogged — like, properly blogged. It wasn't until I stumbled into an ex-Googlers personal blog and read some of the non-tech writeups that I realized, 'hey, I used to do that too!'. I've also stopped voicing my personal opinions on social media completely. Not sure if this is because of me growing older — and as I'd like to believe, wiser, or this is some sort of "chilling effect" at work on liberals under a right-wing rulership that casually labels people without cause.
I cannot put up with Facebook. I've turned off all possible ways for Facebook to notify my phone (no app installed!) and my email. Gmail helpfully stashes things in the "Social" tab, but I've gone the extra mile to rid myself entirely off Facebook notifications. Occasionally, I visit the site to check notifications, but never scroll below the fold — for whatever unspoken horrors that may exist. Facebook also reminds me of my rants and "hot-takes" that would've found a comfortable home here rather than a controversial space there. In hindsight, it was definitively narcissistic. There's absolutely no sane reason to rally people around my opinions, including election choices. There's no consensus worth building in those spaces at the cost of burning a lot of bridges. It's not worth it.
Twitter is a manageable dumpster-fire. My contributions on Twitter are mainly complaints to services I use, comments on tech, and cheering on those lovely, heart-warming zoo animals.
There are many things people don't tell you about growing old. One of them is a marked decrease in your urge to share your "brilliant" understanding of the nature of reality with the world. The brain goes, 'Shhush! Everyone has their own theory'. Unsure if the introvert brain naturally evolves this way, but I have zero desire to catch hold of someone and have a conversation to discuss hot-button topics, or anything, really. Not even movies and TV shows. It's so tedious. The ongoing pandemic just has me doubling down on my already limited socialization policy.
Another thing is how your body develops physiological issues. Who knew about stomach ulcers or how they could feel like kidney-stones. I thought ulcers were de facto, exclusive to the mouth. Then this pricking pain on my left side brought forward a series of questions. Anyway, that only took a few days to debug and resolve. But moments like these (and trips to the dentist) do get you thinking — about Life, the Universe, and everything.
What's been a revelation is my renewed capacity to keep myself from being bored. It's ducking incredible. Back when I was a kid, there were a few lazy summers with no one around to play. I vaguely remember building tents beneath the dining table, or tying up long lengths of thick string and wrapping it around hooks and edges to create some sort of [barely-functional] pulley system that would pointlessly pour a steel vessel full of water into another. The outcome needed no external validation or certification. Even if I got some response that happened to be positive — if anyone could even comprehend what I had done — my response was "meh", because I was fundamentally working on my "Glorious Purpose". As a kid, I probably played with Lego's well beyond most of my peers. It was something I liked to do, and it had to be done.
There was always...always, something to do. And it got done.
THAT, thanks heavens, still holds true.
The computer opened a whole new world of things that had to be done. And they are being done.
May I remind you again — this is a dream — and in dreams, you can do anything you darn please.