In January, I feel like I was on a more obsessive quest to document everything, excited to “make something” out of what I had collected by the end of 2016. At the time, I had just almost wrapped up with Esquire Philippines, and was more or less free to do and go wherever I wanted because I was, again, unemployed. Looking back at my Camera Roll then and now—well, I guess let’s just say, it’s not very exciting, here in April. Visually, anyway. I’ve been doing a lot of quote, unquote exciting things—I started a new job in February, that I love doing—but I’ve also kind of stopped keeping track of things. I guess it’s the lack of time? Or maybe I just don’t care as much anymore.
I was having lunch with a friend yesterday and the subject of being so connected to the Internet all the time came up, and she was saying how a weekend of disconnection made her feel. And I absolutely get that. It’s frustrating to keep checking if your tweet or post or picture “flopped,” and maybe, ultimately, the Internet is a big popularity contest now. But I guess I remember a time when it didn’t use to be that way, and like, a huge part of me misses that. And I think subconsciously, it’s why I’m never around here anymore. It’s not the same and type of people who would probably keep the type of blogs I’d have obsessed over when I was a baby teen probably think blogs are dumb. Probably because a lot are. Or maybe “dumb” isn’t even the correct word; it’s all just very sterilized and impersonal, and at times, way too desperate for traffic and/or likes. Everything just feels like some sort of elaborate production.
Which isn’t to say that this isn’t a dumb blog.
I think you can tell that it is, ha… and maybe it’s presumptuous to think that people give a shit about what I have to write about, but I guess I feel like I don’t want to compete with the numbers and I don’t want to keep a blog schedule and obsess over hits and tailor what I write and post to a set of SEO keywords, when all this Internet sharing just used to be people talking about anything and everything. My friend said she felt bad when she realized that she was good at social media, and I think that it’s because it almost feels like you’re good at manipulation and um, some type of strategy. I don’t really know why it feels kind of gross, if you’re not doing the strategizing for a brand or whatever, but I think it almost feels like you’re tricking people or something. Or like you care too much.
I’ve always said this: you are not a brand, so I guess I’m trying to act more like a person. With an Internet connection.
So, I didn’t take any photos of that lunch (though a part of me wishes I had, just to keep). And like, it’s not because I’m a photographer or anything, but I guess I had been doing this—keeping track and keeping—since I was in high school. Which if you needed reminding, started in 2002, 14 years ago. Probably even earlier than that, though not as thoroughly because all I had then was a Pentax. I still have letters from people I don’t even talk to anymore.
I guess I’m realizing that just because I don’t quite fully get the point of why I do this doesn’t mean that it’s pointless. A great chunk of my life has been spent talking to people online, and maybe that’s sad for some people, but before everyone was attached to their phones and “social media,” this was really all I had when I needed to say or share something. It didn’t matter who was on the other end, because most of the time, if they had come across what I had written, they really listened.