So maybe today’s request to RTFM is about as technical as it’s all been recently around here, but it’s valid. I think it’s less that people fail to read the manuals (or email) I send them, but by and large, I don’t know because most of the time I don’t hear back. I mean, much of the time I don’t expect to, but then all of a sudden there will be an email from someone asking how things are going and I’m thinking… I don’t know, how closely were you following when I wrote you a while back? Mainly cause I don’t expect people to answer everything, people have lives and all, but the effort it takes to write a single email means a lot of other shit doesn’t get done, and if I’m throwing a lot of notes into the void, I’d rather it be a big void in the hopes that a few people read it and can opt to respond straightaway or save till later.
And I know what people’s inboxes look like, so I know “saving until I get a chance to respond in a meaningful way” never really works out, and truthfully, hell, internet, there are no secrets here. So if you just get an email from me in the future here and there that links to a post here, it ain’t personal… But my problem is not the normal lack of time, nor is it the lack of something to say. It’s that I don’t have the energy to say it coherently, especially if I have no idea if what I’m saying gets to the desired inbox to start with. I mean, Mr. Shoe has letters and pictures in his gmail inbox of some kid playing a tuba in a junior high marching band. We have no friggin’ idea who this kid is, who this proud parent is trying to really reach, and if this parent is really proud, why they insist on making this poor little boy walk around his middle school wearing a feathered fez and toting a tuba and then send the evidence to total strangers.
So look, it ain’t personal… Or even impersonal… It’s more like an economic thing for me. If you haven’t written, I don’t think you’re an ass or a bad person (because I know I will get some people writing that they’re such a bad friend or family member or Nigerian spammer… um, so do you want me to disagree or agree or what? I mean, life goes on. I get it. If you are doing it intentionally, I would like to know, but I really doubt that anyone is. It’s hard, I get it. Really.) And incidentally, no, I am not ever joining Facebook. And believe me, Facebook lets me know every two days or so who all since the Mesozoic era has sent me friend requests, as well as those who have not made the request, but shared their contacts like a bunch of boobs so that Facebook knows that I know them. The only other place that spams the living crap out of me like that is FTD, but at least it’s because I bought friggin’ flowers from them a few times.
There are other reasons I won’t join Facebook (and why I am on Twitter and Indenti.ca). First, I can get into less trouble with the 140 character limit. If I spout off something in a moment of annoyance it’s only a 140 character bitchfest. Therefore, people tend to get less alarmed. Now, if I write a post here, it generally takes some good healthy effort and thought. I may not be thinking clearly, but I am more likely to put in the time to try to at least be accurate in conveying the overall point and emotion. Facebook is a dangerous mix for me — it’s easier to update on the go, it’s got more of a chance than a 140 character transmission to be alarming and totally fug up the message I’m trying to get across. Since I have many friends and family members who I know are world class worriers, and since my situation is worrisome and I’m prone to hyperbole and really unfortunate typos if I’m buzzing along not thinking so clearly… I stay away to avert disaster.
Also, I don’t like to grow carrots and rhubarb and stuff in real life, why the hell would I do it online? Why the hell do I want to hear about it if you do?
So anyway, most updates in my situation are just going up here now. I know that I shouldn’t tell the whole damn world everything, but I can password protect posts too… Although at this point, I really don’t care that much. I also know this point isn’t always going to be right here. But I also have learned that laying it all out on the table beforehand, for me, tends to minimize the chances of any unpleasant surprises or disappointments further down the line.
For those friends and family that are super nice, but not very techno-savvy (and some of you will get that reference. One or two of you. Maybe.) there’s easy ways of following along. I mean, bookmarks are lovely. But Firefox and Chrome (oh, what the hell am I thinking, super nice, not techno-savvy… using IE, aren’t you?) can follow in the browser aggregator. If you click on the little orange dot with two lines up in your address bar, it’ll add updates to a feed reader, and you can see them all in one place without coming here. And yeah, some of the rest of are laughing. S’awright, I laugh with and at you all equally on a regular basis. Ha ha ha. See?
Or, if I want you to know something in particular a little straighter away, I’ll probably send the link via email. Or tweet it. Probably email though, if you’re someone I email anyway. Twitter’s an awful lot like standing in a crowded room and every one screams simultaneously. That’s fun and all, but sometimes it’s hard to hear for hours after you leave.
This way, I know if I’m writing something (and this is a monumental effort right now) at least it will reach everyone I really want it to, as well as those I don’t know well but I know care, and no one gets left out or can’t go back and keep up. Better yet, I don’t sink energy into something that never hits the intended target, but gets blown out to the far reaches of the internet by a fez wearing tuba player.