Personal Jesus

Here we are, at the start of a new week: already, there is a feeling of cautious optimism. There is a list of stuff I’d like to doย before bedtime. That’s it. No stressing or forcing. Before arriving here there was some progress on written projects, a plan for today’s scheduled work and how I knock off the last two pieces of backlog. Arguto gets some love today. However, that’s not what I’m here for. Today, I want to talk about guilt.

Every so often you’ll see someone who’s catapulted to prominence have a hater go digging back though their tweets to find summat to smear them with. With over 200k’s worth of stuff to my name, that’s gonna be a fun ask when the time comes… but yeah, there’s probably a lot of regrettable stuff buried in all of this. In fact, should it ever come down to that situation, that might be the moment to start again. If you want to know after that, go look in the Library of Congress. They’ll have it all saved regardless.

Then I look at this, the story of a woman who has made her name attacking people and things she does not like in public, and increasingly finding that those actions damage her own existence, to the point where she’s now personally in financial trouble. I’m not sure if the fact her kids are protected from her shortcomings is really a redeeming action, and I certainly don’t possess Jack Monroe’s generosity of spirit. This is the perfect example of ‘actions have consequences’ย and the warning anyone in the public eye should be using to think twice before ANYTHING stupid gets tweeted in anger.

So, does anybody really learn from Social media? It is hard to believe that’s the case when certain individuals continue to tweet hate-filled diatribes. Those who go to the other extreme and want only love and compassion might also find themselves in a bit of hot water if they’re not 100% watertight on the persona. That’s the thing with an abundance of data: at some point, somebody will test the waters. Spotify is the latest online giant being questioned by the mediaย but honestly, wherever your data is shared, this is now a very real possibility.

There’s an answer, of course, to all of this. Just be yourself, and be honest. If yourself is decent, mostly fair and tries to be kind as often as possible? Really, not an issue. If you’re a racist xenophobe, well that could still be mostly okay because there’s 40% of the UK right up there with you. At least you won’t feel alone, but there MIGHT come a moment where you end up being challenged on those beliefs, and you never know. That could cost you a job too.

Some days, personal shortcomings are the least of your problems.

Let Me Go

Yesterday there was a meltdown, which although much needed was not optimal when placed alongside what needs to happen this week. I’ve been bitten twice after being in the garden, body’s reaction is pretty unpleasant. There’s been a commitment to a 100km ride there may not be the legs for, and it’s not even 10am. So, why have I decided to write about winning? Because all of this is about how one person deals with trying to find themselves, underscored with the understanding that for most people around me, that is only demonstrated by success.

Achievement has become the bane of existence.

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The world around me is all about the views, the likes, the subs or the followers. It’s all competition, all the time, and when your natural disposition is to shy away from such things, some days can be a tough ask. It’s especially trying when it is obvious other people are manipulating you in the hope they’ll use you as means to further their stampede to aspirational nirvana. I don’t want to be part of your massive support network, sorry, enough trouble right now keeping myself afloat.

It is especially galling when someone is trusted to be supportive and understanding before it becomes apparent that their interests and needs supersede what was painted as the collective, greater good. I should know better by now, and that’s why your Discord invite will be politely declined: there is no real interest talking in a virtual chatroom to people I need in front of me to ever know well. I did my time on Usenet, know how this works out. Some of us simply don’t feel safe in other people’s definition of reality.

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The disparity comes home most clearly in situations where you observe others talking, without you in the conversation, something Twitter now conveniently sticks in your timeline out of a mistaken belief that if you follow two people, knowing what they talk about without you involved is a good idea.ย It really isn’t, and the reality of having everybody on tap 24/7 soon begins to wear. It also makes severing toxic and unsuitable relationships considerably more stressful.

This is why gravitating towards those people who don’t view everything as a competition so much more sensible, if only to remain sanity. When you have bigger issues to consider, that completing the race is hard enough, winning stops having any kind of meaning.

Sometimes, it is more sensible to never to take part at all.