It’s funny how things in life are cyclical. Fashion, hair, cars, hell even movies. Everything is getting a reboot. This web site is no exception. What you thought by the title I was moving back to Iowa?
I used to use this site as a place to store a collection of things I wrote (which are all still available albeit horribly formatted now). I used it as a marketing vehicle for me as professional software engineer and even for a short time as a photographer. But 5-10 years ago I had all but decided to close down my personal web site. "Who comes here anyway?" I asked myself. Why do I even need it when there are social media sites of all kinds to “post” my opinion. So this site remained sort of broken, in disrepair and without new content for years.
Meanwhile, over the course of the last four years I have found myself less and less inclined to post or even view Facebook in particular. The state of U.S. Presidential politics in particular and now the sudden extreme racism and hatred that seems have started coming from every far corner of the internet has made it an extremely unpleasant place to spend my time. I find no value in debating people in an online forum and don’t see this as a way to change minds or come to some form of agreement.
I am no longer willing to be an active participant in a platform where it’s become the norm to be horrible to each other.
I used to feel strongly that I would maintain a following of folks who have strong opinions that counter my own. "How else can I form an understanding of the other point of view?" I would ask myself.
I still believe this.
What has changed is I am no longer am willing to be an active participant in platform(s) where it’s become the norm to be horrible to each other. Over the course of the past month I have found myself thinking more and more often of deleting the Facebook app from my phone. The more I think about it the more I realize it's really just a time killer. When I have nothing else to do I pick up the phone and scroll through endless posts. Lately mostly political in nature. Often the result of this is only to dive down some thread which only causes frustration or at worst draws you into a pointless back and forth with someone you don’t even know wasting yet more time.
Paying The Tax
I recall some time ago speaking with someone about holding grudges. The person was holding a grudge against an old friend and had been for the better part of the year. I explained to them that you are paying a fee to hold this grudge. You are putting active energy towards a grudge and someone who is clearly not worth your energy. This is a tax, that you will pay as long as you hold the grudge. Facebook, specifically at this particular time in history is the same. It's a tax on my well-being, stress level, and feeling about people who post there. I pay the tax, without getting anything of value in return. Or at the very least the tax is more than the benefit at the very least.
Facebook is not alone. Twitter can be similar, but I find I am much less prone to follow or descend into the comments on Twitter as opposed to Facebook. Nextdoor, a neighborhood based social network is equally as horrible or maybe worse. I could easily delete this one as the only thing I usually use it for is checking what's going on in the neighborhood when there are many emergency vehicles. There are many less toxic places for this data.
At the end of the day my frustration with these platforms boils down to the fact that I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people.
I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people
All this writing to say, I have decided to move back here as a place to collect my thoughts, my photos (primarily from Instagram), podcast episodes I have participated in and other things in choose to add over time rather than collecting them on another platform.
I will continue to work to add content here as I have time. A list of recent episodes of the Coffee & Code cast for instance and a feed of Instagram photos.
Will I still post on Facebook from time to time? Sure. You will likely see this very article posted there in fact. I will not engage with any comments if any that are generated as a result of the Facebook post.
Where To Find Me
So if you're not going to come here, you will still find me posting links to things I write here on Facebook, and Twitter.
Occasionally you'll see me post on Twitter. I don't post a lot. Generally it will be about my podcast, or reposts from Instagram or here. That being said I do post there on occasion and maybe it will become better place to post my feelings in small doses.
Instagram is where I post the bulk of my "good" photos. I try to curate what I post here rather than spam it with content. So follow me up there if your interested in my photography work.