My absence, explained

There’s been some radio silence on this blog for the last while. My folks called me to ask if anything is wrong. Nothing is, but perhaps I should explain.

I was 21 in 1993, when I first heard about and started using the internet. I was enthused. I subscribed to Wired and Mondo 2000. The promise of a globally connected world was hard to fathom, and expectations were high. I made a career out of it. For a good long while, the internet was great for me. In so many ways, it still is.

But now it’s everywhere. And with this phone, it’s always nearby. And while being connected can be great, it has its downsides. The endless scroll of social media endlessly beckons. At some point, I stopped reading books. Boredom is a thing of the past with the latest news at my fingertips, but the news is rarely good.

I miss the noticing and wondering about real world things that often comes right after the sense of boredom sets in. This used to happen everywhere and all the time. Waiting for a bus, or a ride, or an appointment, or a lunch order.

Being connected is great, but it also means being ‘on’. Even when I don’t intend or need to be available, if I am checking my emaiil, I am ‘on’.

It’s good to know what’s happening in current events, and we have a responsibility to be informed members of the electorate. I wonder though: how many casual connections with strangers in my community have I missed, because I look occupied while I thumb-type, or because I don’t have to ask for directions anymore?

I’ve taken steps. I purchased a flip phone, and use it when I feel I am getting too involved with my iPhone on a day to day basis. More recently, I’ve tried keeping the smartphone out of my bedroom, too. I don’t want it to be the last thing I look at every night, and the first thing I look at every morning.

And that’s why I haven’t been blogging about gratitude every day. My ritual used to be to compose that post on my phone, and it would be the last thing I’d do in a day before switching out the light. Truth is, I just haven’t found another place for that in my routine now that my phone doesn’t reside within arm’s reach while I sleep.

I miss the gratitude post though. I think that was a big reason for my career change to become an artist. That’s another story. I would like to work a daily gratitude practise into my routine again, so if you are wondering what I am up to, stay tuned.

Or, if I may be so bold, call me and ask me how I’m doing. Don’t text, call. I’d love to hear from you, and you don’t have to worry about waking me up.

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