… I am cutting my time on it significantly. For those of you who only read this blog, or correspond with me via email, this hardly matters, but for everyone who is in contact with me via social media, I feel I should say a few words, and perhaps explain why.
The reason why is actually really simple – I like social media, but I am tired. I like and follow a lot of lovely entertaining or educational feeds, and I enjoy having a presence on social media where I can interact with people who are more prone to replying to IMs/DMs than email, but on the other hand, when I am there, even as I read interesting news, or look at pretty photos, I see the vile and ignorant comments, and I am tired of feeling like I am awash in excrement after reading anything, even if the actual reading was, in itself, lovely and uplifting and all-round wonderful news. Trolls, or worse, people who actually mean such godawful things, or are self-centered enough to say such (I am not about to give examples) things are people who I am privileged enough to be able to not deal with on a daily basis in real life (unless paid to do so). What I do not want, nor need, is their forced presence in my personal sphere via social media. I am exhausted by battling my resulting misanthropy, because I don’t like spending days on end feeling hateful. It is a monumental waste of my time.
A friend of mine has recently written about this as well, and has left social media with a lot more, to use his own words, resolute courage, than I plan to. For me, it has been the slow tapering of my presence on such down to posting Instagram photos and exchanging a few comments with friends ooohing and aaahing about something pretty. So no hard measures such as unfriend-and-block or unfollow-all-things are needed. I will merely reply and react slower, as I am going to limit checking social media to a couple of times a day.
Before anyone starts to worry, I am fine. As I sit here and write this, I can see the thin stream of steam rising up from our neighbors’ chimney. It’s nearly evening, and the last few days have been cold enough to start icing the deep and fast-moving lake in the valley. The neighbors are sensibly starting up their fireplace before the night’s chill. I can smell the faintest hint of wood smoke from the window vent, and it reminds me that I should probably get up and build a fire myself in a not too long while – but I like to do so after the sun has set, and we have another hour or even more of daylight left – the sun stays up in the sky much longer these days. Spring is coming, belied as it is by the thick piles of snow on the ground and the roofs. The snow muffles most of the sounds outside, and the silence is interrupted indoors only by the sleepy low buzz of a humidifier and the occasional melodic dripping noise it makes. We have moved to a gloriously beautiful place. I love this house, with all the headache that it was to renovate, and all the unexpected surprises (both bad-but-fixed-now, and good ones).
2017 had been a busy year for us, and we got a lot done, above and beyond simply relocating to another country, buying and renovating a house, and moving again. I have ambitious goals for 2018 too, as well as simply looking forward to the coming spring, watching the snow (oh my god, so much snow!) melt and run off the mountainside into the lake, and discovering what bulbs and flowers live in this garden that were not in evidence in mid-to-late summer and autumn of last year. I foresee digging in the garden till my back aches, then soaking the dirt and soreness off in the deep bath tub, cramming Norwegian grammar and vocabulary into my head, evenings by the fire when it rains, and eating breakfast on the balcony when it is warm and sunny. I look forward to hosting friends coming to visit us and goggle at the (stupidly pretty) nature of Telemark, and hiking around the surrounding paths to see the forests and the mountains that I have so far only looked at in passing. I plan to write a lot more, both academically, and here, and not just about food, and I look forward to comments from anyone who wishes to have a discussion or a conversation. I am going to catch up on my correspondence of both, the email and the paper varieties (and yes, paper mail is also still a thing, if not a get-or-send-information-quick thing). I will finish unpacking my office/studio/plant corner, and start seeds, and create more art. I will finish reading the books I’ve started that I want to finish, and start reading other books I’ve wanted to read.
When something important enough to affect me, or that I can affect personally happens, I am sure someone will let me know. For one thing, Swedish parliamentary elections are coming up in a few months, so that’s a sample to-do item on my calendar for this year. I am not checking out for the count, but I am down-prioritizing being upset by things I can’t truly affect, and insulted/assaulted by strangers I don’t need to come into contact with. Some people may call me things for this, but none of my friends are likely to, and they are the ones who matter. The trolls and the willfully ignorant, well, they are just like a loud obnoxious drunk with bad personal hygiene and revolting sociopolitical choices proclaimed on his clothes that approaches you in a cafe or in a crowd, and insists that you should buy a super-awesome quack salve to stop being so gullible and paying Big Pharma for mind-control gay vaccine abortion fluoride. I am merely leaving the proverbial cafe, retreating to the privacy of my own home with my own friends, and shutting the door in the belligerent ignorant drunk idiot’s face.
And with this, I am off to build that fire in the fireplace, make a cup of coffee, pet Valkyria the timid and friendly lapcat (the name ended up being too ironic for words), watch the darkness fall over the snow-covered mountains, and plan out a few more posts for upcoming weeks. I am reminded again why I like this blog so much – compared to social media, it’s sort of like living in your own home, where aforementioned drunk idiot isn’t allowed into the front door. And, at least where social media is concerned, you can do that, too.