The internet used to provide this for me, it was my first outlet where I felt I could express myself where people might listen to me, actually not even might, did, and they interacted with the raw fleshy pulp of my feelings in ways that allowed me much more validation, and a better interaction with the world.
These ideas, were, mostly, without much depth. I mean, I was a teenager, but I was happy to express them, and I aggregated my own section of content, and reblogged things, and I left my own tiny mark on the world. (First through a variety of chat rooms, and eventually lashing out at LJ with the gunk that accretes around my brain.)
And then, I stopped. It was a slow process, was it just growing up, or was it part of the medium shift? I moved from Livejournal to Facebook, because Facebook made it easier to keep up with a few people, and it was easier to organise events. And because Livejournal had, even then, been withering for awhile. And to start with, my Facebook just mirrored my LJ, but as Facebook picked up more steam, I swapped more and more to it.
But Facebook uses magic to provide content to people, not any kind of direct output system, and so I have no idea if people see things I see on Facebook.
But then, in a betrayal of the younger me, I picked up a filter on the output. I decided that people like me more if I curtail the edges of what I produce, if I don’t talk about deep ideas that occur to me, or I cage the parts of my feelings that bubble and spill.
And then I filtered more, to make the feelings the kind of happy feelings that I feel like society wants. Because I don’t want to be a burden, or because well intentioned comments from friends make me feel like talking about my moods is me being overly pessimistic.
And no one likes a pessimist.
Which is a pretty massive problem for society as a whole, since if we never listen to negative opinions, we wind up in echo chambers. But the internet has been stratifying back out into more and more echo chambers as more people get it, just because it’s too big a place, and hell, it’s what society in general does.
But it’s a little bit weird, right? Like, suddenly I’m no longer talking about any of the political issues that matter to me, or posting snippets of fiction, or trying to craft poetry, because I self censored that sometime over the last 6 years, and it doesn’t come back without effort.
And because writing is a creative exercise, and if you don’t make time for it, it doesn’t happen, and my day job is now of the variety where I get home and I want to let my brain vegetate for awhile. But then I look up, and it’s 10 o clock, and I just want to sleep.
There’s another insidious filter, which is the filter where I don’t feel like I can be as open with the public as I used to be. It used to be that I would merrily discuss all of the inner workings of my relationships, and the stuff around my job. But now I feel like there’s too much judgement inherent in the posting of that layer of thoughts.
The thing is,I miss that layer of thoughts, and I exceptionally miss having people to share that layer with.
I’m back to thinking I should post things daily, I miss the me from 5 seconds ago, yet alone the me from 5 years ago. I want to reconnect to the dreams of the 20 year old who thought his words could shape reality.
When I reread the above post, it’s really hard to hit post, because it feels so self pitying and self absorbed. This self doubt imp is really hard to get past.