One of the peculiarities of keeping a personal blog is that the things you write about yourself diverge from your current state, either quickly or slowly. I feel an obligation to you, the reader, to occasionally provide an update re: how my views or habits have changed from what I’ve previously written. So without further ado …
In August of 2015 I wrote the post “I Quit Facebook and I Don’t Miss It“. I deleted my account entirely and stayed off Facebook for over a year, not missing it. But around December of last year I started to feel the need to connect online with friends and acquaintances in regards to what was happening politically in our country. Ironically, several of my friends were quitting Facebook at the same time, overwhelmed with the vitriolic political posts they were seeing.
Initially I resisted the urge, but when City Car Share was absorbed by Getaround, I was forced to get a Facebook account if I wanted to sign up for the latter. I decided to give Facebook another go, with the following use guidelines:
- Keep my Facebook friend count to less than 100.
- Manage my feed more actively, hide stuff I don’t want to see.
- Share more often, avoid the lurker mentality.
- Don’t engage in any sort of debate with people I don’t know well.
I do debate random commenters here on the blog, but that’s different. First of all, I can moderate, and secondly, there’s no risk of straining a friendship by having a vehement disagreement with a friend of a friend.
My experience returning to Facebook has been good, mostly thanks to my new self-imposed rules. I no longer feel that the site has any addictive pull. I probably spend about 10 minutes a day on Facebook, and enjoy seeing pictures of my friends’ kids, pets, and vacations. I haven’t become much more politically engaged, as I thought I might, but I do feel more connected with friends I don’t see that often in person.
In July of 2015 I deleted my reddit account and stopped going to the site, mostly because I was disgusted by reddit’s tolerance of openly racist subreddits. reddit is not a public space–it’s a privately held company–and they have no obligation to protect hateful speech.
Shortly after I wrote that post, reddit changed their content policy and banned the most evil subs. I didn’t immediately go back to the site; I’d been spending too much time there anyway.
But I have to admit I’ve been sucked back in, and I check the front page of reddit most days. I also sometimes check my favorite subs like /r/ImaginaryWildlands.
I do find I enjoy reddit more not having an account. When I find myself wanting to upvote or downvote or comment on a reddit post, I just wave my mouse pointer over the arrow buttons and mutter to myself, which is equally satisfying.
Putting Vegetables in Smoothies
Just last month I wrote “That’s one reason you won’t find me jamming heads of raw kale into a megablender and guzzling down green sludge.” While that’s still true, I will admit to putting a few raw spinach leaves in my afternoon smoothie. In an attempt to consume less caffeine I’ve started to imbibe a plant-based, mostly raw blended drink each afternoon instead of an iced coffee (well, sometimes in addition to, but mostly instead of). Usually it includes some frozen blueberries, organic pomegranate juice, raw spinach, maybe a little fresh ginger, that sort of thing. Admittedly it tastes weird, but Rhonda Patrick has won me over to the idea of including a daily blended drink high in antioxidants and micronutrients.
My short story “The Beef” is included in Event Horizon, the 2017 anthology of authors eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (of science fiction and/or fantasy). You can download the anthology in most digital formats, at no cost, until July 15, via the link above.
It’s a huge anthology, with over 75 authors and nearly 400K words of fantasy and science fiction. I’ve only read a small percentage so far, but one of my favorite stories is “DAS STEINGESCHÖPF” by G.V. Anderson (also published in Strange Horizons).
Is there something I’ve written about in the past that you have a question about? Ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond.