Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Like Clockwork

I’m a creature of cyclic habit.  It seems that I engage in the same kinds of activities at various times of the year, and sometimes the activities coordinate to the week or the day.  Date books, blog posts, lists of pieces I have written, and online activities give me a map that I could probably plot out physically.  A friend of mine who was in search of something he couldn’t find called the other day to see if I might happen to have it (a DVD he sent me years ago).  Sure enough, I found it immediately and popped it in the mail.  This is not the first time this has happened with this particular friend.  He said that I was always dependable.   

Dependable.  That’s me.  Always there and always on time.  I suppose you could set a clock by my activities.  Or a year-long hourglass. I have pretty much done everything in my life according to biological plan (as my last few blogposts, minus the dots--which have nothing to do with biology--have time-stamped).  

July is always a dull time.  Dull and hot.  This year the dullness and hotness is enhanced by the seemingly endless wait for the person who installed our air conditioner to arrive and make our house dependably comfortable.  Pretty much the only playing I have been doing is practicing, and I have to limit that because of my tendons.  I also find that practicing the violin is less stressful on my left elbow than practicing the viola, so I’m happy that I have an alternative to not practicing. Not practicing is very unhealthy for me.

Our soon-to-be son-in-law (how’s that for hyphenation) put a video of Rachel performing in a cross fit competition (she won second place) on Facebook, so I re-joined Facebook in order to see it.  It seems that the last time I rejoined was almost exactly a year ago.  

Go figure.  It is the same, but life outside of Facebook is different.  The social world has really become more digital, and though I’m far more comfortable participating in it through bloggery, it sometimes feels like whatever I do in this space is not really participating in whatever the world has become. People in my own town who I have known for years and years, seem to communicate to one another almost exclusively through Facebook.  "Catching up" the old fashioned way, which has always been pleasurable for me, has become kind of spotty during the past few years. Perhaps it takes too much time, or it makes people feel uncomfortable.  Perhaps it all looks better in pictures than it sounds in words.

I have learned over the years that in addition to being extremely dependable, I also really need social interaction. I like doing it with music, and the act of sharing music I have written feels really good, but then shortly afterwards, if I don't hear anything from the persons known and unknown who might or might not be playing it, I feel like I have created an open circuit with energy pouring out and going nowhere.  When nothing comes back to me in the form of interaction, I feel empty and depleted.  

This is nothing new.  I have always been this way.  I never learn, and I never will.

You would think that Facebook would be the perfect cure for such a state of being. If it were, I would be writing this missive on Facebook (and nobody would read it because it is too long and is not decorated with pictures of happy people having fun). Now that I am exploring Facebook again, I understand something about why the blogosphere has become so much less interactive in recent years.  When you are in Facebook, that becomes the portal to the world (and to all worlds).  It becomes the party where you spend your on-line interactive time (which is, for many people, their only non-work interactive time).  If you want so share something, you keep it in the party. Why go anywhere else when you can spend your time peering into the lives of everyone you knew in all your previous lives without them even knowing you're looking? 

What the people at the party choose to ignore is that everything is done with the idea of people generating money by advertising and by selling ads to advertisers, and that the social lubrication is there to make the feeling of being "sold to" less overt and less offensive.

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