rhondacrockett: (Lookit me)
[personal profile] rhondacrockett
I started using LJ when I was in university. Back then, I posted regularly (so long as it was a term-time weekday, since at home we were mired in the Dark Ages of dial-up). I haven't checked but I'd say it was usually every day. And since I went on to complete a Master's and a PhD, that pattern continued for a while.

Then I left.

And the postings dried up.

Now a bit of that is down to the internet situation at home. We're a slow-adapting household; as far as I recall, we were still using dial-up when I left uni in 2007. So I fell out of the habit of logging in on a regular basis. But the big reasons for the posting drought?

The loss of shared context. And confidentiality.

The latter is pretty obvious - or should be, given all the social media scandals. The former... lemme explain.

Education up to a certain age is compulsory throughout Western Europe and North America. Everybody growing up in those societies, therefore, has been to school at some point. So I could moan about my tutors etc. and be confident that most of you could nod your head sagely and say, "Yeah, I know the drill."

But once you leave the education system and enter gainful employment, that shared context disappears. Bar portrayals on TV or film, I have no freaking clue about the workaday lives of accountants - nurses - warehouse managers - IT technicians - police officers - lorry drivers - civil engineers - insurance staff - stockbrokers - fashion designers - dental receptionists - charity campaigners - town councillors - refuse collectors - fishing crews. And what the hell is a Special Advisor when it's at home?

But work takes over from education as the central day-to-day activity of your life. So if I were to write about my day... well, I'd have to spend some time setting up the context. I would have to explain about ICOS and FTR and what 'pulling the court' means. It's boring and long-winded and likely to end up in TL;DR territory. (Yes, I am aware that this entry is falling into that category too.)

***

I guess I'm old-fashioned in wanting/expecting my posts to be about my day-to-day life. 'Blogging' seems now to be about passing around quotations, stories, memes, photographs and pictures which originate with other people, not ourselves. Or it's an editorial column, made up of our musings on the topics which interest us. Or it's a reviews column on our chosen form of entertainment, from books to barbells, hardware to handicrafts, singing to sex toys. Or it can be an advertising hoarding for whatever it is we want to promote to the public.

Please note, none of these are meant as criticisms or as a in-the-good-ole-days moan. I'm only observing that social media has shifted away from the "on-line diary" idea that I 'grew up' with, and that I haven't shifted with it. I don't subscribe to Reddit or BuzzFeed or wherever else people get their "Share" links from, and besides, I tend to consume stuff like that and move on rather than telling others about it. I don't write editorials because I know I'm a poor arguer and am not prepared to handle any shitstorm that might result, even if it only fits in a teacup. I could do reviews, I suppose... but do I really read/view enough to justify it? I haven't been to the cinema in years and my TV watching falls into the territory of whatever-will-keep-everyone-vaguely-interested-and-or-entertained-but-not-necessarily-inspire-enthusiasm.

***

Lack of shared context is also why I'm crap at phone calls. I can't see what the person on the other end of the line is doing/experiencing, so I can't offer any comments on the same to gee the talking along. Once we're done with the obvious hi-how-are-you-this-is-the-news-where-I-am, I run out of conversational steam.

This inability to generate conversation is screwing up my chances with on-line dating too. My opening messages are banal to the point of pointlessness. Ugh.

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rhondacrockett

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