That Thing

I’m gonna end up writing a gaming post today, on the back of comments that I’ve seen, despite having muted a key phrase in my Twitter feed. It’s inescapable, like the march of seasons and the annoyance of those who think waiting for someone else to solve their issues is the answer. What amazes me, and continues to do so, is the perception of different as better.

Often, different is exactly the same as it was, except you forgot that was the case.

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Porridge for me is a case in point. Oats have, for many years, been my way of getting energy throughout the day without the stress of over-sugaring myself. Except, over time, pre-packaged snacks have risen to challenge that dominance. Energy bars, conveniently presented, luring me into excess sugar I don’t need… making me think they’re somehow better than the first bowl of morning oats, with some fruit chucked in for good measure.

Hospital was a benefit in that regard. Porridge, small bowl, handful of berries. No fuss. No stupid concept treats with ingredients I don’t need. This is the fuel needed to get me through lunch without stress. Today therefore will be day three of the Huel shake plus a planned porridge and pomegranate snack that doubles as part of lunch, with some extra fruit and nuts. Why did I forget that simple was best? Why was I that dumb to begin with?

Mostly, on reflection, it is my own stupidity to blame.

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I know I’m not supposed to be so hard on myself. Don’t worry, I get that. I also grasp, only too well, that improvement isn’t just a notional set of numbers, or a line or two that gets drawn in the sands of expectation. The problem for me is obsession. Separating need from desire is a tough ask sometimes, but things are improving on that front. I know I’m capable of great things. The problem’s in execution, not ideas.

So, it is no wonder that occasionally the path is deviated from. To fix it isn’t just about knowing what matters however, but how that’s reached with the most amount of enjoyment along the way. Let’s face facts, that’s summat I’ve forgotten how to do in the last six months. Enjoying myself, as it happens, is not nearly as stressful as used to be the case. In that regard, counselling is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Time for porridge, and then let’s see if we can start making sense of the bombsite that is this house.

Somebody’s Watching Me

Occasionally, someone will retweet something into my Twitter feed I can’t see. If that person is someone really liked, and there’s a desire to read it, it’ll be time to fire up the Internet of Words feed for a quick shufty. Some people arbitrarily share the block filters of others (which is easily done via the default interface if you know how) and it has become a common tool, for example, to allow the more extremist ends of the discussion spectrum to identify and highlight those people who might be worth provoking for a reaction.

Having pissed off a few people in my time, when a block happens it is no real surprise. I know the people responsible for that ire, and that’s totally fine.

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You won’t end up being friends with everybody in life. This is something I’m still trying to get my daughter to grasp: the popularity contest vibe that places like Instagram create is all well and good, right up to the point that something divisive comes up in conversation. When historical and often unpalatable social beliefs surface in tandem, you know what’s coming. People use blocks in many different ways, but by far the most popular reason now appears to involve excluding large groups of people from conversations that the individual wishes to maintain control over, whilst still presenting a public front.

Effectively, life becomes a public conversation where the responses are edited.

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If I started arbitrarily deleting responses to my blog posts, I’d become a pariah overnight. I know this because I walked that path and it happened: lessons were summarily learnt. Assuming the people concerned still exist as active posters, there is never a desire to go out of my way to check whether that’s the case: obsessing over shit like this makes you as bad, if not worse than the people already doing just that. If you encounter someone who’s got a block on and it makes no sense, the chances are they just took someone else’s list for a quiet life. Except, by doing so, they create an impression of the truth that only works for so long, or in the particular sphere they inhabit.

Ironically, this becomes a good way to work out who are the decent people on Social media.

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I go through cyclical phases of blocks and mutes: the latter tends to happen when it is obvious that a person’s life is more important than being interactive in yours. If, after someone is muted and their voice isn’t missed, that’s when I’ll go ahead and unfollow. However, there are a handful of people that if this were done to they’d 100% make drama out of my choice, which used to cause something of a quandary… because these people create drama out of everything, and I’d like my choices not to be a part of that.

One day, perhaps the lesson will be learnt, but until then it will be someone else’s task to present.

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If you live in communities, there has to be give and take. All of us, like it or not, are not without faults and shortcomings. Managing yours whilst at the same time maintaining the illusion of being inclusive is not the way to live. The key must be to change, adapt and accept that, like it or not you have to take the good with the bad.

In time, I hope to find the means to do this more effectively.